Though plans for the Christmas season feel uncertain, one thing’s for sure: It’s going to be bright—really bright. Our Christmas spirit marches on in this round-up of the biggest and brightest holiday attractions in Dallas Fort Worth this season. Check out drive-through light shows, over-the-top exhibits, family photo experiences and events, each with limited capacity and safety protocols in place for a worry-free experience.
Drive-Through Light Shows
Radiance! A Holiday Light Spectacular // Frisco
Where Dr. Pepper Ballpark, 7300 Roughriders Trail
When Nov. 11–Jan. 3, daily from 5:30–10pm or 5:30–11pm
Cost $30 per vehicle; $50 for VIP
The all-new drive-through holiday lights show debuts in Frisco and two other locations (Weatherford and Decatur). Find the location nearest you and tune into a special radio station so you can jam to holiday songs as you drive. The VIP upgrade includes fast lane access, hot chocolate and magic light glasses for the kids that will enhance the Christmas glow. Food, drinks and other goodies—such as LED balloons or glow stick cotton candy—is available for purchase from your car.
Dallas Zoo Lights // Dallas
Where Dallas Zoo, 650 S. RL Thornton Freeway
When Nov. 20–Jan. 3, select nights from 6:30–9:30pm
Cost $50 per car for zoo members; $65 per car for nonmembers
The Dallas Zoo constructed a roadway in an unused part of the zoo for this reimagined holiday lights exhibit representing all sorts of wild species. Spot the silk-covered lion, rhino and elephant lanterns along the 1.25-mile route, and wave from your car window to Santa, costumed characters and the animal ambassadors standing by.
Prairie Lights // Grand Prairie
Where Lynn Creek Park at Joe Pool Lake, 5610 Lake Ridge Parkway
When Nov. 26–Dec. 31, daily 6–10pm
Cost $30 per vehicle; $99 for Fast Pass; $30 per Santa video
Opening on Thanksgiving night, the 2-mile lights display goes in-car only this year and adds a drive-up concession stand available at the half-way point. There’s also a new and improved light tunnel as the finale. As an alternative to in-person visits with the man in red, order a personalized video from Santa you can give to your child.
Gift of Lights // Fort Worth
Where Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Circle
When Nov. 26–Jan. 3, daily 6–10pm
Cost $30 per carload or truckload
Slow down and enjoy the ride when Gift of Lights transforms NASCAR’s oval racetrack into a 2-mile, drive-thru holiday park. Editor’s Note: There is no Santa’s Village this year. Tune into Christmas music on KLTY as you cruise, and order ahead from the on-site food trucks for snacking while you drive.
Click here for more Christmas tree lightings by event type—drive thru, in-person and virtual.
SNOWDAY // Dallas
Where Galleria Dallas, 13350 Dallas Parkway, Suite 1218
When Nov. 20–Jan. 3 daily, hours vary
Cost $22 adults; $8 children 4–12; free for ages 3 and younger. $5 each for professional photos on 6×8 glossy paper.
Navigate your way through 11 festive and high-tech photo ops. You’ll walk on the ceiling, ride in Santa’s new spaceship and meet SNOWDAY’s own elf on the shelf, Tinsel McJingles III. Get a free ticket to SNOWDAY when your child takes a photo with Santa at Galleria Dallas.
The Grinch’s Grotto // Frisco
Where Stonebriar Centre, 2601 Preston Road
When Nov. 27–Dec. 31 daily, time slots vary
Cost $50 for up to 5 people; $200 VIP
Does it feel like the Grinch has already stolen your Christmas plans? Here’s your chance to take it back during a meet-and-greet from the Mean One himself. This photo experience set inside the Grinch’s cave is brought to you by the creators of The Dr. Seuss Experience, coming to our shores in (fingers crossed) 2021.
Holiday at the Arboretum: The 12 Days of Christmas // Dallas
Where Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road
When Nov. 7–Dec. 31, daily 9am–5pm, select nights 6–9pm or 6–10pm
Cost Tickets from $12 for daytime and from $11 for nighttime
Come by during the day or—for the best viewing experience—after dark on select nights to behold the 12 Victorian-style gazebos, each depicting a line from the Christmas carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas”. The Arboretum also debuts a new 25-foot-tall German-built Christmas Pyramid as part of its life-size Christmas Village, opening Friday, Nov. 27.
I Love Christmas Movies & Yuletide Bright // Grapevine
Where Gaylord Texan Resort, 1501 Gaylord Trail
When Nov. 13–Jan. 3,
Cost Tickets vary by attraction.
Want to plug in the Christmas lights to Clark Griswold’s house? The Gaylord’s Lone Star Christmas features a new pop-up exhibit of 15 immersive scenes from holiday movies like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf and The Polar Express. Explore the new outdoor walk-through lights attraction of silk-covered lanterns, Yuletide Bright, and experience all the ice skating, snow tubing and snowman-building fun returning to the Grapevine resort.
The Trains at NorthPark // Dallas
Where NorthPark Center, 8687 North Central Expressway
When Nov. 14–Jan. 3 daily, hours vary
Cost $10 adults; $5 children ages 2–12
Travel across America vicariously by way of this miniature train exhibit spanning 1,300 feet of rolling tracks. This family-favorite exhibit began in 1987 and has since raised millions for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Personalized railcars available for purchase.
Luminova Holidays // Arlington
Where Globe Life Field, 734 Stadium Drive
When Through Jan. 3
Cost Starts at $19.99
Check out this world premiere that includes over 2 million lights, a 10,000-square-foot ice skating rink, a 65-foot Christmas tree, tons of photo ops, train rides and much more over at Globe Life Field. The event takes place inside and outside to maximize social distancing efforts, and health protocols are in place for added safety measures. Only a limited amount of tickets are available each night, so book yours soon.
Jingle All the Way: A Holiday Family Concert // Fort Worth
Where Casa Mañana, 3101 W. Lancaster Ave.
When Dec. 5–23
Cost Regular admission from $35. Lap seats are $15 for children age 2 and younger.
Craft your own Christmas ornaments, sip hot cocoa from your table seating, and listen as a cast of costumed characters sing a medley of Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman and other familiar tunes. Craft materials are included with ticket purchase.
Dallas Symphony Family Christmas Pops // Dallas
Where Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St.
When Dec. 5, 11am
Cost Tickets from $35
Lawrence Loh conducts the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in this one-hour, family-friendly performance of popular Christmas songs. Note that seats are only available online in groups of two to allow for physical distancing. Call guest services to purchase three or more.
A Very Electric Christmas // Dallas
Where Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St.
When Dec. 18, 7pm
Cost Tickets from $25
The internationally known Lightwire Theater performs in complete darkness, lighting up the stage with costumes and puppets made from electroluminescent wires. Don’t miss this one-day-only production about a young bird who accidentally arrives at the North Pole, set to the music of Tchaikovsky, Nat King Cole and Mariah Carey.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Photo courtesy of Luminova Holidays.