There are sights to be seen all over North Texas this holiday season, so get in the car! Each town has its own kind of thing going on. City by city, here are a few solid choices, starting with ours.
YOU’RE FORT WORTH IT!
Yes, you are, and I have four hyper-local happenings from three entities in the Fort for your consideration.
Mule Alley just opened an all-new seasonal ice-skating destination/event called Giddy Up & Glide at Stockyards Rodeo Rink (131 E Exchange Av, 817-625-9715). Entry times are available every two hours 11am-8:30pm Mon-Thu and 11am-10:30pm thru Sun, Feb 5. Tickets are $20 at FortworthStockyards.com/Events.
Jubilee Theatre and Sundance Square present Santa on the Square, featuring multiethnic Santas for children to visit from 11am to 8pm daily thru Fri, Dec 23, at the covered patio outside the former Bird Café in Sundance Square Plaza (155 E 4th St, 817-338-4204). Families can choose a traditional Santa/Kris Kringle, a Black Santa, or a Latino Santa when scheduling time slots. Complimentary photo texts will be provided, but prints can be purchased for $15 with proceeds benefiting Jubilee. Register for free at https://bit.ly/Jubilee_SantaontheSquare.
Since the holidays can get a little crazy, blow off some steam at the final performance of The Nutty Nutcracker, Texas Ballet Theater’s parody that will be retired after 12 seasons. The show is 8pm Fri, Dec 18, at Bass Performance Hall (525 Commerce St, 817-212-4280), and tickets are $60 at TexasBalletTheater.org. TBT’s traditional production of The Nutcracker runs from Fri thru Sat, Dec 24, at various times at Bass Hall with tickets starting at $25.
Read more about these and other arts and theater happenings in this week’s Stage section. Meanwhile, here are those other city selections I promised you and that you’ve been begging for.
More than 1.5 million sparkling LED lights wrapped around 555 trees make up the 10th annual Vitruvian Lights. Walk or drive through Vitruvian Park (3966 Vitruvian Way, 972-774-0552) 6pm-11pm nightly thru Sun, Jan 1. Entry is free. For more information, click here.
Head to the North Plaza of Globe Life Field (1650 E Randol Mill Rd, 817-533-1972) 11am-8pm daily thru Fri, Dec 23, for the Texas Christkindl Market. Inspired by the cherished German tradition of the same name, this familyfriendly event has been an Arlington tradition since 2010. This shopping experience features handcrafted items from Germany, including merchandise from Käthe Wohlfahrt, designs from the Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Village, and local vendors. Enjoy festive music and German food while you’re there. You can also visit with St. Nikolaus 3:30pm-8pm Mon-Fri and 11am-3pm or 4pm-8pm Sat-Sun. Admission to the market is free. For more info, visit TXChristKindlMarket.com.
Hulen Park (1010 Hillsboro St, 817-556-8858) in Downtown Cleburne is decorated with more than a million lights during Whistle Stop Christmas. See the lights every evening thru Sat, Dec 31. This year’s theme is Christmas Around the World. Children can enjoy $3 train rides 6pm-9pm Fri-Sat from Fri to Sat, Dec 23. For information on a host of related events, visit WhistleStopChristmas.com.
Congregation Beth Israel (6100 Pleasant Run Rd, 817-581-5500) is inviting community families — members and nonmembers alike — to bring their kids to Urban Air Adventure Park (2201 W Southlake Blvd, 817-203-8686) at 10am Sun, Dec 18, to “jump into Hanukkah.” (See what they did there?) Admission costs for Hanukkah Pajamakah are $10 per child for nonmembers and free for members. Then at 6:30pm Mon, Dec 19, there will be a Menorah Lighting & Funnel Cakes event at the temple. For details on this and other public get-togethers, follow Facebook.com/CBIColleyvilleTX.
Speaking of tributes, North Texas artist Kristy Johnson — who impersonates Heart’s Ann Wilson and Evanescence’s Amy Lee — and a group of local and regional musicians have put together a new seasonal project called Winters Night: The TSO Experience, featuring the music of holiday supergroup Trans-Siberian Orchestra. See the group’s debut show at Lava Cantina (5805 Grandscape Blvd, 214-618-6893). Tickets are $10-55 on Eventbrite.com, with proceeds benefiting Children’s Health.
The Dallas Arboretum is debuting a brand-new exhibit this season in the 21,000-square-foot historic DeGolyer House on the grounds of the park during its Holiday at the Arboretum festival. The Artistry of Faith & Culture features the three world holidays celebrated this season — Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa — plus Diwali, celebrated in the fall. Symbols representing each holiday have been included in the decorations of the various rooms by designer Michael Hamilton. Christmas (the Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus) is featured in the bedroom, library, and sitting room. Hanukkah (the Jewish festival of lights) and Shabbat (a day of peace and holiness) are featured in the dining room. Kwanzaa, created by Dr. Mulana Kerenga in the 1960s to celebrate traditional African and African-American cultural values and practices, is represented in the living room. And, finally, Diwali (the Indian festival of lights) is showcased in the hallway. The house is open 9:30am-4:30pm Mon-Sat and 11:30am-4pm Sun. Admission to this exhibit is included with festival tickets, which are $12-20 at DallasArboretum.org.
Based on the classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” the world-renowned team at Cirque du Soleil has created its first-ever Christmas show. For ’Twas the Night Before, 26 acrobats from around the world will help tell the tale of “a jaded young girl who rediscovers the magic of Christmas” with a backdrop of your favorite holiday tunes re-imagined. The touring company has shows at Texas CU Theater (1001 Texas Trust Way, 972-854-5050) this week at various times, from Wednesday to Sunday. For more information or tickets starting at $44, visit AXS.com.
There are so many holiday festivities annually in Grapevine that it earned the title of Christmas Capital of Texas via a state proclamation. Over 40 days, there are more than 1,400 activities, exhibits, festivals, films, performances, and the like at the Gaylord Texan Hotel, Grapevine Vintage Railroad, Nash Farm, and more, including the Palace Arts Center. Since I’m a sucker for a great holiday movie, I’m excited to see the December schedule for the Palace Theatre (300 S Main, 817-410-3100). It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas are both being screened, but you can’t beat Meet Me in St. Louis (2pm Sat, Dec 29), which is also referenced in a modern holiday favorite of mine, The Family Stone. Tickets are only $6 at Tickets.GrapevineTicketLine.com/Event/PAC-Christmas-Movies-2022.
Once the holiday season has passed and you’re looking for something different to do, come January, check out one of the top Bowie tribute acts in the world. David Brighton’s Space Oddity is in town for one night only at 9:30pm Fri, Jan 27, at Irving Arts Center (3333 N MacArthur Blvd, 972-252-2787). The show promises to be a “theatrically staged multimedia spectacle that transports audiences on a musical journey through the constantly metamorphosing career of David Bowie, one of rock ’n’ roll’s most celebrated innovators.” Tickets are $27-43 at IrvingArtsCenter.com.
Once when I was a kid, my hippie aunt stole my crayons to make candles. She and I should do some making up for lost time at the Crayola Experience Plano (6121 W Park Blvd, Ste A-100, 469-642-2901), one of only five such museums in the country. We can help Santa save Christmas on a themed adventure, listen to snowmen and tree friends tell stories, sing carols, and take photos with a life-sized snow globe while crafting unique gifts. Colorful Christmas at Crayola runs 10am-5pm daily thru Tue, Jan 3. Admission is $27.99 for all guests ages 3 and up and free for ages 2 and younger. P.S. Get your own crayons, Aunt Clarisa!
Nightly from 6pm to 9:30pm thru Sun, Jan 1, take a stroll and enjoy the holiday decorations at the free Pathway of Lights event at the Heritage Park Amphitheater (378 Jack Borden Way, 817-994-7072), including a 50-foot live tree and a 20-foot animated tree. Food vendors are on-site so that you can make a night of it. The rotation of food trucks includes Dosey Dough, Funky Munky, Juliebeans Ice Cream, Mama Lama Sweets, Smackin Mac, Tacos to Die For, and Waller Lane. For a complete schedule, visit ExperienceWeatherford.com.
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