And just like that, it’s December! Holiday events in Dallas are vast and varied, and we’ve already gathered all the big ones in a special spot for you—our Complete Guide to the Holidays has info on tree farms, twinkling lights, Santa sightings, special events, and more. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, there are a TON of ideas over there.
The guide below has a few more holiday happenings plus other kid-friendly outings around town.
Final Thoughts: We like to imagine the holiday season as a dreamy, joyful affair. But for anyone struggling with hard life stuff, this time of year can be a challenge, to say the least. As another wild year comes to a close, we hope everyone can find some peace and magic, no matter their circumstances. Much love to you all!
Remember to check ahead for current safety protocols or cancellations.
Dinosaurs Live! continues at the Heard. Dig into dinosaur geology and hike the dino trail. And don’t miss the Texas Nessie exhibit! 9am-5pm. Closed Mondays. General admission is $12/adults, $9/ages 3-12. 2 & under are free.
The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit continues, with slightly adjusted hours this month around Thanksgiving break. “Astonishing in scale and breathtakingly imaginative, you will experience Van Gogh’s art in a completely new and unforgettable way.” See link for COVID info and to reserve your ticket date. Closed Tuesdays. Tickets from $39.99, 5 and under free.
A more affordable Van Gogh option is the Dallas Museum of Art exhibition Van Gogh and the Olive Groves. Adults tickets are $20 but kids under 12 are free! FYI: Museum general admission is always free for everyone, but you must reserve a ticket in advance.
Immerse yourself in The FRIENDS Experience at Willow Bend with interactive set recreations, original props and costumes, photo ops, a retail store, and Central Perk. Runs through January 17. See link to purchase tickets before you go.
Don’t forget about Jurassic World: The Exhibition at Grandscape in The Colony (it’s here until early January). This all-ages indoor exhibition immerses you in scenes inspired by the movie. Tickets are $29.50 for ages 16+, $19.50 for ages 3-15. 2 and under free with accompanying adult.
If you find yourself at NorthPark doing holiday shopping with kids in tow, be sure to stop by the Scrooge Puppet Theatre. Children of all ages will be full of giggles as the despicable holiday icon emerges from his cottage for an improvisational marionette performance. Every hour on the half hour. Level 1 between Macy’s and Dillard’s. Free!
ALL MONTH, SATURDAYS
GeO-Deck the Halls at Reunion Tower has crafts and letters to Santa every Saturday (not counting Christmas Eve). Could make for a memorable outing with the kids! 1–3pm. Included with admission, tickets from $9.
ALL MONTH, SELECT DATES
Holiday Fun with the Dallas Public Library means lots of free activities at libraries all around town. Check the link for a big list of events (by date) and where to find them. Free!
DECEMBER 2 & 12
This month Irving Art Center’s JumpstART Stories and Art and Second Sunday Funday offer Winter Animals and The Art of the Holidays!, respectively. They have returned to in-person (indoor) activities. JumpstART is on 12/2 at 10am for ages 2 and up. Second Sunday Funday is 12/12 from 1–4pm for families to do together. Free!
Note: On Saturdays you can drop in from 2–4pm to make holiday cards and crafts and visit with Santa. Don’t forget your camera!
Shop local in Downtown Garland at the Art Walk Holiday Market featuring 20 local and regional artists and a live musical performance by Texas Winds. See the link for photos of the artists’ works. 6–9pm. Free!
Irving Arts Center hosts Shadows of the ’60s Holiday Tribute to Motown tonight. Enjoy Christmas music with a Motown twist. 7:30pm. Tickets start at $25.
The Abilities Expo returns to Dallas Market Hall this weekend. They’ll have an all-inclusive climbing wall, a slew of adaptive sports, fun dance opportunities, info-packed workshops and all sorts of new products, technologies, and resources. See link for tons more info and to register. Friday & Saturday: 11am–5pm, Sunday: 11am–4pm. Free!
The International Food Festival is back this weekend with an indoor/outdoor format. Come enjoy food from over 30 different vendors from Asia, Africa, Caribbean, North America & South America. They’ll also have live cultural performances, entertainment, shopping, and music. 12–7pm. Get tickets at the link for $5.
DECEMBER 4–5 & 11–12
Get your family’s creative juices flowing with a take-home gingerbread cookie kit from Camp Gingerbread at NorthPark. Kit sales benefit Shared Housing Center, a nonprofit organization providing affordable housing options and supportive services for those in need. You’ll find them on Level 1, near Macy’s.
Note: The fancy gingerbread houses of Gingertown will be on display in Nordstrom Court (Level 1) from December 7 to January 3, with a live build on December 7 at 5pm.
It’s Free Sno Day at Bahama Buck’s, and a Dallas shop is participating this year! Hit up the Abrams location for a free 12oz Sno per person. FYI: their Lewisville location will also be participating, if that one’s closer to you. Free!
Head to the Dallas Farmers Market to get a taste of Texas Christmas at their annual Tamale Day. Pick up one-of-a-kind gifts at the Holiday Market while you’re there. Santa will be posing for pics from 10am–2pm. Market hours: 9am–5pm. Free!
There’s a holiday-themed Movie in the Park at Klyde Warren today. Grab a space on the lawn and enjoy a food truck picnic as you watch The Polar Express (G). 5:45–7:30pm. Free!
Another outdoor movie option: CityLine Movie Nights shows Elf this evening (postponed from 11/28 due to rain). Jasper’s will be in the plaza selling movie-themed drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) as well as a selection of menu items. Or you can pick up food and drinks to-go to bring back to the plaza to enjoy during the movie. Lawn chairs, picnic blankets, and pups are welcome and encouraged. Don’t forget blankets to bundle up! Movie starts at 6:45pm. Free!
Local Black artists and craftspeople will be on site for Christmas Music Under the Dome and Marketplace at the African American Museum. The South Dallas Children’s Choir will perform along with local handbell choirs and youth string musicians on both days. Saturday: 12–4pm, Sunday: 3–5pm. Free!
Join our sister site Collin County Moms for Stories With Santa at Legacy Hall! See the big man on stage reading Christmas stories, get a photo with Mrs. Claus and Blitzen, write letters to Santa, decorate marshmallows, and more. General admission is free, but if you prefer, you can purchase tickets for a reserved picnic table or soft seating lounge inside the heated tent. 10am–12pm.
Visit the Meadows Museum at SMU today and experience Children’s Drawing With the Masters while you’re there. Kids ages 5–12 can explore a variety of techniques and improve their drawing skills. Feel free to bring your sketchpad! Space is limited to 20, first come, first served. 3:30–4pm. Included in admission ($12).
The Dallas Public Library hosts the 3rd Annual Jerry Pinkney Day and Kwanzaa Celebration virtually today. The first 50 people to register get a free book, and 2 active attendees are eligible for a grand prize! For school-aged kids. More details at the link. 9–11am. Free!