North Texas goes all-out when it comes to spreading holiday cheer. Whether you’re with kids, friends, or solo, DART can help you get in the spirit – instead of in traffic.
DART’s free GoPass® app, available in the App Store or Google Play, makes it easier to discover these holiday festivities:
The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot is a Thanksgiving tradition, and one of the largest multi-event runs in the country. Starting and ending at Dallas City Hall Plaza, the fun, family-friendly event includes both certified 5K and 8-mile races. You can register online or at the race from 7 to 8:50 a.m.; early registration ends after Nov. 16. City Hall is about a 10-minute walk from Union Station on the Red Line, Blue Line and Trinity Railway Express (TRE). The run begins at 9 a.m.
Dallas Zoo Lights presented by Reliant also has a satchel-full of creativity. From Nov. 16 through the end of the year, more than a million lights outline the trees, walkways and sculptural decorations. The 26 animal-shaped lanterns are especially cool. The spectacle is on display on select evenings; check the schedule before taking the Red Line to Dallas Zoo Station.
Presented by Reliant, The 12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum is outdoor exhibit that features a collection of 12 illuminated Victorian gazebos filled with elaborate scenes, costumed characters, whimsical animals and holiday music. The event runs through Dec. 31. Take Red or Blue line to Union Station, then Bus Route 60 toward South Garland Transit Center. Get off at Garland @ Whittier – N – NS.
Downtown Garland also is big on nostalgic charm. At Christmas on the Square, 100,000 lights adorn the neighborhood – they even “dance” to music. The event kicks off with a Square Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 29 and runs throughout December. The first three Saturdays of the month, Santa will be there, along with carolers, hot chocolate and free movies at the Plaza Theatre. Take the Blue Line to Downtown Garland Station to enjoy the family fun.
The Downtown Plano Arts District is rich in holiday tradition, starting with Dickens in Downtown Plano on Nov. 30, when the district transforms into a picture-book wonderland. There’s caroling, a visit from Santa and a tree lighting in Haggard Park. Take the Red or Orange line to Downtown Plano Station.
Santa’s Village in Richardson offers a variety of fun-filled activities for kids and kids at heart. There is a miniature train, Santa photo ops and nightly performances by local choirs, singers, musicians and dance groups. And best of all, the entry is free! The fun begins Dec.1 and runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through December 16, 2018. Take the Red or Orange line to Arapaho Center Station, then Bus Route 361 toward Addison Transit Center. Get off at Arapaho @ Civic Center.
Christmas in the Branch is where families can welcome in the yuletide with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 1, now at Liberty Plaza. There will be ice skating, fun activities for children, hot chocolate and cookies, festive holiday music and the lighting of the Christmas Tree that will include Santa Claus himself. There also will be local vendors selling unique handmade/homemade gifts at the Holiday Marketplace in the Grove. Take the Green Line to Farmers Branch Station.
Downtown Irving does a knockout job of dressing up Centennial Park with beautiful lights and a series of holiday-themed displays. The Holiday Extravaganza on Dec. 1 starts with a parade through the Irving Heritage District and finishes with a tree lighting at City Hall. The gorgeous display will be up through Dec. 26 – while you’re there, take in the vintage architecture and quaint restaurants of the neighborhood, served by Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE).
Kick-off your family’s holiday season by attending the season’s most spectacular event — marching bands, festive floats, and fun family activities to carry into the new year. The 31st annual Dallas Holiday Parade will march down Commerce, Harwood and Young streets beginning at 10 a.m. Dec. 1. Take the Red, Blue, Orange or Green lines to West End, Akard and St. Paul Stations, or the Red or Blue Lines to Convention Center Station. The parade route is a few blocks away.
Bishop Arts District is Dallas’ own small-town-in-the-city, and it does the holidays right. The historic neighborhood shows its creative flair in the awesome lights lining the streets; usually there are some surprises in store. On Dec. 2, ring in the season at the Poinsettia Walk – a poinsettia in this case being champagne with cranberry juice. Participating stores provide the beverage, and the Dallas Streetcar’s Bishop Arts stop puts you a few blocks from the merrymaking.
Historic Downtown Carrollton has a vibrant display of holiday lights, decorations and “snow”-flocked storefronts in the town square. Dec. 8 is the perfect time to catch St. Nick at the annual Santa on the Square event. For an unusual selfie, head to the square on Dec. 15, when you can snap yourself with a giant, inflatable snow globe. Stick around to browse the unique shops, or to eat at Babe’s Chicken Dinner House. It’s all a short walk from the Green Line’s Downtown Carrollton Station.
Downtown Rowlett gets you in the holiday spirit Dec. 8, when it comes to life with music, dance and festive floats at the Hometown Celebration Holiday Parade. You also have a unique chance to go local with your gift-buying at “Shop Small Through the Holidays.” From Nov. 24 through Dec. 15, Main Street boutiques host a series of pop-up shops selling handmade goods and sustainably sourced items. Get there by taking the Blue Line to Downtown Rowlett Station.