To some, Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a pre-dawn trip to the mall. It’s as traditional as pumpkin pie. And it seems lately as though Black Friday has spread to include Super-Crazy-Sale-Saturday and Shop-Like-Your-Life-Depends-On-It-Sunday. If massive mall mayhem doesn’t sound all that appealing, check out these this holiday weekend alternatives.
They’re more fun than a door-buster.
Get up early Thanksgiving morning and help out some worthwhile programs at the Dallas YMCA at the 50th Annual YMCA Turkey Trot. You have your choice of an 8-mile race, or a family-friendly 5K run/walk. The kids can participate at a reduced “Tot-Trot” rate and receive their own t-shirt and number. And as always, costumes, dogs, and strollers are welcome. If you aren’t a runner (I, myself, fall into the NON-runner category) fear not, because there will be lots of fun activities for those of us cheering from the sidelines. For those of you who live in Denton, the Denton Area Running Club is holding its own Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning. Proceeds from the 5K Run/Walk and the kid’s Gobble Wobble will benefit the Denton Community Food Center.
Walk off that extra helping of dressing and get in the yuletide spirit to boot with a stroll through the Dallas Arboretum. The whole place is decked out for Holiday at the Arboretum, an event marked by the return of the elaborate The 12 Days of Christmas outdoor exhibit. The exhibit features a collection of life-size Victorian gazebos–12 to be exact–each filled with costumed characters and scenery made in the theme of the famous Christmas carol. After dark is the best time to view the exhibit. Not only are the gazebos lit up like department store windows from your childhood, but 500,000 lights illuminate throughout the garden making it look like a Christmas wonderland.
Speaking of lights, the Dallas Zoo is decking their halls with holiday lights this season, too. Nearly one million twinkling lights will transform the Dallas Zoo into a winter wonderland this holiday season. Take a walk along a path that covers 25 acres within the Zoo and enjoy light-wrapped trees, overhead and hanging light displays, lighted 2-D decorations, and 3-D light sculptures. The event is free with regular Zoo admission, meaning you can come during the day to walk around and see the animals, and then stay for the lights at night for no additional charge. Best of all, they’re open Thanksgiving Day, the perfect post-meal activity!
If you just can’t stay away from the mall this weekend, be sure to take time out from your shop-o-palooza to catch Missile Toes, the famous ice skating, back-flipping, pyrotechnic Santa Claus at Galleria Dallas. For two special performances on Friday at noon and Saturday at 6 p.m., the big guy will be part of the Macys Grand Tree Lighting Celebration. He’ll also play host to an array of national and international skating celebrities this holiday season, including 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis.
If you’ve got cabin fever stop by the Trinity River Audubon Center this Saturday for two events that will put you back in touch with Mother Nature. Wake the sleepy-heads up early for a morning birding hike (don’t worry there will be coffee). The hike will be lead by an Audubon guide who will point out both native and migratory feathered friends. The event is for all ages and skill levels so everyone from the tinies to senior citizens will enjoy this one. If you’d rather sleep in, stop by TRAC later in the afternoon for a 2-hour guided tour down the Trinity River. Float through the Great Trinity Forest and get an up-close view of herons, beavers, river otters and other wildlife seldom seen by city slickers such as yourself.