The top places to see Christmas lights and other holiday displays in Dallas-Fort Worth

Friends take a selfie at Vitruvian Lights at Vitruvian Park.(Juan Figueroa / Staff photographer)

Find sparkling displays and attractions across North Texas.

Driving around looking at Christmas lights is a great way to stay socially distant and catch some cheer. So it’s a good thing that the holidays in Dallas-Fort Worth are always bright with sparkling light displays. Old favorites are returning — some with upgrades — and there’s a handful of new drive-through displays. Here’s a roundup of places to gawk at holiday lights and some other visuals that might jingle your bells.

‘Cheer!’

Interact with photoworthy moments of holiday cheer during the Joule Hotel’s site-specific exhibition. The show’s four installations were created by women and artists of color, including Jessica Bell, Jennifer Wester, Chloe Curiel and others. Groups of up to eight people can reserve 20-minute time slots to visit the display in the Joule’s Hotel Shop.

Through Jan. 2, Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Joule, 1530 Main St., Dallas. $20, $5 for children 10 and younger. 1530main.com.

Christmas in the Square

FREE More than 180,000 lights blink to holiday music in downtown Frisco. Visitors can drive through and tune their radios to 107.3 FM for the holiday soundtrack. For those who’d like to walk through the display, music will be played on speakers throughout the square. The event also features the Skate the Square outdoor ice rink through Jan. 4, which costs $15 per person, including skate rental.

Nov. 27-Jan. 4, nightly from 6 to 10 at Frisco Square, Main Street and Coleman Boulevard, Frisco. Free admission; some attractions require a fee. friscosquare.com/cits.

The Colony Christmas Spectacular

FREE Illuminated trees and a lightshow set to music playing on 99.9 FM are presented nightly outside the Central Fire Station.

Dec. 5-Jan. 4, Sundays through Thursdays from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 to 10:50 p.m. at the Central Fire Station, 4900 Blair Oaks Drive, The Colony. Free. visitthecolonytx.com.

The Dallas Zoo Lights display includes silk-covered, animal-shaped lanterns that, for 2020, will be presented as a drive-through event.
The Dallas Zoo Lights display includes silk-covered, animal-shaped lanterns that, for 2020, will be presented as a drive-through event.(Juan Figueroa / Staff photographer)

Dallas Zoo Lights

This year, the Dallas Zoo’s display of 1 million lights and silk-covered, animal-shaped lanterns is presented as a drive-through experience set to a radio soundtrack of holiday tunes and greetings. There are also a few additions, including an ice palace in the drive- through and a walk-through Holiday Village with photo ops, snacks and souvenirs. Face coverings are required when visiting restrooms and the Holiday Village and interacting with zoo staff.

Nov. 20-Jan. 3 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on select nights at the Dallas Zoo, 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas. $65 per car. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. dallaszoo.com/zoolights.

Galleria Dallas

FREE Towering in the middle of a skating rink at Galleria Dallas stands what is described as America’s tallest indoor Christmas tree, sparkling with nearly half a million lights and more than 10,000 ornaments. Starting Nov. 27, the tree’s daily Illumination Celebration light shows will be set to music. There will be only one Grand Tree Lighting event this year. On Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m., see celebrity skaters, holiday characters and others perform around the tree. Advance tickets will be required. New this year is Snowday Dallas, a holiday-themed, multiroom immersive photo experience. It will be open Nov. 20-Jan. 3, and tickets are $22, $20 for seniors and $8 for children 4-12; ages 3 and under are admitted free. Family festivities are scheduled throughout the season, including a streamlined Chamberlain Ballet performance of a portion of The Nutcracker on Nov. 21 at 9 a.m., Breakfast With Santa on select Sundays at American Girl Boutique and Bistro, and menorah lightings nightly during Hanukkah, Dec. 10-18.

The tree is up through Jan. 3 at Galleria Dallas, 13350 Dallas Parkway. See the website for a detailed schedule and ticketing information. Free. galleriadallas.com.

At the Galleria Dallas, shoppers can gaze at — and ice skate around — what may be America’s tallest indoor Christmas tree.
At the Galleria Dallas, shoppers can gaze at — and ice skate around — what may be America’s tallest indoor Christmas tree. (Nathan Hunsinger / Staff Photographer)

Gift of Lights

Texas Motor Speedway turns into a winter wonderland for this annual drive-through attraction, which stretches 2 miles and features millions of LED lights. Santa’s Village and associated activities will not be open this year, but organizers say they’re adding even more lights to last year’s nearly 3 million. Restrooms will not be available.

Nov. 26-Jan. 3, Sundays through Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m. at 3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth. $30 per car or truck, $50-$60 for larger vehicles. giftoflightstexas.com.

Grapevine Attractions

FREE Visit downtown Grapevine for four holiday displays. Daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Chilly Dawgs, a group of animated snowmen, will be at Grapevine Main Plaza, and the Town Square Gazebo will have a 40-foot animated singing Christmas tree and a Whoville exhibit with cutouts for photo ops and snow flurries falling every evening. Starting at dusk, watch the City Hall Light Show Spectacular, featuring sparkling lights choreographed to holiday music.

Nov. 23-Jan. 10 at spots around the historic downtown square, 431 S. Main St., Grapevine. Free. grapevinetexasusa.com/christmas.

The Dallas Arboretum's “The 12 Days of Christmas” display is now open for day and nighttime viewing.
The Dallas Arboretum’s “The 12 Days of Christmas” display is now open for day and nighttime viewing.(Lynda M. González / Staff Photographer)

Holiday at the Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum’s highlight of the season is the “12 Days of Christmas” holiday exhibit, which features a dozen elaborate outdoor vignettes depicting scenes from the classic Christmas carol of the same name. Attend during daylight hours or after dark, when the stunning gardens will be illuminated by 1 million twinkling lights. Special programming throughout the season includes Santa visits on select dates, holiday teas and dinners and the return of the Christmas Village in the style of a traditional European Christkindlmarkt, opening Nov. 27. For 2020, the Christmas Village will feature a 23-foot-tall, handcrafted, German-built wooden Christmas pyramid. Masks are required for ages 5 and older.

Through Dec. 31 at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special nighttime hours are offered through Nov. 25 on Wednesdays throughSundays from 6 to 9 p.m., and also Nov. 27-Dec. 30 on Sundays through Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Thursdays through Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m. Daytime admission: $10-$12 Nov. 20 and $12-$17 Nov. 21-Dec. 31. Always free for children under 2. Parking is $10 in advance. Nighttime admission: $10-$20 through Nov. 25 and $11-$25 Nov. 27-Dec. 30. Parking is included with nighttime admission. dallasarboretum.org.

Six Flags Over Texas will be filled with millions of twinkling lights.
Six Flags Over Texas will be filled with millions of twinkling lights.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

Holiday in the Park

The holiday spirit comes to Six Flags Over Texas as the park offers seasonal fun such as sledding down a snow hill and shopping at a holiday market with fireside s’mores and other treats for sale. The park will also offer seasonal performances outdoors, photos with Santa (by reservation only) and, of course, lots of rides.

Nov. 21-Dec. 23 on select days at Six Flags Over Texas, 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington. $19.99-$39.99, free for kids 2 and younger. Upgrades available on the website. Parking is $30. sixflags.com/overtexas.

Journey of Lights

The 21-acre campus of St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano will host a new immersive Christmas experience. It will include a Christmas village, lighted trees, a snowfall lane, a giant advent calendar, visits by Santa and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 16 and 19, costumed characters, a live Nativity on the island in the pond and Light in the Darkness, a 30-minute light show synchronized to music by St. Andrew Choirs and Imperial Brass, accompanied by musicians and actors performing live. Seating will be available.

Dec. 11-19, nightly from 6 to 9 at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano. $5, free for ages 2 and younger. standrewumc.org/Christmas.

“Yuletide Bright” is a new outdoor walk-through exhibit at the Gaylord Texan this year, featuring holiday-themed Christmas lanterns and lights.
“Yuletide Bright” is a new outdoor walk-through exhibit at the Gaylord Texan this year, featuring holiday-themed Christmas lanterns and lights.(Courtesy Gaylord Texan)

Lone Star Christmas

The Gaylord Texan’s annual holiday celebration includes 2 million lights decorating its atriums, a 54-foot Christmas tree with a light show set to holiday music, a large outdoor skating rink, an eight-lane snow tubing hill and a Christmas carousel. Usually the event’s centerpiece is the “Ice!” exhibit of carved ice sculptures, but this year, COVID-19 restrictions on international travel kept the Chinese ice sculptors away. In its place, the Gaylord will have “I Love Christmas Movies,” an interactive walk-through perfect for photos, and “Yuletide Bright,” an outdoor walk-through exhibit of holiday-themed Christmas lanterns and lights.

Through Jan. 3 at the Gaylord Texan, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine. Viewing the atrium decorations is free; prices for other activities vary. Some tickets are timed, and some prices vary by date. “I Love Christmas Movies” is $23.99-$31.99, $21.99-$29.99 for ages 55 and older, $14.99- $20.99 for children 4-11. “Yuletide Bright” is $15, $10 for children 4-11. Children 3 and younger are admitted free. christmasatgaylordtexan.com.

Luminova Holidays

This new display at Globe Life Field features nearly 3 million lights and holiday displays along a trail. There will also be visits from Santa, mini train rides for kids, food and drink for sale and an outdoor skating pond ($10 per person, including skates).

Nov. 20-Jan. 3, on select nights at Globe Life Field, 734 Stadium Drive, Arlington. $24.99-$29.99 for ages 13-64, $14.99-$19.99 for ages 4-12 and seniors 65 and older, free for children 3 and younger. Parking is $10 online, $15 at the event. On Dec. 3-12, Luminova Holidays will be open only to National Finals Rodeo ticket holders. luminovaholidays.com.

The Magic of Lights at the Lakefront

Drive through more than a mile of holiday light displays at Little Elm Park. Santa will wave to visitors on select nights. On Dec. 5, the park will close to drivers so walkers can enjoy the display while attending Little Elm’s parade, tree lighting and fireworks.

Nov. 20-Jan. 2, nightly from 6 to 10 at Little Elm Park, 701 W. Eldorado Parkway, Little Elm. $23-$80 per vehicle, depending on size and capacity. littleelm.org.

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and its tree-dotted grounds will be illuminated for the season.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and its tree-dotted grounds will be illuminated for the season.(Courtesy The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth)

The Modern Lights

FREE The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and its tree-dotted grounds will be illuminated for the season. Most days, the museum closes before dark, but it’s open Fridays until 8 p.m. Gallery admission is free all day on Fridays.

Nov. 27-Jan. 17, nightly from 5 to midnight at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth. Free to view the lights. themodern.org/modern-lights.

NorthPark Center

“The Trains at NorthPark” model train exhibit is still chugging this year, with more than 700 railcars and 1,600 feet of tracks amid elaborate scenes such as cityscapes, national landmarks and, of course, holiday displays. NorthPark’s beloved decor, including a Santa, sleigh and reindeer made from pecans, will be on display beginning Nov. 27, and there will be a new exhibit of trees decorated with origami ornamentsin December. But many other holiday hallmarks will be virtual only, including visits with Santa, Scrooge puppet shows and performances by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Find out more at northparkcenter.com/holiday.

“The Trains at NorthPark” is on display through Jan. 3 on Level 2 between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom at NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas. Mondays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays noon to 6 p.m. Holiday hours vary; closed Nov. 26 and Dec. 25. $10, $5 for children 2-12 and seniors 65 and up, free for children younger than 2. thetrainsatnorthpark.com.

The Trains at NorthPark toy train exhibit features scenes from local and national landscapes.
The Trains at NorthPark toy train exhibit features scenes from local and national landscapes.(Ben Torres – Special Contributor)

Prairie Lights

Four million lights twinkle along a 2-mile path at this drive-through holiday attraction, which will offer new displays in shapes of all kinds. The grand finale will be a redesigned tunnel of lights. The Holiday Village and its activities such as photos with Santa will not be open this year. Drive-through concessions and restrooms will be available.

Nov. 26-Dec. 31, nightly from 6 to 10 at Lynn Creek Park, 5610 Lake Ridge Parkway, Grand Prairie. Admission starts at $30 per car. Fast passes start at $99. prairielights.org.

Radiance: A Holiday Light Spectacular

These three new Christmas lights drive-throughs, in Frisco, Weatherford and Decatur, are each about a mile long with 2 million lights set to holiday songs accessible via the radio. Admission is $30 per vehicle holding eight or fewer passengers. VIP tickets are available for $50 and include VIP entry, hot chocolate and special viewing glasses for kids. Food, drinks and novelty gift items will be for sale. Restrooms will not be available.

Through Jan. 3, nightly starting at 5:30 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark, 7300 Roughriders Trail, Frisco; Parker County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Grounds, 2251 Mineral Wells Highway, Weatherford; and Joe Wheeler Park, 3101 FM51, Decatur. $30-$50 per vehicle. radiancechristmas.com.

A truck drives through the new Radiance! lights display at the Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.
A truck drives through the new Radiance! lights display at the Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.(Vernon Bryant / Staff Photographer)

Santa Land

FREE Visit Little Elm’s Beard Park to tour elf houses and other decorations around the clock in December. Santa will wave to visitors Dec. 12 and 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Dec. 1-31 at Beard Park, 310 E. Eldorado Parkway, Little Elm. Free. littleelm.org.

Vitruvian Lights

FREE Stroll through Vitruvian Park’s 12 acres to see more than 550 illuminated trees wrapped in 1.5 million sparkling LED lights. The large number of single-color trees give this display a modern flair. The park’s trail borders water where the brightly glowing trees are reflected, creating additional pizzazz.

Nov. 27-Jan. 3, nightly from 5 to 11 at 3966 Vitruvian Way, Addison. Free admission. Parking is free at Bella Lane, Park Road and Ponte Avenue parking lots. vitruvianlights.com.

Vitruvian Park has more than 550 illuminated trees wrapped in 1.5 million sparkling LED lights.
Vitruvian Park has more than 550 illuminated trees wrapped in 1.5 million sparkling LED lights.(Juan Figueroa / Staff photographer) 

See the full Dallas News article

Shannon Sutlief. Shannon is the LocalGraf Database Manager on the product team and the former events editor for Guide and GuideLive.com.

ssutlief@dallasnews.com /shannonsutlief @shannonsutlief

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