After a day of all-you-can-eat turkey, what else can families do to fill up the hours of the long holiday weekend? Here are a few ideas, for starters:
Shopping, obviously. Every metroplex store is likely to have Black Friday (BF) deals. The Firewheel Town Center, Allen Premium Outlets, the North East Mall, and Grand Prairie Premium Outlets — all part of the Simon Property Group — are opening at 6 a.m. on November 25 to accommodate early-bird shoppers.
For those who just cannot wait until Friday for Black Friday deals, Walmart is advertising BF deals, both online and in-store, beginning Monday, November 21. Is that considered cheating?
Defying the laws of physics as only he can, Santa Claus will be enthroned at a multitude of metroplex malls simultaneously on Thanksgiving weekend, including at the Galleria Dallas, the Firewheel Town Center, and North East Mall. Reservations can be made in advance to minimize time spent standing in line to meet The Big Guy in red.
And speaking of malls, the Galleria Dallas has a plethora of free — yes, free — holiday events planned for the season. These include Slappy’s Holiday Circus, Storytime with Mrs. Claus, holiday performances by various local groups, and an Illumination Celebration, a music and light show accompanying the lighting of the nation’s tallest indoor Christmas tree.
For a warm and fuzzy dose of the feel-goods, stop by the Operation Kindness Pet Adoption pop-up on Level One of the Galleria Dallas, and make some new furry friends. Dogs and cats will be available for adoption every Thursday through Sunday until December 24.
Click here for a list of dates and times of the various events.
Families with children aged 3–10 may enjoy a visit to the North Pole — the North Pole Texas at the Dallas Hilton Anatole, that is. Described as a “Christmas Adventure,” the outdoor venue activities will include holiday crafts, cookie decorating, train rides, a snowman bounce, winter games, and more.
A variety of holiday stage shows can boost anyone’s holiday spirit, and a Santa House, where kids can chat with Santa and Mrs. Clause, might entertain the tykes who missed their opportunity at the mall. Be sure to visit the Sweet Shoppe, Kringles Kafe, and the Alpine Snack Shop to load up on holiday goodies.
North Pole Texas is open Friday through Sunday each week until December 24, from 4 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $43 each for adults and $36 for children.
Christmas at Gaylord Texan offers frozen fun for everyone, including ice skating, snow tubing, and ice slides. The ICE! wonderland features two million pounds of colorful ice carved into scenes from The Polar Express. The venue is maintained at a frosty 9 degrees Fahrenheit, and blue parkas are provided to keep guests toasty warm.
Other activities include gingerbread decorating, an animal circus, a scavenger hunt, a snow throw, a light show, a carousel, a Christmas Village and photos with you-know-who, themed escape rooms, and a holiday emporium, to name just a few.
Ticket prices vary based on the activities. The venue is open every day, now through January 1.
The Texas Ballet Theater will present The Nutcracker, a “magical holiday tradition,” beginning November 24 at Dallas’ Winspear Opera House. The production moves to Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall starting December 9. Ticket information and performance times can be found here.
The Dallas Theater Center’s production of A Christmas Carol kicks off with a preview show on November 25 at the Wyly Theater: Potter Rose Performance Hall. The 90-minute show, a holiday classic, is suitable for all ages. Times and ticket information can be found on the center’s website.
Radiance! and Frozen in Frisco are two attractions in one, together forming the “largest light and ice spectacular in Texas!” the website proclaims. Radiance! is “a holiday wonderland of almost three million dazzling, dancing lights and one-of-a-kind holiday social media moments!”
Frozen is a “Winter Carnival full of thrills, fun, and magical, memory-making moments unlike anything in North Texas!” Guests are invited to “soar down two-story Ice Tubing Hills, ice skate under the stars, throw snowballs, build snowmen from REAL snow, and much more!”
This dual attraction is surely the place to go if the family is a fan of events with descriptions punctuated by exclamation points. The website encourages patrons to “Customize your experience! It’s time to bundle up when you buy! … Hurry!”
Pricing for the attractions is based on the activities the family chooses, such as Bucking Blitzen, Holiday Bumper Cars, Build Your Own Snowman, and Merry Axe-Mas, among other offerings. Use code MAGIC15 for a discount on a ticket bundle. The two attractions are open through December 31.
The Dallas Arboretum is decked out in its finest for the season, featuring more than one million lights, a Christmas Village, the 12 Days of Christmas Gazebos, a Musical Tree, an authentic German-built Christmas Pyramid, a Biergarten, a tavern, and live entertainment.
The historic DeGolyer home on-site is also decorated for the holidays and houses a new community-sourced exhibit: The Artistry of Faith and Culture, which celebrates the diversity of the holiday season in Dallas.
Tickets range from $12 to $20 and are available here.