Like the Grinch that it is, coronavirus has stolen many things from us — but it can't dampen our holiday spirit. Sure, Santa will have to socially distance and the elves will be sanitizing toys. But when it comes to experiencing holiday lights, things are looking merrier and brighter than ever in 2020.
That's thanks to the number of drive-thru Christmas light events that are decking pathways around Dallas-Fort Worth this year.
Driving through mazes, displays, and tunnels of lights is a spectacular — yet safe — way to experience a little holiday magic. Most don't require you to leave the car, and they're contactless from the moment you order tickets online.
While our annual roundup of all the best holiday light displays is still to come, it's already time to load up the car, turn on the festive tunes, and hit the road for these top drive-thru displays.
Radiance! A Holiday Light Spectacular; Frisco, Weatherford, and Decatur, now-January 3
New in three North Texas cities this year, Radiance drive-thru lights experience is more than a mile long and takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Visitors can tune their car radios to a special station that will play coordinating holiday tunes as they meander through the light displays on each side of the car and through 160 feet of animated RGB light tunnels. Festive food and beverages, including hot chocolate and holiday cookies, are available for purchase without leaving the car. General admission tickets are $30 per vehicle, and VIP tickets are $50 per vehicle. Locations of all three events and more details are in this story.
Santa’s Country Christmas, Seagoville, now-January 1
Now in its fourth year of operation, Santa's Country Christmas drive-thru lights experience is located on Hwy. 175 in Seagoville, 20 minutes from downtown Dallas. The two-mile drive-thru park includes lights, animals, and music. They'll offer free Santa Claus photos starting Thanksgiving weekend. Admission is $25 per vehicle, purchased at the door. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Dallas Zoo Lights, Dallas Zoo, November 20-January 3
The zoo has reimagined its annual Dallas Zoo Lights for 2020, so visitors can now drive through a holiday safari of lights in their own vehicles. They promise guests will be able to cruise through a newly constructed pathway while taking in more than 1 million lights in elaborate displays, silk-covered animal lanterns depicting zoo animals, an ice palace fit for a trio of penguins, and more. Then park and stroll through Reliant Holiday Village at the end of the route. Timed entry tickets must be purchased online in advance; $65 per car for non-members, and $50 per car for members. For ticket packages, details, and more, visit the zoo's website.
The Magic of Lights at The Lakefront, Little Elm, November 20-January 2
The Magic of Lights at The Lakefront is a COVID-19-safe drive-thru event in Little Elm Park on the shores of Lewisville Lake. The mile-and-a-quarter route meanders through favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Tickets run $26-$100, depending on vehicle size. (There's a discount if you purchase tickets online rather than at the gate.) For more information and tickets, visit the event's website.
Candy Cane Lane, American Airlines Center, Dallas, November 27-December 26
This all-new event is a multi-level visual Christmas attraction taking over an entire AAC parking garage. Each level combines Christmas outdoor experiences that include a vast array of holiday lights, classic holiday lantern characters, and wonderland surprises around every corner. Visitors can tune into a special playlist of holiday music to accompany the drive. Candy Cane Lane is fully covered, so it can take place rain or shine. Ticket prices are per vehicle and are on sale in limited quantities on the website. It's $35-$50 for General Admission, or $50-60 for VIP, which includes a socially distanced picture with Santa. Read more about the event in this story.
Prairie Lights, Grand Prairie, November 26-December 31
A Dallas-Fort Worth tradition 15 years strong, Prairie Lights holiday light park is returning for 2020 — with some modern updates for the COVID-Christmas season and one special gift for guests: cheaper admission. Per usual, the dazzling display of over 5 million lights, all arranged in festive holiday scenes, will wind for two miles along the shores of Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie. But the park’s out-of-car experience, the Holiday Village — the traditional stop midway through with hot chocolate, cookies, and other goodies for sale — will be replaced by a new drive-thru concession option; Santa also will not appear. Admission has been reduced to $30 per car (up to eight people), and a Fast Pass (line jump pass) is available for $99. Read about tips for ticket purchase, mask-wearing, and more in this story.
Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, November 26-January 3
Texas Motor Speedway will once again open its gates to the public for the annual Gift of Lights drive-thru holiday lighting spectacular around the track. The lights experience will include over two miles of light displays, with almost 3 million lights, while visitors get to stay in their warm cars, listening to Christmas music on KLTY. Due to CDC guidelines, they will not host the Santa’s Village this year. Instead, there'll be onsite food trucks that allow guests to order ahead online and pick up for the drive-thru. Tickets are $30-$60 depending on size of vehicle and may be purchased online or at the gate. Check the website for special discounts, tickets, and more.
Interlochen Lights, Arlington, December 18-25
The Interlochen neighborhood will present Interlochen Lights once again during the holiday season. Known as the best neighborhood light show in Texas, the event allows guests to drive through the neighborhood and pick out favorite displays while they tune into holiday music on radio stations 102.1 FM or 98.7 FM. This is one of the busiest spots in Dallas-Fort Worth during the holiday season, and it's free. The route will be the same as previous years. Watch for updates on their website as the event gets closer.