Things To Do

Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend

Santa! Bar! Crawl!
Danny Hurley
Santa! Bar! Crawl!


Thanks to a lonely toy’s wish being granted by a genie, his fellow playthings are coming to life and wreaking vengeance upon their oppressors. The monstrous Krampus is leading an evil army of elves against the rogue toys. And, should you choose to visit a haunted attraction rather than, say, go caroling or look at Christmas lights, you’ll be caught in the crossfire. Man, and I thought the idea of an omniscient millennia-old fat man deciding whether my behavior merits toys or coals was a dark concept for the holidays. Dark Hour Haunted House Presents: Wreck the Halls runs 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 28 and 29 at Dark Hour Haunted House, 701 Taylor Drive in Plano. Tickets start at $29 for general admission with group discounts, behind-the-scenes tours and combo tickets to a second attraction — the creepy children’s pizza parlor-themed Carl’s Last Stand — also available. Visit Jesse Hughey

It calls itself the best neighborhood light show in Texas, and we guess we'll take the word of Interlochen Lights' organizers on that. Our money would be on the lighted refineries surrounding Corpus Christi, but they don't exactly scream holiday cheer. If you're looking for something more festive that's likely to contribute slightly less climate-changing CO2 to the atmosphere, hop in your car and cruise this Arlington 'hood between 7 and 11 p.m. through Christmas Day for the usual twinkling displays. It's free. Entrance to the neighborhood is on Westwood Drive at West Randol Mill Road. Patrick Williams

A white guy in his early 50s accused of sexual misconduct that includes masturbating in front of women who didn’t want to see it will perform at a local comedy club. Surprisingly, it’s not Louis C.K. Jeremy Piven, Ari Gold from HBO’s Entourage, Dr. Bob from the brilliant 1995 Michael Mann film Heat and Dean Pritchard from Todd Phillips’ 2003 comedy classic Old School, will not talk about the recent allegations, if recent show reviews and interviews with the performer are any indications. Rather, he just plans to come discharge jokes and spurt stories at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday at Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. If you’ve got a wad to blow, tickets are $35 to $55 at Jesse Hughey

Fun, funny and moving, The Turtle Creek Chorale’s Shimmer & Shine event is yet another storied favorite in the legion of local annual holiday concerts. A firm respect for tradition and a jovial spirit drive the spectacular, which is consistently packed with holiday sweaters, laughter, classic seasonal tunes and good cheer. There’s almost always a few surprises thrown in, too. This program has four performances: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14-15, and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16. All take place at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Tickets start at $35. More info at Jonathan Patrick

Generation Axe is the heavy metal super group formed by legendary guitarist Steve Vai back in 2016. The band consists of other metal mainstays including former guitarist with Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde; classically trained Yngwie Malmsteen, who incorporates several classical music techniques into his guitar playing; former Boston-based band EXTREME guitarist Nuno Bettencourt; and Nigerian American guitarist Tosin Abasi. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., $35-$125. Diamond Victoria

Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour does a two-night stand at AAC just before the holidays kick in. The former Reginald Dwight claims this is his final tour, so you should consider going if you have the cash and really want to hear his classic tunes. On this tour, he usually plays 24 songs, and they're all the big hits and fan favorites. Whether it's "I'm Still Standing," "Bennie and the Jets" or "Levon," there will not be any stinkers that make you want to visit the bathroom or the concession stands. If this truly is a send-off for one of the biggest entertainers of our time, it should be a long and powerful goodbye. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15 at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $285-$1,281 at Eric Grubbs

Over the past decade, electronic singer-songwriter and multimedia artist Ramona Gonzalez has refined the neo-nostalgic R&B-influenced electro sound of her solo project, Nite Jewel, from a lo-fi synth-pop experimentalist with hints of influence by Ariel Pink to a more direct ’90s Janet Jackson-influenced sound. After signing with Secretly Canadian in 2011, Gonzalez left the label following creative differences on 2012’s One Second of Love. She released 2016’s Liquid Cool and the 2017 album Real High on her own imprint Gloriette Records. Nite Jewel makes a rare Texas appearance thanks to Parade of Flesh, who booked a stacked bill worth showing up early for the local support by Nite, SRSQ and a DJ set by producer Yung Wave. Eighties-influenced, dream-pop duo Nite is signed to Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records, and in October, Dias Records released Unreality – the debut album by SRSQ, an ethereal solo project of vocalist/keyboardist Kennedy Ashlyn of Them Are Us Too, which conjured some dreamy early 4AD sounds. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $12 and up at Daniel Rodrigue


Do you hear what I hear? There's another holiday ballet out there, and it doesn't involve warring mice, living nutcrackers or sugarplum fairies. A Gift for Emma does, however, offer faeries, pixies, a guardian angel, mermaids and a snow princess. Look, it's a Christmas ballet about a young girl's wish to be given the gift of dance, so yeah, it's pretty twee. You were expecting Die Hard in a tutu? (For the record, that would be awesome.) Performances by the Denton City Contemporary Ballet and Denton Dance Conservatory are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16 in Texas Woman's University's Margo Jones Performance Hall, 1100 Oakland St in Denton. Find tickets, $15-$21, at Patrick Williams

The holidays can be a lot. It's all about giving and giving and giving and dammit, maybe you just want a sweater for yourself. Maybe the holidays wouldn't be so bad if it was socially acceptable to get shitfaced in public and forget about having to spend time with your family. Guess what! The third annual Naughty or Nice Greenville Ave. Bar Crawl is here and ready to save you from the holidays. From noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, you and hundreds of new friends will hop from bar to bar getting drunk. Bars include Single Wide, Gung Ho, HG Sply Co., Old Crow and more. Arrive at The Libertine Bar, 2101 Greenville Ave., for check-in. Tickets are $15 at Paige Skinner

Petty Theft is a staple in the Dallas cover-band scene. Hitting bars in and around Dallas on a regular basis, Petty Theft revives the catalog of, you guessed it, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. So grab a beer with your friends and don't be shy about belting out a few Petty lines of your own. 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Avenue, Plano, free. Diamond Victoria

Texas may not have joined the other handful of states to green-light pot in recent years, but you can still celebrate it tonight with the marijuana-themed death metal band Cannabis Corpse – not to be confused with the other like-named death metal band Cannibal Corpse. In fact, Cannabis Corpse's music, while totally original, parodies other bands' music within the genre. Cannabis Corpse features members of Municipal Waste and GWAR. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at Dada, 2720 Elm St., $13-$15. Diamond Victoria

Christmas time is here. And as tradition dictates Dallas’ premier psychedelic choral rock band, The Polyphonic Spree, will spread holiday cheer and make allusions to sugarplums for the 16th year running. Tim DeLaughter and his Yuletide crew of singers, dancers and musicians will don their most festive motley to perform Christmas classics, a la the band’s 2013 album, Holidaydream: Sounds of the Holidays, Vol. 1. Those unfamiliar with the band’s annual present to Dallas are in for a spectacle. Between the practical legion of performers populating the band’s choral and orchestral sections, and DeLaughter’s personal artistic flair; The Polyphonic Spree’s Holiday Extravaganza ends up landing somewhere between Mannheim Steamroller and The Flaming Lips. Grab your ugliest sweater or your best George Bailey cosplay and bring the whole family. Also for those feeling especially gracious, Toys for Tots and the North Texas Food Bank will be on hand to accept donations of brand new toys and canned food, respectively of course. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., $35 and up at Nicholas Bostick


With its original choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker has become a holiday standard as both a ballet and a score. Even variations on the ballet, from humorous to creepy, are draws for those hungry for holiday entertainment. The Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu, the Mouse King’s crown, Clara’s flowing nightgown — they’re all expected elements, even for tongue-in-cheek takes. But Rhythmic Souls Tap Company is adding some percussion to the Yuletide tale with a tap rendition called The Nutcracker Untapped. It takes the stage at 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday at Dupree Theater in the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., and between the shuffles, cramp rolls, pickups and fan kicks, Rhythmic Souls has packed in live music, audience interaction and a lot of merriment. Tickets are $11.50-$31.50, available at For more info on Rhythmic Souls, visit Merritt Martin

Soundtracking decades of stoner lore and stoned experiences, Sleep’s cult masterpiece Dopesmoker ranks among the finest modern rock records in the canon. A haze of stoner rock, psych and drone, the album is one single, hourlong track stretching into infinity. Its indulgent solos and repurposing of Steve Reich and Terry Riley-like minimalism leaves it drifting in the ether, achieving something altogether grand, numinous, meditative. After the ’98 album was shelved by label bosses without so much as an official release, Sleep fizzled, too, ultimately breaking up and splitting into various side projects. But 2018 has seen the rock masterminds regrouped and reborn. Only a masterpiece could satisfy the band’s die-hard cult following; thankfully, Sleep didn’t disappoint. Their return release, The Sciences, takes everything that made Dopesmoker otherworldly and cranks it up to 11. It’s louder, sharper and stoned-er. Revival tours are typically a mix of nostalgia and romance, a chance to see once great artists go through the motions. Not so with this year’s iteration of Sleep — expect pure, unruly fire. And lots and lots of smoke. With Weather Warlock and Pinkish Black, 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., tickets start at $24 at Jonathan Patrick