Rotary Clubs of Plano will present Plano Holiday Parade and Toyland Festival, featuring winning floats, Santa and Ms. Claus, holiday music, crafts, food trucks, vendors, and kid zone. A festival in Toyland will be held in the North parking lot of the Plano Municipal Building immediately following the parade.
Weekend Event Planner
As is always the case the weekend of Thanksgiving, holiday events dominate the landscape across Dallas. There will be lots of lights, Nutcrackers in both dance and concert forms, two theater versions of the Scrooge story, flipping reindeer, two Christmas-themed concerts, and a kids theater production. Two other events aren't explicitly about the holidays, but offer something for both kids and adults.
Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this long holiday weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Wednesday, November 23
Disney On Ice: Into the Magic
At Disney On Ice: Into the Magic, hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will bring audiences on an expedition across raging seas, snow covered mountains, and the marigold bridge. The action-packed extravaganza features Disney’s Moana, Frozen, Coco, and Beauty and the Beast, along with other beloved Disney characters. There will be multiple performances through Sunday at Credit Union of Texas Event Center in Allen.
Friday, November 25
Holiday lights galore
As always, there will be no shortage of holiday lights to look at in and around Dallas this season. Among the notable displays opening on Friday will be Enchant at Fair Park, featuring millions of lights, an ice skating trail, marketplace, and more; Vitruvian Lights at Vitruvian Park in Addison, where hundreds of trees are wrapped in colorful lights; Lights on the Farm at Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano, featuring a quarter-mile trail showcasing holiday light creations and animated displays; and Lights on The Lake at Little Elm Park, featuring lights and activities like a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and an ice skating rink. All events will be open through at least December 25.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents The Nutcracker in concert
Maurice Cohn leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in selections from Tchaikovsky’s iconic Nutcracker score. The story of The Nutcracker, loosely based on the E.T.A. Hoffmann fantasy, is the story of a nutcracker that comes to life on Christmas Eve and wages a battle against the evil Mouse King. Audiences will enjoy the miniature overtures, triumphant marches, Russian, Arabian and Chinese dances, and the Waltz of the Flowers. There will three performances through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center.
Cirque du Soleil: Twas the Night Before...
Twas the Night Before…, Cirque du Soleil’s spin on the beloved Christmas tale, is about the wonders of sharing and friendship. The production marks Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever Christmas show and is a flurry of Christmas cheer, rip-roaring fun with hugely lovable characters that will introduce audiences to the magic of the acrobatic troupe. The production runs through December 11 at Texas Trust CU Theatre at Grand Prairie.
Pocket Sandwich Theatre presents Ebenezer Scrooge
A year after being forced to move from their longtime Dallas location, Pocket Sandwich Theatre returns at a new venue in Carrollton with their traditional Ebenezer Scrooge production. The production is based on the age-old holiday favorite about the miserly Scrooge, who is visited one Christmas Eve by three ghosts intent on helping him change his ways. It runs through December 23.
Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
Dallas Theater Center presents their annual production of A Christmas Carol, a delightfully reimagined take on Dickens’ enduring classic. Three spirits have come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge to take him on a fantastic journey through Christmases past, present, and future. But will it be enough to save Scrooge’s soul? The production runs through December 24 at Wyly Theatre.
Texas Ballet Theater presents The Nutcracker
Featuring dazzling choreography and exquisite sets, The Nutcracker celebrates the season with enchantment, snowflakes, and sweets. Texas Ballet Theater presents the most magical Christmas tradition of the season as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince battle an army of mice and travel through a winter wonderland to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Kingdom of Sweets. The production runs through December 4 at Winspear Opera House.
Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: A Very Postmodern Christmas
New York City pianist Scott Bradlee created Postmodern Jukebox to remake the pop hits of today into the classic sounds of the legends of yesterday. The group has grown to become a pop culture mainstay in its own right, introducing audiences to many of the world’s greatest singers, dancers, and instrumentalists. The concert will be at Majestic Theatre.
Saturday, November 26
Cara Mia Theatre presents Crystal City 1969
Inspired by a little-known event in Texas history, Crystal City 1969 is based on the true story of Mexican-American students in south Texas who walked out of their school and into civil rights history. Crystal City became an example of American democracy at its best. The production runs through December 18 at Latino Cultural Center.
Sunday, November 27
Dallas Children's Theater presents Harry Connick, Jr.’s The Happy Elf
From Grammy-winning musician Harry Connick, Jr, The Happy Elf is a jazz musical that will get audiences in the holiday spirit. Eubie is, much to the exhaustion of his coworkers, an elf of unparalleled and endless energy looking to get a spot on Santa’s coveted sleigh team. When his unstoppably sunny spirit comes into contact with the miserable town of Bluesville, where every single child is on the naughty list, he’s in for the shock of a lifetime. Will his relentless positive attitude be enough to turn this gloomy place around, or has the happiest elf in the North Pole finally met his match? The production runs through December 23 at Rosewood Center for Family Arts.
For King + Country in concert
Christian pop duo For King + Country has been one of the most successful bands in the genre over the past decade, with all of their albums reaching the top five on the Christian charts, and two going to No. 1, including their latest, What Are We Waiting For? This concert may feature some of their biggest hits, but it will also have a holiday theme as it's part of their A Drummer Boy Christmas tour, named for their 2020 Christmas album.
River Walk, Flower Mound’s entertainment district, will present Christmas on the River Walk, an afternoon of holiday-themed events.
The event includes live music from Holiday Cheer, free hot cocoa, and a snow play area perfect for making snow angels and snowmen. Visitors can snap their own photos with Santa Claus, then take a selfie with live reindeer and other holiday characters. Plus, visitors ca also create ornaments and decorations to brighten their homes for the holidays.
The Epic Waters Crew will be sending off 2022 and ringing in 2023 with a New Year’s Eve celebration with circus and aerial performances, hula dancing, interactive games, and more.
The event will include a special Hawaiian-themed dinner including a pig on a spit, pulled pork sliders, baby back ribs, coconut shrimp, and mini pineapple upside-down cupcakes.
Along with a light show, Lights on The Lake will highlight pictures with Santa, a hot air balloon glow, a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and an ice skating rink. The 24-nights-of-lights event will also have food trucks, vendors, and many spots perfect for holiday pictures.
Jeremy Heere is just an average teenager. That is, until he finds out about "The Squip" - a tiny supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most. But is being the most popular guy in school worth the risk?
Blending the contemporary with retro sci-fi, Be More Chill takes on the competing voices in all of our heads. And ultimately proves, there's never been a better time in history to be yourself.
CultureMap Emails are Awesome
What: New Friends New Life Luncheon
Where: Hyatt Regency Dallas
The 411: Co-Chairs Katherine Wynne, Kristi Sherrill Hoyl, and Melissa Sherrill Martin — along with honorary co-chairs Matrice Ellis-Kirk and former Dallas mayor, Ambassador Ron Kirk — welcomed 800 supporters to the beloved fall luncheon November 4.
The official mission of New Friends New Life is to restore and empower trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women, and their children, and drive awareness of the issue and its prevalence. Emcee Shelly Slater, CEO Bianca Davis, and several inspiring presentations and speakers underscored the importance of that aim.
Martin highlighted the work of NFNL’s Youth Resource Center, which has provided hope for nearly 550 girls, and recognized top sponsors Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Tracey Nash-Huntley and David Huntley, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Southwest Airlines, and the Jensen Project as well as Nancy and Randy Best and Carolyn and David Miller.
The 2022 ProtectHER awards honored recipients Lynn McBee, Santander Consumer USA Foundation, Dr. Nissi Hamilton for the impact they make as advocates and volunteers.
The highlight of the afternoon were remarks by Emmy-wining actress and activist Julia Ormond. Ormond is the founder of the nonprofit ASSET Campaign, which works to require major businesses to publicly disclose their policies to prevent human trafficking and forced labor in product supply chains.
She has traveled the world to campaign against human trafficking and child enslavement. She shared from her perspective that “enslavement and forced labor are like the cancer in humanity. With cancer you do chemo to get right to the tumor. With trafficking we also need to take a laser-like approach that gets right to the tumor. We need to understand that when we buy a product from a supply chain, we are supporting value chains, the people who are in forced labor.”
Thanks to impactful words and the inspiration of all the presentations, the luncheon surpassed its goal with $560,000 in net proceeds raised.
Who: Hundreds of supporters and champions of the cause, including Katherine Wynne, Maggie Kipp, Elizabeth Saab, Michael Horne, Marissa Horne, Elizabeth Gambrell, Cheryl Joyner, Beth Thoele, Suzanne Massey, Jeff Waugh, Gail Turner,, Jessica Turner Waugh, Caren Prothro, Robin Bagwell, Wendy Messmann, Diondra Wilcher, and Kaileigh Johnson.
Weekend event planner
It's officially December, so naturally this weekend is dominated by holiday-themed events, including five local theater productions, two concerts, another Nutcracker, and celebrations in Dallas Arts District. There will also be two non-holiday theater productions, a concert by a YouTube sensation, a visit from a famous actress/comedian, and a stand-up comedy event.
Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, December 1
Vocal Majority presents A Blue Suede Christmas
Vocal Majority's A Blue Suede Christmas will transport audiences to Las Vegas for a fun journey of harmony, smiles, and memories. The first act will feature some treasured Vegas icons, and maybe even a sighting of Elfis Presley. In the second act, the mood changes as Vocal Majority inspires the audience with beloved and sacred Christmas songs. There will be four performances through Sunday at Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson.
WaterTower Theatre presents Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar, the iconic rock opera featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes "I Don’t Know How to Love Him," "Gethsemane," and "Superstar." The production runs through December 11 at WaterTower Theatre in Addison.
The Firehouse Theatre presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast
This “Tale as Old as Time” centers around Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. The production runs through December 18 at The Firehouse Theatre in Farmers Branch.
Bishop Arts Theatre Center presents Black Nativity
Black Nativity, returning to the Bishop Arts Theatre Center stage for its 18th anniversary, is a hand-clapping, toe-tapping, finger-snapping theatrical wonderment, inspired by Langston Hughes's retelling of the Nativity story. The production runs through December 18 at the Oak Cliff theater.
Friday, December 2
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents "Christmas Pops"
The tradition of Christmas Pops continues with the Dallas Symphony Chorus performing transcendent anthems, classical holiday favorites and sing-along carols. Favorite holiday vocalists join the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Chorus to bring a bit of Christmas magic to Meyerson Symphony Center through December 11. There will also be two "Family Christmas Pops" concerts on December 3 and 10, a special one-hour long family-friendly performance featuring the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas.
Theatre Arlington presents Hooray for Holidays
Theatre Arlington is bringing back Hooray for Holidays, a hilarious Christmas musical that features special guests at each performance. The production features The Callahan Kids TV Christmas Reunion special. Everyone is excited about the former child stars’ return to television until they realize that as grown-ups, they are no longer cute and their talent is lacking. The only thing that can save the show is a Christmas miracle. The production runs through December 18.
Sandra Bernhard: Bern it Down
Sandra Bernhard is an actress/performer/comedian whose career now stretches more than 40 years, having succeeded in films, on TV, and on stage. Her first big break was at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, and she'll return to her roots with this night of comedy and music at Granada Theater as part of her Bern It Down tour.
Richardson Theatre Centre presents A Hometown Holiday Radio Show
Richardson Theatre Centre's A Hometown Holiday Radio Show is an evening of music and merriment for the entire family, featuring a recreation of old-time radio classics, live songs, and just plain holiday fun. The production runs through December 18.
Theatre Coppell presents A Little House Christmas
The Ingalls family is warm and happy in their little house by Plum Creek, just outside the town of Walnut Grove. It’s time for the Christmas holidays, and everyone is keeping secrets about the presents they have to give. All the characters are there: Laura, Mary, Carrie, Ma, Pa, Mr. and Mrs. Olsen, and Nellie, and there are surprises all around on Christmas Day that remind us that love is the greatest gift of all. The production runs through December 18 at Coppell Arts Center.
The Piano Guys in concert
The Piano Guys are four dads who became an Internet sensation by way of their series of self-made music videos, including One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen. It’s the Guys’ highly original blend of classical music with pop that has led to over 500 million YouTube views. They'll perform at McFarlin Auditorium.
Uptown Players presents Head Over Heels
Head Over Heels is a laugh-out-loud love story set to the music of the iconic 1980s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s. An inspired mash-up of posh and punk, the production is an unpredictable Elizabethan romp about a royal family that must prevent an oracle’s prophecy of doom. In order to save their beloved kingdom, the family embarks on an extravagant journey where they are faced with mistaken identities, love triangles, sexual awakening, and self-discovery. The production runs through December 18 at Kalita Humphreys Theater.
Saturday, December 3
Wait Wait Stand-Up Tour
The Wait Wait Stand-Up Tour is a night of stand-up-comedy featuring some of Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me’s funniest panelists. They answer questions on Wait, Wait, but there they're subject to FCC limitations. This a chance to enjoy a full evening of their unfiltered stand-up comedy. The host is veteran stand-up and Wait, Wait regular Alonzo Bodden. He'll be joined by Adam Burke, Negin Farsad, and Maz Jobrani. They'll perform at Majestic Theatre.
Ballet Ensemble of Texas presents The Nutcracker
Ballet Ensemble of Texas will present The Nutcracker to kick off their new season. The production will feature Breanne Granlund and Nathan Vendt, both dancers with American Ballet Theatre, and BET alumni. Over 200 young dancers from the Ballet Academy of Texas will join BET in this production. There will be four performances through Sunday at Irving Arts Center.
Klyde Warren Park presents Tree Lighting Celebration
After starting the day at the Dallas Holiday Parade downtown, head to Klyde Warren Park's Tree Lighting Celebration, where Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson will join Santa to light the iconic holiday symbol. The free annual tradition includes a festive day of activities and entertainment, photos with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, face painting, crafts, games, and snow flurries. The day culminates with a live show featuring performances of holiday music, visits from Santa’s friends Frosty and Rudolph, and the Christmas tree lighting. The Salty Donut and Andy's Frozen Custard will also both be making their Klyde Warren Park debut in time for the festivities. Immediately following the tree lighting will be...
Reliant Lights Your Holidays
Reliant Lights Your Holidays, taking place at Sammons Park within the AT&T Performing Arts Center, will feature the illumination of hundreds of thousands of dazzling LED lights, with live performances by Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda, and Vinyl Countdown: A Tribute To Arena Rock. There will also be a Christmas-themed drone show, a wintery snow playground, kids craft area, photos with Santa, and miniature golf on the Reliant Putting Green. For more spectacular Christmas light displays and events around DFW, go here.
News You Can Eat
December is (almost) here and in the Dallas restaurant world, that means wonderful winter menus and specials for the holidays: Peppermint shakes, pumpkin pasta, boozy hot chocolate, Christmas tamales, spiced horchata, and so much more. There are also a couple of new restaurants opening in the next week, hustling to start serving in time for holiday festivities.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news, with items culled from press releases, emails, and DM's on social media:
Loro Addison is officially opening on December 14, when they'll be "slinging slushies and frying corn fritters all day long," according to an email. From December 14-18, the first 100 customers every day get a free custom Yeti. This is the second Loro in DFW and is located at 14999 Montfort Dr.
Shake Shack is opening a location in Plano at 5009 W. Park Blvd., at the intersection of Preston Road, on December 5. This is the second Shake Shack in Plano but the first in Texas to feature a drive up window. They'll open with a few limited-time items including the new Hot Ones Burger and Hot Ones Chicken Sandwich, plus seasonal holiday shakes: Christmas Cookie Shake, Chocolate Milk & Cookies Shake, and Chocolate Peppermint Shake. The menu will feature the Lockhart Link Burger, a cheeseburger topped with Kreuz Market jalapeno cheese sausage link, pickles, and ShackSauce.
Freebirds World Burrito celebrates the opening of its new location in Murphy on December 6. The first 25 guests in line receive free burritos for a year. There'll also be food samples, swag giveaways, and yard games. It's at 103 W. FM 544 and is the fifth Freebirds to open in 2022.
Layne's Chicken Fingers has opened a location in Denton at 1200 W. Hickory St. It's from franchisees Scott and Heather Davis, who plan to open five more Layne’s in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, possibly Burleson, Arlington, and Mansfield.
Tipsy Elf, a holiday pop-up bar from Exxir Hospitality, is now open in the little white house at the corner of Bishop & Melba in Bishop Arts, spanning into sibling Mermaid Bar as well as a tented patio. Entertainer Gloria Devine will give nightly readings of letters to Santa, and there are new cocktails including the North Pole Dancer, Secure The Sack, and a salted toffee old fashioned with port spices titled Left Me for The Muffin Man.
Grand Lux Cafe at the Galleria Dallas has a set of new menu items including Fried Provolone Cheese with marinara sauce, Garlicky Shrimp, Pasta Alla Arrabiatta - spaghettini tossed in spicy tomato sauce and topped with ricotta cheese, steak frites with parmesan fries, BLT Benedict with Calabrian Hollandaise on a grilled English muffin, and two drinks: Bluegrass Margarita with Basil Hayden Bourbon, and a Cold Brew Espresso Martini.
Eataly Dallas is carry a selection of pasticcini (bite-sized pastries) from Pasticceria da Guido, a pastry shop by Michelin-starred chef Ugo Alciati. Exclusive to Eataly Dallas, these Michelin-starred Italian sweets are known for quality, simplicity, and tradition. Eataly’s pastry team has worked with Pasticceria da Guido to ensure they're properly prepared. Find Pasticceria da Guido at Eataly’s pastry counter, located on the west side of NorthPark Center, every day this holiday season.
Elm & Good at the Kimpton Pittman Hotel is featuring a special dish from executive chef Ben Smallman, with a portion of the sales going to No Kid Hungry: Market Pumpkin and Maple Stracciatella features Kuri squash, stracciatella, sage, maple syrup, and pumpkin seeds, for $17, and can be ordered through December 31, Tuesday-Saturday from 5-10 pm.
Blue Mesa Grill has a new Holiday Fajita Party Pack To-Go, with queso, guacamole, chicken taquitos, steak & chicken fajitas, adobe pie, black beans, coconut lime rice, toppings, tortillas, and brownies with a cajeta swirl. $195 serves 8 people. It's available through December 31; order at bluemesagrill.com.
Blue Goose Cantina is offering its annual homemade Box O’ Tamales in pork, chicken, jalapeño, and cheese options, with three sauces - Salsa Verde, chili con carne, and queso. The boxes are $30, and require a 24-hour minimum advance order on BlueGooseCantina.com. Click ‘Order Now,’ and select the nearest restaurant and date needed.
Greenville Avenue Pizza Company has partnered with Monkey King Noodle Company on the new Dan Dan Pizza, featuring Monkey King’s Dan Dan sausage, GAPCo’s mozzarella blend, chili oil, bok choy, shredded carrots, wonton sauce, and sesame seeds. It's $25 for a 16-inch large, $20 for a 12-inch small, and $8 for a slice, at all three locations: Greenville Avenue, Peavy Road, and Richardson, throughout December.
Snooze an A.M. Eatery has a limited-edition Cranberry Orange Pancake, a buttermilk pancake topped with orange crème anglaise, cranberry coulis, cranberry mascarpone, and almond streusel, available through December 31. Proceeds from the purchase will be donated to World Central Kitchen.
BoomerJack’s Bar and Grill has a new winter menu with $8 items including Brown Bag Burger, Bottomless Soup & Salad, BLT, and a Grilled Chicken Sandwich. The Fat Jack Sampler is a sampler for the table with Boneless Wings, Mozzarella Bites, Brisket Quesadillas, Fried Pickles, and Jack’s Skillet Queso with tortilla chips, for $35. Holiday items include Boozy Hot Chocolate and Tableside S'mores.
The Dolly Llama has a limited-time Christmas Waffle featuring mint-chip ice cream with chocolate sauce, holiday sprinkles and a marshmallow snowman, all in a warm waffle. It's available from December 5-31 and can be purchased as a Bubble Waffle, OG Liege Waffle, or within a cup.
Aw Shucks and Big Shucks Oyster Bar now have whole Key lime pies for preorder only, through the month of December. The pies are made in-house daily and 24-hour minimum notice is required. A 9-inch pie is $30.
Bulla Gastrobar is bringing back Holiday Spiced Horchata, a holiday cocktail with spice-infused coconut cream, rum, and creamy flan foam, for the entire month of December.
Ellie’s Restaurant & Lounge has newly released a new winter cocktail menu with selections that include peppermint espresso martini; "Sweater Weather," with Ketel One, hot apple cider, spiced apple syrup, bitters and graham cracker rim; and Holiday Cheer with Tito’s, cranberry syrup, ginger beer, lemon, cranberries, and rosemary.
Another Round, the indoor mini golf and bar venue in West Dallas, has two new holiday-themed shots: Gingerbread Man with Baileys, Butterscotch Liqueur, Hot Damn Cinnamon Liqueur; and Holiday Spice, with Rumchata and Fireball. Two shots are $12. There’s also a festive cocktail, the Mistletoe Pomegranate Margarita - Exotico Blanco, with Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, lime juice, agave, and red sugar, served in a cup rimmed with green sugar and garnished with pomegranate seeds for $12.
Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe has introduced a new holiday cocktail called the Berry Blitzen, served in a Hurricane glass with Jack Daniels, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Finest Call Raspberry, honey syrup, and lemonade, topped with a Red Bull. They're also bringing back Angry Balls, a pint of Angry Orchard Hard Cider paired with a shot of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.
Sean Rakidzich, real estate entrepreneur and influencer, is hosting a benefit for Harvest Project Food Rescue, a Dallas nonprofit that provides fresh produce to 2000-plus people a week. Food will be provided by Chef Diana Zamora (Nena’s Postreria), and businesses such as José and CocoAndre will provide gift certificates for a raffle benefiting Harvest Project. It's December 1, from 6-10 pm at The Victor building at 3039 Nowitzki Way #4012.