’Tis the season for hot chocolate, garland, mistletoe and—of course—Christmas lights! We’ve rounded up the best festive displays across the Metroplex, sure to bring that extra dose of cheer to your December. Plus, we’ve got guides to our favorite destinations for ice skating rinks, where to see Santa, and what to do with the kids on winter break. Gather the family and enjoy!
*Dallas Zoo Lights // Dallas
Where: Dallas Zoo, 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway
When: Nov. 19, 2021–Jan. 2, 2022, 6–9:30pm
What to know: Dallas Zoo Lights returns as a socially distanced drive-thru experience with a mile-long route featuring one million twinkling lights, elaborate holiday-themed displays, dazzling 3-D lighted sculptures, larger-than-life animal lanterns you can see from the comfort of your vehicle. Guests can also pre-order a gift bag full of holiday goodies to share—including hot chocolate in festive souvenir cups, popcorn, and other holiday sweets—that will be delivered to their car window as they wait to enter.
*Holiday at the Arboretum // Dallas
Where: Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road
When: Nov. 10–Dec. 31, 2021; member preview Nov. 9
What to know: One of Dallas’ main holiday attractions, Holiday at the Arboretum will have you feeling all warm inside even if the weather is chilly. With festive features like 25-foot-tall Victorian-style gazebos—each representing one day of 12 Days of Christmas—and the German-inspired Christmas Village, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Tickets start at $12.
*Christmas at Gaylord Texan Featuring Elf // Grapevine
Where: Gaylord Texan Resort, 1501 Gaylord Trail
When: Nov. 12, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
What to know: Step inside to enjoy the resort’s 4-acre indoor atrium, showcasing millions of twinkle lights, and even more walking through the Merry & Light lights, but the real draw is the myriad of recreational activities: ice skating, snow tubing, snow throwing, and new this year, Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf, where you can join an epic virtual snowball fight in Central Park, just like in the Elf movie.
*Radiance! Featuring Frozen in Frisco // Frisco
Where: Riders Field (formerly Dr Pepper Ballpark), 7300 Roughriders Trail, Frisco
When: Nov. 18, 2021–Jan. 1, 2022
What to know: The Radiance! holiday lights show is back with an all-new family attraction called Frozen in Frisco, with a two-story ice tubing hill, ice skating, snowball throw, bumper cars on ice, a 108-foot Ferris wheel overlooking the majestic Radiance! light show, and, of course, Santa greetings.
Tickets: Admission from $19.99 per child; from $29.99 for adults. $14.99 VIP for Fast Pass to light show, VIP entrance to event, bottomless upgraded hot chocolate, holiday cookie, retail discount and free parking.
Magic of Lights // Little Elm
Where: Little Elm Park, 600 Main Street
When: Nov. 20, 2021 – Jan 2, 2022
What to know: Drive through this holiday lights. Pricing per carload, or you can bypass must of the traffic with a Dash Pass. Open daily starting at 6pm. Closed to cars on Dec. 4 for walk-through night, and completely closed to all visitors on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.
GM Financial Parade of Lights // Fort Worth
Where: Downtown Fort Worth, parade begins at the intersection of Weatherford and Throckmorton Streets and ends on Third Street. See the complete route information and a full map here.
When: Nov. 21 (the Sunday before Thanksgiving) at 6pm
What to know: The largest illuminated holiday parade in all of Texas, with more than 100 floats expected to march down the 2.2-mile parade route around downtown Fort Worth. See from the sidewalk sidelines for free or reserve a street seat, starting at $15.
*Grapevine Christmas Spectacular // Grapevine
Where: Grapevine City Hall, 200 S. Main St., Grapevine
When: Nov. 22, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022
What to know: The Christmas Capital of Texas illuminates its historic downtown with hundreds of thousands of lights up and down Main Street. Sing along with the 40-foot community animated Singing Christmas Tree all Christmas long, starting on Monday, Nov. 22 for the annual Carol of Lights. From 4–9pm, the event includes live performances, live reindeer, crafts and fireworks.
Holiday in the Park // Arlington
Where: Six Flags Over Texas, 2201 E. Road to Six Flags St.
When: Nov. 19, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022; times vary by date; lights on at sundown
What to know: In between the thrill rides you’ll enjoy festive shows including the all-new Holly Jolly Holiday Parade and meet Santa in the Merry Marketplace. Plus, every night the park is open, Santa Claus lights the giant Christmas Tree at the front of the park. Tickets from $39.99.
Vitruvian Lights // Addison
Where: 3875 Ponte Ave., Addison
When: Nov. 26, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022; lights on 5–11pm nightly
What to know: Stroll or drive through 12 acres of colorful trees at Vitruvian Park’s annual free holiday light display of 550 trees in multicolored LEDs. Come to see the flip switch on Friday, Nov. 26, and stay for free photos with Santa, an elf balloon artist, and live music by Jordan Kahn Orchestra. Catch more live music on Saturdays Dec. 4 and 11.
Interlochen Lights // Arlington
Where: Interlochen neighborhood, 2001 Westwood Dr.
When: Mid-December–Christmas Day, 2021 at 7pm until around 11pm
What to know: For nearly 45 years, more than 200 homeowners in this northwest Arlington neighborhood near Interstate 30 celebrate the season by adorning their homes and property with festive lights and holiday-themed displays. The area’s festive lights have become must-see attraction for families in Metroplex. Traffic is always heavy, so expect your drive through the streets to take up the whole evening. Admission is free and lights reoccur nightly. Watch a video preview and find a printable map here at arlingtontx.gov.
Gift of Lights // Fort Worth
Where: Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Circle
When: Nov. 25, 2021 – Jan 2, 2022; Friday–Saturday 6–10pm, Sunday–Thursday 6–9pm
What to know: Relax and enjoy the ride as your family cruises through Fort Worth’s Gift of Lights, a 2-mile light park with millions (yes, millions) of shining bulbs. This event benefits local charities such as Ronald McDonald Home and Speedway Children’s Charities. Tickets start at $30 per car.
Christmas in the Square // Frisco
Where: 8843 Coleman Blvd., Frisco
When: Nov. 19 through Jan. 3, 2022; 6–10pm
What to know: Christmas in the Square returns with ice skating, Santa meet and greets, carriage rides, even a Christmas tree lot. Visitors can tune to 107.3 FM on their car radio and drive through, or listen to the music pumped through the square while walking the free display—filled with 180,000 lights and 200 dancing snowflakes.
Prairie Lights // Grand Prairie
Where: Lynn Creek Park at Joe Pool Lake, 5610 Lake Ridge Parkway
When: Nov. 25 – Dec. 31, 2021, open nightly at 6pm
What to know: Prepare to be dazzled with 4 million lights across two miles in this drive-thru holiday park. Tickets are $40 for a regular car pass, or $129 for a fast pass to significantly cut down your wait time and get to Santa’s Village faster, with Santa photo, carnival rides and a walk-thru forest. To experience the entire lights show on foot, sign up for the Sneak-a-Peek Fun Run & 5K, on Nov. 20 for runners and Nov. 21 for walkers and those with strollers. $35 registration.
*Deerfield Holiday Lights // Plano
Where: Between Preston Road and Coit Road
When: Dec. 1–30, 2021; 7–10pm weekdays and 7–11pm on weekends
What to know: This northwest Plano neighborhood has quite the reputation of elaborate holiday light displays. Cars and pedestrians are free to tour the streets, but these are private homes so please be respectful and stay in your vehicles. For an even more magical experience, reserve a carriage to top off your evening at dfwcarriages.com, available all month except Christmas Day.
*Denton Holiday Lights // Denton
Where: Denton Downtown Square, 110 W. Hickory St.
When: Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, check back soon for more info as it’s announced.
What to know: There’s no place like Denton this holiday season, where the downtown square’s lights turn on when the sun goes down and local businesses compete in the wassail tasting competition.
Ho Ho Ho Holidays in the Stockyards // Fort Worth
Where: Fort Worth Stockyards, 131 E. Exchange Ave.
When: Check back for details about 2021 entertainment as it’s announced.
What to know: Enjoy a Cowboy Christmas in the Fort Worth Stockyards, with thousands of twinkling lights, a 30-foot tree, strolling carolers, Santa photos, and rodeo competitions at the Cowtown Coliseum on Friday and Saturday nights.
Photo courtesy of Mark Bumgarner