Though it may not be the first place when you think of Christmas, thanks to the lack of dreamy white snow, Dallas, Texas is a fantastic spot to spend the festive period in, with loads of great Christmas events, sights, food, drink, lights, and more.
You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to Christmas activities in Dallas, a city that certainly knows how to throw a festive party.
You’ve got all kinds of dazzling Christmas lights displays (including an amazing tunnel!), fascinating festive exhibits for the whole family to enjoy, grand party celebrations, and so much more.
It all sounds overwhelming! How can you possibly narrow down all the great Christmas stuff that Dallas has to offer? Well, we’ve done it for you! In our fun guide below, we’ve got 11 jolly ways for you to have the very best Christmas in Dallas.
Whatever way you like to celebrate, you’re sure to find an event or activity you just love in our article. Read on!
1. Go Christmas Shopping At The Galleria Mall
We’re starting our list off with an absolute Christmas staple, shopping! Christmas can be a very stressful time, because you’ve got to find the time to rush around buying presents for all your nearest and dearest.
However, Dallas’ famous and enormous Galleria shopping mall makes that job easy, because it’s got such a wide range of different stores that you can likely get all your shopping done in one place!
The mall is a delight all year round, but it becomes even more magical during the Christmas holidays. How so?
Well, the place is completely decorated in the most dazzling Christmas ornaments you can think of, and there’s a massive Christmas tree planted right in the center of the circular part of the building.
This tree is then covered in almost half a million lights, countless decorations, and a gigantic star on top. As a result, shopping here is a festive delight, because there’s a constant feeling of cozy, sparkling anticipation for Christmas.
However, the festive feeling is made even greater thanks to the skating Santa Clause that they’ll sometimes have, as well as a beautiful fireworks display. In fact, you can even take a spin on the ice yourself! But what’s the Christmas shopping like?
As you can imagine, there is an enormous amount of stores in the mall, with more than 200 stores and restaurants available. These offer every kind of store you could want, as well as loads of different cuisines to enjoy once you’ve finished.
2. Enjoy A Festive Film Outside At Klyde Warren Park
What’s one of the very best ways to celebrate Christmas? Sitting down with your family and watching a festive movie! There are so many to choose from, and Dallas offers the opportunity to catch certain classic Christmas films in a cozy outdoor setting.
These all take place at Klyde Warren Park, which is already a beautiful place to have a festive wander, with its massive Christmas tree and paths lit with dreamy, festive lights.
However, it also offers community film screenings, of course, and these are one of the must do Christmas attractions in Dallas. If you’ve never been to an outdoor film screening, they totally transform the movies.
Watching a film at home or in a movie theater is great, but it takes on a whole new level of excitement when you’re sitting out in the open air, relaxing on a lawn chair and surrounded by people resting on blankets and kids playing around.
This is especially true at night – imagine looking up at a movie screen that’s surrounded by a dark sky full of stars! As for the Christmas films, they have a history of showing absolute classics.
For example, they’ve screened hits like It’s A Wonderful Life and The Polar Express to massive crowds of delighted families. It’s a great way to celebrate the festive season!
3. Experience The World’s Best Christmas Light Tunnel At Prairie Lights
Now this is a totally unique thrill, and a Christmas memory that you’ll carry with you for years! Prairie Lights is the best light park in all of Texas, filled with all lids of festive fun for the whole family.
We’re talking about a magical forest full of Christmas lights, a Santa that your kids can meet and have their photo taken with, plenty of places to do Christmas shopping, and even some carnival rides to use. And more!
The place is an absolute light show, as you would expect from a light park, which means it’s a constant delight to drive or walk about. There’s more than 4 million lights in use – that’s so many lights that the park can probably be seen from space!
However, it also has a delight that you may not have expected, and that’s the largest light tunnel in the world. What’s that? Well, it’s a tunnel for your car to drive through that’s absolutely covered in dazzling Christmas lights.
Seriously, driving through this tunnel is an experience like no other! You’ll feel like you’re flying your car through space, with every light acting like a star that’s surrounding you.
Or, instead, you’ll feel like you’re driving your time through a time vortex. Either way, this tunnel is a total trip, and another reason why a trip to Dallas’ Prairie Lights is a great way to celebrate Christmas.
4. Experience The 12 Days Of Christmas At The Dallas Arboretum
Everybody knows the 12 Days Of Christmas song, with its dizzying verses filled with all kinds of Christmas characters and gifts. Well, what if you could see those characters and gifts?
That’s what the Dallas Arboretum offers each Christmas, which is a large, 66 acre botanical garden full of beautiful flowers. However, when it comes to Christmas, the Dallas Arboretum likes to dress things up in a festive fashion and put on special Christmas-themed displays.
The whole place is turned into a winter wonderland, with their beautiful gardens covered in festive lights. However, the key event here is their 12 Days Of Christmas displays, where they bring the song and its lyrics to life with inventive exhibits.
These are each housed in 25-foot Victorian styled gazebos, and each one involves verses of the song. For example, you’ll have two turtle-doves in one, while another will have five golden rings, and another will have eight maids a-milking.
You get the idea! The lyrics are brought to life with mechanical parts, costumed characters, and plenty of festive music and lights. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also places to enjoy a meal and a drink, as well as chances for the kids to meet Santa Claus and some live entertainment.
5. Festive Fun At Dallas Zoo
Like the Dallas Arboretum, the Dallas Zoo is a place that totally transforms at Christmas, changing its usual attractions into a festive treat. As you can imagine, the key attractions are all animal themed, since it’s a zoo!
You and your family will be delighted by a massive collection of glowing animal statues. For example, they’ve got a glowing zebra, an illuminated giraffe, a lit up elephant, and so many more, turning these magical creatures that extra bit more magical.
Of course, there are plenty of Christmas-themed animal statues too! You’ll be able to see a flock of glowing penguins surrounded by dazzling lights and illuminated snowflake displays.
But that isn’t all! Santa Claus also pays the site a visit, so your kids can go and ask him for presents and get a photo taken with him. It doesn’t have to just be the little ones, though, you can get a photo too!
There are also rides to enjoy, like a miniature festive train, and you can even toast some smores on a fire. Even better, there’s live music accompanying it all!
6. Marvel At Snowday’s Christmas Art
Another brilliant way to spend Christmas in Dallas is by taking a visit to Snowday, a location so popular that it was visited by more than 40,000 guests in 2022!
Put simply, Snowday is a large and immersive holiday photo experience, a place where you can enjoy a totally festive atmosphere and snap plenty of pictures around it all.
It’s full of imaginative rooms that have been specially decorated to scream “Christmas!”, filled with all kinds of ornaments and hidden surprises. Each room is its own unique photo opportunity, allowing you to take photos, make silly poses, and simply have a great time.
Snowday is as memorable as it gets – because you’ll be able to treasure the countless photos forever! If you worry the photos will all look the same, they won’t! From mirror mazes of lights to RV’s dressed up in Christmas lights, all the photo opportunities are fresh and different.
There are even Christmas characters walking about the place – make sure you get them in your photos! Tickets are typically $30 (adults) and $22 (children), and you can also get tickets to their related-event “Santaland”, where kids get to meet Santa.
7. Visit Pauline And Austin Neuhoff Christmas Village
If you’ve already loved your visit to the Dallas Arboretum, you’ll be delighted to discover that they offer even more festive fun in the form of The Pauline and Austin Neuhoff Christmas Village.
It may not be the catchiest name, but this relatively new extension of the Arboretum is a fantastic Christmas village for you and your family to get totally lost in.
It’s modeled to look like a quaint European hamlet, and it’s got as many as 12 shops for you to look around and buy things from. What are the shops? Well, they’re a great range of festive treats.
For example, they’ve got a candy shop for you to indulge your sweet tooth in (candy is always a major part of Christmas!), a bakery for more sweet treats, a post office from which you can send Santa a letter, a bookstore that gives you a special bookmark, a music shop where you can play festive tunes, a hat shop full of fun hats to try on, and so much more!
Additionally, there’s also a gorgeous clock tower, which looms dreamily over a bandstand where a local choir sings holiday tunes.
It’s a wonderland that you’ll love exploring, turning Dallas into a Christmas-themed village straight out of a storybook. Admission should also get you access to the 12 Days Of Christmas display!
8. Party Away At The Dallas Holiday Parade
There’s been a real sense of community spirit so far in our list, with crowds coming together to enjoy all these festive events, and there’s no better feeling of Christmas community than at the Dallas Holiday Parade!
Like any parade, you can imagine that this event is full of fun floats, people dancing and singing, a delightful marching band, and huge throngs of happy crowds. It typically lasts a couple hours, but there will be other festive festivals to go and continue the party at.
Even better, admission is free! You can sit down and watch the floats and band pass by all for free. With that being said, if you want to reserve some seating, then it’ll cost at least $20.
However, these tickets will not only get you a great vantage point for the party, but also a good bag of treats and a chance to meet Santa Clause! And if you’re hungry? The parade has you covered, because there are food trucks available for you to get a meal from.
9. Dazzling Christmas Lights And Skating At Christmas In The Square
We’ve looked at a few brilliant events on this list that are full of Christmas lights, offering dazzling experiences full of illumination and cheer.
Well, the Christmas lights that are set up at Frisco’s Christmas in the Square every year will bring you even more of that shining, gleaming Christmas fun! It may not quite be in Dallas, but the Texas town of Frisco is only a short journey from Dallas, and it’s well worth the trip.
When you get there, you’ll find a stunning display of Christmas lights, with over 175,000 different lights helping to make this a truly memorable experience. On top of that, the lights are sequenced to festive music!
This means that the lights will be flashing and changing in time to some brilliant holiday hits, making you feel even more Christmassy. On top of their great lights, Christmas in the Square also offers an outside skating rink for you to skate about on, as well as a fun Christmas-themed maze.
There’s plenty of fun to justify the small trip over to Frisco, and the events are on from late November to the beginning of January!
10. Have A Festive Feast At Elm Street
A key part of Christmas is the Christmas dinner itself, where the whole family gets together and enjoys an enormous helping of festive food. However, as fun as Christmas diner is, there’s so much stress and effort involved!
After all, you have to go and buy all the food, then cook it all the time, and then do the mountain of washing up afterwards. Wouldn’t it be great to have a stress-free Christmas dinner?
This is where the Elm Street Cask & Kitchen comes in, just one of many restaurants in Dallas that offers a fantastic Christmas menu for you to enjoy. You can enjoy it on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day itself, and it’s all at a pretty reasonable price too.
At this Dallas restaurant, you’ll be able to enjoy a full (and filling!) meal of mouth watering festive starters, a classic Christmas main, and even a sickly dessert (Also check out The Best Places For Frozen Custard In America). On top oof that, of course, there will be plenty of drinks to enjoy too.
11. Enjoy Christmas Drinks At Winterproof
Speaking of drinks, our final pick for a great way to celebrate Christmas in Dallas is at the Waterproof bar, found at the Statler Hotel. This is a great place to grab a drink all year round, but when it comes to Christmas-time, it becomes fabulously festive and a must do activity.
To make it festive, there’s a Christmas-themed drinks menu that comes out, with all kinds of brilliant wintery beverages for you to try!
For example, there are green drinks with candy canes in them, red drinks that look like Rudolph’s nose, white drinks that reflect heavy snowfall, and so many more.
Better yet, you can enjoy your drinks in private snow globes! Yes, you read that right, you can reserve private snow globes for you and a number of friends.
You have to spend a minimum amount of money on food and drinks to get them (for example, a snow globe of 4 guests needs to spend $150 minimum in 2 hours), but that shouldn’t be difficult with their delicious drinks!
Though it doesn’t snow, Dallas is absolutely packed with fabulous, festive ways to celebrate Christmas. Just use our list!
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