Holiday Event Planner

A dozen delightful ways to make the most of the holiday season in Dallas

A dozen ways to make the most of the holiday season in Dallas

Trains at NorthPark
The Trains at NorthPark run through January 4. Photo courtesy of NorthPark Center
Dallas Arboretum presents 12 Days of Christmas
The 12 Days of Christmas exhibit at Dallas Arboretum is on display through January 4. Photo by Karen Almond
The Gypsy Wagon in Dallas
Gypsy Wagon is just one retailer at the CultureMap Holiday Pop Up Shop at Sixty Five Hundred on December 7. Photo courtesy of Gypsy Wagon
Children's Medical Center Holiday Parade
The annual Dallas Children's Health Holiday Parade hopes to avoid the ice this year as it traces its route in downtown Dallas on December 6. Children's Medical Center/Facebook
Reliant Lights Your Holidays
Reliant Lights Your Holidays at Sammons Park in front of Winspear Opera House culminates a day full of events in the Dallas Arts District on December 6. Photo by Carter Rose
Weezer
Weezer headlines How the Edge Stole Christmas on December 3 at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, one of three packed music festivals being put on by local radio stations in December. Photo courtesy of Weezer
The Brian Setzer Orchestra
The Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks Extravaganza! on December 13 at Winspear Opera House is a rockin' way to get in the holiday spirit. Photo courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center
Trains at NorthPark
Dallas Arboretum presents 12 Days of Christmas
The Gypsy Wagon in Dallas
Children's Medical Center Holiday Parade
Reliant Lights Your Holidays
Weezer
The Brian Setzer Orchestra

The holidays are a time to be with family and celebrate the season. But there are myriad ways to do so around Dallas-Fort Worth, so we're here to fill you in on the biggest and best holiday events taking place this year.

Even though the below events will bring anybody lots of cheer, there are plenty of other great things going on. Check out the full events calendar if you don't see your favorite holiday event listed.

Shop 'til you drop
​Sure, you could head to the mall to get your loved ones gifts, but why not go for something a bit more unique at the CultureMap Holiday Pop-up Shop, taking place on December 7 at Sixty Five Hundred near Love Field. For just $10 — and a portion of those proceeds benefits Ronald McDonald House of Dallas and Family Place — you can choose wares from a variety of local retailers, including Gypsy Wagon, Mizzen+Main, B.Stellar, Life of Riley and Scardello Artisan Cheese. Plus you can enjoy entertainment, Cointreau cocktails, photo booth and complimentary gift wrapping.

Continuing holiday traditions
There are few holiday traditions as enduring in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as the Trains at NorthPark, which is now in its 27th year and 16th at NorthPark Center. Sixteen hundred feet of track takes trains through landmarks across America, including Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Times Square in New York City, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The trains run on time through January 4.

There are several worthy theater productions being put on throughout the holidays, but none has the history of Dallas Theater Center's A Christmas Carol. DTC has now put on Charles Dickens' classic story for 30 straight years, making it as much a part of Dallas culture as it is for the rest of the world. The always-fun play runs at Wyly Theatre through December 27.

Sparkle! Christmas at the Anatole has been popular for years, but it might prove even more so this year because it's moving indoors. The ice skating rink, millions of lights, live entertainment, visit from Santa — all takes place at a nice 70 degrees, allowing visitors to have a great time regardless of the weather. Sparkle starts on November 28 and goes through January 4.

The Dallas Children's Health Holiday Parade fell victim last year, along with many other planned holiday events, to a freak ice storm. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that doesn't happen this year so the 27th annual parade on December 6 can provide wonder for kids and adults alike along its route down Commerce Street in downtown Dallas before ending up at Dallas City Hall.

New traditions
It's one thing to hear "The 12 Days of Christmas" sung throughout the holidays, but it's quite another to see each of the verses on display at the 12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum. Everything from a partridge in a pear tree to 12 drummers drumming gets its own gazebo, and many feature animated characters, lights and snow. The exhibit is up through January 4.

Klyde Warren Park is celebrating just its third holiday season, but it's fast becoming a destination in the cold like it is the rest of the year. This year, KWP is working with AT&T Performing Arts Center for a special tag team event on December 6.

First up is Celebrate the Holidays at Klyde Warren Park, at which you can see Santa and Mrs. Claus, live reindeer, musical performances and the lighting of the largest outdoor Christmas tree in Dallas. Once that's done, the Clauses lead the crowd over to Sammons Park in front of Winspear Opera House for the second annual Reliant Lights Your Holidays, where millions of lights line the buildings and trees of the ATTPAC complex. Also expect fireworks, concerts from Jack Ingram and Los Lobos, and more.

Holiday music festivals
Okay, these concerts may or may not feature holiday music, but they've become as much a part of many people's holiday as anything else. The 106.1 KISS FM Jingle Ball on November 30 at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie features Jason Derulo, Fall Out Boy, MAGIC!, Jeremih, Echosmith, Nick Jonas, Meghan Trainor and Jake Miller; How the Edge Stole Christmas on December 3 at Verizon Theatre brings Weezer, Rise Against, Young the Giant, Big Data, Bad Suns and Walk the Moon; and Not So Silent Night on December 17 at South Side Ballroom has Train, Daughtry, O.A.R., Ingrid Michaelson and Blue October.

Rock your Christmas
Finally, a couple of national acts have chosen Dallas as part of their holiday tours. The Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks Extravaganza! on December 13 at Winspear Opera House infuses the crowd with Setzer's infectious rockabilly style, including versions of his classic hits as well as holiday classics.

Just a few days before Christmas, Trans-Siberian Orchestra presents the Christmas Attic Live comes to American Airlines Center for two shows on December 21. This year, they perform their 1998 rock opera The Christmas Attic, which features one of the band's most popular songs, "Christmas Canon," live and in its entirety for the first time.