Things To Do

Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend

Holiday parade!
Holiday parade! Brian Maschino


If there’s a work of music that better expresses the wistful and melancholy nostalgia that the holidays can bring than the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack for the 1965 CBS television special A Charlie Brown Christmas, I haven’t heard it. It perfectly captures the way you feel about poor Charlie Brown as he mopes about the holiday being too commercialized, fails to assert himself and control his actors as director of the neighborhood Nativity play, and disappoints his troupe of friends by picking out the smallest, sickliest fir on the lot. Hearing it performed by a live trio should be just part of the treat at A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage at 7 p.m. Friday at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., in which a touring production of non-costumed actors plays the Peanuts gang and leads a holiday singalong afterward. Tickets are $41 to $83. Visit Jesse Hughey

What better way to satisfy your holiday music-listening yearnings than A John Williams Christmas with the Dallas Symphony? Make the trek to the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., for performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The kids will recognize selections from the Harry Potter and Home Alone movies, and there will be Christmas favorites and surprises. Lawrence Loh conducts and Cynthia Nott and Terrie Preskitt-Brown direct the added attraction, the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas. Buy tickets, $66-$174, at or for information, 1-214-670-3600. Reba Liner


Candy canes are just elongated peppermints, a sweet so lame that restaurants literally give them away. Fruit cake is a joke. Turkey is boooooring. I’ve never had goose, but it’s poultry, so it probably is too. Eggnog is good for about half a cup. Any more than that and you can feel yourself getting fatter. Gingerbread is wonderful, but not after it’s been manhandled by some grubby-fisted kid into the shape of a house and left out for days to get stale. Tamales, therefore, are the best Christmas food. Enjoy the traditional Mexican food with beer and warm seasonal beverages and shop for gifts or home décor at the fourth annual DFW Tamale Festival & Christmas Market, 11 a.m. Saturday at Dallas Farmers Market, 920 S. Harwood St. Visit for more information. Jesse Hughey

It’s long been said that Dallas does things up big, and our annual holiday parade is no exception. For years, jockeying to get a prime spot for the impressive procession of floats, marching bands and merriment has been a Christmas tradition for thousands of Dallas families (though this year you can buy tickets for premium views). Even if you didn’t get the sweetest spot, the music and crowd camaraderie gave off enough yuletide vibes to make it well worth the trip. This year promises no less, with a magical assortment of entertainment and an appearance by the man we’ve all been waiting for: Santa Claus. At 10 a.m. Saturday, the Dallas Holiday Parade will kick off by Reunion Tower (at Houston and Commerce) and plow a joyful path around downtown, eventually landing close to City Hall. You can check out the full route and buy those premium bleacher spots for $20 to $125 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

It’s Deck the Paws at Fair Park! Where you and your doggie can celebrate Christmas together! Paws! Dogs! Christmas! It’s fun! Deck the Paws is a two-day event at Centennial Hall at Fair Park, 1001 Washington St., where you and your furry friend can holiday shop, meet Santa, see an art exhibit catering to dogs, partake in an ugly Christmas sweater contest and so much more. All of this benefits local animal shelters. Enjoy it all Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2. Tickets start at $10 at Paige Skinner

Remember those TV Christmas specials in the ’60s? Ask your grandmother. Well, the Judy Garland one is back, thanks to Uptown Players’ B.J. Cleveland, who wrote and is directing A Very Judy Christmas starring Janelle Lutz as Judy. The show runs Saturday to Dec. 16. Times are 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Tickets are $25-$45 and can be purchased at or by calling 214-219-2718. Ms. Garland’s special celebrity drop-ins are made up of many Uptown Players, including Cleveland (wanna bet it’s Liza?), Christopher Curtis, Dana Harper, Sarah E. (Smith) Price, Jeff Wells, Grace Neeley West and Trevor Wright. Isaac Leaverton directs and choreography is by Trevor Wright. Reba Liner

Want to see how far the North Texas music scene has come in only a year? You have a handful of venues and a few dozen acts playing at them to get a good idea. Three days before the DOMAs are handed out at Canton Hall, see what made these acts get nominated in the first place. Whether it's longtimers Sealion, Claire Morales, or Dead Mockingbirds, or the emerging artists like Rosegarden Funeral Party or Sub-Sahara, you won't be able to see this much variety for a price this low. Deep Ellum venues include Club Dada, Three Links, Curtain Club, Off the Record, Reno's Chop Shop and Trees. Saturday, Dec. 1. Tickets are $15 online and $25 at the door. Eric Grubbs

Austin-based honky tonk band Mike and the Moonpies are on tour this year in support of their latest album, Steak Night at the Prairie Rose, released earlier this year. Singer and songwriter for the Moonpies, Mike Harmeier formed the band in 2007, and they plan to play a couple hundred shows this year. Catch them at Deep Ellum's latest country venue. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at The Blue Light, 2811 Main St., free. Diamond Victoria


Looking for something fun to do with your family for Hanukkah? Then head up north to Frisco for the Chabad of Frisco’s Fifth Annual Community Chanukah Celebration on Sunday. This annual celebration has things that every member of your family can enjoy, from traditional events to fun stuff for the kids. This public gathering on the Simpson Plaza outside of Frisco City Hall will include a giant menorah lighting and live music, including traditional Hanukkah songs and music played by a live DJ. The kids can make their own arts and crafts, take home dreidels and chocolate gelt and work off all that sugar in a bouncy house. The celebration will be 4:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday. The Simpson Plaza is located at 6101 Frisco Square Blvd. The event will be outdoors so dress accordingly for the weather. Danny Gallagher

Each year the Women’s Chorus of Dallas puts on three concerts, and to end 2018 they are hosting their Sleigh Ride Holiday Concert. The concert will feature the full orchestra of Texas Chamber Music Project and the high school choir, Singing Girls of Texas. The Women’s Chorus of Dallas is a group of diverse and empowered women who perform high-quality music year-round. The Sleigh Ride Holiday Concert is 7:30 p.m. Sunday, at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Tickets start at $15 at Paige Skinner

Catching influential Grammy-nominated rapper Bun B at Trees promises to be a memorable evening pulsing with the energy of early UGK and solo Bun B shows. Bun B rose to fame in the influential rap duo UGK, short for Underground Kingz, formed in ’87 with the late Pimp C. Bun dropped his debut full-length solo album in 2005. On June 10, Bun B unveiled the cover art for his fifth solo record, Return of the Trill, on his Instagram account, saying the release is slated for Aug. 31. It’s his first full-length release since 2013’s Trill OG: The Epilogue. With AV the Great, Gas House Smitty, DJ JU$TRILL, Masa Lopez, SMiRK, Ismail Kawon, Weight and Liquor Leezy as openers, expect the show to sell out before doors open. 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122, $20-$80. Daniel Rodrigue
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.
Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner