A Dallas Guide to Family-Friendly Holiday Events


Dallas has a whole bunch of special events to help usher in the holidays. For your scheduling convenience, we’ve divided things up into one-time-only events and ongoing festivities.

For even MORE holiday happenings in Plano and a little further north, check out our Guide to Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Collin County.

Dallas Christmas events

Remember to check ahead for cancellations or updated safety measures.


November 20 :: FTC Tree Lighting :: Fairview Town Center :: 6-8pm

Fairview Town Center is getting a NEW signature Christmas Tree for 2021, and they’re having a big party to celebrate. Interactive storytelling, magic show, character meet & greets, face painting, balloon twisters, strolling entertainers, Santa on stage, and more. One lucky kiddo will win the chance to light the tree with Santa! Details at the link. Free!

November 20 :: Home for the Holidays Tree Lighting :: Southlake :: 4:30-8:30pm

Carols, crafts, letters to Santa, carriage rides, snow tubing, toy & food drive, live music, ice sculpting, Santa photos, and more in the Southlake Town Square. Tree lighting at 6pm followed by a 1-minute fireworks show. All activities are free!

November 21 :: Deck the Plaza :: Dallas City Hall :: 5:30-8:30pm

Deck the Plaza returns with a drive-through celebration for the whole family. Head downtown for lights, live entertainment, holiday music on 101.1FM, interactive characters, Mayor Eric Johnson, and the 35-foot tree. Event route at the link. Free!

November 22 :: Carol of Lights :: Grapevine :: 4-9pm

This holiday season kick-off show in Downtown Grapevine features live performances, dazzling dance numbers, light shows, and fireworks. Family-friendly fun and food vendors will be there starting at 4pm; the light shows begin at 7pm. Free! ($5 reserved seating option for the show at 7pm)

November 26, December 4, December 11 :: Vitruvian Lights :: Addison :: 6-10pm

The magical wonderland of lights in Addison Circle Park is illuminated all season, but on these 3 nights they’ll have live music performances, food trucks, and Santa. Free admission (parking fees apply on these special nights).

November 28 :: Chanukah Menorah Lighting :: 5pm

Celebrate the first night of Chanukah at the Galleria with the large-scale Menorah and remarks by the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. Located on Level 1, near Tiffany & Co.

December 2 :: Christmas at the Perry :: Carrollton :: 5:30-8pm

Stroll through the park at the A.W. Perry Homestead Museum for lights and photo ops. Take a tour of the Perry house to see the Victorian Christmas decorations and Santa’s elves at work—they’ve turned a few rooms in to workshop areas. Pre-registration is required, which you can do at the link. Free!

December 2 :: Garland Christmas at Firewheel :: Firewheel Town Center :: 5:30-8:30pm

The City of Garland temporarily moved the traditional Christmas on the Square event to Firewheel Town Center for 2021. Come for the tree lighting ceremony and enjoy live music, food trucks, a snow hill, inflatables, Santa, and lots more. See details at the link. Free!

December 2 :: Hanukkah at NorthPark :: Dallas :: 7pm

Temple Emanu-El’s annual festive concert features Cantors Vicky Glikin and Leslie Niren and the adult and youth choirs. Popular Jewish children’s entertainer Jason Mesches will be performing, too. Free!

December 4 :: Breakfast With Santa :: Fairview Town Center :: 8 & 9:30am

Enjoy a buffet breakfast with fresh fruit, breakfast breads, egg casserole, French toast sticks, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes & tots, and juice or coffee. Kiddos get to do a craft project and receive a special gift from Santa at the event—and there are always some special surprises! Santa will visit your table, character breakfast-style. Take your own photos! $25 per adult/$15 per child ages 2-10, kids under 2 free.

December 4 :: Cookies With Santa:: Fairview Town Center :: 7pm

Meet Santa while you enjoy a gourmet cookie and hot beverage bar (cocoa and cider).Think of it as a character meet and greet; no formal photos on Santa’s lap, but take lots of your own! Santa will visit each table during the event and share a story with the children after he visits. Each child will receive a special gift. $20 per person, kids under 2 free.

December 4 :: Richardson Christmas Parade :: Richardson :: 9am

The 49th annual parade is scheduled to return this year. Details are scarce at the moment, but we’ll update as more becomes known.

December 4 :: Dallas Holiday Parade :: Downtown :: 10am

The annual downtown parade is back! Ticketed bleacher seats are available for purchase if you prefer not to stake out spots. Check the link for lots more details, including a parade route map. Free!

December 4 :: Merry Market & Festival :: CityLine, Richardson :: 1-9pm

Shop your favorite local makers and vendors from The Boho Market for handmade and vintage goods, plus live music, and more holiday fun like crafts for kids and a DIY gift-wrapping station. More details at the link. Free!

December 4 :: Tree Lighting Celebration :: Klyde Warren Park :: 4-6pm

Activities and entertainment including photos with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, face painting, crafts, and snow flurries. The day culminates with live holiday music, visits from Frosty and Rudolph, and the grand tree lighting. Free!

December 4 :: Santa on the Square :: Carrollton :: 4-8pm

Celebrate with Santa as he helps light the Historic Downtown Carrollton Square and enjoy the giant snow globe, reindeer, toy soldiers, crafts, and more. Official tree lighting ceremony to take place at 6pm. Free!

December 4 :: Christmas in the Branch :: Farmer’s Branch :: 5-9pm

This tree lighting event at Liberty Plaza includes outdoor ice skating, kids activities, Santa, performances, shopping from local vendors at the Holiday Marketplace, and a little fireworks show. Lots of info on this event and other activities throughout the season at the link. Free admission.

December 4 :: Reliant Lights Your Holidays :: Dallas :: 5:30pm

Bring your entire family to Sammons Park at the AT&T Performing Arts Center for an evening of holiday magic and music. Enjoy dazzling lights, a holiday concert line up of band, incredible projections on the center’s venues, crafts for the kids, and Santa. Free with RSVP!

December 11 :: Candy Canes for Kids :: Fairview Town Center :: 8:30am-7pm

Fairview Town Center is raising money for Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County all day today, starting with a special Breakfast With Santa event at 8:30am and a Jazz Lunch at 12pm (purchase tickets at the links). From 3pm on, they’ll have all sorts of live entertainment, crafts, character visits, face painting, balloon artists, stilt walkers, carolers, Santa on stage, prizes, fireworks, and much more. See link for a complete schedule of the day. Free admission (attractions require tickets at $1/ticket or $5/6 tickets).

December 11 :: Holiday at the Farm :: Mesquite :: 4-8pm

Join Dallas Parks & Rec’s Outdoor Adventures at Samuell Park for pictures with Santa, arts & crafts, an artisan gift market, live performances, a snow play area, and more! Free! (attractions require tickets at $1/ticket)

December 11-12 :: Candlelight at Dallas Heritage Village :: 3-9pm

Experience an old-timey Christmas with over 13 acres of decorated buildings, strolling carolers, visits with Old St. Nick, a holiday market, bake sale, food trucks, and crafts for kids. The walkways are candlelit in the evening, which makes for great ambiance. Get your tickets at the link: $15/adults, $10/ages 5-12, 4 and under free.

December 18 :: Christmas in the Park :: Fair Park :: 8am

This annual charitable event provides support to the thousands of less fortunate kids and families in our city who are in need of holiday assistance. Find out more info and register at the link.


November 6 to December 24 :: Santa’s Wonderland :: Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s

You can find a surprising number of gifts for people on your list at ‘ole Bass Pro Shop. While you’re there, explore a mini-wonderland filled with displays, children’s crafts, and a free photo with Santa if you’d like (reservations required). Get more info at the link. Free!

November 10 to December 31 :: Holiday at the Arboretum :: Dallas

Lots going on at the Arboretum this winter, most notably The 12 Days of Christmas, a series of Victorian-style gazebos depicting moving scenes from the classic carol. Visit the Christmas Village, featuring charming shops and façades inspired by European Christmas markets and daily entertainment. Check out the 50-foot tall Dazzling Musical Tree, new this year. Admission varies by date, see the link for further details and to purchase tickets. Advance registration required.

November 12 to January 2:: Christmas at Gaylord Texan :: Grapevine

Marvel at the 2 million twinkling lights, 15,000 ornaments, and dozens of lavish holiday displays filling the vast hotel atrium. They have cute activities like the new Mission: Save Christmas Featuring Elf™ immersive experience, outdoor lantern and light walkthrough, a Christmas carousel, snow tubing, and more. Lots more details on the many activities and ticket packages at their site.

November 13 to January 2 :: Trains at NorthPark :: NorthPark Center, Dallas

These trains have been a local favorite since 1987. The exhibit (located on Level II between Neiman’s & Nordstrom) features 1,800 ft. of track and cityscapes from across America. Lots of Dallas landmarks, too! All proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. See the link for varied hours of operation, including holiday hours. Tickets are $10/adults, $5/children, under 2 are free. See our review from the archives here.

November 18 to January 2 :: The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey :: Arlington :: 5-8pm

After a sold out run in Los Angeles last year, this one-of-a-kind, open-air experience is coming to Choctaw Stadium in Arlington (formerly Globe Life Park). Join the elves on a quest to collect the ingredients for Christmas Spirit, as you and your elf-loving crew magically shrink down to elf size and embark on a journey through twinkling wonderlands to set Santa and Christmas back on course. Tickets from $19.95.

November 19 to January 2 (select dates) :: Holiday in the Park :: Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington

Each year, Six Flags over Texas is transformed into a winter wonderland with sparkling lights, festive decorations, seasonal treats, plus lots of activities, rides, and heartwarming shows. Tons more details at the link.

November 19 to January 2 (select nights) :: Dallas Zoo Lights :: Dallas :: 6-9:30pm

After the animals go to bed, the zoo becomes illuminated with a mile of twinkling lights and silk lanterns depicting all your zoo favorites, twinkling tunnels, animal-themed vignettes, and so much more along the way. Priced per car, $50/members, $65/non-members. Tickets must be purchased online, in advance. See the link for “Know Before You Go” information. Tickets are limited and will sell out!

November 19 to January 17 :: SNOWDAY :: Dallas Galleria

This magical, multi-sensory event returns to the Galleria with20+ imaginative rooms and hundreds of surprises for all ages over the course of about an hour. This year, you can save by bundling tickets for Santaland if you want to do both. From $27/adults; $12/kids 4-12; 3 and under free.

November 22 to January 9 :: Christmas Capital of Texas :: Grapevine

If you’ve been noticing a lot of Grapevine Christmas events popping up throughout this guide, that’s because Grapevine considers themselves the “Christmas Capital of Texas.” As such, they’ve got over a thousand Christmas events and activities scheduled throughout the month. I included the major stuff here, but poke around at the link for even more ideas!

November 26 to December 24 (select dates) :: Christmas at the Anatole :: Hilton Anatole, Dallas

This year brings a reimagined Peppermint Park and the new North Pole Texas. Enjoy a 90-minute attraction featuring an interactive holiday experience, Christmas light display, and lots of memorable activities. Take things next level with a VIP Holiday Experience, hotel stay, holiday movie night, and Breakfast With Santa. They’re partners with Enchant Dallas, so there are some special packages involving those tickets, too. Check the website for specific dates/times. $30/adults, $25/kids, under 3 free.

November 26 to January 9 :: Christmas in the Branch :: Farmers Branch

Lots going on in Farmers Branch this season, from ice skating under the stars to the recurring Holiday Marketplace at The Grove. Skating is $10 for ages 4+, kids 3 and under are free. Skate rentals are $5 if you need them. Register at the link.

November 27 to December 23 (select dates) :: North Pole Express :: Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Board a festively decorated train and enjoy elves, cookies, a visit from Mrs. Claus, and more as the train travels to the “North Pole.” Tickets from $35. Listen, every single ride on this Christmas train is SOLD OUT by early November every year. That’s how popular it is. I always include it in our guide so you can set a reminder to get tickets early next year! Note: They’ve added a new resale ticket page. Might get lucky there??

November 28 to January 5 :: Snowland :: Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine

Explore the magic of winter in an 84-degree water park—from snow showers in the Grand Lobby to spectacular decorations, visits with Santa, yoga storytime, and more. Several packages to choose from. Make hotel reservations at the link.

November 30 to December 23 :: Holiday Performance Showcase :: Fairview Town Center

Come enjoy the sounds of the season on The Park Stage at Fairview Town Center. From choirs to carolers to dancers to bands and much, much more. See link for performance times and a schedule of acts by date. Free!

December 4-5, 9-12, and 16-19 :: Santa’s Village :: Richardson :: 6-9 pm

This adorable little village on the grounds of the Richardson Public Library is back! Stroll through 16 dwellings, each with a special craft, snack, or activity for children to enjoy (including Santa’s house & workshop). Bands, dance troops, and performers take Prancer’s Stage each weekend to entertain guests. If you’re a Richardson resident, look into Hometown Thursdays to avoid the crowds a bit. See Kelly’s review from the archives here. Free!



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