2018 DFW Holiday Family Fun

Your go-to list for magical holiday fun!


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Mommy UpgradeReady or not, here it comes! The holidays are upon us and I’m beyond excited! Parades, tree lightings, holiday decor, craft fairs, musicals, theater performances, ICE shows, yummy food and beverages, and Santa–all right here in DFW!  I guarantee that your family WILL NOT run out of fun things to do this holiday season! Add some of these magical events to your MUST DO holiday calendar:



Angel Tree
Northpark Salvation Army Angel Tree

The Northpark Salvation Army Angel Tree

WHAT: Make the holiday season a memorable one for those in need by giving presents, clothing, and necessities through the Salvation Army Angel Tree. Choose an Angel by December 7 and drop off your gift by December 9, and the Salvation Army will deliver it in time for Christmas.

WHEN: November 23 (located on level one close to Macy’s)

WHERE: Northpark, 8687 N Central Expy Dallas, TX





Twelve Days of Christmas, Dallas Arboretum

Twelve Days of Christmas – Dallas Arboretum

WHAT: Celebrate the holidays like never before with this centerpiece exhibit featuring an elaborate collection of 25-foot Victorian style gazebos filled with the charming costumed characters, whimsical animals and music made famous by the beloved Christmas carol. Enjoy the .75-mile walk through the garden exhibit, as you witness these handcrafted gazebos spread across the Twelve Days of Christmas winter wonderland.

WHEN: Wednesdays-Sunday nights, now through December 30, 6:00 to 9:00 pm

WHERE: Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218

COST: $10+


Home for the Holidays – Southlake Town Square

WHAT:  Discover the holiday magic at every turn and every night thereafter with Christmas carolers, holiday crafts, refreshments, letters to Santa, live entertainment, photos with Santa, 4-lane snow tubing hill, carriage rides, snowman building.  NEW this year: Reserve time with Santa in the Village and enjoy no wait photos.

WHEN: November 17, 4:00 – 9:00 pm(tree lighting is at 6:00)

WHERE: Southlake Town Square, 1400 Main Street, Southlake, TX



ICE! – Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center

Gaylord Texan ICE Show


  • Two million pounds of colorful ice sculptures
  • Hand-carved by 40 artisans from Harbin, China. Learn more about The Making of ICE!
  • Five two-story tall ice slides
  • A depiction of the classic story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • A majestic Nativity scene in stunning, crystal clear ice
  • Fast pass tickets available online

It’s all part of our Grapevine hotel’s Lone Star Christmas! Snow Tubing and a magical indoor decor including miniature trains, dates with Santa or Mrs. Claus, and a chance to meet real reindeer.

WHEN: Now through January 1, Hours vary by day and are subject to change. Event times and ticketing options are listed by day on purchase tickets calendar.

WHERE: Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, 1501 Gaylord Trail · Grapevine, Texas 76051 (Longhorn B)

COST:  Buy online or attend “off-hours” to avoid lines.

CLICK HERE to SAVE on tickets to the ice sculptures with promo code: UPGRADE.


Dallas Zoo Lights

Dallas Zoo Lights 

WHAT: After the animals head in for the evening, the Dallas Zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with over one million twinkling lights illuminating Zoo North throughout the holiday season! Discover realistic silk-covered lanterns in the shape of your favorite animals, plus even more light displays and festivities for the entire family!

WHEN: Now through January 1, 5:00 – 9:00 pm

WHERE: Dallas Zoo, 650 S R L Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX

COST: $15+. Tickets good for a full day of exploring at the zoo, too! FREE for Zoo Members.  Purchase Tickets. 


Dallas Theater Center’s A Christmas Carol

WHAT:  Tis the season to be jolly when Dallas’ favorite holiday tradition returns to the Wyly Theatre! Three spirits have come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, and to take him on a fantastic journey through Christmases past, present, and future that annually delights audiences across North Texas. But will it be enough to save Scrooge’s soul? Brimming with joyful songs, magical spirits, and holiday cheer, Dallas Theater Center’s A Christmas Carol boldly reimagines Dickens’ classic tale of joy, redemption, and the spirit of Christmas.

WHEN: November 21 – December 30, Showtimes vary depending on the date.

WHERE: Dallas Theater Center, 2400 Flora StreetDallasTX

COST: Varies



The Nutcracker, AT&T Performing Arts Center

The Nutcracker at the AT&T Performing Arts Center

WHAT: It’s a holiday tradition like no other. A magical Christmas Eve comes to life in the ballet that has delighted generations with its charming story and exquisite dancing. Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they battle an army of mice led by the evil Rat King, and travel through a winter wonderland to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Kingdom of Sweets. Step into the beloved Christmas dream, and add a little extra magic to your family’s holiday memories.

WHEN: November 23 – December 2,  Performance times vary.

WHERE:  Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., Dallas, TX  OR Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth, TX

COST: Varies



Christmas Spectacular – Frisco

WHAT:  The Christmas Spectacular presented by Albertsons and Tom Thumb is a weekly holiday performance showcasing the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue Dancers and Drumline, appearances by Santa and more. The Christmas Spectacular will take place on Tostitos Championship Plaza at The Star every Friday and Saturday at 6 pm. Admission and parking are free.

WHEN: November 23 through December 22, 6:00 to 7:00 pm

WHERE: Tostitos Championship Plaza at The Star, 9 Cowboys Way, Frisco, TX



Enchant Christmas
Enchant Christmas, Arlington, TX

Enchant Christmas – Arlington

WHAT:  Explore the world’s largest Christmas light maze, and help Santa find eight gifts hidden by the mischievous Eddie the Elf in time for the Christmas delivery! Find enchantment around every bend as you glide the ice skating trail through spectacular, larger-than-life light displays. Ice skate rentals are available on-site and come in all sizes – elf to adult.

Cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy nightly live music and shows. Visit Santa and tell him your Christmas wish. While he’s busy checking on the elves, Mrs. Claus will be at Enchant to delight children with stories from the North Pole. With more than 90 market stalls selling artisan goods, from local to international favorite, you’ll be sure to find that perfect something for everyone on your list—naughty or nice.

Indulge in the wonder of the season at a great value on Nov 27 & 28, Dec 4, 5, 11, & 12. Merry Hours every night. Enjoy the final 2 hours every night at a great value, too. Nov 28th Paws-n-Claus special event to include your furry kids!

WHEN: November 23 – December 30, 6:00 – 11:00 pm

WHERE:  Arlington Globe Life Park, 1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX

COST: $20+ (Children under 3 are FREE)



Christmas in the Square – Frisco

WHAT: Returning for its 14th year, Christmas in the Square is full of established favorites and new surprises hosting the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas. Over 750,000 visitors attend this event annually. The holiday lights and music run nightly. Tune in to 107.3 FM on the radio in your vehicle, or listen to the music piped through speakers as you take a walk through the Square.

WHEN: November 23 – December 31, 6:00 – 10:00 pm

WHERE: Town Square, 8874 Coleman Blvd, Frisco, TX



Olympic Champions on Ice, Dallas Galleria

Olympic Champions on Ice – Dallas Galleria

WHAT: The 2018 Galleria Dallas grand tree lighting celebration preparations are underway! This year, Candian Olympic Team Champions Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford, and Patrick Chan, as well as U.S. World and Olympic Champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White will be performing under the tallest indoor Christmas tree in the United States!

WHEN: November 24, 6:00 pm

WHERE: Dallas Galleria, 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75240 (Levels 1, 2, 3)



Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge

Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge

WHAT:  Snowland welcomes your family to the winter holidays in proper north woods style. From November 24th through January 4th, 2019, we transform Great Wolf Lodge into a magical winter wonderland complete with spectacular decorations, visits with Santa, Snow ‘N’ Glow Dance Parties, North Pole University activities, and a life-size gingerbread house big enough to dine in.

WHEN: November 24 – January 4, All day daily.

WHERE:  Great Wolf Lodge, 100 Great Wolf Dr., Grapevine, TX

CLICK HERE for information and reservations.


Elf the Musical at Fair Park

Elf the Musical – Music Hall at Fair Park

WHAT: ELF The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF.

WHEN: November 27, 7:30 – 10:30 pm

WHERE: Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Avenue, Dallas, TX

COST: Varies


NOVEMBER 29, 2018

BYOB Wreath Making Happy Hour, Shades of Green, Frisco

BYOB Wreath Making Happy Hour by Shades of Green, Inc. – Frisco

WHAT:  Looking for the perfect date night, night out or just another excuse to enjoy wine with friends?  Shades of Green’s BYOB Wreath Making Happy Hour is the perfect solution! Grab a bottle of wine and head on over to your favorite local nursery. They’ll help you create a beautiful, modern wreath to take home and enjoy for the holiday season.

Your ticket includes:

  • Silver Wreath Ring
  • Choice of Greenery
  • Floral Wire
  • Decorative Elements (pine cones, ribbon, succulents, etc)
  • VIP Nursery Shopping

WHEN: November 29

WHERE:  Shades of Green, 7401 Coit Road, Frisco, TX

COST: $50



2018 Christmas on the Square Tree Lighting Ceremony – Garland

WHAT: The 2018 Christmas on the Square Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off with live holiday performances and the lighting of the official Christmas Tree. The City of Garland strives to bring families together by spreading the joy of the holiday season. *Friendly Tree Lighting for children and adults with sensory disorders. 

WHEN: November 29, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

WHERE: Downtown Garland Square, 520 W State St., Garland, TX



Gift of Lights, Texas Motor Speedway

Gift of Lights – Texas Motor Speedway

WHAT:  The only Texas-sized drive-thru light park at the largest speedway in Texas! There is always something new for everyone in the family to enjoy!

Bring your family and friends to Santa’s Village for photos & fun after your drive through the light park. Santa will be at Texas Motor Speedway till December 24th, and then he will be back at the North Pole! Check out Gift of Lights on Facebook for more details about Santa’s Village. First Responders (Police, Fire, and Medial) and Military Members get a Free 5 x 7 photo in Santa’s Village, a $15 dollar value. 

WHEN: November 29 – December 30, 6:00 – 10:00 pm

WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth, TX

COST: $30 per vehicle


Dallas Woman’s Forum 11th Annual Holiday Home Tour

WHAT:  11th Annual Dallas Woman’s Forum Holiday Home Tour

The Alexander Mansion Holiday Home Tour gives the community an opportunity to view the historic Alexander Mansion in all of its holiday splendor! Since its beginnings in 2008, the Holiday Home Tour has grown into a true holiday tradition and a way of spreading joy for so many families!

WHEN: November 30 – December 2, 2018, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

WHERE: Alexander Mansion, 4607 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX

COST: $10 in advance or $12 at the door
Your ticket includes:

*An enchanting stroll through the elegantly decorated home guaranteed to put you in a holiday spirit

*A tour of the historic Alexander Mansion, one of only two remaining mansions on Ross Avenue built at the turn of the 20th century

*Access to the specialty boutique upstairs where 20 merchants offer unique gift items for purchase

*A chance to enter a drawing for one-of-a-kind items ($5/ticket)

*A selection of handmade baked goods to purchase at The Bake Sale and take home with you

Holiday Bistro
(11:00 am-2:00 pm) – $15 in advance
Enjoy Lunch, a Beverage, and Dessert!

You can purchase Holiday Home Tour tickets or make Bistro Reservations online or by telephone at 214-823-4533. You can also send a check to Dallas Woman’s Forum, P.O. Box 140997, Dallas, Texas 75214-0997.  Be sure to include the day/date desired for the Bistro reservation with your check. *Reservations required, tickets held at the door.


Christmas Lights, Chocolate and Sip Tours – presented by Dallas by Chocolate

WHAT:  View holiday lights in delicious style on a privately heated motor coach, and enjoy one of Dallas’ newest yuletide traditions ... held nightly except Christmas Eve and Christmas! Taste scrumptious treats from premier local dessert venues, then glide past some of Dallas’ most spectacular light displays in the Park Cities, downtown Dallas, and other locales, sipping terrific beverages (you can also BYOB)! Please note that dessert venues may range from chocolatiers and pastry shops to ice cream parlors. Alcohol tours for adults only.

WHEN: November 30 through December 30, Monday – Friday Evening Tours: 6:30 to 10:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday Evening Tours: 5:30 to 9:00 pm.

WHERE: Varies (see schedule)

COST: Varies depending on the tour date



Highland Park Christmas Light Tour

Highland Park Christmas Light Tour 

WHAT: This community is approximately 20 blocks long! Start your light tour at Armstrong and Preston and use your GPS. They know how to decorate and have proven they are one of the most prestigious areas around. The lights on Beverly, are a must see!

WHEN: December 1-30, Self-tour nightly

WHERE: Highland Park, Plano  –  Bordered by the Tollway on the West, Preston on the East, Mockingbird on the North and Armstrong on the South.



Deerfield Legendary Light Tour

WHAT:  For the second year, visitors can vote on their favorite decorated homes. Tex 469-440-2011 and include the category and street address.

WHEN: December 1-30, Self-tour nightly

WHERE: Deerfield, Plano  – Located in Northwest Plano between Preston Rd. and Coit Rd.  Enter from Legacy on Colonnade or Archgate. Watch all signs, drive carefully and enjoy the holiday lights! 



The 31st Dallas Christmas Parade

WHAT: 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 Dallas Holiday Parade regularly draws crowds of more than 450,000. More than 350 television stations in 159 markets have syndicated the parade. It has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families throughout North Texas and coast to coast. View the parade map and park by 8:00 am for street-side viewing.

WHEN: December 1, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

WHERE: Downtown Dallas, Commerce Street, Dallas, TX



Deck the Paws Holiday Expo

Deck the Paws, Holiday Pet Expo – Dallas

WHAT: Make your holidays extra merry and bright at Deck the Paws, a two-day pet-topia of fun! Promising to be your new fur-vorite holiday tradition, you’ll fa-la-la-la-love the paw-tastic festivities including holiday shopping for pets and pet lovers, Santa’s village with photo op-paw-tunities with old Saint Nick himself, North Texas’ first art exhibit for dogs, performances by the Furtastic K9’s, music and other holiday entertainment.

The two-day celebration will help raise money and awareness for local nonprofits Artists for Animals, DFW Pup Patrol, and Operation Kindness.

WHEN: December 1-2,  11:00 am – 7:00 pm

WHERE: Centennial Hall, Fair Park,  1001 Washington Dallas, TX

COST: $10-$50


DECEMBER 1, 8, 15, 22

Olympic Champions on Ice 

WHAT: Every ice show features Missile Toes, Galleria’s ice-skating, back-flipping, pyrotechnic Santa Claus, live performances by Olympic and National Champion-ranked skaters, and local children who introduce the lighting of the country’s tallest indoor tree.

WHEN: December 1, 8, 15 and 22  6:00 pm

WHERE: Dallas Galleria (Levels 1,2,3)



Toyota Music Factory Great Holiday Tree Lighting Event

WHAT: The countdown has begun to the exciting tree lighting of the spectacular 30-foot tree located in the middle of Texas Lottery Plaza. Gather with your family and friends to help Santa usher in the holiday season while also enjoying live music, cookies and hot cocoa, carolers and photos with Santa Claus.

WHEN: December 2, 3:00 – 7:00 pm

WHERE:  Texas Lottery Plaza at Toyota Music Factory, 316 W. Las Colinas Blvd, Irving, Texas 75039

• Family-friendly fun starts at 3:00 pm
• DJ Jesse Koo starts spinning at 3:00 pm
• Photos with Santa: 3:00 – 7:00 pm
• Holiday caroling: 5:30 -6:00 pm
• Countdown at 6:00 pm sharp for tree lighting

COST:  Free

Craft and holiday vendors will be available to express your holiday spirit and help fill your stockings for the season.

PARKING: FREE in the Toyota Music Factory garage.

This event benefits Irving Cares with a canned food and toy drive, so please bring canned goods, non-perishables and unwrapped toys to support the non-profit organization.


European Holiday Tea Room at the Alexander Mansion

WHAT:  European Holiday Tea Room at the Alexander Mansion

Capture the joy of the holidays with an afternoon tea at The Dallas Woman’s Forum. Enjoy the historic C.H. Alexander Mansion when it is transformed into a tearoom with elegant decorations, sweets and treats, tea and sparkling champagne.  View the menu here.

WHEN: December 5-9 and Dec 12-16, Noon

WHERE: Alexander Mansion, 4607 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX (free parking in the lot behind building)

COST: $55 per guest (reservations required). Tea, champagne, & gratuity included. Purchase tickets online or by telephone at 214-823-4533. You can also send a check to Dallas Woman’s Forum, P.O. Box 140997, Dallas, Texas 75214-0997 .  Reservations will be held at the door.

Proceeds benefit Birdie Alexander Elementary School, Landauer Child Care Center, Alley’s House and the restoration of the Alexander Mansion.


Parade of Lights, Historic Downtown Grapevine

Parade of Lights Grapevine

WHAT: Bring the entire family to Grapevine’s Parade of Lights, the largest lighted Christmas parade in North Texas! This Grapevine tradition features more than 100 lighted floats and marching bands. Look for Santa Claus on the last float! Get there early to claim your spot along Historic Main Street to watch this exciting holiday event. The theme for 2018 will be Holiday Magic on Main.



Sweet Treats with Santa at Texas Discovery Gardens – Dallas

WHAT: 5th Annual Sweets and Treats with Santa at Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park is a one of a kind event with Santa Claus, crafts, storytime, Mrs. Claus and sweets and treats! Get your family photo and visit the butterfly garden in one visit!

WHEN: December 8-9,  9:30 am – 2:00 pm

WHERE: Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Dallas, TX

COST: General Admission Tickets: – $25 / person (over the age of 1)



A Rustic Holiday at The TributeMommy Upgrade

WHAT: Wear your favorite cozy plaid and bring the whole family out for this fun and FREE event that features ice skating, inflatables, a tree farm, a carousel, LIVE musical performances, food trucks, a trackless train, festive photo ops, and so much more!

Don’t forget to pick up your Tribute Express Passport at the event entrance, located off Bridge Lane, for your chance to win fantastic prizes.

– STEM Academy Choir – 11 am
– STEM Academy Band – 11:30 am
– Little Elm High School Choir – 12:30 – 1:30 pm
– Jazz Band – 2 – 4 pm
– Tin Soldier Stilt Walker – 1 – 3 pm

– The Gibbonses Performance – 1 – 3 pm
– Deer Display Auction closes – 4 pm
– Rudolph Visit – 1 – 3 pm

WHEN: December 8-9,  11:00 am – 4:00 pm

WHERE: The Tribute Lakeside Golf & Resort Community, 1000 Lebanon Rd, The Colony, Texas 75056



Holidays at the Heard

Holidays at the Heard – McKinney

WHAT:  Bundle up and experience Holidays at the Heard, the most unique holiday event in North Texas bringing the beauty of the holiday season into nature. Guests will see lights and holiday décor along a half mile Heard nature trail. In keeping with the Heard’s role as a nature preserve, this light display is designed to enhance, rather than overpower, the sanctuary’s natural beauty. Enjoy the opportunity to take a photo with Father Christmas and Mother Nature in a festive setting. Hot beverages and treats will be available for purchase. Family-friendly entertainment will complement the holiday atmosphere. Local musicians will delight audiences with live holiday music in the Heard outdoor amphitheater.

WHEN: December 14-15, 6:30 – 9:00 pm

WHERE:  Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife, Sanctuary1 Nature Place, McKinney, TX

COST: $4 – $7



Have an event to add? Send it to us so we can add it to the list! Also, don’t forget to tag #mommyupgrade in your photos so we can see all the holiday fun you and your family are having!


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  1. Candace says

    Such fun holiday events in the city! We can’t wait for Nutcracker on the 13th and then we are heading out of the hustle & bustle and into the tranquil hill country vibe we Possum Kingdom lake in this family friendly vintage cabin


    1. Trista Perot says

      That sounds fantastic! I love that!

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