It’s the most wonderful time of the year! From Christmas markets to lights to hot chocolate, we have a list of our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays around North Texas.
This family favorite is back at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine with the theme “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The display features two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures and five ice slides, bringing to live the favorite Christmas poem. ICE! will be open Nov. 10-Jan. 1. Click the link above for ticket information.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AT THE DALLAS ARBORETUM
Glass gazebos filled with whimsical scenes depicting the 12 Days of Christmas, plus the already beautiful setting of the Dallas Arboretum? Count us in! This year there will be Santa sightings, live reindeer, and over 500,000 lights throughout the gardens. A special exhibit — the “Nutcracker Suite” — will feature over 800 nutcracker figures at the DeGolyer House. The event runs from Nov. 4 to Jan. 8. Admission is $10 for children ages 3-12 and $15 for adults. Click the link above for discount information.
The City of Richardson is getting into the holiday spirit with a FREE “virtual winter wonderland,” complete with lighting displays and mini gingerbread-style houses! Expect pictures with Santa and live performances from local musicians, dance groups, and choirs every night. The event is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from Dec. 2-Dec. 17. Click the link above for more information.
HOLIDAY IN THE PARK AT SIX FLAGS
Our local amusement park’s tribute to the holidays is another family favorite! From Nov. 17-Jan. 7, Six Flags will be decked out with lights, visits from Santa, and even a hill made of snow! Click the link above for ticket information.
Lewisville is ringing in the holiday season with its Old Town Holiday Stroll in Wayne Ferguson Plaza Nov. 18 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. The FREE event features a winter carnival, live performances, and the city’s tree-lighting ceremony. It’s all followed by a movie in the plaza — “The Polar Express”! Click the link above for more information.
The Trains at NorthPark display celebrates 30 years of benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. The trains will be set up from Nov. 18-Jan. 7. Click the link above for ticket information.
Travel back in time as you wander through a display of what Bethlehem looked like 2,000 years ago when Christ was born. Hosted by the Central Presbyterian Church of Waxahachie, you can visit Bethlehem Dec. 1-3 and Dec. 8-10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at 402 North College Street in Waxahachie. Click the link above for more information.
Head to Fair Park in Dallas Nov. 21-Jan. 7 to enjoy this family-friendly celebration! Two million lights will bring to life your holiday favorites — including the 12 Days of Christmas, polar bears, and penguins! Did we mention an arctic slide and real snowballs? Click on the link above for ticket information!
Get a little shopping done while getting in the spirit (and giving to a good cause) with the 40th annual Chi Omega Christmas Market. More than 10,000 people are expected to show up for this year’s market at Fair Park in Dallas Nov. 15-18. Admission is $15 and tickets can be bought online, at the door, or at DFW-area Tom Thumb stores. Click the link above for more information.
Arlington Globe Life Park will turn into a Texas-sized Christmas market extravaganza with the annual Texas Christkindl Market, featuring local vendors, seasonal eats, and even ice skating! Oh, and there may or may not be the world’s largest light maze. Check it out Nov. 24-Dec. 31. Admission begins at $29.95. Click the link above for more information.
LINK: More holiday gift markets
Enjoy this FREE Hannukah market and family-friendly event at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center on Dec. 10. There will be shopping, crafts, food, and fun! Click the link above for more information.
Temple Emenu-el will hold its annual Hannukah choir concert at Northpark Center, featuring old favorites and new fun songs sung by youth and adult choirs. The FREE concert is Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. Click the link above for more information.
CHANUKAH MENORAH LIGHTING
Head to the Dallas Galleria Dec. 12-20 to watch a custom-designed Menorah light up each night of Chanukah at sunset. Click the link above for information on this FREE event.
IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS
Catch this amazing classic on stage in Fort Worth and Dallas this holiday season. The “White Christmas” tour will stop at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth Nov. 14-19, and then Dallas Summer Musicals Dec. 5-10. Click the link above for ticket information and get ready to sing your heart out!
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL
Everyone’s favorite TV special hits the stage in musical form Nov 21-22 at Bass Performance Hall. See the Abominable Snow Monster, Santa, and Mrs. Claus — plus your other favorite characters — in this charming holiday performance. Click the link above for ticket information.
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will play all of your favorite Christmas tunes Nov. 24-26 at Bass Performance Hall. Conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya will lead the orchestra, accompanied by performances by the Arlington High School Chamber Singers, the Lone Star Youth Chorus of Fort Worth, the Paschal High School Panther Chorale, and the Summit High School Jaguar Chorale. Click the link above for ticket information.
Head to the Wyly Theatre Nov. 22-Dec. 28 to enjoy the classic “A Christmas Carol,” starring Brad Leland (Buddy Garrity from the show “Friday Night Lights”) as Ebenezer Scrooge. The show has been put on by the Dallas Theater Center for over three decades, so you might say they’re the experts in this holiday favorite. Click the link above for ticket information.
Anything Dr. Seuss on the stage = amazing props and costumes! The classic Christmas favorite is coming to the Winspear Opera House in Dallas Dec. 5-17. You’ll hear the hit songs “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” in the musical the New York Times calls “joyously wicked and funny.” Click the link above for ticket information.
DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CHRISTMAS POPS
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra returns with its annual concert featuring all of our favorite Christmas songs. Conducted by Lawrence Loh and joined by the Dallas Symphony Chorus and The Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas (during matinee shows), the Christmas Pops concert Dec. 1-17 will be one you can’t miss this holiday season! Click the link above for ticket information.
This Christmas classic comes back to the stage in Dallas and Fort Worth for an entire month this holiday season! The ballet will be performed at Winspear Opera House in Dallas Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 1-3. It’ll be at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth Dec. 8-10, Dec. 14, Dec. 16-17, Dec. 20-24. Click the link above to buy tickets.
They’re back! Catch the always amazing Trans-Siberian Orchestra Dec. 22 at 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Click the link above to buy tickets.
STARLIGHT SYMPHONY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
This festive music and lights show (with free carriage rides) is coming to Crockett Row at West 7th Street in Fort Worth this holiday season. The family-friendly event will turn Crockett Row into a “glowing wonderland” with a light show Dec. 1-31. Carriage rides are taking place on Friday and Saturday evenings, with Santa visits scheduled for Dec. 9 and Dec. 23. Click the link above for the full schedule of events!
Who wouldn’t want to check out holiday lights with some delicious hot cocoa and premium chocolates? Dallas By Chocolate is offering a special Christmas tour between Nov. 24-Dec. 30(except Christmas Eve and Christmas), where you’ll visit top local dessert venues in Dallas before admiring some amazing neighborhood Christmas light displays. The tour lasts three to four hours and costs $43. Click the link above for more information.
Fort Worth’s Sundance Square will light up its 65-foot concolor fir Christmas Tree during a family-friendly event on Nov. 18 starting at 5:30 p.m. The tree will be decorated with 10,000 LED lights — powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The FREE event will include an official countdown to the tree lighting, a visit from Santa Claus, and live music. Click the link above for more information.
Head to Vitruvian Park in Addison Nov. 24-Jan. 1 and witness the spectacular colored lights, along with live performances, festive food, and FREE visits with Santa! Click the link above for more information.
The 35th annual XTO Energy Parade of Lights in Fort Worth is always a favorite! The FREE parade will feature hundreds of giant illuminated floats and balloons, never seen before and ready to wow the crowds. The parade begins at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19. Click the link above for a map and info about reserved seating.
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY’S GIFT OF LIGHTS
The largest drive-thru light park in Texas is back! Texas Motor Speedway’s Gift of Lights will return Nov. 23-Dec. 30, featuring more than 150 new displays. Admission is $25-$55. Click the link above for details.
This annual twinkling drive-through light display in Grand Prairie is always fun. Open nightly from Thanksgiving through Dec. 31, Prairie Lights features four million lights and hundreds of custom displays along a two-mile path. Admission is $35 per car during the week and $45 on weekends. Click the link above for more information.
DENTON HOLIDAY LIGHTING FESTIVAL
The beautiful Denton square will be decked out in holiday decor at this annual event on Dec. 1. From 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., you can enjoy the FREE festival featuring live local music, family fun, great food, and the lighting of the square’s Christmas tree. Organizers ask that your bring a toy for the Elves Shelves toy drive. Click the link above for more information.
The City of Allen will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting as it turns the switch on its 35-foot tree featuring more than 20,000 lights. This family friendly event is FREE and will be held Dec. 1from 6 to 8 p.m. at 301 Century Parkway. Click the link above for more information.
CHRISTMAS ON THE SQUARE (GARLAND)
The City of Garland is hosting its annual tree lighting downtown with an event that includes snow tubing, Santa visits, craft vendors, train rides, and more! Head to the Downtown Garland Square at 200 N. Fifth Street on Thursday, Dec. 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Click the link above for more information.
CHRISTMAS IN THE SQUARE (FRISCO)
They had us at snow flurries! From Nov. 24-Dec. 31, you can catch the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show that draws more than 750,000 people every year to Frisco’s downtown square. The FREE show runs every night from 6 to 10 p.m. And guess what? Guests will see “snow flurries” every 15 minutes on Fridays and Saturdays! Click the link above for more information.
Get lost in the world’s largest light maze at Globe Life Park Nov. 24-Dec. 31! There will be an ice skating rink and more than two acres of a lit-up maze. When you’re done, walk and shop through the Texas Christkindl Market (info under Markets) and sip on some holiday-themed drinks! Click the link above for ticket information.
Celebrate the holidays with the City of Irving’s annual party, the Holiday Extravaganza, which features a parade through the Heritage District and a tree-lighting ceremony outside Irving City Hall on Dec. 2, followed by fireworks! The FREE event begins with the parade kicking off at 4 p.m. Click the link above for more information.
Celebrate the holidays at The Star in Frisco, complete with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and Dallas Cowboys entertainment! Photos with Santa are being held Nov. 18-Dec. 24 and the tree lighting ceremony will take place Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. Check out the Cowboys Christmas Spectacular — a weekly holiday performance by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancers & Drumline — every Friday and Saturday night between Nov. 24-Dec. 22. Click the link above for more information.
‘TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING
Head to Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Dec. 2 to enjoy this holiday festival — which includes a 5K run and 1-mile walk while wearing a five-piece Santa Claus suit! There will be hot chocolate, live music, and free food — just don’t get it caught in your beard! Click the link above to register.
WFAA’s Santa’s Helpers is celebrating 48 years of collecting holiday toys for children throughout North Texas. We’ll be hosting toy drives on Dec. 5 in Colleyville, Dec. 7 in McKinney, Dec. 11 in Fort Worth, Dec. 12 in Arlington, and Dec. 15 in Dallas. Click the link above for more information.
Have events to add to the list? Email us.