There's nothing more fun on a December night than loading the family into the car, fueling up with hot cocoa, and driving through neighborhoods to view Christmas lights. Entire streets, blocks, parks, and major attractions throughout North Texas have flipped the switch on this year's festive yuletide decor. Here are the biggest, best, and brightest commercial and neighborhood displays around Dallas in 2019. Be sure to check back, as the list will grow as Santa's arrival approaches.
Daystar Television Network presents Daystar Christmas
Daystar Christmas is the annual holiday lights display at Daystar Television Network in Bedford. The event, taking place through January 5, features over 1 million lights, a life-sized Nativity, kid-friendly Christmas town, a newly added drive-through tunnel, and more. Guests will have the chance to take photos with Santa, and there will also be a special reading of the Christmas Story and Scratch Café holiday hours.
Vitruvian Lights: A Magical Night of Lights
Vitruvian Park in Addison has been transformed into a dazzling holiday wonderland for Vitruvian Lights, when over 1.5 million sparkling LED lights are wrapped around more than 550 trees. The lights remain on every evening through January 1 and are free to view. Check the website for special events in the park.
Holiday at the Arboretum
During the holidays, patrons get the rare chance to enjoy the Dallas Arboretum at night. This year's Holiday at the Arboretum, taking place through December 31, includes the annual 12 Days of Christmas, which depicts each day in the beloved carol with 12 Victorian-style gazebos. They get illuminated at night, with more than 1 million lights adorning the garden and the 30-foot-tall spruce tree. New this year is the Pauline and Austin Neuhoff Family Christmas Village, which features 12 old-world European-style shops and façades that represent a quaint European hamlet. At night, the village shines with a holiday glow of lights strung throughout the trees and outlining the roof of each shop. Dropping in for appearances are choirs, musicians, and even Santa himself.
Light Up the Holidays at Centennial Park
Irving’s Centennial Park, at 444 W. Second St., becomes a winter wonderland with lighted displays of wreaths, trains, and other festive scenes on bridges, trees, and walls. The display of more than 60,000 lights is free and open to the public from dusk until 10 pm from December 7 to 25, weather permitting. (Hint: Wear comfy shoes and prepare to walk, as bike riding is not permitted.) Before those lights get switched on, though, the City of Irving hosts its Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, beginning at 5 pm December 7 in the Heritage District. A procession of lit-up floats will travel through the historic district in downtown Irving. Immediately following the parade, the tree lighting ceremony and fireworks show will take place outside City Hall, 825 W. Irving Blvd.
Prairie Lights is a two-mile, drive-through holiday lights experience, situated along the shores of Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie. It boasts a stunning display of more than 4 million lights and other holiday attractions. Hundreds of all-new displays in shapes of all kinds line and arch over the roads. Halfway through the drive, visitors can get out of their vehicles for a stop at Holiday Village, featuring food, gifts, photos with Santa Claus, a brand-new indoor Holiday Show, and the Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Through Forest. The second half of the drive ends with the very animated light tunnel. The lights will be lit until December 31. Hint: Cut down on wait time by checking the current park status and purchasing a fast-pass, available on the website.
AT&T Performing Arts Center
Sammons Park on the ATTPAC campus gets illuminated with dazzling LED lights throughout the holiday season. They light up in grand style at the Reliant Lights Your Holidays event at 5:30 pm December 7. The evening promises holiday magic, with kids’ arts and crafts, a gigantic fireworks show, and holiday concert featuring WAR and Mariachi Rosas Divinas. Santa might just drop by, too.
Six Flags Holiday in the Park
Six Flags Over Texas decks its halls, trees, and roller coasters with thousands of star-bright LED lights. They've also filled the streets with festive Christmas trees and wreaths, brought in a frosty snow hill, and on select days, they'll invite carolers to sing holiday classics and put on seasonal shows. The most magical time of the year is even more enchanting with discounts, available on the Six Flags website. The holiday spirit continues through January 5; check their website for hours and special events.
City Hall Light Show Spectacular & Whoville
Go to Grapevine for the blockbuster Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan Resort, but stay for all the other festive events and displays around town. The popular Lightshow Spectacular is a brilliantly choreographed light and sound show that runs continuously, nightly through January 4. Sing along with the Singing Christmas Tree, enjoy the light show at City Hall, and explore the world of Whoville. It's all located next to the Town Square Gazebo along Main Street. Grapevine's 40th annual Parade of Lights takes place at 7 pm December 5. Parade watchers will line Main Street to watch more than 100 decorated, lighted floats while marching bands play the soundtrack of the season.
Christmas in the Square
Returning for its 15th year, Frisco's Christmas in the Square boasts the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas. The event includes a show with over 175,000 lights set to music; visitors may tune in to 107.3 FM in their cars or listen to the music piped through speakers as they take a walk through the square. The presentation runs 6-10 nightly until December 31. While you're there, you can navigate the Christmas tree maze, go ice skating in the rink, and more.
Dallas Zoo Lights
On special nights through January 5, the Dallas Zoo's ZooNorth area lights up with more than 1 million twinkling lights. Throughout the zoo, guests will find silk-covered lanterns in the shape of animals, festive treats, photo ops with Santa, a holiday lights show, and other nightly festivities. Check the zoo's website for admission deals, special adults-only nights, and other programming.
Christmas on the Square
The City of Garland Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department presents Christmas on the Square, featuring more than 100,000 lights and other fun festivities. Walk or drive through the Downtown Garland Square for the animated display as you tune into holiday music on the radio. It's all free and open nightly through December 31. The Christmas on the Square Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off the event with live holiday performances and the lighting of the official Christmas Tree at 5:30 pm December 5.
The gorgeous historic homes on this grand Dallas avenue get decked to the nines for a "Merry Swissmas." Two-story houses and long walkways are outlined in thousands of twinkling lights. Point your car down the street and drive slowly to enjoy. To get up close on one night only — December 8 — join the Lantern Walk, sponsored by and benefiting nonprofit Friends of Aldredge House. Ticket-holders will visit five houses and enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, wine, Champagne, and punch along each stop. Docents will bring tales of every home to life, and lantern-carrying town criers will deliver nuggets of history about local Christmases of yore. Patrons can stroll house to house or hop on the complimentary shuttle. Tickets are $70. More information and tickets are available on the organization's website.
Each year, more than 200 homeowners in this northwest Arlington neighborhood near Interstate 30 adorn their homes with extravagant light displays. This year is the neighborhood's 44th to stage the free event, which begins nightly at 7 pm. Find the entrance at Westwood Drive and Randol Mill Road, tune your radio to Christmas stations, and make your way slowly along the winding roads of the neighborhood. (Note: You'll want to plan for long lines as Christmas approaches, as December 25 is the last day for the display.) A map can be found here.
The Park Cities
The gorgeous homes in the Park Cities neighborhoods of Dallas shine with beautiful light displays, many of which are professionally installed; pick just about any street where you see houses lit top to bottom in twinkling lights, and there are bound to be a dozen more. Be sure to check out Highland Park Village while you're in the area. On December 5, the luxury shopping center will kick off its spectacular display with a Christmas Lights Celebration and Shopping Stroll, featuring live performances, shopping deals, photos with Santa, champagne, hot toddies, and more — all starting at 4:30 pm. Also, Highland Park's famous “Big Pecan Tree” on Armstrong Parkway may be gone, but they'll carry on with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at a new one. It will take place at 6 pm December 5 at the pecan tree immediately to the west of the spot once occupied by the Monarch Pecan Tree, at the intersection of Armstrong Parkway and Preston Road.
Deerfield neighborhood, Plano
The Deerfield neighborhood of Plano hosts a holiday decorating contest that yields magical results: a top-rated winter wonderland you can walk or drive through. You can even book carriage rides or Segway tours in advance. Deerfield subdivision is located between Preston Road and Coit Road. Enter from Legacy Drive, heading north on Colonnade or Archgate; check the website for maps and schedules. The free drive-through event runs 7-10 pm nightly through December 30.
Historic Kessler Park goes all out, with lots of holiday lights on homes and trees against a backdrop of the Dallas skyline. The holiday decorations are coordinated on various traffic islands in the neighborhood each year. From downtown Dallas, go west on Interstate 30. Take the Sylvan exit, turn south on Sylvan, drive about a half a mile, and turn west on Colorado. You can't miss some of the most majestic oak trees in Dallas, shining bright for the holidays.