Ice sculpture wars, creepy crawlies and an old-fashioned Christmas: 7 things to do in Plano this weekend, Dec. 2-4

Lantern Light provides Heritage Farmstead Museum visitors the opportunity to recall holiday traditions from days gone by.

Lantern Light provides Heritage Farmstead Museum visitors the opportunity to recall holiday traditions from days gone by.

With the holiday season in full-swing, the city of Plano is full of fun and family-friendly events this weekend. From musical performances and festivals to learning about animals or treating the fur babies to a visit with Santa Claus, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The Men of Note Chorus presents: ‘The Polar Express’
Music lovers may “take a ride” on the Polar Express with the Men of Note Chorus, featuring traditional and contemporary holiday music in the A Cappella style. 8-10 p.m. (Fri.), 2-4 p.m. (Sat.). $15 (ages 10 and younger), $20 (adults). Courtyard Theater, 1509 H Ave., Plano. 888-288-3055. www.menofnote.org

Dickens Local restaurants will be on site for hungry festival-goers at Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano.[/caption]

Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano
Downtown Plano comes alive with the holiday spirit in this free and family-friendly event on Friday, complete with ice sculpture wars, wagon rides and live performances by country music duo Bruce Robinson and Kelly Willis at McCall Plaza. Food vendors will also be on site offering an assortment of tasty treats, including hot drinks, beer and wine, kettle corn, smoked turkey legs, fried fish and shrimp, and funnel cakes. The celebration starts at 5 p.m., followed by the official Haggard Park Tree Lighting at 7p.m., and the festivities last until 9:00 p.m. Santa Claus is set to arrive at 5:30 p.m.

Holiday Decor and Toys for Tots Collection
Southfork Ranch is decorated with festive holiday decor to celebrate the holiday season and is also collecting for Toys for Tots. Tours of Southfork are operating during normal hours beginning Dec. 1 and running until Dec. 30. The last guided tour of the day begins at 4:15 p.m. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (daily), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Christmas Eve). Free (ages 5 and younger), $9 (ages 6-12), $13 (ages 60 and older), $15 (adults). Southfork Ranch, 3700 Hogge Drive, Parker. 972-442-7800. www.southforkranch.com/events/toys-for-tots

Because pets are people too. Because pets are people too.[/caption]

Santa Paws
Well-mannered cats, dogs and other friendly pets are invited to spend time in the Grand Court on the lower level of the Shops at Willow Bend with Santa Claus in the Ice Palace and have photos taken to mark the occasion. All pets also receive a special treat from Santa. Pets must be on a leash or in a lightweight carrier and be up-to-date on shots. Pets are not allowed in the food court. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (daily, with periodic milk and cookie breaks). Free. The Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano. 972-202-4900.  www.shopwillowbend.com/events/santa-paws

Fantastic Creepy Crawlies
The Parr Library hosts the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday with their insects, tarantulas and snakes for an all-ages learning event. 3 p.m. Free. Parr Library, 6200 Windhaven Parkway, Plano. 972-769-4300. www.planolibrary.org

Lantern Light at the Heritage Farmstead Museum 
The Heritage Farmstead Museum’s annual holiday event returns for an “America’s Winter Wonderland” celebration on Saturday from 3-9 p.m. The event features special tours of the Farrel-Wilson House as well as children’s crafts, wagon rides, candle-dipping, historic demonstrations, storytelling, treats and opportunities to have your photo taken with Santa Claus. Historic magic lantern shows will take place every hour on the hour beginning at 4 p.m. in the Farmstead’s Young House. The museum is located at 1900 W. 15th St. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, visit www.heritagefarmstead.org or call 972-881-0140.

Deerfield Lights Display
Deerfield, located between Preston Road and Coit Road, will display holiday lights throughout December from 7-11 p.m. A tree lighting ceremony will kick off the lights display on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to donate to Children’s Medical Center’s Change for Children’s campaign and can purchase cocoa and treats from the Plano West golf team. A route map can be found herewww.deerfieldplano.org/page/616~250326/Holiday-Information


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