There's finally a chill in the air, and spooky season is behind us. But even with the shorter late fall and winter days to come, Dallas has opportunities galore to get into the holiday spirit. No matter the age, the whole family will appreciate the following events combining the best sights, sounds, tastes and smells of this special time of year.
Holiday at the Arboretum (Nov. 10-Dec. 31): Check out the intricate Victorian-style gazebos taking you through the "12 Days of Christmas" while strolling through the Dallas Arboretum's grounds - an experience elevated in the evening hours. New this year is a 50-foot musical Christmas tree boasting more than 40,000 lights. Stop by the Christmas Village to catch a holiday performance by local musicians and artists. The garden will offer seasonal programming including Santa visits and special treats, so reserve your tickets now for this prized Dallas tradition.
Trains at NorthPark (Nov. 12-Jan. 6): Choo choo! You'll hear a lot of that when you step into this destination for lovers of trains and locomotives. It's not just toddlers who are enamored by the amazing presentation of color and movement across the "Trains at NorthPark" exhibit on the 2nd floor of NorthPark Center between Neiman's and Nordstrom. Visitors of all ages return to see the trains and their background cityscapes each year, pointing out the tiniest details they see. Even better, the 35-year event benefits the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, so don't miss your chance to help others by visiting this year. Purchase tickets here. (And while at the mall, visit Santa downstairs!)
SNOWDAY (Nov. 18-Jan. 8): Anyone can get a photo with Santa, but not everyone can step into a 20+-room exhibit of eccentric wintry backdrops fit for creating amazing photos! At SNOWDAY inside Galleria Dallas, you can immerse yourself in everything from a mirror maze to a Christmassy 1970s RV. The experience takes about an hour, and at the end, you can get your professional-grade photos delivered right to your phone (so you can post to your social channels immediately!) Purchase tickets here.
Enchant Christmas (Nov. 25-Jan. 1): One of only four locations nationwide, Enchant at Fair Park is an immersive Christmas experience bound to create lifelong memories. First, stop by the Little Ones' Play Place and let the kids enjoy Mrs. Claus' storytime. They will also find a play area complete with blocks and crafts. And don't let the littles forget their gift lists, as Santa will be onsite for visits! Check out the breathtaking lights display while gliding down the illuminated Ice Skating Trail, then participate as a family in the Light Maze adventure. Try a bit of everything in the Enchant Eatery and shop the artisan market, too. Adults can stop at the Polar Bar for a seasonal vodka tasting. Purchase tickets here.
Black Nativity (Dec. 1-18): Fans of Langston Hughes' famous retelling of the Biblical Nativity story will enjoy this lively stage version of the story. Performed at the Bishop Arts Theatre Center, attendees have the option of in-person or virtual attendance. All ages are welcome for the energetic performance sure to get you in the holiday mood. Purchase tickets here.
GeO-Deck the Halls (Dec. 3-17): Head downtown on a chilly Saturday afternoon in December to celebrate the holidays from 470 feet. The iconic GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower is the perfect site for some holiday crafting and Santa letter-writing. Perhaps after spending the day at "The Ball" with the kiddos, you'll want to return with your special someone for a romantic date night. The tower's "Love is in the Air" package is a delight anytime but especially during this season! Purchase tickets here.
The Happy Elf (Nov. 27-23): From the Grammy-winning musician, Harry Connick, Jr., this jazz musical is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Featuring a curious elf with boundless energy yearning to secure a spot on Santa's sleigh team, this is a musical kids and parents are sure to love. You'll laugh and your heart will be warmed. Purchase tickets here.
More inspiration for holiday activities in Dallas can be found here.