21 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week

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Tue 12/13
It’s Christmas time and that means it’s time to get ready to strap yourself in and watch all those classic Christmas movies you see on TV every year during the holidays. Die Hard, the classic '80s action flick starring Bruce Willis as the chain-smoking, cowboy-loving, sleeveless T-shirt sporting cop John McClane, is one of those movies. Just because it’s not about Santa Claus racing to deliver a batch of toys to an orphanage through a blinding snowstorm or feature forced messages in its themes about peace on Earth doesn’t mean it’s not a Christmas movie. In fact, it’s more of a Christmas movie than many so-called movies that literally have the word “Christmas” in the title. Think about it. McClane is making the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow human beings and he’s not doing it for money, gifts or even glory. He’s doing it because he honestly cares about justice and ensuring peace even if he has to fire off more rounds than a poorly supervised regional NRA convention. Celebrate the season with this holiday classic as part of the Alamo Drafthouse’s Hopped Up Cinema series in which the movie theater pairs a classic film with a tasty local brew. This time, the 903 Brewers will serve guests a flight of four of their tastiest flavors along with the film. Alamo Drafthouse Richardson, 100 S. Central Expressway, 7 p.m., $37.89, drafthouse.com. — Danny Gallagher

Is it alarming that the category of “vintage game systems” now includes Nintendo (OG), Super NES, Nintendo 64 or Gamecube? Even Playstation 1 and 2? There was a time when Pong was worthy of the “vintage” moniker, but now our childhood loves are officially old … and officially badass guests of honor at the inaugural Goodfriend’s Game Night. It’s 21 and up, because — let’s face it, that’s who’ll really appreciate this. You’ll have to wait to find out which game cartridges pair best with the Goodfriend roster of beer on tap, but who doesn’t like a little suspense? Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House, 1154 Peavy Road, 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., free, facebook.com. — Merritt Martin

Much like Father John Misty, Kurt Vile was originally a member of a prominent indie rock group. While FJM belonged to the Fleet Foxes, Kurt Vile played in the War On Drugs. He left after the band’s debut release to focus on his solo project, releasing two albums he recorded in his own home before signing to Matador in 2009. His major label debut was the album Childish Prodigy. Next came Smoke Ring For My Halo, which was well-received by critics, but it was not until 2015 with b’lieve I'm going down that Kurt Vile and the Violators gained widespread critical attention thanks to their blues and punk inspired hooks, tight lyrics and fantastic production value. It went on to be one of the most critically lauded albums of 2015. Had Vile stayed in the War On Drugs, there is a significant chance he never would have gotten the recognition he deserved as a songwriter. Trees in Deep Ellum, 2709 Elm St., 8 p.m., $30, treesdallas.com. — Taylor Frantum

Wed 12/14
You could be forgiven for mistaking the Perot Museum of Nature and Science's Giant Gems of the Smithsonian exhibit for a set in some sort of heist movie. But these Texas-sized gems are far from anything you'll see in Pink Panther. The Perot's Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall plays host to some extraordinary and rare beauties (most over 1,000 carats) including the "American Golden" topaz weighing in at 24,000 carats, a blue topaz "football" at 7,000 carats, a kunzite Tiffany necklace and more. The exhibit marks the first time some of these Smithsonian gems have ever left the Washington museum complex, while others have never been displayed at all. Tickets to the exhibit, which runs until Jan. 17, are free with general admission to the museum. Perot Museum of Nature and Science, 2201 N. Field St., 10 a.m., free with general admission, perotmuseum.org. — Diamond Victoria

Dallas' favorite eccentric vintage thrift store offers up a unique shopping experience Dec. 14 when they host a holiday party with local artisans' goods. Dolly Python is teaming up with Benny Jack Antiques to showcase some alternatives to gift-buying with one-of-a-kind stocking stuffers. The party kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and the shop will stay open late until 9 p.m. The Photo Wagon, Dallas' first mobile photo booth set inside a 1958 Cardinal travel trailer, will be on site to help make sure the night is memorable. The event is free to attend, but bring some cash for those nicknacks you won't find anywhere else. Dolly Python, 1916 N. Haskell Ave., 6:30 p.m., free, dollypythonvintage.com. — Diamond Victoria

If you want tips on how to live your best Christmas, there's no shortage of places to look. Martha Stewart has you covered on table centerpieces and Pinterest will provide you 32 different appealing sugar cookie recipes to test before the 25th. But if you want to get all of the know how in one reliable place, your best bet is attending A John Waters Christmas at The Kessler Theater at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The whip-smart and hilarious cult filmmaker behind Cry-Baby, Hairspray and Pink Flamingoes is also a Christmas aficionado and a prodigious storyteller, and he's bringing his new monologue about his favorite holiday and what you need to do to celebrate it properly to Dallas. The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 8 p.m., $40, thekessler.org. — Caroline North

Hailing from Atlanta, flamboyant 25-year-old Young Thug instantly made a name for himself in one of the densest, most saturated hip-hop markets in the country thanks to his eclectic, malleable delivery that ranges from rapid flows, screeching falsettos, barks and growls or mumbles that are downright inaudible at times. His one-of-a-kind sound has made him a star and in turn he’s gifted his fans with 16 mixtapes and one proper studio album over the last three years making him a mainstay on the radio and hip-hop blogs. Young Thug is making the most of his moment and he’s bringing up-and-coming Atlanta rap star 21 Savage with him on this HIHORSE’D Tour. Savage is nearly the antithesis of Thug’s extravagant delivery and style. Instead he’s generated huge buzz off the strength of his no-nonsense approach and monotone raps strictly relating to guns, sex and violence, which promises an entertaining yin and yang dichotomy. The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 8 p.m., sold out, thebombfactory.com. — Mikel Galicia

Thu 12/15
Traditional holiday movies really clustered up in the 1950s and 1960s, an era where kitsch and oversentimentality went hand in hand with holiday cheer. Eventually, the 1980s gave us A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation, which peppered seasonal sappiness with a jolly dose of pure filth. And then, two decades later, Hollywood gifted us with Elf — a perfect blend of gleeful silliness, durable catchphrases and family-friendly Christmas feels. If you haven’t made your yearly appointment with Buddy the Elf, here’s your chance: It’ll screen for free on the patio of Resto Gastro Bistro Thursday, Dec. 15. Don your ugliest Christmas sweater, celebrate your affinity for Elf culture, and indulge in $2 popcorn and candy. Resto Gastro Bistro, 3011 Gulden Lane, 7 p.m., facebook.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

After three attempts at a Santa portrait at the popular spots, you’re exhausted, grumpy and starving. And, oddly, that may not change just because you went home and slept. Greenville Avenue Pizza Company has a solution: Try combining some slices with some beer specials (Saint Arnold’s Christmas Ale or Shiner Cheer for $3) and photos with Santa and a real … live … reindeer. Now, you still have to figure out what toppings you want on that pizza, but that’s a lot less stress than mall parking. Greenville Avenue Pizza Company, 1923 Greenville Ave., 4 to 7 p.m., facebook.com. — Merritt Martin

If we call Star Trek fans Trekkies or Trekkers, Doctor Who fans Whovians and Twilight fans go by Twilighters, Fanpires or Twihards, then why isn't there a common, comparable term for Star Wars fans? Whatever followers of the franchise call themselves, hundreds of North Texas Star Wars fans will gather Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Alamo Drafthouse as the theater plays host to the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Opening Night Lobby Party. The event promises plenty of immersive, Mos-Eisley-cantina-worthy photo-ops as “professional costumed Star Wars characters and droids” and eager fans descend in droves to the theater on opening night. Expect to see coordinated line-dancing from Jedis and stormtroopers, as DJ Darth Fader drops intergalactic beats to help attendees really feel The Force. While some theaters ban full masks and prop weapons, Alamo Drafthouse encourages fans to wear costumes. (When we called the theater to confirm the full-costume policy we were told: “Live your dreams.”) The lobby party runs from 6 p.m. to close. Alamo Drafthouse Richardson, 100 S. Central Expressway, 6 p.m., $11.37, drafthouse.com. — Daniel Rodrigue

Out shopping? Forget stuffing shopping carts and bags and trunks. Up your game: Stuff an entire heavy-duty vehicle. Head toward Stonebriar Mall in Frisco where Scotty K and Bret Mega from Hot 93.3 (KLIF-FM) will be hosting a Stuff-a-Bus toy drive from Thursday to Tuesday. Also of note? They’ll be living on the bus the whole time they’re trying to shove it full of toys to benefit the Salvation Army. Stonebriar Mall, 2601 Preston Road, 10 a.m., hot933hits.com. – Merritt Martin

Fri 12/16
Whether or not you can come to grips with just how many strange turtlenecks are featured in the 2003 film, even if you have issues with how unsuccessfully the familial ties are explained, and regardless of how many people have protested the extensive fat shaming, there’s really no denying that Love Actually has become a holiday standard. How, you ask? Our theory is that there are a few charming parts (Hugh Grant verbally taking down the smarmy POTUS is becoming more and more so) that some may say overshadow the questionable ones, but the real draw is the beautiful people having a real shit time of the holidays, which somehow makes regular shit-time-holidays seem better. There are also some really catchy tunes. Give us your theory after you check out Love Actually at the Inwood Theatre’s Midnight Madness Friday and Saturday. Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane, midnight, $10.50, landmarktheatres.com. — Merritt Martin

The holidays are just around the corner and that means you’re going to have to brace yourself for a never-ending onslaught of hokey, holiday-themed entertainment. Get ready to re-learn lessons about the good nature of mankind and the power of generosity in movies and TV specials you’ve seen every year since you were born. Or, it doesn’t have to be like that this year. You don’t have to endure another screening of It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story and pretend it’s the first time you’ve seen it in your life. You can watch a room full of very funny people tear down everything that’s joyful and giving about the holiday season purely for your amusement. The Dallas drag show Mustache Envy will hold a special Holiday Roast at Sue Ellen's just so they can spit in the face of anyone who dare says “Peace on Earth and good will toward men.” This special Christmas roast will feature the show’s regular performers and a few special guests tearing each other apart for your amusement Friday, Dec. 16. Sue Ellen's, 3014 Throckmorton St., 10 p.m., $15 for 18- to 20-year-olds and $6 for 21 and up, sueellensdallas.com. — Danny Gallagher

Sat 12/17
Vitruvian Park's 12-acres spark to life each holiday season as Vitruvian Lights — a display of millions of LED lights wrapped around more than 500 trees. Located in Addison, the park's lights were switched on Nov. 28 by mayor Todd Meier and will remain on through Jan. 1. But the holiday magic really gets under way Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. when The Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra plays a free show at the park. The many-member band's infectious sound will get you movin' and shakin', which will help with the low temperature. It's free and open to anyone who wants to excite their inner Clark Griswold. Vitruvian Lights, 3815 Spring Valley Road, 6 p.m., free, vitruvianlights.com. — Diamond Victoria

North Texas’ own Light Crust Doughboys hold a truly impressive place in music history. The act bills themselves as “the longest-running band in the history of recorded music,” and it’s hard to dispute the Doughboys’ claim. In 1929, the legendary "King of Western Swing" Bob Wills left West Texas for Fort Worth and quickly formed the Wills Fiddle Band. In 1931, after several new players joined, the band changed the name to the Light Crust Doughboys. By 1932 some of the original players began to leave, and while, yes, a few hiatuses halted the band’s performances, the Doughboys’ revolving-door-membership trend continues to this day. Catch the band’s current roster of players during The Light Crust Doughboys Christmas Special at the Dr. Larry "T-Byrd" Gordon Theatre at the Balch Springs Library-Learning Center. The family-friendly Christmas concert is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Balch Springs Library-Learning Center, 12450 Elam Rd., Balch Springs, 3 p.m., free, lightcrustdoughboys.com. — Daniel Rodrigue

How can you tell it's Christmas? Oh sure, there’s a slight temperature change, your commute takes longer because people forgot how to drive on ice and your kids threaten you with bodily harm if “Santa” doesn't bring them the gifts they asked for in their letters. However, there are happier ways to know that it’s Christmas time and it starts with the music. Everyone likes Christmas music. Those who don’t have a problem with being alive. You can take in all the holiday music you can stand this year at a special concert event at the Dr Pepper Arena. The Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular features the cast of the long-running Cirque Musica show performing holiday tunes in their special style with the help of a live symphony orchestra and a group of high flying dancers and acrobats. Accompanying the troupe will be the Dallas POPS Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Dr Pepper Arena, 2601 Avenue of the Stars in Frisco, 7:30 p.m., $22 to $87, ticketmaster.com. — Danny Gallagher

If you tend to think the words “treat” and “NorthPark” belong on polar opposites of the verbal spectrum during the month of December, we wouldn’t normally argue. It takes a certain grit to make it through the hustle and bustle of the epically popular shopping mall, but this year, there’s a little something extra to sweeten the deal. From 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, “Treats of Christmas” serves up baked goodies including cookies, cakes, pies and other sweets from the kitchens of the area’s best chefs. The event, sponsored by the Texas Chefs Association, is a bake sale on a massive scale and proceeds benefit the North Texas Food Bank. NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, 10 a.m., northparkcenter.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Sun 12/18
Now is not the time to become complacent. If there’s anything this current political season has taught us, it’s that we can’t just sit back and complain about things. We have to be active, and be vocal. Spiderweb Salon is helping those feeling scared and alone to venture out from behind the intimidating computer screens and into the street with likeminded community members. The goal of Sunday’s Poetry March, which begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at Deep Vellum Books, is unity, healing and change. Speakers will introduce the event and the march will route through Deep Ellum with various stops for poetry readings. Bring signs of solidarity — the more literary the better. This public event is free, but any donations collected will benefit the water protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and North Texas Stands with Standing Rock. Deep Vellum Books, 3000 Commerce St., 3 p.m., free, Facebook.com. — Merritt Martin

Whitney Houston once sang that children are our future. She couldn’t have made a more obvious point if she sang that the sky is blue, healthy grass is green and the Cleveland Browns will never win a Super Bowl for the next three lifetimes. If you have to be reminded that children are our future, then you should never have children. You shouldn’t even be allowed to babysit children or babies for that matter. The futures of children should be filled with lots of things, but music should be a high priority. No generation should be subjected to the next Nickelback. That’s why the School of Rock are training the next generation of rock musicians around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Some of the best and the brightest will take to the House of Blues’ main stage for a special holiday show on Sunday, Dec. 18. A series of bands trained at one of the nine School of Rock locations around the DFW area will perform the songs and routines they’ve learned at a real rock show minus the drunken excess and possible drug law violations. The show will run to 8 p.m. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 10 a.m., $20 for adults and $6 for kids ages 6 through 17 at the door on the day of the show ($12 for adults and $6 for kids ages 6 through 17 during online presales), livenation.com. — Danny Gallagher

Mon 12/19
Five years constitutes quite the labor of love. Shakespeare Dallas and the AT&T Performing Arts Center have collaborated for four years and are entering into the fifth and final season of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. No work shall be left without an unabridged staged reading, and that includes Pericles. Yes, the Prince of Tyre will find trouble on the high seas in more ways than one. Will he ever find true love again? Will he find his daughter? Find out 3 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday. Hamon Hall, 2403 Flora St., 7 p.m., $10, attpac.org. — Merritt Martin

Grapevine has a lock on Christmas cheer, in case you weren’t aware of the suburb’s chock-a-block Christmas calendar. It’s a veritable holiday wonderland, what with the lights, the tours, the wineries and the shows — so, so many shows. The Palace Theatre is show central: They’ve got live music, festive spectacles and classic holiday cinema in spades. To wit, Monday, Dec. 19, you can play hooky and catch Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney in the syrupy classic White Christmas. The vaguely antiseptic yet effervescently cheerful musical is full of show-stopping musical numbers and visual treats thanks to the Vista-Vision technology it pioneered. And even if Grapevine isn’t suitably coated in snow when you emerge from the theater, you’ll still be surrounded by Christmas spirit. The Palace Theatre, 300 S. Main St., 2 p.m., $6, tickets.grapevineticketline.com/event/WhiteChristmas121916. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

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