Children & Family

Six Dallas Holiday Traditions You Can't Miss

Make the most of this December by attending some — or all — of Dallas' traditional holiday events! The best part? They're all kid-approved and make for holiday card-worthy photo ops.

Angela Roe
Posted on Nov 19, 2019

Festive decor is popping up all over town, holiday parties are penciled in, and there's a chill in the air. That's right - the holiday season is finally upon us, and it's time to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Don't miss an opportunity to make an unforgettable memory with loved ones this season. Check out the ideas below for Dallas' most anticipated events and start a new tradition with your family!

1. Texas Ballet Theater's "The Nutcracker" (Nov. 29–Dec. 8) – Experience the iconic music from Tchaikovsky in person at one of these stunning performances. The classic story of Clara, her Nutcracker prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy effortlessly cultivates Christmas spirit, and the inspired dancing will enthrall even the non-theater lover. Add the beautiful Winspear Opera House as a backdrop and it's a great stop for the family or as a romantic date night this season. Purchase your tickets here.

2. 12 Days of Christmas at The Dallas Arboretum (now until Dec. 31) – All four seasons are worth beholding at the Arboretum, but Holiday at the Arboretum offers something extra special. Bundle up to peruse the botanical garden's unique 12 Days of Christmas outdoor display, based on the English Christmas carol. Picture a dozen 25-foot Victorian style gazebos boasting 3-D scenes from the song's lyrics, including 12 drummers drumming and 11 pipers piping and… well, you know the rest. This exhibit is best enjoyed at night, but don't miss the gorgeous florals throughout the garden on your visit.

3. Deck the Plaza (Dec. 6) – Dallas dwellers should mark their calendars for a 40-foot tree lighting and Christmas-themed celebration at City Hall Plaza. Head to the city center from 5:30-8 p.m. for music acts, holiday snacks, and a plethora of vendors to explore. Rumor is that Santa will make an appearance at this free event.

4. Dallas Holiday Parade (Dec. 7) – Join 450,000 of your closest friends for Big D's holiday parade. Beginning at 10 a.m., the city's Downtown streets will become a parade route fit for dazzling floats and local entertainment acts, beginning at the corner of Houston and Commerce streets. Pioneer a holiday tradition of attending Dallas' largest annual outdoor, one-day event. You can enjoy the festivities for free or buy advance bleacher seat tickets to guarantee your spot. Either way, get there early!

5. Dallas Symphony Orchestra Christmas Pops (Dec. 6–15) – Don your holiday best and take in the symphonic sounds of the DSO's Christmas Pops concert. A guaranteed classy affair, the Meyerson hosts thousands of guests yearly for its holiday concert. Not only will the orchestra fill the symphony hall with melodious sounds, but the Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas and the Dallas Symphony Chorus will join in. Come ready to sing along and relish a Santa sighting. Get your tickets here.

6. Candlelight at Dallas Heritage Village (Dec. 14 and 15) – A nod to simpler times, Dallas Heritage Village represents the 1840-1910 period through its historic buildings and relics, but the village completely transforms into a holiday oasis during its Candlelight weekend. Everything from the carolers' clothing to the train display fits the time period, so it's an experience unlike any other in our modern city. Photo opportunities abound, plus there are blacksmith and cooking demonstrations on the grounds. Period-centric games and holiday activities will keep the kids busy while you grab tasty bites from local food trucks. Tickets for Candlelight are here.

Want to celebrate even more holiday traditions in Dallas? Sit on Santa's lap at Galleria Dallas, or be enchanted by 160 performances at NorthPark Center's Sights and Sounds of the Season offerings (in between your shopping, of course). Merry everything!

Click here for a full list of Dallas holiday traditions and events.