Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night

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    Classes are complete, finals are out the door and holiday cheer has blown in – seemingly a few weeks earlier every year. Sure, the possibility of joining the hordes of shoppers piling through mall doors at 6:30 a.m is always an option. But if you rather enjoy your time off with family, friends and loved ones, check out these holiday festivities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

    DALLAS

    The Metroplex is not known for its snowy days and white Christmas’, but when you need an escape from the holiday hustle and bustle, skate over to the Galleria Dallas for a day of ice skating around one of the nation’s tallest Christmas trees. This location makes for a perfect inexpensive date, costing only $10 per person for admission and skate rentals. After an afternoon on the rink, window shopping at some 200 stores can fill the evening, while almost ten restaurants reside at the Galleria to complete your cravings.

    FORT WORTH

    On the usual Thursday or Friday night trip downtown to Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar or 8.0’s, don’t forget to make a stop at the 65-foot downtown Christmas tree on Main Street between 3rd and 4th streets. Grab some friends, have a few cocktails and dinner at Reata, and sing a couple of carols around the tree.

    When you wake up Saturday morning after your night out on the town, take some time to give back, and head over to the Fort Worth Zoo for 12 Days of Christmas: A Zoo Toy Drive. Visit numerous exotic animals, and bring a few gifts to support the zoo’s enrichment program.

    GRAPEVINE

    When you need an escape from your 15 extended family members, the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, north of D/FW Airport, offers the extravagant Lone Star Christmas celebration including over two million pounds of ice sculptures and live, music celebrations and performances. Not only does this getaway offer holiday excitement, but includes the rest and relaxation so many need this time of year. Visitors can experience the 25,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, or swing your clubs on its 18-hole golf course.

    ARLINGTON

    The idea of waiting in long lines in 100 degree Texas heat always makes me hesitant to attend most amusement parks, but a cool day at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington makes for an eventful day with the family during the holiday season. “Holiday in the Park” features the always thrilling rides and roller coasters with the added spirit of lights, decorations, and even a snow hill with real snow. Adrenaline junkies and family members can purchase special one-day holiday tickets online for $22.99.

    The holiday season, while intended to be a time of relaxation and fun with family, becomes stressful and exhausting for many people. So take some time out of the usual schedule, grab your friends and family, and get away to a few of Dallas/Fort Worth’s holiday offerings.

    For more information on these locations visit: www.dallasgalleria.com, www.fortworthzoo.com, www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylordtexan or www.sixflags.com.