Christmas Day can be a hard time to find a place to go. Everything closes down, and when you realize you’re missing ingredients for Christmas dinner, you’re forced to scrounge at a 7-Eleven and make a judgment call on whether anyone will notice the ham is just five cans of Spam molded together on a baking sheet. Or maybe you’re not Christian, or don’t pretend to be to get Christmas presents, or don’t have family close by, or do have family close by, but you faked your death years ago to avoid seeing them — where are you supposed to go?
Consider this list a Christmas present to you. Here’s a collection of places for you to go that doesn’t include a Denny’s where the waitress gives you the sad eyes, which you take offense to because, yeah, you’re at a Denny’s on Christmas, but you’re not working at a Denny’s on Christmas, so why don’t you take that condescending look to the kitchen and bring back some pancakes. Also, if you’re just getting off your shift at Denny’s on Christmas Day, this list will help you unwind from work.
Phantom of the Opera
7:30 p.m. at Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., tickets range from $26 to $175
The classic love story of boy sees girl, boy stalks girl from the depths of an opera house in a mask, comes to Fair Park in all its Tony Award-winning glory. The Fair Park production boasts one of the largest productions currently on tour, with a cast and orchestra of 52. With tickets as low as $26, it’s an affordable alternative for someone with Christmas cash in their pocket and low tolerance to fight the crowds at the cineplexes.
Panther Island Ice
Noon to 11 p.m. at 223 NE 4th St., Fort Worth, $12 for admission and skate rental, 682-704-7711
Fort Worth’s only outdoor skating rink will be open to everyone ready to make a winter memory in a place that never sees snow. Located within the Coyote Drive-In complex, Panther Island Ice opens at noon Christmas Day, so this will be a good place to tire out the kids after they eat all of Santa’s candy at 6 a.m. No outside food or drinks can be brought in, but there will be a select menu of items to choose from for those who pretended to eat their in-laws' terrible cooking. The $12 admission is only for those who want to get on the rink, so if you’re more into just watching, that’s completely free.
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6 p.m. at Lynn Creek Park, prices range from $45 to $150 depending on car size
Keep the holiday spirit going after the last present has been opened by packing up the car and going to Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie. Get ready to throw on some shades, because you’ll be driving through two miles of displays adorned with more than four million lights. At a midway point, you can park and get out to enjoy refreshments while you watch the Holiday Dreams show inside the Holiday Village tent. Additionally there’s a Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Thru Forest with light displays celebrating each culture’s approach to Christmas.
Christmas Day at Bowl & Barrel
3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Bowl & Barrel, 8084 Park Lane, Suite 145
You managed to get everyone else the perfect gift, so now it’s time to finally give yourself some much-earned relaxation. Relieve some stress by knocking back a few beers and flinging a heavy ball down an alley. Reserve a lane for an hour of bowling, and once you work up an appetite you can make your way back to a seat at the restaurant and grab a menu. Whether you’re grabbing a large bacon burger for yourself or splitting a cheese board among friends, Bowl & Barrel will be open for just a few hours as sanctuary for anyone feeling a little too sober on Christmas Day.
Multiple locations, ticket prices vary
If you’re a movie lover, it's almost guaranteed that you received gift cards from Alamo Drafthouse because they’ve set the gold standard for theaters. With multiple locations across DFW ranging from Richardson to Las Colinas, there’s bound to be one within driving distance. If you haven’t had a chance to see a movie at Alamo Drafthouse, there’s no better time than Christmas Day because no matter how crowded the theater is, Alamo’s zero-tolerance policy on interrupting the movie means you’ll be in a conversation- and phone-free zone. The menu of delicious food will have you licking the plate while the credits are rolling.
Drink the Tree at the Rustic
5 p.m. at The Rustic, 3656 Howell St., 214-730-0596
The Rustic’s patio is opening up at 5 p.m. Christmas Day with a special seasonal menu and $3 Fireman’s No. 4 from Real Ale Brewing. Not to worry if beer’s not your thing because the whole bar will be open to feed your degenerate needs on Jesus’ birthday. A free musical performance from Elaina Kay starts at 7 p.m and is scheduled to go until 11 p.m. The combination of music and drinks will allow you to sit back, relax and completely forget you told your family you were going out for a pack of cigarettes.