Winter came early, but the holiday season is only beginning to ramp up, with light displays, shopping events and model trains. As usual, DART gets your adventure under way, taking you to these awesome happenings.
Thursday, Nov. 14
Downtown Plano Art & Wine Walk is a great way to explore the neighborhood – an interesting mix of Ye Olde Towne Square and modern “new urban.” About 20 participating shops provide wine samples, and many offer special discounts. There’s a reason they call it the Downtown Plano Arts District: There’s a definite focus on artsy stuff, and there’s even live music. Check in as early as 5 p.m. at Event 1013 on 15th St. That’s right around the corner from Downtown Plano Station on the Red Line (which is also served by the Orange Line during weekday rush hour).
Friday, Nov. 15
Dallas Zoo Lights is a pretty spectacular display, with a million points of light (literally) outlining the zoo grounds and forming giant “topiaries” in the shapes of various animals. The elephants are especially cool. You can see them on select evenings through Jan. 5, and tonight is when they make their debut. Dallas Zoo Station is on the Red Line.
That Golden Girls Show: A Puppet Parody opened last night for a three-day run this weekend only. Fans of the classic TV show will recognize the Miami house with the ’80s décor – but may be surprised to find the characters portrayed, or rather parodied, with puppets. The show was a hit in New York, and even if you didn’t watch the TV show, you’ll find yourself time traveling to 1985. Jazzercise, anyone? It’s here, along with shoulder pads, cheesecake and wit to spare. Catch it as the Eisemann Center, right across a plaza from the Red Line’s Galatyn Park Station.
Sarah Tucker is a well-known soprano, and she performs tonight in Garland. The program includes works by Puccini and Skalkotta, among others. See the latest installment of the Garland Symphony Orchestra’s “Music That Grows on You” at the Granville Arts Center, directly adjacent to Downtown Garland Station on the Blue Line. You could make an evening of it with pre- or post-show dinner or drinks in the highly strollable neighborhood.
Saturday, Nov. 16
The Trains at North Park requires practically no introduction, but if you haven’t seen this seasonal delight, you’re in for a treat. Each year at NorthPark Center, more than 750 model railcars travel over something like a third of a mile of track. Their elaborate journey takes them through the Dallas skyline, New York City, Mount Rushmore, and a whole bunch of other iconic places. The spectacular display benefits Ronald McDonald House, and it opens today. You can see it through Jan. 5 by taking the Red Line to Park Lane Station and hopping on the NorthPark Shuttle (Bus Route 702).
Razz follows the life of legendary choreographer Bob Fosse as he fights for life after his third heart attack. Written by Ochre House Theater company member Mitchell Parrack and directed by Matthew Posey, the production is full of song, dance and vaudeville. Tonight’s the last night to see the creative, original theater company’s season opener. The Ochre House Theater is half a block up Exposition St. from the Green Line’s Fair Park Station. about at 825 Exposition Ave., half a block from the DART Rail station.
Illenium is an up-and-comer in the dance/electronica field. After several year of generating a buzz, he released a chart-topper this year, and his songs can likely be heard on a dance floor near you. See the Denver-based DJ at the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory. The venue is about a 10-minute walk from Irving Convention Center Station on the Orange Line.
Denton Holiday Open House is a chance to browse more than 40 eclectic store and restaurants on the funky college town’s courthouse square. The town square would be worth a visit by itself; knocking out some holiday shopping in a unique atmosphere is a great reason to take the A-train. And it almost goes without saying there will be live music at the event in this tuneful burg. Transfer to DCTA’s jazzily-named commuter rail service at Trinity Mills Station on the Green Line, and get off at the end of the line. That’s the Downtown Denton Transit Center. You’re basically there.
Sunday, Nov. 16
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is a family-friendly production with spectacular sets, intricate costumes, and the magic of Russian classical dance. At today’s 1 p.m. matinee, you’ll see soaring birds, giant puppets, and lots of other imaginative touches. The acclaimed ballet company performs at McFarlin Auditorium on the SMU campus. From Mockingbird Station, you can catch either the Museum Express (Route 743) or Bus Route 521 to get there.