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Art&Seek Jr: Weekend Festivities to Jump Start Your Holiday Spirit 26

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself.  Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

December is upon us, and that means the holidays are in full swing. Hopefully you’ve had time to put up the tree, decorate the house and put out anything peppermint scented to invite in the holiday season. That being said, if you’d like to take a break from marking gifts off of your shopping list, there are plenty of events to go see that the entire family will enjoy.

Enjoy the small town feel at Denton's annual holiday lighting event this Friday. Photo: Bellissimo Foto

Enjoy the small town feel at Denton’s annual holiday lighting event this Friday. Photo: Bellissimo Foto

One of the coolest things about the holidays is tradition of lights that brighten up the cities in the DFW area. However, if you and your kids want a breather from the city, stop by the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival on December 4th for a unique and genuine small town celebration. This annual event features a variety of food from local vendors, photos with Santa ($7), horse drawn wagon rides ($5, under two free) and more fun for the family to celebrate the traditional lighting of Denton’s Historic Square.

If you’re looking for another small town celebration, there’s the Farmers Branch Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday at Farmers Branch Historical Park. This free event will feature the lighting of the Farmers Branch Christmas tree, visits from Santa, activities for the kids and cookies with hot chocolate. You can also take a tour inside the historical structures, which also happen to be decorated in each structure’s respective Christmas year.

One of my favorite things about the holiday season, besides the gift of giving, is the music. Luckily, if you’re like me, there’s the Reliant Lights Your Holidays concert and celebration at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Saturday night. Performances include The Polyphonic Spree, Bubba Hernandez y los Super Vatos, and cast members of the national tour of Jersey Boys. All these cool groups will be putting their own spin on holiday classics. For the little kiddles there will be pictures with Santa, fireworks, and of course, lots and lots of lights. Best of all? This event is totally free.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn about Swedish holiday culture, head over to the Swedish Yule Bazaar and Lucia Celebration on December 5 to discover the legend of St. Lucia, a Swedish symbol of light and hope. 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.

Come early to the Dallas Children's Health Holiday parade and you might make a friend or two. Photo: Therese Powell

Come early to the Dallas Children’s Health Holiday parade and you might make a friend or two. Photo: Therese Powell

Nothing compares to the way parades kick off festivities, so take your family out to the Children’s Health Holiday Parade on the streets of downtown Dallas on Saturday morning. Your children will enjoy the marching bands, giant balloons, and floats (one of them featuring Santa himself!) while also celebrating healthy children everywhere. Before you head out, be sure to check the route for the parade and get there early — 7 a.m. is recommended for non-ticket holders — to get great seats!

There’s an abundance of musicals and performances that pop up during the holidays, and this year will not disappoint. Frosty the Snowman is back at Casa Manana to put smiles back on everyone’s face. The musical lasts through the 23rd, so be sure to take your family out to stop and see everyone’s favorite snowman.

Remember the lamp with the leg? Another holiday classic, A Christmas Story, will be performed at Allen’s Community Theatre through the 20th. Everything you remember from the movie shifts over to the stage, so come laugh with Ralphie and the gang while they spend time at a not-so-typical family Christmas.

Musicals are showing left and right this holiday season and that still reigns true for Meet Me in St. Louis at the Repertory Company Theatre. The performance will run December 4th-13th and will feature all  film has to offer, including the classic tune “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and more!

Celebrate the holiday classic, ‘The Polar Express’ at the Polar Express Pajama Party at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The entire family can drink hot chocolate, meet Santa, sing with carolers, and create winter-y arts and crafts. After the party head into the theater to to watch ‘The Polar Express: An IMAX Experience.’ It all happens this weekend and again on Dec. 12.

Families of children with special needs can meet Santa this Sunday at the Galleria. Photo: Galleria Dallas

Families of children with special needs can meet Santa this Sunday at the Galleria. Photo: Galleria Dallas

It’s time to get that list together and make a trip to visit Santa. For families of children with special needs, Santa Cares at Galleria Dallas will be hosting private visits with the jolly old elf this Sunday morning at 9 a.m.  The session will be be set up to help support the functional and developmental needs of those with special needs.