Santa parades for the kids
The morning after Halloween, I stepped off an airplane in Newark and was assaulted by the sounds of Alvin and the Chipmunks singing their obnoxious Christmas song. This was not OK on several levels, the least of which being my wicked hangover and foul mood, brought about by taking shots the night before while fending off a 61-year-old who was taking his Hugh Hefner costume a little too seriously ("Yes, I'm blonde, but get your hand off my ass, buster"). On a broader level, I had to agree with the other passengers who scowled at the sound of carols so early. No Santa until Thanksgiving is over!...And now it is! So bring on the prancing elves and Claymation TV specials. And this Saturday, bring on the Neiman Marcus Adolphus Children's Parade in Downtown Dallas. Some 350,000 spectators will see marching bands, clowns, characters and floats--including one with Santa himself. Giant inflatables of Curious George, Garfield and Scrooge will also soar above the streets along the route, which begins at the corner of Austin and Commerce streets and travels down Commerce before heading toward Dallas City Hall Plaza. People start arriving as early as 6:30 a.m. for sidewalk spaces and entertainment like the 8 a.m. performance by children's performer Eddie Coker. This "Miracle on Commerce Street" has raised $1 million for Children's Medical Center in 18 years, and I can't think of a more fitting way to officially (and appropriately) welcome the start of the Christmas season. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and admission is free. Parking is available at downtown lots, and the route is within walking distance of several DART Light Rail stations (see dart.org). For information, call 214-456-8383 or visit www.childrensparade.com. --Leah Shafer
Neiman Marcus Adolphus Children's Parade
Tour de Food
If I had the ability to cook more than a pan-fried plate of salmon, this Wednesday I would certainly relish the chance to meet Joanne Bondy, the executive chef of Oak Lawn's Ciudad restaurant. Named Chef of the Month by Whole Foods Market and D Home magazine, Bondy will lead a tour through the store to show you how to select the choice ingredients she uses in some of her favorite dishes, which are undoubtedly a step or two above my culinary ceiling. For those of you who are more skilled around the kitchen, however, make reservations soon. Space is limited. The tour starts at 6 p.m. at Whole Foods Market, 4100 Lomo Alto Drive. Please e-mail reservation requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. --Matt Pulle
Would Freddy Krueger have lined New Line's pockets if his name was Wilbur? Could Psycho's shower scene work with a pro wrestling entrance theme as the musical cue? What if Mexican Werewolf in Texas--which makes its state premiere at the Inwood this Friday and Saturday--was instead called Chupacabra to pay homage to the voracious villain at the movie's core? According to some dated info at the official Web site, it originally was, but think about it--one reference conjures John Landis' classic, the other, quite literally, "Goat Sucker." Good call, folks. If the film itself (a horror flick concerning the legendary creature's newfound taste for human blood and border-hopping) shows any of the same resourcefulness, we'll see you at midnight. The Inwood Theatre is at 5458 W. Lovers Lane. Call 214-764-9106. --Matt Hursh
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It's no fairy tale that a woman's work is never done, but did you know such tales can transform your work life into the stuff of happily-ever-afters? According to Cary J. Broussard, author of From Cinderella to CEO, Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel might just hold the secrets to a woman's workplace happiness. Broussard will hold court this Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Women's Museum, 3800 Parry Ave., with her seminar, Learn How You Can Master the 10 Lessons of Fairy Tales to Transform Your Work Life. Billed as a "magical conversation," Broussard may unlock the door to career advancement despite all the wicked witches and poison apples along the way. Admission is $45 and includes a signed copy of the book and a wine and cheese reception. All proceeds benefit The Women's Museum. For further information or to R.S.V.P., call 214-397-0902 or e-mail email@example.com. --Rich Lopez
Milky Way Avenue
Once a year, we load the family up in the car and drive around Dallas to see thousands of lights in the nicest neighborhoods--but before you pack up the kids this year and head to Highland Park, go to UT-Arlington and check out two of this holiday season's brightest lights during Stars of Wonder. This planetarium program focuses on the winter solstice of the Sun and the astronomical possibilities of the "Star of Bethlehem," so not only will you save some gas money, you just might learn something, too. Stars of Wonder takes place at the planetarium in Preston Hall at UT-Arlington, 604 W. West, December 1 through December 17, with shows on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m. Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for kids 12 and under. Call 817-272-0822 or visit www.uta.edu/planetarium. --Amanda Bigbee