I’m not a person who generally participates in Black Friday shopping, but I have to admit the constant barrage of deals that I encounter leading up to this most shopping-est time of the year always leaves me with the uneasy feeling that if I don’t hurry up and get to a mall soon I might miss something. I’d compare it to those dreams I had in college about missing an exam. I’d wake up panicky but I wasn’t sure why. Whenever I get like this I take a deep breath and remind myself there’s no reason to rush. There’s plenty of time to enjoy the season…and to shop.
Don’t get caught up in the holiday hub-bub, relax with your nearest and dearest at one of these fun, free and festive events.
If you’re looking for a holiday event that that’s both picturesque and old-fashioned (in a good way), you don’t have to look any further than Denton’s Holiday Lighting Festival. This unique and genuine small-town celebration that happens Friday night, Dec. 1 on Denton’s Historic Square, is far prettier than any holiday card you’ll receive this season. It features food from local vendors, musical and dance presentations, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa, and, of course, the traditional lighting of Denton’s Historic Square. The Holiday Lighting coincides with another Denton holiday tradition–Wassail Weekend. That’s when downtown merchants stir up their favorite Wassail recipe (a fancy word for hot cider) and serve it to tasters on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Tasting is free and open to all.
Hooray! The 30th Annual Dallas Holiday Parade is happening this Saturday in downtown Dallas! This parade is a tradition with our family–and with many other families across North Texas. It’s guaranteed to fill to the tippy top with holiday spirit. The event draws an estimated 500,000 spectators and includes marching bands, giant helium balloons, spectacular floats and unique performances. Our personal favorites are the clowns that entertain the crowds before the start of the parade. Here are a few tips before you go: 1. Get there early. Parking can be challenging and all the good viewing areas get snapped up, so plan to arrive an hour and 1/2 before the parade starts. 2. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit on (little tushies don’t like sitting on cold pavement). 3. Lastly, dress warmly. Yes, I know the high for Saturday is a toasty 68 degrees, but the parade starts at 10 a.m. and it’ll be a lot cooler then, so bring a warm sweater just in case.
After the parade, grab your tribe and mosey over to Klyde Warren Park to celebrate the season at Nissan’s Winter Wonderlights Holiday Show and Tree Lighting. The day-long festivities include music, children’s activities, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus and demonstrations from arts organizations. The celebration culminates with the Big Band holiday show at 5:30 p.m. and the tree lighting at 6 p.m. Following the park’s tree lighting head over to the AT&T Performing Arts Center where the Reliant Lights Your Holidays festivities will be underway. Besides the millions of twinkling lights illuminating the AT&T campus, there will also be a huge fireworks display and a holiday concert featuring En Vogue & RaeLynn and Santa.
Head to Farmers Branch Historical Park for a double dip of magic and holiday spirit at the annual Tour of Lights animated light show. The drive-through show features over half a million flashing lights synced to music creating a veritable winter wonderland. The tour ends with Kris Kringle himself greeting each car. On Saturday, Dec. 2, come for the annual Christmas tree lighting. Highlights on this special night include tubing on a real snow hill, free hot chocolate and a countdown to the tree lighting and fireworks. Tour of Lights will be on display through Dec. 30 and is just a $5 donation which goes to various non-profit groups and agencies working the tour each night.
NorthPark Center has a passel of free events the tinies will love. Get to the mall early Saturday so you can catch Storytime with Santa Claus at 10:30 a.m. Some mall Santas can be a little bit lame, but this Santa is the real deal. Besides having a genuine beard and a hearty laugh, he has a gentle manner with children that is magical to watch. After story time, hurry over to the Scrooge Puppet Theatre for a little comic relief from the famous Christmas curmudgeon. Or, you can find out how Santa gets all of those presents to little boys and girls around the world at Santa’s Toy Shoppe Puppet Theatre.
For a list of event more holiday events CLICK HERE.