By Debbie Anderson November 3, 2021 January 21st, 2022 No Comments

Compiled by Meda Kessler and Babs Rodriguez


Grapevine’s downtown parade draws a huge crowd every year. Look for Santa to make an appearance in the final float. Photos courtesy of the city of Grapevine

Everything’s Coming Up Christmas in Grapevine

Grapevine calls itself the “Christmas Capital of Texas,” and it has every right to lay claim to that title. With 40 days of events, you’re bound to find the spirit somewhere. Two of the more popular events are the parades — one on land and one on water. The Twinkle Light Boat Parade on Lake Grapevine is a floating holiday festival that is visible all along the shoreline. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 4. The downtown Parade of Lights draws a crowd to see the more than 100 lighted floats and marching bands. Go early to find a parking spot. 7-9 p.m. Dec. 2

Oh, Tannenbaum

The lighting of the tree is one of those count-it-down moments beloved by young and old. The city of Southlake gets festive Nov. 20 when the switch is flipped in the Town Square. Flower Mound and Keller are waiting until the first week of December. Check each city’s website for more information.

The magic of Christmas lights up Southlake Town Square, where carriage rides are part of the fun. Photo courtesy of Visit Southlake

The Nutcracker

Get your ballet fix  with traditional and not-so-usual versions.
Avant Chamber Ballet With artistic editing, the Short and Suite version of the holiday classic from Apex Arts League is family-friendly. One night only, Nov. 18, at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church. Tickets apexartsleague.com

Faith Logan is Clara in the North Central Ballet’s outdoor production of The Nutcracker. Photo by Tiffany Campbell

North Central Ballet While COVID shut down most productions last season, NCB took the show on the road to an outdoor setting at Grapevine’s Meadowmere Park. It was so well-received that they’re doing it again this year. Expect beautiful backdrops and a memorable snow scene thanks to digital technology. Southlake’s Faith Logan again dances in the featured role of Clara. The performances run Dec. 3-5. Tickets nutcrackertickets.com

Texas Ballet Theater The curtain rises once again for TBT, which opens its season with the holiday chestnut. The first performance is Nov. 26 at Winspear Opera House in Dallas, with shows running through Dec. 5. The troupe moves to Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth for a Dec. 10-26 run. Looking for laughs? Check out the always popular Nutty Nutcracker on Dec. 17 in Fort Worth. Tickets texasballettheater.org/season

Paige Nyman as Clara watches her dreams come true  in the Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker. Photo by Steven Visneau

Drummers drum in one of 12 Christmas gazebos. Photos courtesy of Dallas Arboretum

Holiday at the Arboretum

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Road, dallasarboretum.org

The million-plus lights strung throughout the garden and trimming the historic DeGolyer House and a 30-foot-tall spruce tree at the heart of  everything will give your holiday spirit a jump-start. Visit the website for dates, times and more info on everything from visits with Santa in the European-inspired Christmas Village to a full and diverse slate of musical entertainment. Don’t miss the Marilyn and Ben Weber Family-sponsored Christmas Pyramid, a 23-foot-tall German Weihnachtspyramide, with handcarved elements and character movement on each level. Equally magical for all ages are the 25-foot-tall 12 Days of Christmas Gazebos. Other November and December offerings include Tasteful Tuesdays demonstrations of how to create centerpieces and seasonal arrangements. Timed tickets are required for entry to the garden, and those wishing to attend are encouraged to act quickly to reserve dates for their visits.


Ghosts of Southlake Past

Lonesome Dove Cemetery, 2380 Lonesome Dove Road, southlakehistory.org

Although the rowdier residents of the historic cemetery may not have rested in peace during last year’s pandemic break, the organizers of the popular tour thought it best to ghost the event for a year. Back again this year with even more spirited tales  — told by the ghosts themselves — the tour of the 170-year-old resting spot of settlers, Civil War veterans and other area ancestors is brought to life by ghostly re-enactors, including Southlake Mayor John Huffman and his wife, Elizabeth, high school drama students and local history enthusiasts. Visit the website for more information and a ticket link. Wear comfortable shoes. Tour times are 4:30 and 6 p.m. Nov. 13.

Re-enactor Kelsy Sager haunts a Lonesome Dove Cemetery tour. Photo courtesy of Southlake Historical Society


Turkey Trots

Runners of all talent levels can get a pre-feast workout on Thanksgiving as Dallas and Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trots return Nov. 25. The Dallas run is one of the largest multi-events in the country with something for everyone — kids, dogs and even those who want to attend virtually. The Fort Worth event turns 40 this year and is also kid- and dog-friendly. The costumes are always amusing, and everyone has a good time burning calories, working up a sweat and raising money for worthy causes.


Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

This “legendary” event, Jan. 14-Feb. 5, is back with a full lineup of livestock shows, rodeos, concerts and, of course, the auction finale. Events actually kick off Jan. 10 with the Chisholm Challenge Horse Show, where physically and mentally challenged equestrians from local therapeutic programs get to show off their equestrian skills and win prizes. It’s inspiring for participants and the audience. The All Western Parade (Jan. 15) always draws a crowd to downtown Fort Worth. There are numerous special events, too, such as fiddle showdowns, Sip & Shop wine tastings, a presentation of Zorro by Fort Worth Opera and much more. Wander through the barns and check out the livestock, everything from horses to rabbits. Rodeo events are held nightly. Schedule and tickets fwssr.com

Photo courtesy of FWSSR