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31 Really Fun Christmas Things to Do near me this Winter

What Christmas things to do near me and fun events happen in Winter around Dallas, Texas?

It’s Winter! That time of the year when there are such unique Winter-themed events and Christmas things to do near me.

We go straight in after the State Fair of Texas and Halloween is over. 

One of the things that we love this time of Year is a chance to enjoy the Christmas Lights in Dallas and a Visit with Santa Claus!

The Weather in Texas in Winter can be unpredictable most of the time, but we can enjoy this season of the year with tons of things to do- our coldest season with mulled wine in our hands if you are.

It’s the best time to celebrate the Holidays and Christmas Things to do in Dallas, Texas this Winter.

Holiday events and Dallas Christmas activities in Dallas are plentiful this year. You could even plan a date night idea around this time to enjoy the lights or plan the ultimate New Year night out!

More: The Ultimate Holiday and Christmas Events near me: 8 great picks!

Christmas things to do near me

We have 31 Really Fun Things to Do with Kids in the Winter and Christmas Things to do Near Me in Plano and Dallas

Start as soon as Dusk falls as you’ll need as much time as possible to enjoy the first stop at Deerfield, before moving to the rest of the stops on the tour – all within the City of Plano.

Allow 90 minutes to fully enjoy the Deerfield Stop.

Pack your hot chocolate in flasks, blankets, a wagon or stroller as needed, and your warm clothing along with a fully charged phone for taking photos and videos.

1. Take a Holiday Lights Tour & a Drive-Thru

One of our favorite Christmas activities in Dallas: Grab some hot cocoas and drive around to see the most beautiful Christmas lights at Deerfield in Plano or Highland Park in Dallas.

You can even reserve a carriage ride to experience an extraordinary display of holiday lights. Homeowners and tenants around Highland Park go all out with home decorations every Christmas holiday.

We do recommend booking ahead for carriage rides in all cases, as availability is limited. This really is one of our favorite things to do and one of the best Christmas events near me.


The Deerfield neighborhood in Plano 75024. Enter on a street at the far north part of Deerfield, off Quincy Lane. Tweedsgate Drive is a good option.

Highland Park – For Brazos Carriages, the Transwestern Building, 3811 Turtle Creek Blvd. Dallas TX 75219. Park in the parking garage in the visitor’s area. For Highland Park Carriages, you’ll pick up at 4200 Oak Lawn Ave, Highland Park TX.

2. Walk through the Dallas Zoo Lights

A staple of Dallas Christmas events, it transforms into a winter wonderland with over one million lights after the animals head in for the evening.

Your favorite holiday tradition returns this year as a walk through event.

Nov. 17 – Jan. 2, 5.30 pm – 10 pm, tickets must be reserved in advance

It’s truly magical, featuring one million twinkling lights, elaborate displays, dazzling 3-D lighted sculptures, larger-than-life animal lanterns, and more – all to enjoy from the comfort of your vehicle.

Prairie Lights

3. Drive through Prairie Lights at Grand Prairie.

This a unique experience where you get to drive and walk.

You will be dazzled with 4 million lights set along 2 miles of the path. You will find the Holiday Magic Lighted Drive-Through Forest.

Your drive ends with an animated light tunnel – the perfect finale that you will never forget. The perfect idea to be on your list of Christmas things to do near me. Open Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve at 6 p.m.

4. Drive through The Light Park – new to Frisco this year!

Open November 3 until January 1. Tickets available now.

Pet Friendly, one ticket per car.

The best, most exciting drive through light show right here at The Light Park. Eat, drink, and watch as they electrify the night with millions of Christmas lights and festive music.

5. Explore Oak Point Nature Preserve and try the Plano Moms Scavenger Hunt

If you’re wanting to explore Arbor Hills or Russell Creek Park, we have Scavenger Hunts for them too!

Christmas Lights scavenger hunt

Find the Best Photo Ops

6. Get your Santa Claus Photos.

Absolutely the most quintessential idea for your list of Christmas things to do near me

7. Visit Snowday at the Galleria

Head to Santaland at the same time from Friday, Nov. 17, and they will welcome guests from his Santaland Express on Level I near Banana Republic.

Do not miss a few pics of the country’s Tallest Indoor Christmas Tree inside the Ice Rink: this is a quintessential Christmas Dallas thing to do!

One of our favorite Christmas things to do near me in DFW and Dallas, Snowday is right next to Santaland inside the Galleria Dallas and offers an immersive exhibit with Christmas music, that has more than a dozen all-new vignettes and visuals with state-of-the-art touch-free technology and Hollywood-grade sets and styling.

Great for pics and a fun outing full of things to do!

Christmas Tree at the galleria
The Christmas Tree at the Galleria Dallas

8. Enjoy the Trains at Northpark

Dates: opens November 11

It runs for 12 weeks, until January 5, 2024.

Where: NorthPark Center on Level One, adjacent to Santa and Macy’s


$10.00 for adults
$5.00 for children (ages 2 – 12) and senior citizens (age 65 and older)
Children under 2 are admitted free.
Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

Your visit will also do good – proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.

Trains at Northpark
Photo Credit: Trains at Northpark

9. Head to the Shops at Legacy for their Holiday Lights event

With such a great backdrop, they are beautiful to see while you walk around this shopping street.

Date: November 19, 2023 from 4 pm – 7 pm.

See Santa and Mrs. Claus, live reindeer, life-sized gingerbread men.

Location: 7101 Libby Rd, Plano, TX 75024.

We recommend parking around Bishop Park (use the address given). There may be spots on the road as well as in underground parking lots nearby.

During the holiday season, the tree-lined streets will light up and makes this place a winter wonderland! It is a perfect place for a stroll with friends and family, and you can shop and dine too and Visit with Santa!

10. North Pole Texas

Dates: December 8 – December 30, 2023

A notable Christmas event in Dallas, Hilton Anatole brings back their celebration of the season, North Pole Texas, with fun for the whole family, featuring Breakfast with Santa and North Pole Texas Room Experience.

Experience an outdoor Christmas adventure at North Pole Texas this holiday season.

The Hilton Anatole transforms into a winter wonderland – perfect for the whole family. Enjoy breakfast with Santa, create holiday crafts, explore a Christmas tree forest, and snap photos in a twinkling tunnel of lights.

Santa John Plano TX

Fun Events and Things to Do in Dallas with Kids

11. Walk the Holiday lights at Vitruvian Park Addison

Come enjoy a Magical Night of Lights ceremony, as you head down to see these Dallas Drive-through Christmas Lights!

The most dazzling and spectacular time of the year is here! Vitruvian Park transforms into a magical holiday wonderland during Vitruvian Lights.

Drive or walk through the park to enjoy the colorful LED lights on display each evening through the holiday season. Free entry.

More: Check out the lights at Christmas in the Square in Frisco

12. Holiday at the Arboretum

Dates: From Nov. 9 – Jan. 5

Holiday at the Arboretum opens with a Christmas Village full of charming shops at the Dallas Arboretum.

Holiday at the Arboretum returns with a garden transformed for the magic of the season including the return of the beloved Christmas Village, the 12 Days of Christmas and the Dazzling Musical Tree!

This is one of our favorite annual Christmas activities nearby.

13. Home for the Holidays – A McKinney Christmas

Dates: November 23 – 26.

Stroll the 14-block area of McKinney’s 166-year-old commercial historic downtown for family activities, food, and entertainment. Enjoy a uniquely McKinney Christmas celebration with neighbors and visitors from near and far.

14. Visit the Gaylord Texan for their 2023 Holiday Event

Dates: November 19 – December 31.

ICE returns this year!

With various exhibits and lights everywhere they also have Snow Tubing, Ice Skating, the Snow Throw, a Christmas Carousel, Gingerbread Decorating, a Christmas Craft Studio and a Build-a-Bear workshop

15. Watch a Holiday Parade

The Dallas Holiday Parade

Date: Saturday, Dec 2 at 9 am.

Where: The parade route begins at Commerce and Houston Streets downtown. DART is the best way to get to Downtown Dallas for the Dallas Holiday parade.

This year, they’ll have bleachers to make the parade more enjoyable for those who would rather sit. For these, you need to buy tickets.

Such a fun Dallas event for December 2023.

The Plano Holiday Parade

Date: Saturday, December 2 at 2pm

Get ready to kick off the holiday season with a BANG! Join us for the most festive event of the year – the Rotary Parades of Plano Holiday Parade! The parade theme is Marches of Toys.🎄

Where: Downtown Plano – It will start at 18th Street at M Avenue, head west on 18th Street, turn south on Municipal Avenue, east on 15th Street, north on M Avenue, and end at the Bird Educational Center.

Santa Claus will be there!

16. Ride the North Pole Express in Grapevine (the Christmas Capital of Texas!)

Buy tickets early, this sells out FAST!

17. Ice Skate at the Galleria Dallas

See the iconic Christmas tree showcase almost a half-million lights, over 10,000 ornaments, and a 100-pound, 10-foot-tall LED star.

And, it performs several times a day, as it lit up with choreography and holiday music.

Christmas Lights and things to do

18. Visit Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market

Dates: November 9-12.

The four-day holiday gift market hosts over 13,000 shoppers and over 125 merchants each year from throughout Texas and beyond. The market features the best in unique holiday and home décor, ladies clothing, accessories, gifts, jewelry, children’s items, gourmet food, and more.

19. Catch a Holiday Concert with Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Dates: December 1-10.

20. Head to Allen for the Holly Jolly Celebration & 5K & Fun Run

Date: Saturday, December 2, 2023 4 pm – 9 pm in Downtown Allen.

Kick off the holidays with the Texas Health | Allen Holly Jolly Celebration presented by Credit Union of Texas!

This longstanding Allen tradition features an annual 5K and fun run, light displays, kid-friendly attractions, gourmet food trucks, festive beverages, holiday photo ops and the lighting of the City of Allen Christmas tree. This is a free event.

21. Visit the Heritage Farmstead Museum’s Lights on the Farm

Dates: November 24 – December 30. 6 pm – 9 pm.

At the Lights on the Farm holiday event, guests will have the opportunity to experience Heritage Farmstead Museum’s scenic, historic property bedazzled with almost two million twinkling holiday lights and filled with animated yuletide displays.  

The outdoor event will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening November 24 to December 30. This year’s event will also include new, special theme nights and senior discount nights on select dates, as well.

The all-outdoor event features a quarter-mile trail through the property showcasing stunning holiday light creations and animated displays crafted by First Choice Lights. This is the perfect event to enjoy a new family tradition and experience holiday cheer. Guests will enjoy a 20-foot Christmas tree, tasty treats such as hot cocoa, kettle corn and make-your-own s’mores. There’s even a chance to visit with Santa and take a photo in Santa’s Farmshop.

Buy tickets online for a discount.

22. See a performance of the Nutcracker at Richardson’s Eisemann Center.

Dates: Saturday, December 2 & Sunday, December 3 at 2 pm & 7 pm.

Begin the holiday season with Royale Ballet Dance Academy’s 20th Anniversary production of The Nutcracker, December 2nd and 3rd at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts. 

Enjoy these Tasty and Festive Food and Drink Options

23. Run or walk the Frisco Frosty 5K & Merry Mile.

Date: Saturday, December 2, 8 am.

24. Join a Christmas Lights, Chocolate & Sips Tour with Dallas by Chocolate Food Tours

25. Eat Breakfast with Santa at The Grove at Frisco Commons.

Date: December 2. Get in early, this one sells out FAST.

Photo Credit: Bret Redman

26. Dickens in Downtown Plano

Kick off the holiday season with Dickens, a free event on Saturday, December 2 from 4-9pm in the historic Downtown Plano Arts District.

Bring the whole family for this annual celebration which includes photos with Santa, a snow slide, the Coffee and Cocoa Walk, the Children’s Entrepreneur Market, and a traditional tree lighting with the Plano mayor and city VIPs. The downtown businesses will stay open late so guests can enjoy food and shopping.

The event is located in Haggard Park, McCall Plaza, and on a limited section of 15th Street in Downtown Plano. Free parking is available at the Plano Municipal Center (1520 K Avenue) and public lots off 14th Street

27. Visit Dinosaurs Live! Life-size Animatronic Dinosaurs at the Heard Museum

Date: Until February 19, 2024.

28. Visit Santa at Fairview Town Center

Dates: November 18 to December 23. All visits are by appointment only, which means no long lines!

Location: 102 Fairview Station Parkway, Fairview, TX, 75069

Visit with Santa at FTC!

Santa will be available by appointment on Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons starting November 18th and thru December 23rd.

29. Attend the Fredericksburg Hot Air Balloon Festival

Date: November 25.

Location: Bankersmith, Texas, 7905 Old San Antonio Rd, Fredericksburg, TX

30. Stop by the Plano Holiday Market

Dates: 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday, Nov. 18 and 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday, Nov. 19. Plano Holiday Market is held at Carpenter Park Recreation Center.

Heard Museum Dinosaurs in McKinney TX

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Find ways to Give Back this Winter

31. Make cards for your nearest Senior Living Facility or volunteer as a family.

Our favorites are Feed My Starving Children in Richardson and Feed the City.

32. Buy a gift for the Salvation Army Angel Tree

33. Be sure to find a day out to pick a real Christmas tree and cut it down to take home.

This deserves an extra special mention as one of the best things to do in Dallas for Christmas. We have picks for all the best places to find a real Christmas Tree around DFW


 And when school is out, Winter Camps are in!