Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Game Plan: Do the Holiday happening hop – THIS WEEKEND

Today Mother Nature did us all a favor – she threw us a little cold weather to remind some of us that it is CHRISTMAS. I know just because I had already done a little shopping and put up the ornaments, the cheer hadn’t gotten into gear. HOWEVER, once that chilly air hit this morning, we started putting together our GAME PLAN for hitting the holiday happenings this year with the kids. I don’t know if it seems like there were more this year than normal or everyone just stepped up their game, but here’s our four must-dos for the holidays this weekend. Yep, our plan is to try to conquer holiday all in one weekend! Here we go:

#1. Arlington Christkindl Market, Dec. 8 - 11:
No everyone, this is not a new event for Amazon’s newest techno toy, but a new FREE event in Arlington that is hopefully the start of something truly unique for Arlington AND DFW. Partnering with its Sister City in Germany, this Christkindl Market kicks off Thursday, Dec. 8 with a tree lighting with the mayor, fireworks display, free trolleys, free parking and oodles of fun including Brave Combo and other German acts. But for a little more insight, I refer to the official website: Arlington Christkindl Market is an enchanting family market in the tradition of those held throughout Germany during the Christmas season. Set up as an Old World- style charming festival, this outdoor market offers authentic German cuisine, beverages, entertainment, arts, crafts, exquisite unique ornaments, rare European crafts and holiday gifts and the opportunity to devour German delicacies like brats, goulash, potato pancakes, gingerbread, cookies, German beers and Gluhwein!

With all that in store (including my love for Gluhwein – I made that a few years ago and it was amazing), why wouldn’t you make this part of your holiday happenings? AND IT’s FREE TO ATTEND.

#2. Polar Express at the Omni, Dec. 10 & 17, Dec. 19-22:
This year will be our first year to sport our PJs in public for this annual event at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and I think I’m the most excited. What’s not to be amazing about Pjs, free hot chocolate and watching one of the best holiday movies with your tots? It’ll cost you a little bit, but that’s not bad for comfy seats and a good time.

#3. Holiday at Galleria Dallas:
One of the best parts of my job is knowing the ins and outs of some of the best and coolest things to do in DFW. This one is no exception. With the largest indoor Christmas tree in the U.S., you gotta at least come take a photo of the tree and come see the amazing skaters dancing around its base. But folks there’s lots, lots more! They’ve got Slappy’s Holiday Circus, free Nestle Toll-House cookies for the first 300 kids to see Santa (beginning at noon), and of course, there’s Missile Toes, the ice-skating Santa with fireworks, to boot. Personally, it’s the parking attendants in Santa gear and the beautiful red lights that get me all giddy, but I know the whole family will be delighted when we make this stopover.

#4. North Pole Express/Grapevine Train, Weekends in December:
We are huge fans of trains. Huge. All things train, we are on it, so this event is a must every year. We have made this a family tradition with another family as our gift to each other and made it a whole night in Grapevine with light shows, shopping and a wind down of our full day at Esparzas. Grapevine is the “Christmas Capital of Texas” they say, and with a train ride with Santa and lots of other holiday activities in one of the most lit-up downtown’s in DFW, we give this one “two thumbs up.” And if you have older kiddos looking for something cool to do, you can make a glass-blown ornament at Vetro for $25. We love it and you will too.

Whew. If we don’t feel the holidays this weekend, then we are doomed. So don’t be a Grinch this weekend and get out there and enjoy what 2011 has left with your family!

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