Toot! Toot! Your attention, please! The Christmas train is pulling out of the station! I repeat, the Christmas train is pulling OUT of the station! It’s about this time of the year I realize if I’m going to be on the C Express, I’d better get a move on. All that grumbling in November about Christmas preparations starting too early has made me really wish …well…that I had started preparing earlier.
Let’s face it, we all have that picture in our head about how the holiday season should go. A leisurely afternoon trimming the tree complete with steaming mugs of cocoa and smiling children. There are also cookies baking in the oven, carolers at the door, and a bounty of perfectly selected and wrapped presents sitting under the tree. Here’s the reality at my house: a half decorated tree, a sick kid camped out on the couch, and science fair paraphernalia littered all over the living room–because the week before Christmas is the perfect time to hold a science fair.
If you’re feeling stressed about having too much to do and not enough time to do it, put the brakes on the rush, rush, rush and slow things down with one of these family-friendly events. Not only are they stress-free and extra festive, but they’ll also make you forget about the half-decorated tree for a little while.
Head to Crockett Row at West 7th in Fort Worth for Starlight Symphony a festive winter experience where the district is transformed into a twinkling wonderland with an hourly 5-minute music & lights show. This Friday and Saturday evening you can take a free horse-drawn carriage ride around Crockett Row and listen to local choirs, vocalists and musicians perform from Crockett Square. Other fun activities include games, a DJ, and a special appearance from Santa.
Speaking of rush, rush, rush, I’d like to think I’d never accidentally leave one of my kids at home alone during a family vacation, but hey, December’s not over yet. Experience the hilarious adventures of Kevin McAllister in a whole new way when the Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents, ‘Home Alone: Holiday Movie in Concert.’ Hear renowned composer John Williams’ memorable score performed live by the DSO while the holiday classic film plays. The fun happens this Thursday and Friday at the beautiful Meyerson Symphony Center.
Abandon all the flash and sparkle for something quieter this holiday season–an Owl Prowl at Trinity River Audubon Center. If you’re thinking an owl prowl is more Halloweeny than Christmas, think again. You and your family can explore the peaceful Great Trinity Forest after the sun sets and learn about nocturnal animals and how they have adapted to the night life. A guide will help you search and call for native owl species. The night ends with the wintery treat of roasting s’mores over the fire. Don’t forget to dress warmly and to bring your flashlight.
Still looking for the perfect present for granny? Kids can help create a unique present at Vetro Glassblowing Studio’s Tradition Ornament event. Participants choose colors from four pre-selected mixes, apply the colors to the hot molten glass, and then watch a professional glassblower finish the one-of-a-kind ornament. Reservations are not required and are on a first come, first served basis through Dec. 23. Families and friends are encouraged to come watch and take photos in the stadium seating area of the studio. One last thing – because your ornament needs to cool down slowly, it won’t be available for pick-up until the following business day after 3 p.m.
Last, but certainly not least, if you’re the type of person that loves to sing ‘Jingle Bells’ out loud for everyone to hear, you definitely don’t want to miss TubaChristmas, an out-of-the-ordinary and extra Christmasy free concert. Now in its 43rd year, TubaChristmas isn’t just any holiday concert, it’s a concert composed entirely of tubas and euphoniums–over 200 at last count– that play traditional carols with a fabulous oompa-oompapa beat. You can see TubaChristmas at Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas at noon on Dec. 23. Don’t forget to bring your funny hats and jingle bells.