Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Holiday Happenings 2017

My little Santa's Helper circa 2000

The holidays are a magical time of year, filled with specialty drinks from Starbucks, discounts in every department store, sequin cocktail dresses and Bing Crosby tunes on the radio. I've compiled a few fun events happening around town this year to bring some holiday cheer into your life and get you in the mood for the new year to come. Enjoy!

November 4 - January 7, 9AM - 5PM and 6-9 PM

12 Days of Christmas

Holiday at the Arboretum features the return of the magnificent The 12 Days of Christmas outdoor exhibit, as well as 500,000 lights throughout the garden at night, trimming the architecture of the historic homes and lighting the canopies overhead—including a 30-foot-tall tree at the center of property. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden presents Holiday at the Arboretum featuring the return of the magnificent 12 Days of Christmas outdoor exhibit, from November 4 to January 7. The DeGolyer House features a new “Nutcracker Suite” exhibit, with a collection of more than 800 nutcracker figures on display throughout the historical home beginning November 24 through January 7. According to Southern Living, the festival is "one of the South's best holiday experiences." The garden re-opens for evening hours for 12 Days of Christmas at Night exhibit, which is on display Wednesday through Sunday beginning November 8 through December 30. With 500,000 lights illuminating throughout the garden, trimming the architecture of the historic homes and lighting the canopies overhead-including a 30-foot-tall tree at the center of property, this display is sure to warm the hearts of guests this season. In special celebration, Restaurant DeGolyer will be open for reservation-only dinners on November 29, December 13, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children.

November 10, 2017 – January 1, 2018

ICE!® featuring 'Twas the Night Before ChristmasICE! is a walk through holiday attraction kept at a chilly 9 degrees featuring two million pounds of hand‐carved ice sculptures and five ice slides. See Ma in her kerchief, Pa in his cap and more as the classic holiday poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas comes to life. Tickets start at $12.99.

Other Lone Star holiday happenings at the Gaylord Hotel include:
  • Photos with Santa ($30)
  • Santa’s Christmas Cottage Escape Room: Santa has lost the golden key to the toy factory and left behind an Elf who needs your help finding it in time to return to the toy factory. You will have 40 minutes to solve the clues, find the missing key and return it to Santa’s Elf. Do you have what it takes to solve the clues? $15-$25
  • Cookies With Mrs. Claus ($19.99)
  • The Elf on the Shelf® Character Breakfast: Come enjoy a one-of-a-kind interactive character breakfast, featuring Santa’s Scout Elves. Pile your plate high with delicious North Pole-inspired food, including some special treats brought to you by Mrs. Claus’ Sweet Shop™. While you eat, enjoy a tableside visit from the elves, solve puzzles and participate in a fun photo op. You’ll also get to sing along with your favorite tunes from the animated special An Elf’s Story, and learn a new song from a special North Pole music video! $20-$38
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop Scavenger Hunt ($12)
  • Gingerbread Decorating Center (Starts at $30)
  • Glacier Glide Ice Skating: Enjoy a perfect day or evening under the stars by going on a yuletide glide at Gaylord Texan’s 6,000 square-foot outdoor ice rink. ($17)

November 21 - January 2, 5:30 - 10PM

Holiday Wonder at Fair Park

Holiday Wonder debuts this winter as a new, unforgettable, family-friendly event in Dallas’s Fair Park to celebrate a season of light and magic. The lights switch on Nov. 21 for a festival that runs through Jan. 7 around the historic lagoon at Fair Park in Dallas. Included in this celebration are magical lights, interactive attractions, performances and food from around the world to entertain and delight guests. At Holiday Wonder, visitors will marvel at more than two million lights bringing to life holiday favorites in giant illuminated eye-catching displays, including stunning winterscapes, beautiful floating swans, perennial holiday favorites (including Santa Claus), and more. Guests will walk through a holiday wonderland that includes an enchanting snowflake corridor, playful polar bears and penguins, a 48-foot-tall Christmas tree, and more than a few holiday surprises. All displays are handmade by artisans whose specialized skills in lanterns go back generations, and are all-new, custom creations for this festival. In addition to the magical light displays, visitors will enjoy attractions that provide opportunities for unforgettable holiday memories. Experience the thrill of sledding with Santa’s Arctic Slide, a two-story slide like none other you’ve seen. Fun for kids and adults alike, this is a sledding adventure you will want to do again and again. A snowball throw allows visitors to get hands-on with winter fun, trying their hands at hitting targets with real snowballs. Write a letter to Santa and drop it in the mailbox to the Big Guy in Red. At Holiday Wonder, guests will also find a world-class acrobatics show and holiday celebrations of music and dance several times throughout the evening. Guests will enjoy authentic, delicious food from countries around the world, including China, Germany, Mexico and the United States, and can shop for souvenirs to take home a piece of the holiday magic in the Holiday Wonder Market. Tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under 3 years of age with accompanying parent.

November 24, 6-10PM

Vitruvian Lights

Vitruvian Park is transformed into a dazzling and magical holiday wonderland during Vitruvian Lights, when over 1.5 million sparkling LED lights are wrapped around more than 550 trees. On Friday, November 24, 2017, the lights will be turned on during a spectacular lighting ceremony as Town of Addison Mayor Joe Chow flips the switch at 6 p.m. Guests can enjoy live music by the Jordan Kahn Orchestra, FREE photos with Santa, an elf balloon artist, gourmet food trucks, delicious desserts and retail booths for gift browsing. Once the switch is flipped, the lights remain on every evening through January 1, 2018. Enjoy additional performances during the free Magical Nights of Lights celebrations: Saturday, December 2 – The Chris Rivers Band Saturday, December 9 – Phat Strad (Electric String Quartet). Vitruvian Park is located at 3966 Vitruvian Way Addison, TX 75001 (west of Midway at Spring Valley)

November 24 - December 31

Enchant Christmas 

An annual Arlington favorite, the Texas Christkindl Market, is now even grander as part of Enchant: The World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze & Market. Visit Texas Christkindl Market Lane in Enchant, November 24 thru December 31, 2017. Surrounded by millions of dazzling lights, the memories you make at Enchant will last well beyond the holiday season. Whether you’re navigating through the world's largest light maze, gliding around the magical ice-skating pond, visiting Santa or sharing hot cocoa with your loved ones while listening to live entertainment, you’ll find enchantment around every corner. Looking for a one-stop shop to fulfill your Christmas shopping list? Enchant has over 100 food and market vendors, including the Texas Christkindl Market Lane. Unwrap new holiday traditions at the most scenic wonderland in Texas! Tickets are $29.95. Children under 4 are free. Parking is free.

December 1-17

Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops will begin on December 1 with matinee and evening performances through December 17. Baritone soloist Reginald Smith, Jr. will join the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Symphony Chorus on stage for a dazzling program conducted by Lawrence Loh. The Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas (Cynthia Nott and Terrie Preskitt-Brown, directors) will appear at matinee performances. The program will feature time-honored carols such as “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Silent Night,” as well as tunes from favorite holiday movies Polar Express and Scrooge, among others. Tickets start at $24.

December 2, 11AM

DSO Family Christmas Pops, a special one-hour-long performance of Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops, will feature the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas on December 2 at 11:00 AM. This concert is the perfect way for families to enjoy classical music while getting into the holiday spirit. Arrive early for pre-concert activities, including an instrument petting zoo, beginning at 10:00 AM.

Sunday, December 3, 11AM

CultureMap is bringing back the ultimate holiday shopping experience. The CultureMap Holiday Pop-up Shop, presented by Infiniti, is a curated holiday boutique featuring 25 of our favorite local retailers for men, women, kids, pets, jewelry, gifts, home, and gourmet food and beverages. But wait. It gets better. Enjoy cocktails, festive food, carolers, crafting, complimentary gift wrapping, and more while you shop. It's the perfect opportunity to get all your holiday shopping done in one place and support Dallas’ beloved local retailers. The event will take place in Food & Fiber Pavilion at Fair Park.

Sunday, December 3, 12PM

Holiday Cooking Class with Chef John Tesar

Prepare for holiday food fests and learn from the widely known, Chef John Tesar on Sunday, December 3, 2017. RVC Promotions is bringing in the best of the best with Chef John Tesar who will prepare three-holiday dishes. Everyone who attends will enjoy each of the holiday dishes and different festive cocktails from Red River Whiskey and Western Son Vodka with each tasting. Get your tickets now! Space is limited. The Brixton is located in the Shops at Legacy at 5800 Legacy Drive Suite C-11, Plano, Texas 75024. Tickets are $75, which includes three plates of food and three cocktails. 21 and up only.

Tuesday, December 5, 5:30PM

Reliant Lights Your Holidays

Reliant lights up the holidays at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, so bring your entire family for an evening of holiday magic. We’ll be illuminating the Center’s campus with dazzling LED lights to celebrate the holiday season. This FREE festival includes a Holiday Concert and Fireworks Show featuring live performances by The Polyphonic Spree, Bubba Hernandez y los Super Vatos, and cast members of the national tour of Jersey Boys. The event which is held on the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., will feature: Illumination of hundreds of thousands of dazzling LED lights placed on the Center’s iconic venues and trees. Live performances by Dallas-based choral symphonic rock band The Polyphonic Spree, Grammy Award nominee Bubba Hernandez y Los Super Vatos, and cast members of the Jersey Boys national tour. Each will perform a selection of their own hits and holiday classics. Free photos with Santa Claus. A fireworks display in Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park.