We’re down to the last weekend before C Day!
For a lot of people this week can feel a bit like being hit by a Christmas tsunami. The wave of holiday events, preparations and family gatherings can be overwhelming to the point where you want to put a moratorium on the HO HO HO. But even though things might be a bit chaotic, be sure to make time to get out there and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with your favorite little person.
Besides being fun, this week’s picks are definitely on the unexpected side. Here are a few for you to try on for size.
You know you’ve got last minute shopping to do, so why not make the most of it? Instead of a mall or a big box store take a trip to downtown Dallas Saturday evening for Wanderland. This event is the perfect opportunity to soak up the spirit of the season while “wandering” through downtown Dallas. Pick up some treasures at pop-up shops while you enjoy all the store windows decked out in their Fa-la-la finest. There will be photos with Santa at Neiman Marcus, live music, and an outdoor screening of ‘The Polar Express’ in Pegasus Plaza. Kids who get there early will get their own Polar Express ticket!
Head to the Rose Marine Theater this weekend for a Mariachi Christmas. The music of cultural icons Vicente Fernandez and Juan Gabriel will be celebrated with a concert by Mariachi de Oro and special guests Northside High School Mariachi. This concert is so popular it traditionally sells out, so organizers are offering two shows on both Friday and Saturday night.
Still looking for the perfect present for granny? Kids can help create a unique present at Vetro Glassblowing Studio’s Tradition Ornament event. Participants choose colors from four pre-selected mixes, apply the colors to the hot molten glass, and then watch a professional glassblower finish the one-of-a-kind ornament. Reservations are not required and are on a first come, first served basis through Dec. 30. Families and friends are encouraged to come watch and take photos in the stadium seating area of the studio. One last thing – because your ornament needs to cool down slowly, it won’t be available for pick-up until the following business day after 3 p.m.
Kiddos 4 to 12 can also make ornaments at one of Oil and Cotton‘s cool Christmas Break Camps. Check out the Holiday Home Camp on Dec. 19. Kids can build a 3D Home Sweet Home ornament or sculpture. The class is inspired by the cute little German putz houses popular during the yuletide season. Both morning and afternoon camps are available. Sign up for both and Junior can have a day of artsy fun.
For those of you who crave more hip hop and less sugar plum in their holiday, the ‘Hip Hop Nutcracker’could be right down your alley. The classic tale has been revamped to 1980s Brooklyn and is performed by a cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ and a violinist. The dance work celebrates love, community and the magic of New Year’s Eve. See it at the Eisemann Center on Dec. 23.
If you’re a fan of the holiday classic film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ you won’t want to miss this retro twist on the holiday favorite. Rover Dramawerks and AmeriStage Players are teaming up to bring It’s a Wonderful Life to the stage as a 1940s radio broadcast. Joe Landry’s radio play features live sound effects, original music by Scott A. Eckert and all of the colorful characters of Bedford Falls are performed by just five actors. The show will run weekends through December 24 at Rover Dramawerks in Plano.
For a unique spin on the traditional holiday light display, bundle up the little kiddles and head to the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary for Holidays at the Heard Dec. 16 & 17. You’ll see twinkling displays along a half-mile trail that fit in perfectly with the sanctuary’s natural beauty. And of course, the museum’s life size dinosaurs will also be on display along the nature trail. If a T-Rex draped in holly doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will! Beside the festive holiday décor, you can also enjoy live holiday music in the outdoor amphitheater and Father Christmas and Mother Nature will be on hand for photo ops.
Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center‘s Winter Bird Count on Dec. 17 is another opportunity to escape the holiday hub bub and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the great outdoors. You and the kiddos can count birds for science while soaking in the season’s natural sights and sounds. Experienced birdwatchers will help you identify birds and don’t worry if you forget your binoculars they’ll have them on hand for you to borrow. All ages and experience levels are welcome at this free event.
Finally, if you’re the type of person that loves to sing ‘Jingle Bells’ out loud for everyone to hear, you definitely don’t want to miss TubaChristmas, an out-of-the-ordinary and extra Christmasy free concert. Now in it’s 43rd year, TubaChristmas isn’t just any holiday concert, it’s a concert composed entirely of tubas and euphoniums–over 200 at last count– that play traditional carols with a fabulous oompa-oompapa beat. You can see TubaChristmas at Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas at noon on Dec. 23. Don’t forget to bring your funny hats and jingle bells.