Looking to celebrate the holidays? In the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex we’re lucky to have so many to experience but here’s our shortlist of Must-Do Holiday Events in DFW!
Ready for the holidays? Don’t worry, they’re already here, so get ready.
And in the DFW metroplex, from Fort Worth to Dallas, Arlington to Plano, Grand Prairie to Grapevine (and of course everything in between), there are plenty of great ones to choose from every day of the week. However, there are a few events that you need to have on your must-do, must-go, must-see list for the holidays in 2018! (And make sure to look as some of these have giveaways too!)
1. The Trains at Northpark
Northpark Center / Nov. 17 – Jan. 6, 2019
Prices: Tickets for The Trains at NorthPark are $4 for children ages 2-12 and seniors over 65. Adults are $7, while children under 2 are admitted for free. The exhibit closes for Christmas and Thanksgiving, also closing early for both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Celebrating its 20th year, The Trains at NorthPark have been a holiday tradition for many families (you can spot them through the mall sporting their PJs as they head to the exhibit!) Benefiting Ronald McDonald House of Dallas (RMHD), and presented by Bank of Texas, The Trains at NorthPark features 750 railcars on a 1,600-foot elaborate configuration of tracks and scenes. The Trains at NorthPark features cityscapes like Dallas, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Fair Park; New York with Times Square and Grand Central Terminal; Washington, D.C. with The White House; and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Other highlights include New England’s fall foliage, the Grand Canyon, Garden of the Gods, Mount Rushmore and Route 66. The charming exhibit has been seen by around two million since its original run over 30 years ago. (As you can see here from 2013, we’re big fans!) Get the details.
2. Enchant Christmas
Globe Life Park / Nov. 23 – Dec. 30
Tickets: Start at $21.99 for adults 14-64, $24.99 for children ages 4 -13, Seniors (65+) and free for children 3 and under with accompanying parent.
This year you’ll find this world of light inside Globe Life Park! Wander through the world’s largest light maze, get some Christmas goodies in the marketplace, enjoy delicious food and drinks, and enjoy live entertainment. You’ll find a 100-foot Christmas tree, a ice skating trail, hear some of DFW’s best entertainment, and don’t miss Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Get the details.
3. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, A Holiday Musical and Parody Spectacular
Casa Manana / Nov. 23 – Dec. 23 (see site for specific dates and times)
Tickets range $21-$53
Get ready to laugh, cry, and dance for this perfect play for celebrating the holidays. From the press release: Molly is having trouble finding her Christmas spirit. Determined to make it a Christmas to remember, Molly’s mother takes her on a magical treasure hunt through New York City from Radio City Music Hall to Macy’s, where they encounter dancing elves and even Santa Claus himself! Featuring Christmas parodies of some of today’s most popular songs (Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Mariah Carey, and more), ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is a yuletide spectacular guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit! Get the details.
4. Christmas at the Anatole
Hilton Anatole / Nov. 23 – Dec. 23
Rates and prices range based on activities.
When it comes to having some real face-time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas at the Anatole is the perfect place. The legendary hotel transforms into a winter wonderland complete with festive décor, Santa fun and Peppermint Park with all kinds of kids activities like a train ride, cocoa, tree lighting and more. But waking up with Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus might be the icing on the Christmas cookies! Make a weekend of it with a stay at the hotel which includes a holiday movie night or try to snag one of the select opportunities for Breakfast with Santa only. Either way, you’ll make some great memories! Get the details.
5. Prairie Lights
Joe Pool Lake / Nov. 23 – Dec. 30 (hours vary)
Prices start at $25 per car. (Splurge on the other activities for a full night of fun with the fam.)
Long one of my favorite of displays in DFW, Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie is well worth the time and money! There is such much even beyond two miles of lit paths and four million lights, it’s a whole night of fun for the kid in all of us. The experience includes not only the drive-through display, but a Holiday Village with free rides, delicious holiday fare, a marketplace and of course, Santa. There’s even a special Holiday Magic theatrical show and a Walk-Through Forest (for an added cost), so you can keep the spirit of Christmas going all night long! Get the details.
6. Holiday at the Arboretum
Dallas Arboretum / Nov. 4 – Jan. 7, 2018
Prices range with activities (some activities included with admission.)
Holiday at the Arboretum features the return of the magnificent The 12 Days of Christmas outdoor exhibit, as well as 500,000 lights throughout the garden at night, trimming the architecture of the historic homes and lighting the canopies overhead—including a 30-foot-tall tree. But that’s just the beginning! You can snag a kiss under the mistletoe, get a glimpse of Santa and a real reindeer and much more. There are activities available both morning and nights, throughout the week and the weekends so make sure to check the schedule to get your favorites. Get the details.
7. ICE! at the Gaylord Texan
Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center / Nov. 9 – Jan. 1, 2019
Rates and prices range based on activities.
If you’re looking for a winter wonderland, you won’t find more ice and snow than at the Gaylord Texan for their annual Lonestar Christmas! From its ICE! at the Gaylord Texan exhibit with 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice inside the 9 degree, 14,000 sq.-feet exhibit, outdoor ice skating, Snow Tubing, you’ll get your fix. Looking for something a little warmer? Decorate your own gingerbread house or breakfast at Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas, you can Christmas to your heart’s content. Once your all Christmased out, stay the night for a full holiday hotel experience. Get the details.
8. Robert Earl Keen’s Cosmic Christmas
Bass Performance Hall / Dec. 29, 2018
Tickets starting at $55.
Oh, if there’s a Christmas song to sum up our Christmas, I’ll admit it’s Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas from the Family.” One of my all-time favorite Texas legends (he was one of my first concerts and many more have followed), REK and his band kick up Christmas favorites with his own sound of storytelling, bluegrass and always lots of fun. And where else would you want to enjoy him than in Cowtown for a little Christmas fun. Get the details.
9. Tree Lighting at Galleria Dallas
Galleria Dallas / Nov. 23 – Dec. 23 (dates and times of events vary)
Galleria Dallas celebrates its 37th holiday season with tree lightings, ice skating performances, kids events (like Slappy’s Holiday Circus), Chanukah Menorah Lighting and of course, SHOPPING. But it’s the tree lighting (referred to as the Illumination Celebration featuring world-class ice skaters and Missile Toes, the ice-skating, back-flipping, pyrotechnic Santa, along with local children performing, a countdown to a fireworks finale and the lighting of the country’s tallest indoor Christmas tree that make the magic of Christmas come alive (Believe me, I’ve spent many years doing this and you won’t be dissapointed, but come early to get a good spot on one of the the levels.) Get the details.
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That tree. 🌲 I spent more than a decade sharing how amazing it was as the “tallest indoor Christmas tree in the U.S.,” but no matter how many amazing Olympic skaters we hosted around it, or the times I saw Missile Toes flip as fireworks fired from his skates, it’s still that beautiful tree that captures my heart and says “Happy Holidays from DFW.”🎅🏼 My heart is full I can share it with my kids tonight.❤️ . . . #galleriadallas #galleriaholiday #galleria #mamachallenge #Dallas #BigD #dfwhappenings #dallasblogger #happyholidays
10. Vitruvian Lights
Vitruvian Park in Addison / Nov. 23 – Jan. 1, 2019
Free / Parking $10
The most dazzling and spectacular time of the year is here! Vitruvian Park transforms into a magical holiday wonderland during Vitruvian Lights. Walk through the park to view the lights, gourmet food trucks, sweet treats, FREE photos with Santa, classic holiday characters, elf balloon artist, and Metrocrest Services Donation Drive.
Vitruvian Lights Special Event Dates & Performances:
Friday, November 23, 2018 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm – Jordan Kahn Orchestra
Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm – Dallas String Quartet
Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm – Sonny’s Holliday
11. Gift of Lights
Texas Motor Speedway / Nov. 29 – Dec. 30
Tickets start at $30.
Head to Texas Motor Speedway for the Gift of Lights. There you will see a fantastic light show, travel to Santa’s Village where you will meet Santa and experience what Christmas is like at the North Pole. First responders and military also get a special gift with a free 5 x 7 photo in Santa’s Village. Get the details.
12. Holiday in the Park
Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington / Nov. 16-Dec. 30
Tickets start at $30.
If you’re looking for holiday thrills you’ll find them at Holiday in the Park at Six Flags over Texas. Discover a winter wonderland filled with holiday attractions including a snow hill, visits with Santa, sing-a-longs, and holiday shows. This year introduces the Merry Marketplace filled with holiday treats, shopping, and photo opportunities. Get the details.
13. Tea with Santa
The Fairmont Dallas / Dec. 8 & Dec. 15
Tickets start at $49.12 for adults. See website for special prices.
Make memories while enjoying the arrival of Santa this season with “Tea with Santa,” including a delicious Christmas-inspired brunch spread, Holiday Wonderland Candy bar, gingerbread and sugar cookies make-and-take with Santa’s elves, and a “Santa Reveal” photo to commemorate the big moment with the big guy from the North Pole! Tea with Santa Brunch features Crispy Chicken & Waffle Skewers, Mini Holiday Ham & Cheese Quiche, Winter Spiced Pumpkin Bisque, Chocolate Maple Pecan Éclair, Peppermint Macarons, Raspberry Pistachio Financier, Lemon Meringue Choux. And Bottomless Champ/Mimosa bar for adults and Hot tea station with “Lemonade Tea” for kids. Get the details.
14. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Dallas/Fort Worth’s annual Holiday Bricktacular
Grapevine Mills / Dec. 15, 16, 22 & 23
Prices: Admission is included in the normal ticket price. Admission is $21.95 for guests 3 years of age and older, and free for kids 2 and under.
‘Tis the season for LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Dallas/Fort Worth’s annual Holiday Bricktacular! Holiday Bricktacular activities include:
- Giant LEGO Nutcracker: View the Master Model Builder’s newest creation, a 5-foot-tall Nutcracker.
- Meet & Greet LEGO Santa: Meet jolly old LEGO® Santa and tell him about all the LEGO® sets you want this year.
- Holiday Quilt Build: Test your building skills by helping the Master Model Builder create an oversized, one-of-a-kind holiday LEGO® quilt.
- Scavenger Hunt: LEGO® Santa has lost his toy bag filled with iconic toys. Help him find all the lost robots, cars, planes, dolls and teddy bears in MINILAND for a chance to win an annual pass.
15. SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium
Grapevine Mills / Various dates and times through Dec. 24
Price is included with regular admission
Celebrate the holiday season and see Scuba Diving Santa, along with his elf, make a jolly appearance in a water wonderland at SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium amongst sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, fish and other marine life, with special holiday dive shows and other festive fishy activities around the aquarium.
Holiday activities include:
- Scuba Diving Santa: Experience a dive show like no other with a jolly red-suited diver, beard and all, along with his elf as they take the plunge in a magical dive show amongst the fish, sharks and stingrays in SEA LIFE Grapevine’s 160,000-gallon ocean tank. Pose for pictures and find out if Scuba Diving Santa thinks you’ve been naughty or nice. Scheduled dives occur at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Dec. 12, 15, 20 and 23.
- Meet and Greet with Santa Sharky: Meet and pose for a holiday photo with Santa Sharky.Fridays and Sundays, Dec. 14, 16, 21 and 23 from 12 to 3 p.m.
- Elf on a Shelf: Try and find SEA LIFE’s mischievous elf Minnow as he move’s around the aquarium. Snap a selfie with Minnow and share on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #SeaLifeElfie for a chance to win an annual pass. Daily Dec. 12 through 24.
- Holiday Cards for Creatures: All of SEA LIFE’s animals made the nice list this year. However, which one is the nicest? The aquarium is asking the public to vote for their favorite from sharks, rays and sea turtles by writing them a holiday card in the theater. The sea creature with the most cards wins! Daily Dec. 12 through 24.
Check back often: This list will update throughout the season.