Things To Do

The Best Things To Do In Dallas, Dec. 14–20

This year marks the 19th for The Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza.
This year marks the 19th for The Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza. Mike Brooks

Wednesday, Dec. 14

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Welsch becomes Lewis in Christmas with C.S. Lewis.
Courtesy of Emery Entertainment
Christmas with C.S. Lewis at the Eisemann Center
The story goes that beloved, be-lettered authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were friends who were both fans of mythology (not surprising, considering their work) and, apparently, of Christmas. At least in the way that Tolkien helped Lewis see a new and better meaning for Christmas. Gregory Williams Welsch stars as the father of Narnia, hosting holiday guests and sharing Yuletide memories in Christmas with C.S. Lewis at 2 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Eisemann Center (2351 Performance Drive, Richardson). Tickets are $46-$52, available online.

Thursday, Dec. 15

Letters & Spirits with Ben Fountain at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture
In a shocking turn of events, not everything this week is holiday-related. The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture (2719 Routh St.) hosts the last event this year of its Letters & Spirits series, which presents authors reading and discussing their own works. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, enjoy Dallas’ own Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Beautiful Country Burn Again) as he previews his forthcoming book Devil Makes Three. Tickets are just $40 ($25 for members), available online.

Friday, Dec. 16

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We don't want to ruin it, but no one is Canceling Christmas.
King Harrell
Canceling Christmas at First Baptist Church at the Fields
This musical production (with book and lyrics by D/FW native Keith Ferguson and original music by Bruce Greer) was allegedly based on experiences during World War I. We say “allegedly,” because dang, with a country in dispute over politics and race and in the middle of a pandemic, it seems a little on the nose. It’s probably nothing. Anyway, in Canceling Christmas … wait, that’s fairly modern lingo. Hmm. Anyway, the government is threatening to stop Christmas in the midst of the war, and while you could look at that as a conservative plot twist during the Biden administration, we won’t. (Hey, we’re an alt-weekly, and we write about Christmas ALL. THE. TIME.) This is surely just a throwback Hallmark movie-like story organized by First Baptist Church at the Fields (1401 Carrollton Parkway, Carrollton) with no political agenda. Tickets are $10, available online. Please report back.

Steel Magnolias at Granville Arts Center
There’s something so comforting about a company performing Steel Magnolias. You know you’re going to get an emotional workout if you need one, all in the familiar confines of Miss Truvy’s salon. Join the ladies of the town as they navigate life, love, aging, family, work and plenty of colorful banter. The Garland Civic Theatre brings Louisiana to the Dallas suburbs at the Granville Arts Center (300 N. 5th St., Garland) at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Escape the holiday hubbub, bond with the ladies and coordinate outfits in blush and bashful, if so desired. Tickets are $22, available online.

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The Nutcracker will get nuttier in Fort Worth this year.
Steven Visneau
The Nutty Nutcracker at Bass Hall
This is a big deal for Texas Ballet Theater and for fans of the TBT's long-running — a full 12 seasons! — parody of a beloved holiday classic. Friday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. marks the final performance of The Nutty Nutcracker as the vision of the company shifts to new artistic director Tim O’Keefe (from Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., who will become artistic director laureate). The campy, hilarious send-up of Clara, the Nutcracker, Sugar Plum Fairy and others takes place at Bass Performance Hall (525 Commerce St., Fort Worth) and is recommended for audiences 13 and older. Tickets are available online.

Saturday, Dec. 17

A Drag Queen Christmas at Texas Trust CU Theatre
If there is anyone on this great earth who could bedazzle the shit out of Christmas and make Queen Mariah happy, it’s a drag queen. So join us, won’t you, at Texas Trust CU Theatre (1001 Texas Trust Way, Grand Prairie) at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, as Nina West hosts A Drag Queen Christmas. Y’all, we got Brooke Lynn Hytes dancing our way, Crystal Methyd looking to shake things up and maybe an appearance by … actually, with all the characters these queens are turning out on this tour, it feels like triple the cast list and well worth the ticket price. Elsa and Rudolph probably show up too. Find all the details via DragFans and grab tickets before they’re gone. Psst. There’s a meet-and-greet option.

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Don't miss Turtle Creek Chorale bringing love to the holidays.
Courtesy of the Turtle Creek Chorale
Turtle Creek Chorale's Love Is All You Need Holiday Show at First United Methodist Church
Turtle Creek Chorale performances never cease to be one of our favorite parts of the holiday season. They go all out and this year is no different. Not only will the bold and beautiful voices enchant, but they’ll bring with them a full orchestra, organ and dancing to showcase holiday favorites, new songs and unexpected playlist additions. The Meyerson performance is been sold out every year, so grab tickets quickly for the Saturday, Dec. 17, show at 2:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church Richardson (503 N. Central Expressway, Richardson). Love is the theme, and tickets are online.

Nightmare Weekends Before Christmas at Texas Triffid Ranch
“Dallas's pretty much only carnivorous plant gallery” carries on its tradition of holiday open houses, or rather, Nightmare Weekends Before Christmas at the Texas Triffid Ranch (405 Business Parkway, Richardson). Visit from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 17 or Dec. 24, and check out a variety of green gobblers, including several types of pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts and bladderworts. And rest assured you’re not going home with an Audrey II. It’s free to attend and masks are encouraged. Find out more on the gallery online.

The Polyphonic Spree 19th Annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Majestic Theatre
Nineteen years?! Has it really been that long?! Of course, this season is the one that makes us say similar things about almost everything, but we actually remember the very first of The Polyphonic Spree’s holiday variety shows and it was joyous. And the thing is, they just keep getting more magical. Perfect for kids and kids at heart — which describes most members of the Spree — the show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Majestic Theatre (1925 Elm St.) and features a full concert from the Spree and special guests from John and June to Choreo Records Dance Company. Will there be a contortionist and a stilt walker? Yes, of course. Milk and cookies at midnight and a toy drive the whole time? Naturally. Tickets are $45 to $85, available online. If past years are any indication, make like a Dallas Tap Dazzler and hop to it quick.
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It's not Christmas in Dallas until the Spree jubilees.
Mike Brooks

Sunday, Dec. 18

Jared’s Epic Blaster Battle at AT&T Stadium
There will be no impersonating the military or first responders and no all-black outfits, but cosplay is encouraged. This is a foam-ammo (think Nerf) battle, after all. Specifically, this is Jared’s Epic Blaster Battle, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, and it’s taking place on the field of AT&T Stadium (1 AT&T Way, Arlington) with obstacles and free ammo and, yes, this is a real event. It’s BYOB (bring your own blaster) and tickets are $32, available online. Again, this is a real event. Naturally, because people will be jumping hurdles and shooting blasters on a football field with hundreds of other people in matches like kids versus adults, rival only and more, a waiver is required. That, too, is online.

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Galleria Dallas celebrates Hanukkah.
Galleria Dallas
Hanukkah Menorah Lighting at the Galleria Dallas
While the Galleria (13350 Dallas Parkway) rocks an enormous Christmas tree, it also boasts an impressive menorah and eight joyful opportunities to celebrate Hanukkah with a lighting each day. On Sunday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m., however, the celebration officially begins with the lighting of the shamash and the first candle. There will also be stories from a special guest, a performance by a children’s choir and scrumptious sufganiyot to eat. The celebration is free to attend and a lighting will follow each consecutive night through Hanukkah. Find out more about Galleria’s holiday celebrations on the website.

Monday, Dec. 19

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Santa and Mrs. Claus are stationed at The North Pole Texas.
Hilton Anatole
North Pole Texas at the Hilton Anatole
Do you know the five rules of being an elf? You can learn them at the North Pole Texas at the Hilton Anatole (2201 N. Stemmons Freeway). The extravaganza is designed for kiddos 3 to 10 years old, but the magic is great for the whole family. Attractions are interactive including puppet, penguin and bubble shows, crafts, train rides through the light display, a petting zoo, mini golf and more. Tickets start at $43 (adults) and $36 (children), available online.

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Jingle Bell Run at the Hilton Anatole
For more than 20 years, people have gathered at the Hilton Anatole on a specific evening in December (this time Tuesday, Dec. 20) dressed in festive and wicking materials to run or walk a 5K through the streets of our fair city. It’s the Generational Group Jingle Bell Run, and it can be a serious athletic event or a spectacularly fun one. Look, we’re not saying we’ve done this. But be advised you can take a 5K experience to an entirely new level when you’re decked out in elf duds and aren’t entirely sober. Also, there’s an afterparty. Parking can be challenging, so carpooling is recommended and more fun anyway. Sign up to run and get more info online. Proceeds benefit the Mavs Foundation and Trinity Strand Trail.
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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin

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