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The Ultimate List of Christmas Things to Do in Dallas

The Ultimate List of Christmas Things to Do in Dallas

Who is ready to spread holiday cheer with this ultimate list of Christmas things to do in Dallas?!? Trust me. If you are not in the holiday spirit yet, you will be after you experience a few of these Christmas things in Dallas.

This ultimate list of Christmas things to do in Dallas includes the entire DFW metroplex. From Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas®, to Frisco, Arlington, and every city in-between. No matter where you live, I have something magical for you.

A family of five taking a photo with Santa at Miracle on 134th Street in Celina, Texas.

Explore the Christmas Capital of Texas®!

As the Christmas Capital of Texas®, this is one of the best Christmas things to do in Dallas. There is so much to enjoy (for ALL ages) that you will need an entire weekend in Grapevine.

For 40 days, Grapevine is decked out in Christmas decor with fun events for everyone to experience. The Historic Main Street is so beautiful and magically decorated that the streets look like a Hallmark Christmas movie, but without the snow.

A few of the fun, family-friendly events to enjoy in Grapevine include learning how to make your very own cookie cutter, storytime with Santa, Victorian Christmas tours, riding the North Pole Express, and so much more! For the perfect girl’s weekend in Dallas, you can also enjoy an adults only wine train!

Stay and Play at the Gaylord Texan Resort

A toddler boy throwing real snow at elves inside the Gaylord Texan Resort.

Every year, the Gaylord Texan Resort turns into a Texas-sized Christmas extravaganza! The lobby, Lone Star atrium, and every twist and turn inside the resort are adorned with larger-than-life holiday decorations.

There are countless festive activities throughout the resort for everyone to enjoy. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Walk through the Christmas Village
  • Throw REAL snowballs
  • Go snow tubbing down slides
  • Make gingerbread houses
  • Enjoy stories and songs with Mrs. Claus
  • Stroll through a spectacular light show
  • Paint a thoughtful Christmas gift
  • Ride the Christmas carousel
  • Go ice skating
  • Get family photos with Santa
  • And more!

Step Inside an Immersive ICE! Exhibit

An ICE! display of a highly decorative, larger-than-life Christmas tree carved from ice with trumpet players. One of the best Christmas things to do in Dallas!

As stated above, Christmas at Gaylord Texan Resort is full of fun activities, and the most popular activity is ICE! Guests can step inside and walk through a holiday showplace of hand-carved, larger-than-life ice sculptures carved from more than 2 million pounds of ice!

The ICE! exhibit is fun for the entire family or a date night. There are cool photo ops (no pun intended), a two-story-tall slide made of ice, immersive ice tunnels, and more.

The exhibit rotates holiday themes often, and they are all wonderful! You can experience the Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Christmas Around the World, or a Charlie Brown Christmas.

The ICE! exhibit is a chilly 9 degrees Fahrenheit. ICE! provides complimentary parkas, but you should also come prepared with warm clothes, especially gloves, if you want to touch the ice.

Visit Santa’s Workshop at Miracle on 134th Street

Who wants to visit Santa’s workshop?!?

At Miracle on 134th Street, you can take a guided tour inside Santa’s gorgeous workshop led by one of his elves. You can watch Blitzen eat a cupcake, visit the mailroom, go to elf school, and watch elves make toys. Then meet the big guy himself for FREE!

In addition to Santa’s workshop, you can take a fun train ride, stroll through a lighted forest, ride the carousel, jump on bounce houses, and enjoy hot cocoa by the fire pit.

My family had so much fun at Miracle on 134th Street. It is easily one of our new favorite Christmas things to do in Dallas.

Experience Christmas at the Hilton Anatole

Four reindeer stables for Christmas at the Hilton Anatole.

Christmas at the Hilton Anatole is a wonderful place to spend the holidays, especially as a family. The hotel is luxuriously decorated with Christmas trees and poinsettias and has several fun activities.

Families will enjoy the self-paced, immersive indoor North Pole experience. It has over 20 fun activities, including a puppet show, train ride, mini golf, letters to Santa, arts and crafts, light maze, bounce house, and many carnival games. 

Hilton Anatole also has special Santa-themed rooms for the holiday, and if you stay during the weekend, you can have a cheerful breakfast with Santa. 

Ice Skate Around the Tallest Indoor Christmas Tree

The tallest indoor Christmas tree, decorated in red ornaments, located at the Galleria Mall in Dallas.

Grab your skates and enjoy one of the most iconic and best Christmas things to do in Dallas – ice skating around the dazzling Christmas tree at the Galleria Mall. This isn’t just any evergreen Christmas tree. It is THE tallest indoor Christmas tree in America, standing 95 feet tall.

For us Texans, skating around the Christmas tree at the Galleria Mall is like sating around the Rockefeller tree in New York City. It is a Texas Christmas bucket list item!

The Christmas tree is highly decorative, with half a million lights and over 10,000 red and gold ornaments. It also has Illumination Celebration light shows with music four times daily (12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m.) to provide guests with an amazing experience.

Go on an Immersive Holiday Experience

Get ready to fill your Instagram feed with some fun, holiday photos!

SNOWDAY Dallas is a festive Christmas town with several immersive rooms and interactive photo ops. Take a picture inside a snow globe, at gingerbread lane, in an upside-down room, and more! It is a fun experience for all ages!

Families (and kids at heart) will also love Santaland. The special experience begins with a ride on a realistic Polar Express train. Then, you walk through a gorgeous white Christmas tree forest with falling snow and enter a cozy chalet room where you meet Santa.

And folks, this is the real deal, Santa. When your child walks through the door, Santa will greet them by name and know what they want most for Christmas! Of course, you also get a picture with Santa. It’s an experience everyone will remember forever!

Enjoy a Luxurious Holiday Tea Service

A three tier plate of pastries from the Adolphus Hotel's iconic holiday tea service - one of the best Christmas things to do in Dallas.

One of Dallas’ most cherished Christmas traditions is the holiday tea at The Adolphus Hotel. The luxurious experience takes place inside the acclaimed French Room. Its opulent dining room has elegant holiday decorations, and a harpist fills it with seasonal music.

The timeless tea service starts with a glass of bubbly followed by a 3-course meal of scrumptious tea sandwiches, warm scones, and delectable pastries paired with loose-leaf teas.

Book your reservations well in advance because the spots fill up quickly. This is a holiday experience you do not want to miss!

Read next: A Luxurious Afternoon Tea Experience at Ashford Castle

Dine at the Most Festive Restaurant in DFW!

A toddler boy standing in the middle of an epic light tunnel at the most festive restaurant in Dallas - Campo Verde.

For the ultimate over-the-top Christina dining experience, visit Camp Verde. Campo Verde is a year-round Christmas-themed Tex-Mex restaurant in Arlington. Yes, that’s right. The restaurant is decked out in holiday decorations all year long!

So you can be in the Christmas spirit on a hot summer day, but nothing beats going in November – December. It is one of the best Christmas things to do in Dallas.

The festive decor is extraordinary. It is everywhere you look. There are different themed rooms, giant inflatable snowmen, and their iconic light tunnel.

Plus, the food is delicious! You immediately get complimentary chips and queso when you sit down. Everything on the menu is tasty, but the fajitas are the best!

Local tip: The holiday season is also the busiest time of the year. I recommend dining for lunch on a weekday. Otherwise, you are looking at 2 hour wait times (and no, they do not take reservations).

Experience Holiday Lights and Activities at Radiance!

A line of green light Christmas trees with a Ferris wheel in the background. This is the light drive-thru at Radiance! in Frisco - one of the best Christmas things to do in Dallas.

We love Frisco, Texas. There are so many fun things to do in Frisco, including the holiday season.

You can enjoy two parks with just one ticket at Radiance! and Frozen in Frisco. This holiday event is one of the best Christmas things to do in Dallas for families.

At Radiance!, guests drive through 3 million lights synchronized to holiday music. You travel through different themed sections of the park with several light tunnels, a light laser show, and a beautiful tribute to our soldiers overseas.

At Frozen in Frisco, guests enjoy an outdoor Winter Carnival full of different activities for all ages. You can visit Santa, toss REAL snow, go tubing down a 100 ft. ice hill, skate under the stars, and ride bumper cars, Bucking Blitzen, a carousel, and a Ferris wheel.

Radiance! moved to Weatherford for the 2023 season.

Drive Through 4 MILLION Lights at Prairie Lights

Prairie Lights remains one of the best holiday parks and things to do in Dallas for Christmas. The holiday park includes a 2-mile drive through 4 million lights and the outdoor Holiday Village.

The park is divided into three parts. First, you drive through half of the light trail. Then you can park your vehicle and experience the Holiday Village. Finally, you return to your vehicle and finish the drive-thru light trail, ending in a spectacular finale.

The drive-thru light show features hundreds of custom displays with various themes. At the end of the show, guests get to experience the iconic grand finale – an animated light tunnel that you will never forget!

The Holiday Village is an outdoor carnival that includes photos with Santa, carousel rides, a magical walk- thru forest, and more!

Admire the 12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arborteum and Botanical Gardens

A visit to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is essential for every season, especially for Christmas! The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens feature a beautiful display of the 12 Days of Christmas every year.

Guests walk through the gardens to find 25-foot-tall Victorian-style gazebos representing one of the 12 Days of Christmas. Each Victorian-style gazebo is exquisitely decorated with moving displays with a Christmas song to play alongside it.

A German-inspired Christmas village at the Dallas Arboretum.

This year, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens also have a German-inspired Christmas Village with a fun scavenger hunt and German-inspired food and drinks (yes, that includes alcoholic beverages).

The 12 Days of Christmas gazebos and German-inspired Christmas Village are beautiful day and night. At night, the gardens are shining bright with holiday lights. During the day, if you visit with children, make sure you spend time at Rory Children’s Adventure Garden. It is one of the best things to do in Dallas with toddlers.

See the Vitruvian Lights

Watch Addison’s Vitruvian Park turn into a spectacular holiday light park! This annual celebration turns on 1.5 million sparkling LED lights wrapped around more than 550 trees along the waterway.

If you are looking for a FREE, casual, and relaxing evening this holiday season, a walk along the Vitruvian Lights is the perfect destination.

Shop at the Largest Christmas Store in Texas

A highly decorated area with  Christmas trees, hanging garland, Santa in a sleigh, and poinsettia arch. Located at The Decorator's Warehouse in Texas.

The Decorator’s Warehouse is Texas’s largest and #1 Christmas store. One foot in the door and the store will take your breath away.

Shopping at the Decorator’s Warehouse is easily one of the best Christmas things to do in Dallas – even if you do not need to buy anything because the entire store is a photo op and wonderland.

If you still need to find your theme, you will after you shop here. The Decorator’s Warehouse features over 20 theme areas, from a Candyland wonderland to a Grinchmas, classic red and white Christmas, and so much more. Shop for high-quality ornaments, ribbons, sprays, and decorations to bring the magic of Christmas to your home.

Find the Perfect Gift in Downtown McKinney

A family of five taking a picture in front of an old red truck for the holidays at Downtown McKinney, Texas.

Downtown McKinney is one of the cutest destinations in Dallas, and more so during the holiday season. The local stores have beautiful decorations, and the charming streets have cute photo ops everywhere you look.

Moreover, Downtown McKinney is one of the best places to go shopping for the holidays. Shop local at one of the 120+ unique shops in Downtown McKinney. From art galleries to furniture stores, antique stores, home décor shops, apparel boutiques, and more. You will find the perfect gifts for your loved ones in one day.

Shop at a German Christmas Market

Since 2011, Arlington and its sister city and partners, Bad Königshofen and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, have brought the magic of German Christmas markets to Dallas. The Texas Christkindl Market is a wonderful place to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts.

In addition to the local vendors, you can shop at the exclusive Käthe Wohlfahrt tent for handcrafted merchandise and designs from the iconic Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Village. The Texas Christkindl Market also has German-inspired cuisine, live entertainment, and the opportunity to meet a traditional St. Nikolaus.

Experience Christmas in the Square

A colorful light tunnel, star, and giant ornament at Christmas in the Square in Frisco.

Christmas in the Square in Frisco is a fun holiday event for everyone. It is known for the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas. You can walk or drive the square under a string of lights to experience one of the most spectacular shows, and it’s FREE. 

Christmas in the Square also has an outdoor ice skating rink, visits with Santa, horse carriage rides, a walk-through light tunnel, a Christmas tree lot, and more. It is one of the best Christmas things to do in DFW.

Stroll Through Holiday Lights at Daystar

A holiday ligt tunnel for guests to walk through - located at Daystar in Bedford, Texas.

The Daystar Christmas lights are one of the best-kept secrets in Dallas. This FREE event has over 1 million lights, a family-friendly Christmas town, a life-sized Nativity, and more.

Daystar Television Network headquarters hosts this magical event for the public every year. It is the perfect holiday destination for an evening of fun with your loved ones. There are Instagram-worthy and Christmas card photo ops everywhere you look, so make sure you bring your camera!

When you arrive at Daystar, you immediately enter a lighted drive-thru tunnel. Then you can park your car and stroll around the family-friendly Christmas town, take pictures with Santa, make your way through a light maze, and more. There is plenty of fun for everyone!

Spread Holiday Cheer at NorthPark Center

NorthPark Center is not only one of the best shopping centers in Dallas, but it is also one of the best Christmas things to do in Dallas. There are several events to enjoy at NorthPark Center, such as photos with Santa, watching the Scrooge Puppet Theatre, visiting the train exhibit, admiring Gingertown, and more.

Moreover, to this day, it is one of my favorite places to go during the holiday season because it brings back so many wonderful childhood memories. In fact, so many of the holiday traditions at NorthPark Center date back at least 20 years.

The shopping center is decorated with fresh poinsettias, Christmas trees, and even a flying Santa Claus. Two of the most iconic decorations at NorthPark Center are the vintage Candy Santa flying the Pecan Reindeers and the Bavarian-style animated Christmas clock, which plays the 12 Days of Christmas every 15-minutes. Both of these decorations date back to the 1960s.

Take Pictures with the Iconic Santa

When I say this Santa is iconic, I genuinely mean that because it is the SAME Santa I grew up with as a kid (and I am in my 30s). Seeing the NorthPark Center Santa remains one of my favorite holiday memories, and I cannot wait for my kids to share the same. Sadly, the iconic Santa retired, but I have no doubt the new one will be just as good.

NorthPark Center turns a retail space into the NorthPole for children to write letters to Santa, see reindeer, and more. Once it’s their turn, they get to sit on Santa’s lap, tell him what they want for Christmas, and have their picture taken with him.

Watch the Scrooge Puppet Show

The Scrooge Puppet Theatre is a free show located on level one between Macy’s and Dillard’s.

The improvisational performance by the puppeteer will have both children and adults laughing their socks off. Watching the Scrooge is always one of my favorite Christmas things to do in Dallas because now, as an adult, I love watching everyone’s reactions to the show.

Scrooge will often call out guests and involve them in his show. So if you do not like to be put on the spot, you might want to hide. And make sure you stay till the very end of the show for Scrooge’s surprise gift to all the guests!

Visit the Minitaure Toy Train Exhibit

The Miniature Train Exhibit at NorthPark Center has been a holiday tradition in DFW for 23 years. It is a fun and beautiful exhibit for all ages. The best part, the proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.

Inside, the exhibit features several different trains moving along 1,600 feet of railroad tracks on a journey across America. There is also a scavenger hunt for kids to find extra details throughout the exhibit, which helps make the experience more interactive and fun.

Admire the Sweet Gingertown Display

The annual Gingertown at NorthPark Center is one of the most significant gingerbread house events in North Texas. Gingertown brings together local talent from design, engineering, and construction firms for a live gingerbread building competition every year.

All of the proceeds from Gingertown’s competition benefit the Children’s Craniofacial Association. Given that the competitors are designers, engineers, and contractors – the gingerbread houses are pretty sweet (pun intended).