Check out these picks for the best of the weekend and beyond.
GM Financial Parade of Lights
FREE Downtown Fort Worth will sparkle with a half-million lights for this nighttime parade of floats, horse-drawn carriages, antique cars, festive marching bands, the World Famous Wheelie-ing Elvi (mini-motorcycle riders dressed as Elvis), and Santa and Mrs. Claus on the grand finale float. Arrive early for pre-parade holiday fun at Sundance Square Plaza and entertainment on mobile stages beginning at 4:30 p.m. The Trinity Railway Express will run a special schedule for paradegoers.
Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. in downtown Fort Worth, starting at Throckmorton and Weatherford streets, passing in front of the Tarrant County Courthouse, traveling south on Commerce Street to the Fort Worth Convention Center, then traveling along Ninth, Houston and Second streets before ending at Third and Throckmorton streets. Free admission. Paid reserved seating is $12.95-$29.95. fortworthparadeoflights.org.
Japanese Fall Festival
The autumnal version of this biannual botanic festival will be the biggest yet, as activities spread for the first time outside of the Japanese Garden and into surrounding sections of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Cultural exhibits include calligraphy, origami, raku (fiery pottery making), folk dancing and music, food trucks, martial arts demonstrations and more. Meet members of the Fort Worth Japanese Society and learn about East Asian harvest traditions.
Nov. 23-24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. Admission closes daily at 4 p.m. $12, $10 for seniors 65 and up, $6 for ages 6-15, free for children 5 and under. Free parking. fwbg.org.
Dallas Comic Show Holiday Edition
Cons can be expensive, and that inspires the mission of this affordable local event, which seeks to provide “something everyone can enjoy and embrace without breaking the bank.” Fun includes meet-and-greets, autographs and photo ops with comic book illustrators, pro cosplayers and geeky celebrities, plus costumes, gaming and more. Meet Dragon Ball Z voice artists, former Power Ranger star Steve Cardenas, How to Train Your Dragon writer Dean DeBlois and The Immortal Hulk writer Al Ewing, among dozens of industry stars, vendors and exhibitors.
Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Nov. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson. $15 in advance or $20 at the door on Nov. 23, $10 on Nov. 24, $25 for two-day pass, $59.99 for VIP, $5 daily for children 6-12, free for children 5 and under with paying adult, free parking. Additional fees for autographs, photo ops, merchandise and food and drinks. Children under 12 must be accompanied by a paying adult. dallascomicshow.com.
Cedars Open Studios Tour
FREE Just a stone’s throw from downtown Dallas sits one of the city’s most eclectic neighborhoods where artisans take such proverbial stones, polish them up and use them in handcrafted creations. Meet more than 100 indie makers during this all-day annual community exhibition. Featuring dozens of participating studios, galleries, shops, bars, restaurants and artists’ residences, the event shows off homegrown talent. Go on a tour with Bike Friendly Cedars or traverse the streets on a free Efrogs shuttle. An after-party kicks off at iconic dive bar Lee Harvey’s at 6 p.m.
Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at various venues in the Cedars neighborhood, with most places along Lamar, Akard and Ervay streets between Griffin and Corinth streets in Dallas. Free admission and transportation via Efrogs shuttle. After-party at Lee Harvey’s, 1807 Gould St., Dallas. cedarsopenstudios.org.
Bath House Cultural Center Art Mart
FREE This holiday shopping fundraiser showcases “original paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, cards and other unique creations by more than 60 local and regional artists.” Shop for chic finds and bid for items in a silent auction, accompanied by music and food. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Bath House, which provides visual and performing arts programming throughout the year.
Nov. 22 from 7 to 9 p.m., Nov. 23-24 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive, Dallas. Free admission and parking. bathhouse.dallasculture.org.
Fair Park Pop-Ups
FREE Big Tex has resumed hibernation, but that doesn’t mean the rest of Fair Park sleeps just because it’s not State Fair time. Every Saturday through Dec. 14, this family fun day features holiday-themed activities such as art-making, story times, yoga, games and drum circles, plus swan paddle boat rides on Leonhardt Lagoon and treats for purchase from food trucks. As the sun sets on the daytime fun in mid-December, a Friday night movie series picks up. See Elf on Dec. 13 and Home Alone on Dec. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Band Shell.
Saturdays through Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Leonhardt Lagoon at Fair Park, 1121 First Ave., Dallas. Free admission, activities, and parking at Gates 5 and 6. Prices vary for food and drinks. fairpark.org.
Fidos and Fluffies aren’t for every family. If yours is more into owning a Spike or a Fang, visit this exhibition of cold-blooded cuties that showcases snakes, geckos, turtles and amphibian friends for sale. Sit in on seminars with live animal ambassadors, vie for prizes in raffles and meet experts who know which cages, food and supplies will help you care for an exotic pet. Just be prepared to hear, “Can he hibernate in my bed, Mom?”
Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 S. Main St., Grapevine. $12, $5 for children 5-12, free for children 4 and under. VIP and two-day tickets available. repticon.com.
56th Anniversary Program: ‘Living History with Bill Mercer’
FREE Established to preserve the history and local memories of President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination, The Sixth Floor Museum honors the 56th anniversary of his death with a “Living History” session and moment of silence. Texas Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster and author Bill Mercer will discuss that fateful day with museum curator Stephen Fagin, and their conversation will include presentations of images and video footage from the museum collection.
‘Pete the Cat’ at the Eisemann Center
He’s a cool cat with blue fur, studded sunglasses and a rockin’ red electric guitar. Fans of the titular storybook character will enjoy seeing Pete shred onstage with motorcycle-riding Grumpy Toad, shy platypus Gus and other recognizable friends from James and Kim Dean’s groovy series. This musical live adaptation tells the story of Jimmy Biddle, a second grader with an artist’s block who enlists Pete for creative consultation. Per Pete’s motto, life is an adventure, and the pair travel all the way to Paris and back in a peaced-out VW bus. Running about 50 minutes, this play about overcoming differences, cooperation and personal growth is recommended for ages pre-K through third grade.
Funky Finds Holiday Shopping Experience
FREE The 10th annual family- and pet-friendly event features craft projects, a toy drive and more than 200 makers and pickers selling handmade, repurposed, upcycled and vintage finds. Shoppers can get items gift-wrapped, take photos with Santa (a $5 donation is suggested), adopt a furry friend or participate in a $1 raffle with proceeds benefiting the Humane Society of North Texas and DFW Toys for Tots.
Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Cattle Barn 1 and Small Exhibits buildings at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3400 Burnett Tandy Drive, Fort Worth. Free admission. Parking is $10. funkyfinds.com.
Chi Omega Christmas Market
A lady doesn’t reveal another’s age, but we’ll demurely state that this national sorority’s Christmas Market looks fabulous for being four decades old. The charitable event proudly turns 41 in 2019. That plus $8.4 million raised for North Texas nonprofits are reasons to consider Chi O’s market a premiere holiday shopping experience. More than 200 merchants will offer clothing and accessories, home accents, toys, food and more. Santa will appear for photo ops, and there will be pop-up holiday-themed mixology and watercolor classes.
Nov. 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Centennial Hall at Fair Park, 1001 Washington St., Dallas. $15; $10 per car for parking at Gates 2, 5 and 6. chiomegaxmas.org.
Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot
This 52nd annual tradition will draw more than 25,000 participants to downtown Dallas, making it one of the largest running events in the country. Fun includes live music, bounce houses, clowns and more, and the whole family is invited — even dogs, as long as they’re registered. Whether you’ve trained seriously and are looking to crush a new personal record or are more into spotting cute babies in costumes, this event attracts all fitness levels. Both the 8-mile and 5K routes swing past historic landmarks, and all proceeds support the YMCA’s programming for local children.
Nov. 28 at 9 a.m. at Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St., Dallas. $46 for timed 8-mile and 5K races, $41 for untimed 8-mile and 5K runs/walks, $15 for children 5 and under (including stroller riders), $25 for Junior Trot 1K race. Family combo pricing available. ymcadallas.org/turkeytrot.
Fort Worth Turkey Trot
Like its older sibling in Dallas, the Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot is a longstanding tradition on Thanksgiving morning. There’s a children’s 1K division and a dog trot, plus a separate corral for timed runners who prefer to run faster. Courses in 10K and 5K distances wind through the Ridglea Hills neighborhood, and proceeds provide scholarships for youths and adults who need assistance affording the Y’s services.
Nov. 28 at 8 a.m. at 6115 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. $34-$39 through Nov. 27 or $40-$45 on Nov. 28 for 10K distance; $29-$34 through Nov. 27 or $35-$40 on Nov. 28 for 5K distance; $22 through Nov. 26 or $40 on Nov. 28 for children’s 1K Gobbler Trot; $10 for dogs; group pricing available. fwtrot.org.
North Texas Turkey Trot
The tagline for this ninth charitable race around Frisco Square says it all: “Run first! Eat later.” Organizers expect upward of 8,000 participants, many in ridiculously awesome holiday costumes, to compete in 10K, 5K and 1-mile events. Strollers and dogs are welcome, but each must be registered and should line up at the back of the pack at the starting line. Proceeds benefit the Miracle League of Frisco, a sports league for children with special needs.
Cowboys ‘Christmas Spectacular’ and Tree Lighting
FREE The Dallas Cowboys will celebrate Christmas at The Star with the Nov. 22 lighting of a 67-foot-tall tree on the Tostitos Championship Plaza. The free event kicks off the Christmas Spectacular, a five-weekend holiday show featuring the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue Dancers and Drumline, mascot Rowdy, Santa and guest appearances by Dallas Cowboys players.
The tree lighting is Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. at The Star in Frisco, 1 Cowboys Way, Frisco. The Christmas Spectacular is Nov. 22-Dec. 21, on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m. Free admission and parking. thestarinfrisco.com/christmas.
‘Ice!’ at the Gaylord Texan
It’s hard to visualize 2 million pounds of ice, but if the idea fills a hotblooded Texan’s heart with wonder, wander through this spectacular, simulated winter land. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the theme for 2019, and the walk- through display spreads across 4.5 acres with sculptures carved by artists from Harbin, China. Guests don parkas to embark on a festive stroll at a frosty 9 degrees Fahrenheit and have the option of breezing down one of five two-story ice slides. As in years past, there will be additional seasonal activities such as ice skating, snow tubing and photos with Santa, offered at an additional cost.
Through Jan. 5 at the Gaylord Texan, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine. Prices vary on select value and peak dates. General admission most days: $30.99 for ages 12-54, $28.99 for seniors 55 and older, $19.99 for children 4-11, free for children 3 and under. Parking is $15 per car. Some activities require additional fees. Children 11 and under must be accompanied by an adult. christmasatgaylordtexan.com.
‘The Trains at NorthPark’
Update your holiday travel plans. From New England foliage to New York skyscrapers to the Grand Canyon, you can hit hot spots across America without leaving Dallas. Billed as the largest miniature train exhibit in Texas, this 32nd annual display features 1,600 feet of tracks and more than 700 railcars that chug along elaborate winter scenes. In a new, extended space, “The Trains at NorthPark” is expected to draw more than 70,000 visitors. Since 1987, it has raised more than $13 million for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.
Through Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays-Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas, closing at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and closing at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve and New Year’s Day) on Level 2 between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom at NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas. $7, $4 for children 2-12 and seniors 65 and up, free for children younger than 2. Children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult. thetrainsatnorthpark.com.
‘12 Days of Christmas’ at the Dallas Arboretum
This holiday exhibit features a dozen elaborate outdoor vignettes depicting scenes from the classic Christmas carol of the same name. Attend during daylight hours or after dark, when the stunning gardens will be illuminated by 1 million twinkling lights. Special programming throughout the season includes Santa visits on select dates, choir performances, holiday teas and dinners, and a new-for-2019 Christmas Village in the style of a traditional European christkindlmarkt opening Nov. 23.
Through Dec. 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special nighttime hours through Dec. 29 on Wednesdays- Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. Daytime admission: $10-$12 through Nov. 27 and $12-$17 Nov. 29-Dec. 31. Nighttime admission: $10-$20 through Nov. 27 and $11-$23 Nov. 29-Dec. 29. Parking is $15 on-site or $9 in advance. dallasarboretum.org.
Dallas Zoo Lights by Reliant
More than 1 million lights illuminate the ZooNorth section. Kids of all ages can enjoy animal-shaped lanterns, light sculptures, holiday performances, crafts, animal encounters and, of course, Santa. New attractions this year include a forest of lighted holiday trees with a show set to music and a disco-themed strobe light display in the Wilds of Africa tunnel. The lights are on from 5 to 9 p.m. You can also visit the zoo during the day and stay without paying extra for the nighttime fun.
Through Jan. 5 on select nights at the Dallas Zoo, 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas. $17 for adults, $14 for ages 3-11 and 65 and up, free for kids 2 and under. Parking is $10 per car. dallaszoo.com.
FREE Towering in the middle of a skating rink at Galleria Dallas stands what is said to be America’s tallest indoor Christmas tree, sparkling with nearly half a million lights and more than 10,000 ornaments. Starting Nov. 29, the tree’s daily Illumination Celebration light shows will be set to music. And on Grand Tree Lighting dates, free ice shows will feature Missile Toes, a Santa who shoots sparks from his skates and does back flips. Find more lights on Level 3, where 44 palm trees are wrapped in 50,000 lights. Lots of family festivities are scheduled throughout the season.
The tree is up through Jan. 5 at Galleria Dallas, 13350 Dallas Parkway. Most special events begin Nov. 29 and end Dec. 24. For a detailed schedule, go to galleriadallas.com.
Holiday in the Park
The holiday spirit comes to Six Flags Over Texas as the park is filled with millions of twinkling lights wrapped around trees and along rooftops. One highlight is Lone Star Lights, “an animated holiday lights presentation filled with music and dazzling visual displays.” Guests can also take a sled down a snow hill, warm up by fire pits and shop at holiday markets. The park also offers seasonal performances, photos with Santa, Christmas-inspired funnel cakes and, of course, lots of rides.
Nov. 23-Jan. 5 on select days at Six Flags Over Texas, 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington. At the gate, tickets are $84.99, $69.99 for kids under 48 inches, free for kids 2 and younger. Discounts available on the website. Parking is $30. sixflags.com/overtexas.