With holiday music, colorful lights and festive decorations everywhere you go, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in North Texas. Create lasting memories at these family-friendly DARTable activities:
Dickens in Downtown Plano returns on Dec. 1. Produced by the city of Plano, the event is nestled in the heart of the Downtown Plano Arts District. Live entertainment, delicious food, a variety of attractions, and a visit from Santa allow for everyone in the family to have something to enjoy. Try out the snow tubing hill, carriage rides, car show and dueling ice sculptors. sculpting. There will be three stages with live music and entertainment. The annual tree lighting is at 7 p.m. Take DART’s Red Line to Downtown Plano Station.
Each year, the Dallas Holiday Parade brings holiday magic and memories to the streets of Downtown Dallas. As one of the largest parades in the United States, this Dallas holiday tradition spans two generations of families while attracting a crowd of up to 500,000 spectators. The 30th annual Dallas Holiday Parade will march through the streets of Downtown Dallas Dec. 2, at 10 a.m. This year’s parade will feature spirited marching bands, famous characters, magical holiday floats, larger-than-life balloons and much more. Take any of DART’s four rail lines to St. Paul, Akard or West End stations.
On Dec. 2, grab your stockings and your Santa hats for Carrollton’s Santa on the Square, a fun and festive event including the Kid’s Fun Run. The Kid’s Fun Run will have your little ones running with glee as they chase Santa through the streets of Historic Downtown Carrollton. Parents are encouraged and welcome to participate in the Kid’s Fun Run with their registered children. Wagons and strollers are also allowed. All participants of the run will receive a special gift from Santa upon completion, and the opportunity for early access to photos with Santa after the run. Stick around for the free event which includes a picture with the big guy inside the gazebo and a chance to see a live reindeer. Take DART’s Green Line to Downtown Carrollton Station.
The Farmers Branch Christmas Tree Lighting is set for Dec. 2 in the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Gates open at 4 p.m. and admission is free. The night is filled with a visit from Santa, an amazing low-level firework show, fun activities for the children, tours inside the historical structures (that are appropriately decorated to their respected years Christmas’), and of course some hot chocolate and cookies to keep you warm. Take DART’s Green Line to Farmers Branch Station.
The Irving Holiday Extravaganza is a two-part event, featuring a community parade through the Heritage District followed by a tree lighting ceremony outside of Irving City Hall. The fun will begin Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. when the parade winds through the streets of downtown Irving, featuring floats, bands and community organizations. The theme for the 2017 parade will be “Christmas Movies and Soundtracks.” Immediately following the parade, head to Irving City Hall for the official lighting of the city of Irving’s tree. Take the Trinity Railway Express to Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station.
The 45th Annual Richardson Christmas Parade benefiting the Network of Community Ministries is Dec. 2. This year’s parade theme is Magical, Musical Christmas! Individuals and groups are encouraged to represent this theme with their costumes, vehicles and floats. The parade will begin at 9 a.m. and will travel north from the Richardson Square shopping center on Plano Road to Apollo Road and will disband at the ball field parking lot of Huffhines Park. Take DART Bus Route 400 to Belt Line Road at Plano Road.
The city of Richardson also is hosting Santa’s Village Dec. 2-17. This tiny town of 16 holiday dwellings on the north side of City Hall is a holiday tradition for families from Richardson and beyond. Each colorful building offers children a fun activity and even a visit with Santa Claus! Attendees can also enjoy live performances, holiday photo ops and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or a snack. Santa’s Village is free and open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights: Dec. 2-3, Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 15-17. (Hometown Thursdays, Dec. 7 and 14, are reserved for Richardson Residents and require a free ticket for entry). Take DART Red Line to Arapaho Center Station then DART Bus Route 361.
The DFW Tamale Festival and Christmas Market is back for its third year Dec. 2, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Dallas Farmers Market. There will be Christmas music for everyone, plus you can celebrate the Texas tradition of tamale making. It’s the perfect time to start your gift shopping at the Christmas Market! This year, a skating rink is being added and there will be a way for visitors to help Dallas Habitat for Humanity. There will be local vendors, seasonal drinks, a kid zone, delicious tamales, carolers and pictures taken with Santa. Take D-Link (Route 722).
Celebrate the holiday spirit at Klyde Warren Park with Nissan’s Winter Wonderlights Holiday Show & Tree Lighting Dec. 2. Enjoy big band classics, crafts, letters to Santa and more. Activities throughout the day will include: Free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday kids’ crafts, a mailbox to send letters to Santa, holiday music and much more. The celebration culminates with a holiday show at 5:30 p.m. and the lighting of the tree at 6 p.m. (times subject to change.) Take DART’s Red, Blue, Green or Orange line to St. Paul Station, then the M-Line Trolley.
Rowlett Main Street Fest is Dec. 2 at Pecan Grove Park, from 4-7 p.m. Come on out and join your friends, family and community for a night full of fun that will also include a Tree Lighting Ceremony featuring the Trail of Trees. What better way to kick off the holiday season than with a fun filled night of live music and a wide variety of activities that include photos with non-other than Santa ($5), letter-writing to Santa, festival style foods, and more. The tree lighting is at 6 p.m. Take DART Blue Line to Downtown Rowlett Station and walk about a mile.
On Dec. 8, enjoy the Rowlett Holiday Parade – a hometown celebration on Main Street at dusk. Celebrate the spirit of Rowlett with family and friends as the community comes to life with music and dance during a tribute to the holiday season. The parade will begin in Downtown Rowlett and finish up at the Rowlett Community Centre for additional fun holiday activities. Take DART’s Blue Line to Downtown Rowlett Station.
Celebrate the holidays at Christmas on the Square Dec. 7, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Garland’s Historic Downtown Square. Head over to Sixth and Main streets for snow hills, photos with Santa, holiday foods, children’s crafts, pet adoptions and much more. Santa Claus will assist with the tree lighting at 7 p.m. and then spend the evening visiting with children about their holiday wishes. Take DART’s Blue Line to Downtown Garland Station.
‘Tis the season to be jolly at Holly Jolly Holidays at Reunion. On select dates and times throughout December, Santa and his elves are spreading holiday cheer with weekly trips to the Reunion Tower GeO-Deck. Guests can enjoy photos with Santa, a kid’s craft and tasty treats from Cloud Nine Café! Furry friends from the Dallas Zoo are spreading holiday cheer 470 feet in the air! The Animal Adventures team will showcase a mixture of mammals, birds and reptiles for up-close experiences for guests of all ages to enjoy. Take DART Red or Blue Line to Union Station.