The holidays are here, and my, what a wild year it has been. We've gathered our favorite annual events, along with some new ways to ring in the season and inspire your holiday planning this year.
1. Experience all the city's holiday lights without having to leave your car! Dallas has a handful of drive-thru experiences for the family to enjoy like Deck the Plaza (Nov. 21), Dallas Zoo Lights (Nov. 20 to Jan. 3, 2021), and Area 3 (now through Jan. 1, 2021), a new immersive drive-thru exhibition that combines art and technology.
2. Make a visit to see Santa. The Galleria Dallas will host their annual Santa meet-and-greets (Nov. 23 to Dec. 24) by appointment only, and the Hilton Anatole will also host their annual Breakfast with Santa event in a socially distanced format (Nov. 28 to Dec. 23). Bonus: virtual Santa visits are available at both Galleria Dallas and NorthPark Center – book your visit today!
3. Celebrate the holiday season at Holiday at the Arboretum (now through Dec. 31). Wander through the gardens and stop by each of the 25-foot beautifully decorated Victorian-style gazebos, representing the 12 Days of Christmas. New this year is an expanded Christmas village (opening on Nov. 27) featuring a 23-foot-tall German Christmas pyramid, decorated with handcrafted elements, lighting and character movement.
4. See the best light shows and displays around town. The Illumination Celebration (Nov. 27-Dec. 24) at Galleria Dallas will light up in grand fashion for a special choreographed show with various times throughout the season; they'll also host a special Chanukah Menorah Lighting each evening starting Dec. 10 through Dec. 18. A stroll through Highland Park Village should also be in store for your family – they have 1.5 million Christmas lights on display!
5. Take the kiddos to Trains at NorthPark (now through Jan 3, 2021). A tradition at NorthPark for more than 20 years, this holiday favorite features 1,300 feet of track on a journey across America, and all proceeds benefit families at Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.
6. Experience the sounds of the Dallas Symphony. The DSO has announced an exciting lineup of holiday programming including, Dallas Symphony Christmas Family Pops (Dec. 5), Big Brassy Christmas and Organ Extravaganza (Dec. 15), and A Jazzy Christmas (Dec. 22). See the full list of holiday shows here and be sure to grab your ticket early as seating is very limited.
7. Sip on festive cocktails at Miracle on Lowest Greenville (Nov. 23 to Dec. 31). Formerly hosted at HIDE in Deep Ellum, the new, expanded location will feature over-the-top Christmas decorations, festive-themed rooms, and of course, plenty of holiday drinks to enjoy.
8. Enjoy the art of dance with special performances by Bruce Wood Dance's HOPE (Dec. 4 to 7), and Dallas Black Dance Theatre's Espresso Nutcracker (Dec. 12). Both events will be hosted virtually, and tickets can be purchased on their websites.
9. Explore the city with Dallas by Chocolate Christmas Lights, Chocolate & Sips Tours. This family-friendly tour lets you experience the city's best holiday lights, sip hot chocolate, and sample sweet treats all from the comfort of a private heated motorcoach!
10. Support small businesses by shopping local. The Holiday Urban Artist Market (Nov. 23-30) will launch their brand new online store this year with a 20 percent off offer on all art pieces. In addition, the proceeds from the Community Holiday Pop Up Shop (Dec. 5-6 and Dec. 19-20) will benefit South Oak Cliff High School.
11. Revel in the holiday season at Snowday (Nov. 20 through Jan. 3, 2021). This immersive and multi-sensory experience is back for its second season and has guaranteed more magical fun for all, with plenty of photo ops to go around. Stop by Make Your Life Sweeter, the sweets boutique located next door, for gourmet treats, lattes and some unique gifts.
12. Stay entertained with a variety of virtual experiences this month. We've mentioned a few already, but also be sure to check out Klyde Warren Park's annual tree lighting (Dec. 20) that will broadcast on CBS 11, and tune into Astraios Chamber Music's Virtual Holiday Concert (Dec. 12-31) that will premiere on their YouTube channel. See our list of other virtual events happening here.
13. Give back this season to those in need. Stop by the Salvation Army Tree at Galleria Dallas to adopt an angel, participate in Prism Health's Food & Toy Drive, or donate gifts and toys to Vogel Alcove's Annual Holiday Store.
For even more ways to celebrate the holidays, see our full list of Big D Holiday events happening all over the city!