During the holidays, event organizers bring out all the stops to entertain the masses, making the Dallas area one big smorgasbord of holiday cheer. There is no shortage of events from which to choose, including theater, music, shopping, and more, the best of which you will find below.
The Trains at NorthPark
The annual holiday tradition that is the Trains at NorthPark returns to NorthPark Center, albeit once again in a new location within the ever-changing mall. The exhibit, on display through January 8, features more than 750 railcars on a 1,600-foot intricate configuration of tracks set against local and national landmarks like Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Fair Park, Times Square, the White House, Mount Rushmore, and Golden Gate Bridge.
George W. Bush Presidential Center presents A Season of Merriment and Melody: Christmas at the White House 2004
Laura Bush selected "A Season of Merriment and Melody" as the White House holiday theme in 2004, weaving holiday music and traditional Christmas carols throughout the White House decor. The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum brings this celebration back to life in this new exhibit, which features behind-the-scenes photographs and videos, a reproduction of the 2004 Blue Room decorations, and more. The exhibit is on display through January 8.
Dallas Arboretum presents Holiday at the Arboretum
Holiday at the Arboretum includes the return of the 12 Days of Christmas outdoor exhibit, which features 12 elaborate 25-foot-tall Victorian gazebos with charming costumed characters, whimsical animals, and winter scenes made famous by The Christmas Carol. New this year, the garden is open for evening hours for the 12 Days at Night exhibit, which is on display every weekend through December 30.
Gaylord Texan Resort presents 13th annual Lone Star Christmas
Gaylord Texan Resort’s 13th annual Lone Star Christmas event offers a variety of holiday activities, live entertainment, and displays to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. The property’s four-and-a-half acres of indoor gardens transform into a magical winter wonderland with 2 million holiday lights, 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice, 2 million pounds of real Texas snow, and more decorations than your brain can handle. You can experience Lone Star Christmas through January 1.
2016 Texas Christkindl Market
Now in its sixth year, the Texas Christkindl Market is one of the largest open-air holiday markets in the Southwest. Inspired by a cherished German tradition, the market features a unique shopping experience for holiday gifts, decorations, and one-of-a-kind finds. Going on every day through December 23, it also includes festive music and new features like Peppermint Park and a 200-foot-long Artic Blast Tubing Run.
Prairie Lights 2016
Upon arriving at the entrance of Prairie Lights, you're dazzled with 4 million lights set along two miles of path. Taking place at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie through January 1, it features hundreds of all-new displays in shapes of all kinds that line and arch over the roads. Halfway through the drive is the Holiday Village, which has food, gifts, Santa, the all-new indoor laser show, and the Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Through Forest.
Christmas in the Square
Christmas in the Square, taking place daily at Frisco Square through January 1, features the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas. Now in its 12th year, the event features a show with over 175,000 lights set to music. It also includes "snow flurries" every 15 minutes on Fridays and Saturdays, an outdoor ice skating rink, and a special event on December 17 with holiday vendors, a trackless train, inflatables, a four-lane inner-tubing snow slide, and Santa Claus parachuting into the square to hear the wishes of all little girls and boys.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. presents Downtown Wanderland
Downtown Wanderland is season-long programming in downtown Dallas featuring Unbranded, a curated pop-up shop with rotating artists, fashion designers, and other unique merchandise; mini vending trailers and movie screenings in Pegasus Plaza; holiday markets at Main Street Garden; and more. Go to the official website for a full list of events going on December 1-17.
Dallas Summer Musicals presents Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
First airing in 1964, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has become a beloved Christmas classic, and now it soars off the screen and onto the stage at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Playing November 25-27, it features all of your favorite characters from the special, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, the Misfit Toys, and, of course, Rudolph.
Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
Kick off the holiday season with A Christmas Carol, a reimagined take on Dickens’ enduring classic in which the audience is immersed in the story with magical ghosts flying above, scary ghosts bursting out of the floor, and snow falling from the sky. Playing through December 28 at Wyly Theatre, this year's rendition from Dallas Theater Center features a female Scrooge for the very first time, played by Sally Nystuen Vahle.
Texas Ballet Theater presents The Nutcracker
The final must-see holiday theater tradition, The Nutcracker, is once brought to life by Texas Ballet Theater. Playing at Winspear Opera House through December 4, the ballet features a score by Tchaikovsky and enduring characters such as Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Nutcracker Prince.
Dallas Summer Musicals presents Broadway Christmas Wonderland
Broadway Christmas Wonderland features glittering costumes, a dazzling cast, and the highest kicking Chorus Girls this side of the North Pole. The nostalgic Christmas journey, playing at the Music Hall at Fair Park December 6-18, includes songs like “White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” and many more.
Christmas with Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant
Once again rekindling their synonymous holiday music magic, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith bring their popular symphony-filled Christmas tour to Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie on December 2. They are joined by Jordan Smith, Season 9 winner of NBC’s The Voice. The concert also features the Plano Symphony Orchestra.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Christmas Pops
Conductor Lawrence Loh leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for their Christmas Pops presentation, playing December 2-18 at Meyerson Symphony Center. They are joined by the Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas during matinee performances, the Dallas Symphony Chorus, and soprano Meredith Lustig in performing Christmas classics, holiday favorites and sing-along carols. They also put on a free abridged performance at NorthPark Center on December 13.
The Polyphonic Spree 14th Annual Holiday Extravaganza
The Polyphonic Spree's 14th Annual Holiday Extravaganza, taking place at Majestic Theatre on December 10, is an all-ages, family-friendly event featuring face painting and balloon animals for the kids, photos with the reindeer, Santa's sleigh, and Mr. & Mrs. Claus, and, of course, a performance by one of Dallas' most interesting bands.
Celebrate the Holidays at Klyde Warren Park
At Klyde Warren Park's annual Celebrate the Holidays event on December 3, activities include free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday kids’ crafts, food trucks, activities and demonstrations from area cultural institutions, holiday music entertainment, and a holiday show culminating with the lighting of the Klyde Warren Park Christmas tree. Following the daytime event, visitors are encouraged to make the short walk over to ...
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Reliant Lights Your Holidays
... Reliant Lights Your Holidays at AT&T Performing Arts Center, featuring hundreds of thousands of LED lights placed on the center’s venues and trees; live performances by RaeLynn and A.B. Quintanilla y Elektro Kumbia; free photos with Santa; a special appearance by Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields; and a fireworks display in Sammons Park.