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Parades, Scrooge and festive dinosaurs: This week's North Texas holiday event guide

dinosaur christmas
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Look for a Fort Worth concert with singing trees, a John Waters Christmas show in Dallas and a workshop in the Colony that will have you saying "Merry Cheesemas!"

It seems like yesterday that we were handing out candy to witches and goblins with plastic pumpkins and now here we are, ready to jump into the deep end of the Holly Jolly season.

No doubt about it, it's time to don your gay apparel and kick up your heels at some fun holiday events. Trouble is, there are just so many! How do you choose? Don't get your jingle bells out of joint, we’re here to help you with the planning with our Special Holiday Listings page.

Search through a bounty of holiday events—and more being added every day.

Here are just a few of our favorite picks for this week’s Holiday Guide.

Festivals/Parades

Holidays at the Heard
Where: Heard Natural Science Museum - 1 Nature Place, McKinney
When: Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 10 & 11, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $0-$11

For a unique twist on the traditional holiday light display, bundle up the family and head to the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney for Holidays at the Heard. Twinkling light displays along a half-mile trail fit in perfectly with the sanctuary's natural beauty. So what's the twist, you ask? The museum’s life size dinosaurs will also be on display to greet you along the nature trail. If a T-Rex draped in holly doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will.

Candlelight at Old City Park
Where: Old City Park, 1515 S. Harwood St., Dallas
When: Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 10 & 11, 3-9 p.m.
Cost: $8-$14

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Candlelight, the nighttime yuletide tradition at Dallas' Old City Park. Enjoy strolling carolers, live music and hayrides along candlelit paths. For the kids, there will be holiday crafts and visits with St. Nicholas. If you're hungry, food trucks will be on site, as well as bake sale goodies like traditional kettle korn and nuts. Be sure to take the time to explore the historic buildings in the village which will be decked out in period decorations.

Arlington Holiday Lights Parade
Where: Downtown Arlington, Intersection of Lampe and West South streets, Arlington
When: Saturday, Dec. 10, 6-8 p.m.
Cost: free

Load up the swagger-wagon and head to Arlington's annual Holiday Lights Parade. The parade winds its way around Arlington's Downtown/University District and concludes with a tree lighting at Arlington City Hall. Stop by the Hawkes Downtown Library before the parade for reindeer crafts and pictures with Santa, and stick around afterwards for live entertainment at Levitt Pavilion.

Posada
Where: Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St., Dallas
When: Sunday, Dec. 11, 4 p.m.
Cost: Free

The Latino Cultural Center celebrates the season with a posada Sunday afternoon. A posada is a Latin American tradition that re-enacts Mary and Joseph's search for lodging in Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus. Musicians lead a procession around the building that ends on the plaza where festivities continue with live music, folklorico dancing and crafts throughout the building.

Theater

Scrooge the Musical
Where: Courtyard Theatre – 1509 H Ave., Plano
When: Dec. 8-11
Cost: $20--$30

North Texas Performing Arts in Plano celebrates the 12th anniversary of its production of 'Scrooge the Musical.' The show closely follows its movie counterpart and stays true to the Dickens novel; but features new twists and changes to keep the story fresh. Be sure to arrive early for pre-show carols.

Harry Connick Jr.’s The Happy Elf
Where: Dallas Children’s Theater – 5938 Skillman St., Dallas
When: Dec. 3-23
Cost: $18-$37

Grammy-winner Harry Connick, Jr.’s original song 'The Happiest Elf' comes to life on stage at Dallas Children's Theater. The jazz musical follows Eubie the Elf, whose quest is to bring Christmas joy to an entire town of naughty children in a gloomy little town called Bluesville. The show kicks off this Saturday with performances through Dec. 23 and includes a sensory-friendly performance on Dec. 3 and a show with American Sign Language on Dec. 11.

A John Waters Christmas
Where: Kessler Theater – 1230 W. Davis St., Dallas
When: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m.
Cost: $40-$600

Looking for holiday fare that's strictly for adults? Then you won't want to miss John Waters Christmas show Tuesday night at the Kessler Theater. The legendary filmmaker behind such cult classics as "Pink Flamingos" and "Hairspray" takes to the stage with his unique view of Christmas.

Dance

World Ballet Series presents The Nutcracker
Where: UTA, Texas Hall, 701 W. Nedderman Drive, Arlington
When: Friday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m.
Cost: $30-$175

The classic tale of the Nutcracker comes to Arlington for one performance on Friday at Texas Hall on the UTA campus. Tchaikovsky’s score accompanies a multinational cast of 50 professional dancers. The family-friendly show also features 150 hand-sewn costumes, hand-crafted sets and classic choreography.

Dallas Black Dance Academy presents Espresso Nutcracker
Where: Majestic Theater – 1925 Elm St., Dallas
When: Saturday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m.
Cost: $55

Dallas Black Dance Academy students take the classic story of Clara's visit to the Land of Snow and Sweets and “jazz up" select scenes with Duke Ellington’s "Nutcracker Suite." To make this an extra special experience, "Espresso Nutcracker" happens at the beautiful Majestic Theater in downtown Dallas. It’s the only Nutcracker of color experience in DFW and is a one-night-only event so get your tickets early.

Music

Cliburn in the Community: The Polar Express Holiday Concert
Where: Burnett Park – 501 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth
When: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m.
POSTPONED until Monday, Dec. 12, 6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Piano duo Sara Doan and Mikhail Berestnev bring the beloved holiday story, 'The Polar Express' to life with a unique outside concert at Burnett Park. The show features “Singing Trees” – an interactive light display in the trees at Burnett Park that illuminate and change colors as they react to the sound of the piano.

O Night Divine: A Classical Christmas Celebration

Where: Tate Springs Baptist Church – 4201 Little Road, Arlington
When: Friday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m.
Cost: $7-$15

The brand-new music organization Opera Arlington rings in the holiday season with concert showcasing classical works by Holst, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Niles, Finzi, and other beloved composers. Polish violinist Tereska Grynia and Chinese pianist Jiaqi Chen perform as special guests alongside a roster of critically acclaimed vocalists.

Arts & Crafts

Stage West First Tuesday: Making Holiday Wreaths and Door Swag
Where: Stage West – 821 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth
When: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 6 p.m.
Cost: $20

Take a break from the holiday hustle and get creative with Stage West. This week in its First Tuesday series you'll create a festive wreath (or swag) perfect for your front door. Besides the wreath that you'll take home, you'll also get a complimentary drink from the bar prior to the start of the workshop.

Homestead for the Holidays: Charcuterie Workshop
Where: Grandscape – 5732 Grandscape Blvd., The Colony
When: Thursday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m.
Cost: $65

This workshop at Grandscape can help you with an important skill that's integral in holiday entertaining. That's right, you'll learn how to create the perfect charcuterie board. Experts from the gastropub Barley and Board provide insight into meats and cheeses as well as accompaniments, while showing you how to make a festive presentation. Sip on a glass of wine create you make your very own edible masterpiece.

Got a tip? Email Therese Powell at tpowell@kera.org. 

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