Your BIG Holiday Adventure Starts In Dallas

DALLAS – (Oct. 25, 2016) – Bigger, bolder, brighter. These words describe Dallas any time of year, but they're especially true during the holiday season. From magical musical performances to sparkling city lights, Dallas offers festive holiday fun for the whole family.

Visit Dallas introduces BIG D Holiday, an annual partnership with arts institutions and area attractions to showcase a full array of enchanting events – both holiday activities and ground-breaking exhibits worth visiting any time of year – for locals and visitors to enjoy. 

It's time to start planning your BIG D Holiday adventure! Visit for more information. Activities include:

Now through January 8

Birds of Paradise and Giant Gems of the Smithsonian, Perot Museum of Nature and Science

From bizarrely beautiful birds to glistening giant gems, an array of amaze-your-brain adventures await at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science this season! Birds of Paradise explores nature's most fascinating feathered flirts – the 39 brilliantly beautiful birds with dazzling dance moves found only in New Guinea. Plus, nearly 30 magnificent and massive (some weigh over 1,000 carats) mineral masterpieces from the Smithsonian's world-renowned National Gem Collection dazzle in Giant Gems of the Smithsonian.  Further elevate your imagination through 3D films and 11 permanent exhibit halls filled with magnificent prehistoric creatures, the wonders of space, and extraordinary experiences with robots, sports, weather and more.

November 6 – January 8

Holiday at the Arboretum, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Celebrate Dallas' favorite holiday tradition during the most wonderful time of the year with Holiday at the Arboretum, featuring the return of the 12 Days of Christmas outdoor exhibit, November 6 to January 8 and the new Claus Collection Santa Exhibit in the historic DeGolyer House featuring hundreds of Santa's on display from Junior League of Dallas, November 25 to December 31.

The 12 Days of Christmas features 12 elaborate 25-foot-tall Victorian gazebos, with charming costumed characters, whimsical animals and winter scenes made famous by The Christmas Carol. Open on select evenings for The 12 Days at Night exhibit, with 500,000 lights throughout the garden. The DeGolyer House is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours, and on Wednesday evenings during the holiday season from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In special celebration, Restaurant DeGolyer will be open for reservation-only dinners from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on these Wednesday evenings. 

November 12 – January 8

Fun for All in Fair Park

There is much to see and do this holiday season in historic Fair Park. On Nov. 12, enjoy the Untapped Festival, a wildly popular craft beer and music festival that will quench your thirst with more than 400 distinct brews. Come back for the Chi Omega Christmas Market Nov. 17-19. Themed Glitzmas, this year's luxury gift marketplace features 175 vendors offering one-of-a-kind finds. All season long, enjoy Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition. In this magnificent exhibit, the Sistine Chapel paintings have been dramatically reproduced and are presented in their original sizes. Exhibition closes Jan. 8. For the football fan, Conference USA and Big 12 teams face off in an exhilarating postseason gridiron match at the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl on Dec. 27.

November 17 – January 8

Holidays at the Bush Center 2016, George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

In 2004, First Lady Laura Bush selected "A Season of Merriment and Melody" as the White House holiday theme, weaving holiday music and traditional Christmas carols throughout the White House decor. The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum brings this celebration back to life in the special exhibit, A Season of Merriment and Melody: Christmas at the White House 2004. Additionally, throughout the holiday season, the Bush Center will present a number of special programs and events, including musical performances in Freedom Hall and extended hours and photos with Santa Claus on Black Friday.

November 19 – January 8

Holiday Fun at NorthPark Center

The Trains at NorthPark, benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, has been a tradition for 18 years and features the most elaborate miniature toy trains exhibit in Texas. More than 1,600 feet of track takes visitors on a journey across America, from New York City's Times Square to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. It's open Nov. 19 through Jan. 8. While you're there, capture memories of a lifetime with one-on-one visits and portraits with Santa Claus. Children feel right at home in Santa's cozy living room, complete with fireplace and holiday tree. Take photos with your own camera or purchase professional portraits. Open Nov. 25 through Dec. 24.

Starting November 25

Christmas at The Anatole

Kicking off the Friday after Thanksgiving, Hilton Anatole celebrates the holidays with over-the-top festive décor, merry details and the celebrated Breakfast with Santa series. Activities include Santa story time, a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, face-painting, hot chocolate bars and more. We'll also offer stations for letter-writing to Santa and the beloved Rudolph's Reindeer Barn. Visitors will also enjoy twinkling lights in the beautiful three-acre park, holiday programming from Geppetto's Marionette Theater and more. Hotel packages will be available starting at $199 per night, in addition to individual seating tickets which will start at $38.99 for adults and $18.99 for children. Hotel packages will include guest room, Breakfast With Santa for two adults and two kids, parking, WiFi, Christmas at The Anatole weekend activities and Holiday Movie Night.

November 25 – December 18

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical and Broadway Christmas Wonderland, Music Hall at Fair Park

The beloved TV classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See all of your favorite characters as they come to life in Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical Nov. 25-27. Then, Broadway Christmas Wonderland is one of the most delightful and enchanting Christmas shows ever. This much-loved Christmas show features glittering costumes, a dazzling cast and the highest-kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole. Start Christmas in style as Santa and his merry helpers take you on an unforgettable nostalgic Christmas journey. Shows are Dec. 6-18.

November 25 – December 4

The Nutcracker, Winspear Opera House

Texas Ballet Theater ushers in the holiday season with one of North Texas' most acclaimed productions, Ben Stevenson's The Nutcracker, at the Winspear Opera House. In this holiday tradition, Clara receives a mysterious Nutcracker from her godfather and it becomes the center theme for an astonishing dream. She travels to The Kingdom of Sweets where she is treated to a celebration of delicacies from around the world. Along with Pyotr Tchaikovsky's classic score, flying carpets, snow, and talented dancers make this show unforgettable.

November 26 through the holiday season

GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower

Elevate your holiday spirit at Reunion Tower! The GeO-Deck offers visits with Santa, animal encounters and other flurries of fun. Catch special sky-high appearances by some of the Dallas Zoo's most exotic and unique residents. Stick around to tell Santa what's on your wish list, take a holiday photo, enjoy a free balloon artist, crafts and more! Saturdays, beginning November 26.

December 2-31

Christmas at the Dallas Symphony, Meyerson Symphony Center

Experience the magic of the most wonderful time of the year with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Don't miss the Meyerson decked out for the holiday with an all-new production of Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops, the return of A Big Brassy Christmas & Organ Extravaganza and new for this year, Grammy Award-winner Dianne Reeves!

December 3

Children's Health Holiday Parade

We often get wrapped up in presents over the holidays, but the real gift is time spent with family. This year, unwrap the magic of the season at the 2016 Children's Health Holiday Parade, Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. in Downtown Dallas. Take in festive floats, marching bands and Santa as we celebrate every memorable moment.

January 1

Day 1 Dallas, Fair Park

What better way to celebrate New Year's Day than with family-friendly fun at Fair Park? Taking place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 1, Day 1 Dallas is an all-inclusive event featuring children's activities, live music, food trucks and a spectacular fireworks show. Children will enjoy experiences like zip lining, sledding in real snow, playing laser tag, creating fabulous crafts and much more. All activities are included in the price of admission; the only additional cost is for food. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children.

Open all season

Dallas Zoo Penguin Days

'Tis the season to be generous! From December through February, Dallas Zoo's admission price drops with the temps. Until Feb. 28, Dallas Zoo guests can visit the African penguins (and all the other 2,000+ residents) for just $7 per person. Children 2 and younger and Dallas Zoo members are always free.

Open all Season

Downtown Dallas Wanderland

Explore Downtown Dallas this holiday season for Park-It Pop-Ups, adorable mini retail vending trailers; Unbranded, a curated and rotating pop-up concept; and Little Downtown Holiday Markets. Throughout the season, Downtown Dallas will be adorned with holiday lights and décor featuring plenty of holiday-themed photo opps, including a giant holiday wreath and tree, the Neiman Marcus Legacy Holiday Collection Car Tree and Butterflies, and holiday B&Gs from Visit Dallas, encouraging visitors to be the "I" in "BIG."

Open all season

Clay Between Two Seas, Crow Collection of Asian Art

Experience the story of Talavera in all of its splendor. Take a journey that spans 11 centuries and three continents – moving from early Islamic empires, through Chinese dynasties and warring European kingdoms to viceregal Mexico – with Crow Collection's latest exhibit, Clay Between Two Seas: From the Abbasid Court to Puebla de los Angeles. A selection of historical and contemporary ceramics from international collections will suggest a global framework of influence and exchange, as well as illuminate Talavera's dramatic past and glorious present.

Open all season

Modern Spanish Art from the Asociación Colección Arte Contemporáneo, Meadows Museum

Beyond Picasso, Miró and Dalí, modern Spanish art was an intense and transforming experience. This holiday season, the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University will present the most comprehensive survey of Spanish modern art to be shown in the United States in 50 years. The exhibition, which features more than 90 works of art dated from 1915-1957 by approximately 50 artists, is drawn predominantly from one of the most significant repositories of Spanish modern art in the world. This exhibit marks the first time many of these works will travel to the U.S.

Open all season

Nasher Sculpture Center

Join us this holiday season to see one of the best collections of modern sculpture in the world and view the works of masters such as Calder, Giacometti, Matisse, Picasso, Rodin and more. During your visit, experience how film props, iconic imagery and polished steel sculptures create a visual connection between electoral politics, media and mass spectacle in the exhibition Kathryn Andrews: Run for President, on view through Jan. 8. And don't miss Sightings: Michael Dean on view through Feb. 5. The artist's work explores themes of language, the act of writing, and the struggle to communicate in a variety of forms, including sculpture, photography, poetry, plays, publications and performance. Before leaving, enjoy a bite to eat the Nasher Café by Wolfgang Puck and find the perfect holiday gift at the award-winning Nasher Store.