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Art&Seek Jr: Get Merry With These Free Seasonal Events 15

Ready or not, the fa-la-la-season is upon us. Whether or not we’re jolly about it is a question up for debate. I don’t know why, but every year it seems the time between Halloween and Christmas gets shorter and shorter. The idea that Christmas is just a little over a month away has left me in a bit of a tizzy. I walk around proclaiming to whoever will listen, “Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!” like Rainman. Clearly, I need to take a chill pill (or a big ol’ swig of eggnog) and relax.

Don’t let the holiday crazies take the fun out of the season. Check out these FREE events guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit.

Photo: Bellissimo Foto

If you’re looking for a holiday event that that’s both picturesque and old-fashioned (in a good way), you don’t have to look any further than Denton’s Holiday Lighting Festival. This unique and genuine small-town celebration that happens Friday night, Dec. 1 on Denton’s Historic Square, is far prettier than any holiday card you’ll receive this season. It features food from local vendors, musical and dance presentations, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa, and, of course, the traditional lighting of Denton’s Historic Square. The Holiday Lighting coincides with another Denton holiday tradition–Wassail Weekend. That’s when downtown merchants stir up their favorite Wassail recipe (a fancy word for hot cider) and serve it to tasters on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Tasting is free and open to all.

Photo: Dallas Holiday Parade

Hooray! The 31st Annual Dallas Holiday Parade is happening this Saturday in downtown Dallas!  This parade, which draws an estimated 500,000 spectators, is guaranteed to fill you to the tippy top with holiday spirit. It includes marching bands, giant helium balloons, spectacular floats, and unique performances. Our personal favorites are the clowns that entertain the crowds before the start of the parade. Here are a few tips before you go: 1. Get there early. Parking can be challenging and all the good viewing areas get snapped up, so plan to arrive an hour and 1/2 before the parade starts. 2. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit on (little tushies don’t like sitting on cold pavement). 3. Lastly, dress warmly. Yes, I know the high for Saturday is a toasty 68 degrees, but the parade starts at 10 a.m. and it’ll be a lot cooler then, so bring a warm sweater just in case.

Photo: AT&T Performing Arts Center

After the parade, grab your tribe and mosey over to Klyde Warren Park to celebrate the season at their 2018 Holiday Show and Tree Lighting. The day-long festivities include music, children’s activities, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus and demonstrations from arts organizations. The celebration culminates with a special live show featuring Christmas music, the arrival of Santa Claus and the tree lighting. Following the park’s tree lighting head over to the AT&T Performing Arts Center where the Reliant Lights Your Holidays festivities will be underway. Besides the millions of twinkling lights illuminating the AT&T campus, there will also be a huge fireworks display and performances by Sheila E. and the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico.

Photo: Swedish Women’s Educational Association Dallas

Experience traditions from other countries this Saturday. First, there’s the annual St. Lucia celebration and Yule Bazaar  Saturday morning at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. You’ll learn all about the legend of St. Lucia, a Swedish symbol of light and hope. She comes on the darkest day of the year with singing, feasting, and the spirit of friendship and goodwill towards all. The event starts with a candlelit procession of St. Lucia and her attendants. She enters the sanctuary accompanied by traditional Swedish choral music. The kids can enjoy Swedish crafts, you can drink some Swedish coffee and the entire family can try a variety of Swedish food and sweets. Next, there’s the Deutscher Weihnachtsmarkt, or German Christmas Market Saturday afternoon at the German International School in Farmers Branch. You and your kinder can enjoy a short performance by the students of the school and then say “Guten Tag!” to St. Nikolaus. There will be German food and drinks, German Christmas books, and German handmade arts and crafts for sale at the market.

Photo: The Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir

Discover the true meaning of Christmas at ‘The Littlest Wiseman,’ a play pageant of the Nativity at the W.E. Scott Theatre in Fort Worth. This show is presented as a Christmas gift to the community by The Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir through a grant from the Walsh Foundation. Admission is free, but performances sell out quickly so be sure to reserve your tickets ASAP.

For a list of even more holiday events CLICK HERE.