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 ourGuide to Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Collin County.” And for anyone heading west, have a look at our “Guide to Family Holiday Events in Fort Worth & Surrounding Areas.”

Dallas Christmas events

A train at ICE at Gaylord Texan

November 12 – January 2
Christmas at Gaylord Texan

Discover a winter wonderland at Gaylord Texan Resort and be dazzled by four-and-a-half acres of magical indoor gardens decorated with millions of twinkling holiday lights, 25-foot-tall nutcrackers, magical miniature train sets, and a 54-foot Christmas tree — just to name a few! Delight in all the festive activities including a TWO-MILLION-pound, hand-carved ice attraction themed after The Polar Express. Explore it all with a Texas-sized vacation for the whole family to enjoy!

✨Special promo code: MOMS
Offer valid between 12/11 – 12/15, 12/26 – 1/1. Offer valid for listed dates only. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Tickets must be purchased online. Limit of 10 tickets per purchaser. Not retroactive. Other restrictions may apply. Discount based on 50% off GENERAL ADMISSION ticket pricing and valid for all dates mentioned in the promotion. Limited number of tickets available on select dates.

Remember to check ahead for changes or cancellations.


November 19
Home for the Holidays Tree Lighting

Southlake Town Square | 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.

You’ll find carolers, crafts, carriage rides, snow tubing, live music, ice sculpting, Santa photos, and more in Southlake Town Square this evening. Tree lighting at 6:00 p.m. followed by a one-minute fireworks show. Admission and all activities are free!

November 21
Carol of Lights
Historic Downtown Grapevine | 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.

This holiday season kick-off features live performances, dazzling dance numbers, light shows, and fireworks. Family-friendly fun and food vendors will be there starting at 4:00 p.m.; the light shows are at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Free!

November 25
Vitruvian Lights
Addison Circle Park | 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

The magical wonderland glows all season, but there’s an opening night party with food trucks, sweet treats, free photos with Santa, classic holiday characters, an elf balloon artist, and more. Free! (Event parking is $15.)

December 1
Christmas at the Perry

Carrollton | 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

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 into workshop areas. Pre-registration is required, which you can do at the link. Free!

December 1
A Garland Christmas at Firewheel

Firewheel Town Center | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The City of Garland has temporarily moved its traditional Christmas on the Square event to Firewheel Town Center. 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
Magical Candlelight Christmas-Town 2022
Garland | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Festively decorated homes on 11th Street will be open to the public this evening. Stroll the neighborhood and enjoy carolers and musicians on stage, horse-drawn carriage rides, photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a live Nativity, crafts, and hot cocoa. Neighborhood details at the link. Tickets from $10.

December 3
Richardson Christmas Parade
Richardson | 9:00 a.m.

The 50th annual parade will be themed A Storybook Christmas. See link for details and trophy categories for participants.

December 3
Dallas Holiday Parade

Downtown Dallas | 10:00 a.m.

Wear your most festive red outfits to the 2022 Dallas parade. 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 3 – 4
Holiday in the Plaza

Las Colinas | Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Two days this year! Sip, shop, and play in a waterside wonderland of more than 50 holiday market vendors, food trucks, Ferris wheel, ice skating, photos with Santa (reservation required), and more! Admission is FREE, but attendees are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy or make a donation of any amount.

December 3
Tree Lighting Celebration
Klyde Warren Park | 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

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 3
Santa on the Square
Carrollton | 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Celebrate with Santa as he helps light the Historic Downtown Carrollton Square. Enjoy the giant snow globe, reindeer, toy soldiers, crafts, and more. Official tree lighting ceremony to take place at 6:00 p.m. Free!

December 3
Christmas in the Branch

Farmer’s Branch | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

This tree lighting at Liberty Plaza includes outdoor ice skating, carnival rides, games, face painters, Santa, strolling characters, shopping from local vendors at the Holiday Marketplace at the Grove, and fireworks. Lots of info on this event and other activities throughout the season at the link. Some activities are pay-to-play, but admission is free!

December 3
Reliant Lights Your Holidays
Downtown Dallas | 5:30 p.m.

Bring your entire family to Sammons Park at the AT&T Performing Arts Center for an evening of holiday magic and music. Enjoy live bands, a themed drone show, wintery snow playground, crafts for the kids, and Santa photos. Free with RSVP at the link!

December 3 – 4
Christmas in the Park
Mesquite | 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Head to Westlake Park in Mesquite for games, bounce houses, marshmallow roasting, contests, music and performances on stage, Santa, and more. Some activities are pay-to-play, but admission is free!

December 4
Black Joy Holiday Expo
Dallas | 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Shop small businesses, take pictures with Black Santa, indulge in delicious eats, and enjoy kids’ activities this afternoon. There will also be a Soulful Christmas Karaoke Contest and an ugly sweater contest! Guests are asked to bring canned food items for donation. Reserve Santa photos at the link ($50). General event admission is free!

December 10
Holiday at the Farm

Mesquite | 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Join Dallas Parks & Rec at Samuell Park for a festive day featuring an artisan gift market, food vendors, a holiday hayride, stage performances, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Clause. Free!

December 10 – 11
Candlelight at Old City Park
Dallas | 3:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Experience an old-timey Christmas at Old City Park (it’s back to the original name!) with more than 13 acres of decorated buildings, strolling carolers, craft vendors, 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 for adults, $10 for ages five – 12, kids four and under are free.

December 17
Christmas in the Park
Fair Park | 8:30 a.m.

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 (or sign up to volunteer) at the link.

December 18
Chanukah Menorah Lighting

Dallas | 5:00 p.m.

Celebrate the first night of Chanukah at the Galleria with the large-scale menorah. Located on level one, near Tiffany & Co.


November 10 – December 31
Holiday at the Arboretum

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. You can also visit the Christmas village, featuring charming shops and façades inspired by European Christmas markets. And don’t miss the 50-foot-tall dazzling musical tree or The Artistry of Faith & Culture, a new exhibit celebrating the diversity of winter holidays in our city. Admission prices vary by date; see the link for further details and to purchase tickets

November 12 – January 6
Trains at NorthPark

These trains have been a local favorite since 1987. The exhibit (located on Level II between Neiman’s & Nordstrom) features 1,800 feet of track and cityscapes from across America. All proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. See the link for varying hours of operation, including special holiday hours. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children; kids under two are free.

November 16 – January 8 (Wednesdays – Sundays)
Holiday Tea at the Adolphus

The Adolphus is so beautiful at Christmas, and holiday tea in the French Room is a magical experience. It’s an extremely popular tradition, so book early (and set a reminder in your phone for next year!).

November 17 – January 1 (select nights)
Dallas Zoo Lights

Back to a walk-through event for 2022! After the animals go to bed, the zoo becomes illuminated with more than a million twinkling lights. You’ll also find glowing silk lanterns, light shows, musical performances, crafts, treats, Santa, and so much more along the way. Ticket prices vary by date (premium and non-premium nights).

November 18 – January 8

This magical, multi-sensory event returns to Galleria Dallas with imaginative rooms and surprises for all ages. The whole thing takes about an hour to experience. Hint: You can save a bit on admission by bundling with tickets for Santaland.

November 19 – December 31
Immersive Nutcracker

This is from the same folks who brought us Immersive Van Gogh. It’s 500,000 cubic feet of holiday wonder, sweeping music, special effects, and iconic Nutcracker moments projected all around you. Tickets are $30 and selling quickly!

November 19 – January 2 (select dates)
Holiday in the Park

Each year, Six Flags Over Texas transforms into a winter wonderland with sparkling lights, festive decorations, seasonal treats, and lots of activities, rides, and heartwarming shows. Lots of info on all the holiday-specific attractions at the link.

November 21 – January 8
Christmas Capital of Texas

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

November 18 – December 24 (weekends)
Christmas at the Anatole


North Pole Texas is an interactive holiday experience filled with performances, games, sweets, Christmas light displays, and lots of memorable activities. You can also take things next level with a hotel stay and/or breakfast with Santa. Check the website for specific dates/times and to book breakfast or a hotel package.

November 25 – January TBA
Christmas in the Branch
Farmers Branch

There’s a lot 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 four and up; kids three and under are free. Skate rentals are $5 if you need them. Register at the link.

November 21 – December 23 (select dates)
North Pole Express 
Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Board a festively decorated train and enjoy a Broadway-style show, 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. This is your cue to set a reminder on your phone to get tickets early next year! Note: They’ve added a waitlist for 2022. Might get lucky there??

November 18 – January 4

Great Wolf Lodge

Explore the magic of winter in an 84-degree water park — from spectacular decorations to visits with Santa and kid-friendly themed activities. Make hotel reservations at the link.

December 3 – 11 (Saturdays and Sundays)
Santa’s Village

Heads up on this one for 2022: Dates are more limited AND the village has moved! Huffines Park will host the 16 miniature dwellings (including Santa’s house and workshop), each with a special craft, snack, or activity for children to enjoy. Bands, dance troops, and performers take Prancer’s Stage to entertain guests. Note: No resident-only nights this year. Operating hours are 3:00 – 9:00 p.m., but you can always walk around the village when visiting the park. Free!



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