Wednesday, Nov. 24Texas Christkindl Market at Choctaw Stadium
Let’s say the family arrived in town last night and you already need some retail therapy. Just task them with setting the table (sure to inspire incredibly random arguments) and head out to the Texas Christkindl Market at Choctaw Stadium (1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington) between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday for some German Christmas market-ing. There are concessions (hello, stadium), but also foodie gift opportunities and a bit of quaint shopping escapism via exclusive Käthe Wohlfahrt items from the famed Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Village. The market is open through Jan. 2, but find all the details and bonuses like outstanding German recipes — also good options for familial distraction — online.
Thursday, Nov. 25
Yes, it’s true. This Thanksgiving holiday, you can do something besides watch parades and animal shows on TV. You can be in one. Get lit up with Dallas Zoo Lights (650 S. RL Thornton Freeway), the mile-long drive-thru light show that features stunning illuminated animals, hanging lights, glowing lanterns and a radio station to tell you all about it as you drive through. The show starts at 6 p.m. on open nights and tickets ($50-$65 per car) are required to be purchased in advance, so be sure to secure them well before fighting in the frozen aisle over the last of the Cool Whip.
Friday, Nov. 26Disco, TX: The French Dispatch Dance Party at the Adolphus
Wes Anderson fans have waited long enough for a new film, but now they get a bonus. After two years, the Wes Anderson-themed Disco, TX dance party is back. Whether you choose a character from Anderson’s latest, The French Dispatch, or just decide to go in “O.R. they” scrubs, the fun begins at 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at the Adolphus (1321 Commerce St.) with DJ Blake Ward putting tunes to it all. Tickets are as coveted as a shark sighting, so get them before they sell out. Get the primary dispatch online.
Vitruvian Lights Opening Celebration at Vitruvian Park
The switch flips at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, for this holiday season’s Vitruvian Lights (3966 Vitruvian Way, Addison). The opening night celebration also includes the Jordan Kahn Orchestra, all manner of treats and eats, and photos with Santa and other holiday friends, but all that is secondary to just taking a cool minute to stare in wonder at 1.5 million lights against the night sky. Parking is $15. Find that and other details online so you can light up many nights this season.
It’s not the holidays until the Sugar Plum Fairy arrives. Fortunately, Texas Ballet Theater is opening The Nutcracker at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at the Winspear Opera House (2403 Flora St.) so we don’t have to wait long at all. Choreographer Ben Stevenson’s take on the Tchaikovsky classic is a holiday treat that feels luxuriously classical but invigoratingly modern. In other words, even the members of the fam who aren’t into dance can get sucked into the magic. The show runs through Dec. 5 before it heads to Fort Worth. Find out all dates and times and reserve tickets online.
Saturday, Nov. 27Artisan Fair at Orr-Reed Architectural Co.
Orr-Reed Architectural Co. (1903 Rock Island St.) is one of those places you love and want to go to all the time … and also want to keep in your pocket. But, as we’ve all learned from the pandemic, we have to sing the praises of our favorite places and support the shit out of them (in whatever capacity possible) to keep them healthy. Orr-Reed’s Artisan Fair 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, is a perfect way to do both. In addition to offering up its already impressive selection of salvaged materials and goods, the shop is hosting more than 35 vendors ranging from woodworkers to fiber artists to chocolatiers and more. Oh, and Orr-Reed is salvaging (get it?!) seasonal spirit with a scavenger hunt and Santa photos. They’re doing vendor profiles over on Facebook so you can start lusting over items early.
Small Business Saturday at Various Locations
Continuing on the trend of supporting the local greats, dive in deep to Small Business Saturday, Nov. 27, with three more events in three neighborhoods. First up, we’ve got the new kid on the block (literally, the storefront is less than a month old) East Dallas Vintage (4418 Gaston Ave.) with its pop-up market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This variety of vendors hosted by co-owners Chelsea Callahan and Melissa Maher will span vintage scores of the artisanal and hand-made kind, in addition to the treasures already inside. Cruise over to Deep Ellum (specifically 2650 Main St.) for its Small Business Saturday Sip & Shop. For $15 in advance, you’ll get an artist-designed glass and a map to participating shops, galleries and restaurants. Oh, and you’ll get some steps in, which is always a good way to justify spending. And then, we’ve got the Boho Market at Klyde Warren Park (1909 Woodall Rodgers Freeway) celebrating the small and mighty from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Boho Market curators are dedicated to finding local makers so that all the markets across Texas are unique experiences. The cool part about this one is if you don’t grab something and it speaks to you in the night, the Boho is back at it Sunday. Now, these are just a few small biz options. There are plenty more, and really shopping with any independent retailer or eating at any local restaurant counts. Get out there!
Three ghosts, Scrooge and the Wyly Theater (2400 Flora St.): a tradition we couldn’t give up if we tried. The Dallas Theater Center’s A Christmas Carol is like a favorite Christmas blankie wrapping us in all the holiday drama. Oh, and even providing hot cocoa. Concessions are available prior to the shows, so get there early. Trust. It just makes it right. The holiday spirits, if you will, take the stage starting 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27 through Dec. 26. Book now ($17.50-$70) or risk disappointing the Ghost of Christmas Future.
Sunday, Nov. 28Liquid Courage Karaoke at Charlie’s Star Lounge
Look, we’re not going to lie. This weekend may call for some escape from family, from too much solo time or from too many gravies (as if). Charlie’s Star Lounge (4319 Main St.) has Liquid Courage Karaoke from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, and it can help. Timid, powerhouse, musically challenged but enthusiastic — whatever your brand, step out and sign up. Just remember that this is still not the time for “American Pie, Pt. 1” and definitely not “All Too Well.” Snag more info about Charlie’s and all its events on Facebook.
Tuesday, Nov. 30
Right now, the Dallas Arboretum (8525 Garland Road) is a veritable explosion of horticultural holiday gorgeousness thanks to the annual Holiday at the Arboretum event running through New Year’s Eve. And we’ll talk about it more on a later edition of Things to Do in Dallas, but right now, we are nerding out hard on a specific element of the HatA event: Tasteful Tuesdays, a series of floral and food demos/classes. The Tuesday in particular being Nov. 30 and the event being a holiday arrangement demo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Dr. Delphinium. With regular admission to the gardens ($17 for non-members), you get to learn from Dallas legends how to make a floral feature so good your table looks like someone actually gives a ... care. If we can achieve this, anything is possible. The rest of the season’s demos are promising as well, so check out the whole schedule online.