Things To Do

The Best Things To Do In Dallas, Nov. 23–29

Nicole Von Enck and Brett Young bring fairy tale dreams to life for Nutcracker fans.
Nicole Von Enck and Brett Young bring fairy tale dreams to life for Nutcracker fans. Steven Visneau

Wednesday, Nov. 23

Pet Night with Santa at Galleria Dallas
click to enlarge
Take your pets to pose for pics with Santa Paws at Galleria Dallas.
Galleria Dallas
It’s not all about the human kids. Furry and feathered friends deserve to tell the jolly man in the red suit which toys they want with a bow on top, and Galleria Dallas (13350 Dallas Parkway) is making that possible before we even get to Turkey Time. There will be other Santa Paws days this season, but Wednesday, Nov. 23, is the first chance to score that photo op. Book a time slot for your friendly pet online through Santaland and start planning the festive accessories.

Simonetti’s Goblin with a screening of Suspiria at Texas Theatre
If you’re among those who consider Dario Argento’s Suspiria one of the most influential film of the horror genre, then you’re right. If you thought Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) would be an ideal watching experience for the film’s 45th anniversary, you’re right again. And this time, you get both a screening of the 1977 classic and a live performance of the score from Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin. Get to the theater 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, but buy tickets in advance online.

Thursday, Nov. 24

click to enlarge
Ride the carousel into the night at Dallas Zoo Lights.
Dallas Zoo
Dallas Zoo Lights Presented by Reliant
For the first time since 2019, the zoo is offering a walk-through holiday event. Dallas Zoo Lights presented by Reliant features more than 1,000,000 gorgeous lights along with light shows, craft activities, late-night hours for the Endangered Species Carousel and more. The attraction runs right up to the New Year, so there’s plenty of opportunity to return for your favorite animal chat or gourmet snack. Tickets start at $18 (adults) and $14 (kids ages 3–11) and are on sale now online.


Friday, Nov. 25

Grand Tree Lighting Celebration at the Galleria
Yes, we’re telling you to go to a shopping center for just one hour on Black Friday (or Saturday), but we’re not crazy and we’ll make up for it in the next section. The Grand Tree Lighting for Galleria Dallas is unlike many others because, well, there’s an ice rink and pyrotechnics. Missile Toes is a backflipping Santa who pew-pew-pews out of his ice skates while he ho-ho-hos. And audiences will get to ooh and ahh over 2022 U.S. Olympic medalists Mariah Bell, and Timothy LeDuc and Ashley Cain-Gribble (pairs) taking to the ice. The program is free and begins at noon Friday, Nov. 25, (6 p.m. if you opt for Saturday). The Galleria has a ton of events in addition, so make a day of it. Check it all out on the holiday schedule.

Texas Ballet Theater's The Nutcracker at Winspear Opera House
DSO’s The Nutcracker in Concert at the Meyerson Symphony Center

Two of the most trusted organizations are delivering on the most necessary Christmas experience, so pick one for Friday, Nov. 25, and another for the next night. The Texas Ballet Theater delivers on all the stunning Sugar Plum magic of the tale with The Nutcracker at the Winspear (2403 Flora St.) Friday through Sunday, Dec. 4. Meanwhile, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra brings the fantasy at the Meyerson Symphony Center (2301 Flora St.) with selections from the Tchaikovsky score for The Nutcracker in Concert, conducted by Maurice Cohn Friday through Sunday. Tickets for the ballet and the concert are available online.

Saturday, Nov. 26

click to enlarge
Ice skating through Fair Park? It's a thing at Enchant.
Enchant
Enchant at Fair Park
Enchant is back and as magical as ever in Fair Park (by the Coliseum). The brand-new interactive light maze comprises 4 million lights, and there’s also an ice-skating trail, village market and Tipsy Tree Lounge for treats and cocktails. Since it’s Enchant presented by Hallmark Channel, watch for the opportunity to win a visit to the set of a Hallmark movie — and let’s be honest: This is like a big-ass draw for cheesy, tinseled fans of this season. Tickets start at $34 for adults and are customizable based on added activities. Purchase them online.

Small Business Saturday at various locations
It’s our favorite shopping day of the year: Small Business Saturday. We’ll leave it to you to choose your favorite places; the only rule is to shop local and shop small! Now, to get you started we have a few suggestions: Bookworms or those who love bookworms should always get over to Interabang Books on this special day. Sweet Tooth Hotel is hosting an artist market with $5 mimosas all day at its flagship location. East Dallas Vintage is bringing one-of-a-kind finds and prizes all weekend at its new digs. And there’s a Deep Ellum Wine Walk to hit a neighborhood of galleries, restaurants and shops all at once. Have fun and buy us something pretty.

The Steve Zissou Explorers Club: A Wes Anderson Theme Party at Stoneleigh P
Pull out your Wes Anderson movie-themed outfit, because we know you have one you’ve always wanted to wear. DJ Blake Ward welcomes any aspiring Tenenbaums, Fischers, Dignans or Foxes to The Steve Zissou Explorers Club 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at the Stoneleigh P (2926 Maple Ave.). The bar makes an appropriate venue since it was an Anderson favorite in the Bottle Rocket era. It’s a dance party with style, so naturally tickets ($20) are limited. Get yours online ASAP.

Sunday, Nov. 27

click to enlarge
For the scores of cosplayers in this city — like this one dressed as a character from the Vinland Saga — Anime Dallas has its own competition.
Kathy Tran
Anime Dallas at Hyatt Regency Dallas
Returning for its fifth consecutive year, Anime Dallas is bringing the fantasy to the Hyatt Regency Dallas from Friday through Sunday. The convention offers fans the chance to rub elbows with more than two dozen voice actors and a great many pro cosplayers, plus live performances throughout the weekend. And, of course, participation is encouraged with a cosplay contest in various categories. Tickets for the full three days are just $40, but single-day tickets are available at $10–$30. Find full guest details and more on the Anime Dallas website.

Pics with Santa Claus at Rooster Home & Hardware
Psst! You don’t have to go to the expected places to meet Santa Claus, and you don’t have to pay wads for a photo with him either. Rooster Home & Hardware (10233 E. Northwest Highway) says BYO camera and snag a special moment for free and without all the hassle while supporting a small business. Plus, the store has a pretty giant range of gifts and household needs. You could check mom and dad off the list, buy more dishsoap and snap the shutter on Santa in one trip. Rooster hosts St. Nick is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18, and then 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve.


Monday, Nov. 28

click to enlarge
This gazebo of calling birds is part of the Arboretum's 12 Days of Christmas display.
Dallas Arboretum
Holiday at the Arboretum
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (8525 Garland Road) is a truly magical place for all ages no matter the season, but something happens in winter that makes it a wonderland. Cold air helps, but Holiday at the Arboretum is an awesome experience whatever the temperature. There’s the 12 Days of Christmas, a series of Victorian gazebos themed for each number in the song, a European-style Christmas market and more than a million lights in the seasonal gardens. New this year in DeGolyer House is the Artistry of Faith & Culture exhibition honoring celebrations of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. There are a ton of daily events as well, but it’s all too much to cover in this first acknowledgment, so check out the calendar online and book your visit between now and Dec. 31.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin

Latest Stories