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A Christmas Carol: A New Musical Comedy, at Casa Mañana, Pictured: Dirk Lumbard as 'Ebenezer Scrooge,' Charlie Bilbow as 'Tiny Tim.' Photo by Agency Habitat.

5 Can’t-Miss Christmas Events

This wholesome entertainment makes the most wonderful time of the year even better.

Christmas traditions do so much for connecting our families across the generations, like huddling together to watch your town’s official tree lighting or taking the kids to see Santa. Whether you’re looking to keep old traditions going or shake things up by starting new ones this year, you’ll find many local opportunities for family fun experiences both on our calendar and here below in our list of my top five favorite Christmas events in Dallas-Fort Worth.

These range from what I call “oldies but goodies” to all-new entertainment you may have never heard about, much less before experienced with your littles. (Want to stay in the know about upcoming kid-friendly events? Sign up to receive The Weekend newsletter in your inbox every Thursday.)

Merry & Bright Drone Show
When: Next show Saturday, December 17, 8–8:15pm
Where: Grapevine Main Station
The details: The Christmas Capital of Texas takes its holiday lights in a new direction—up! This second annual Christmas drone show sends a fleet of 160 lighted drones into the sky over Peace Plaza (next to the new ice rink). Look up and, in a matter of eight to nine minutes, you’ll see the fleet morph from blue snowflakes to Rudolph with his red nose.
Cost: Free. Learn more

Can’t get enough of the synchronized drone light shows? Little Elm sends up a fleet on during Lights on the Lake. Don’t miss the remaining shows—themed after Frozen and The Grinch—continuing on December 16–17 and December 21–23 in Little Elm. Admission tickets are required but they do also include rides, ice skating and an admission pass to The Cove at The Lakefront.

A Christmas Carol: A New Musical Comedy
When: Multiple showtimes now through Friday, December 23
Where: Casa Mañana, Fort Worth
The details: This famously gloomy play gets the funny treatment in this children’s theater production with contemporary music, pop culture references, and an Ebenezer with—could it be?—a sense of humor. We can’t wait for this twist on a classic Dickens story.
Cost: Tickets from $19. Reserve seats

Nutcracker! Magic of Christmas Ballet
When: Monday, December 26, 3pm and 7pm
Where: Music Hall at Fair Park, Dallas
The details: Wanting to give your kids an “experience” as a gift or entertaining out-of-town guests the day after Christmas? This is a fabulous ballet features oversized puppets, marionettes and acrobatics by an international cast.
Cost: Tickets from $30, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. Get tickets

The Trains at NorthPark, photo courtesy of Bret Redman
Photo courtesy of Bret Redman

The Trains at NorthPark
When: Now through January 6 (closed Christmas Day and early closing on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and Day)
Where: NorthPark Center (on level two between Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus), Dallas
The details: This holiday model train display is only one part of NorthPark’s full Christmas entertainment, but if you’ve never been before, don’t let another Christmas season pass without a visit while you’re out shopping or visit the new guitar-playing Santa. A whopping 700-plus miniature trains rolling down 1,600 feet of miniature train tracks. It’s the largest such exhibit in the state, and it’s all to help raise funds for Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.
Cost: $10 adults; $5 children; under 2 free. Reserve tickets

When: Now through January 8 (closed Christmas Day and January 2–3)
Where: Fort Worth Botanic Garden
The details: You’ll walk a one-mile-long path with suspended strands and tunnels of light, a fire garden, undulating wave of bluebonnets, singing trees, treetop sculptures, and artistic installations, while toasting marshmallows over a fire and drinking hot chocolate and other seasonal drinks at stations along the trail.
Cost: $28 adults; $18 children; under 3 free. Tickets are required for admittance, with entry times available every 15 minutes from 5:45–9pm nightly. It takes about 1.5 hours to walk through, but you can stay as long as you like. Reserve tickets

RELATED: The Best Christmas Light Shows in Dallas-Fort Worth

Top photo courtesy of Agency Habitat