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Things to do in December

Holiday Guide

Looking for things to do in December

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

So so many fun family events, better start planning now.

We have lots of ideas for things to do inside and outside around Dallas, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen and surrounding cities in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

For Events Happening Each Weekend, we have a Round Up for you!

This Month’s Events

Free Live Online Art Class – Plano Arts & Events

Join them for a free live art class, suitable for all ages and skill levels. Classes are taught using watercolor paints and modified for colored pencils, markers and crayons. We’ll have a new class every Monday at noon. No registration – just go to their page every Monday at noon CST and click on the live video.

When: every Monday, 12 pm – 12.45 pm
Where: online
Cost: FREE

Fredericksburg Hot Air Balloon Festival

When: December 4 – 5, 4 pm – 10 pm
Where: Fredericksburg
Cost: from $22.85

Annual Women’s Expo

Connect with local business owners, discover new opportunities or find solutions for your own business.

When: December 5, 1 pm – 4 pm
Where: Embassy Suites Dallas Park Central Area
Cost: free to $199

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Holiday Events

Where can you go for photos with Santa?

Photos with Santa/Plano Christmas COPS Toy Drive

Bring an unwrapped toy to Goldreich Orthodontic’s office for a donation to Plano Christmas Cops on Saturday December 5th from 9 am – 12 pm. While you are there, take a socially distant photo with Santa, and enjoy fresh baked cookies from Mrs. Claus! This is a drive through event.

When: December 5, 9 am – 12 pm
Where: Goldreich Orthodontics
Cost: FREE

Santa Photos at the Shops at Willow Bend

When: through December 24
Where: The Shops at Willow Bend
Cost: photo packages from $39.99

Santa Photos at the Shops at Legacy

When: through December 24
Where: The Shops at Legacy
Cost: $60

Visits with Santa

Stonebriar Center is offering both virtual and in person visits with Santa. Reservations required.

When: through January 4
Where: Stonebriar Center
Cost: from $19.95

Santa’s Winter Woods

Fairview Town Center will be offering contactless in-person Santa visits and photos as well virtual visits with Santa program using video call technology.

When: through December 24, 12 pm – 7 pm
Where: Fairview Town Center
Cost: from $25

Santa Portraits at Legacy West – Photography by Misty

When: December 5 , 6, 19, 11 am – 2 pm
Where: Legacy West
Cost: $59

Take our Christmas Lights Tour

Holiday Events

Holiday at the Arboretum

Stroll the garden to see the 25-foot-tall elaborately decorated Victorian-style gazebos that represent each of the 12 Days of Christmas. 

When: through December 31
Where: The Dallas Arboretum
Cost: $17 Adults, $12 Children

North Pole Express

Experience the magic of Christmas onboard Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express. Perfect for the little train enthusiast. Ticket includes keepsake photo with Santa.

When: November 27 – December 23
Where: Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Cost: from $34 per person

Skating Under the Stars

Enjoy Skating Under the STARS at the outdoor ice skating rink located at the Children’s Health StarCenter in Farmers Branch, at the corner of I-35E and 635.

When: November 27 – January 15
Where: Farmers Branch
Cost: $10 per person (4+)

Snow Day Dallas

SNOWDAY is an immersive experience inspired by the spirit of Christmas and the joy of the holiday season. … Guests will navigate their way through an imaginative wonderland of festive photo ops, enchanted rooms, interactive spaces, and nostalgic moments.

When: November 20 – January 3
Where: Galleria Dallas
Cost: $22 for adults, $8 for children (4-12)

Dickens 2020 Online & Virtual Tree Lighting – Plano Arts & Events

Join online for celebrations of Victorian holiday traditions every day at 4:30 p.m. beginning Sunday Nov. 29 and ending with a virtual tree lighting on Saturday, December 5 at 7 pm. At Plano Arts & Events on Facebook.

When: December 5
Where: Online
Cost: FREE

Christmas in the Square

Christmas in the Square returns for its 16th year, full of established favorites and new surprises, such as the acclaimed Light Show, Skate the Square, Christmas Tree Lot by Scouts Troop 51, Horse Carriages, a Holiday Vendor Market, and Ike the Polar Bear!

When: Nov 27 through January 4
Where: Frisco Square
Cost: FREE to walk around, $15 to ice skate

30th Annual Merry Main Street (including lighting of Frisco Christmas Tree)

This family favorite features a holiday market, food court, live music, photos with Santa, the famous Kid’s Holiday Store,  carriage rides, and the City’s official tree lighting in Simpson Plaza

When: December 5, 4 pm – 8 pm
Where: Frisco Library
Cost: FREE

Gingerbread Village

Experience holiday fun with a drive through at the Gingerbread Village on the north side of The Shops at Legacy, where everyone can view life-sized gingerbread and sugar cookie characters, trees, candy canes, and snowflakes on colorful facades.

When: through January 4, 10 am – 11 pm
Where: The Shops at Legacy
Cost: FREE

The Trains at NorthPark

The Trains at NorthPark is the most elaborate toy train exhibit in all of Texas and is sure to be a favorite holiday event for all ages.

When: through January 3, 10 am – 9 pm
Where: NorthPark Center
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for children (2-12) benefits Ronald McDonald House

Handmade Holidays

Craft a Christmas cracker (an exciting holiday table topper), make a 3D Gingerbread ornament and mold a winter penguin! 

When: through January 4, 10 am – 4 pm
Where: The Crayola Experience
Cost: included with admission

I Love Christmas Movies

Read our post here. Click on the image below for our discount code.

When: through January 3
Where: The Gaylord Texan
Cost: from $23.99 per adult and $14.99 per child (4-11)

Prestonwood Christmas Tree Lighting Festival – Plano & Prosper

Free hot chocolate and snacks, Trains rides and hayrides, Christmas characters including Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and others, Photo stations, Games for kids, Live entertainment, Christmas carolers, Food Trucks (food for purchase), and SO much more!

When: December 2, 5 pm – 8 pm
Where: Prestonwood Baptist Church
Cost: FREE

Holiday Hop Bingo in Downtown Plano

Join the holiday fun as you safely stroll around and discover all the wonderful places Downtown Plano has to offer! See the beautiful murals, enjoy the lovely holiday décor, snap a (socially distant) selfie with Santa, plus many other exciting things in store! To participate in the Holiday Hop Bingo simply visit one of the retailers listed below to pick up your FREE bingo card. Complete a BINGO for a chance to win some cool Downtown Plano swag & prizes! Go big for a BLACKOUT BINGO for a chance to win a grand prize of a limited edition Downtown Plano t-shirt and gift cards!

When: December 3 – 5, 11 am – 5 pm
Where: Downtown Plano
Cost: FREE

Holiday on the Farm

The family fun will include fun themed Photo Spots, Playgrounds, Barrel Train for the Kids, Feeding the Farm Animals, Hay Maze, Christmas Music, Games, and even some fresh cut Christmas Trees for sale!

When: November 27 – December 13, 10 am – 7 pm
Where: Team Family Farms
Cost: TBA

2020 Dallas Holiday Parade

Annual Dallas Holiday Paradewill be broadcast this year in a made for TV special celebrating 33 years of holiday Dallas, Texas.

When: December 5, 10 am – 12 pm
Where: Commerce Street, Dallas and Online
Cost: FREE

Maker’s Market on J Avenue

This holiday pop-up will host a variety of amazingly talented & local artisans while providing unique, handcrafted goods to the community!

When: December 5, 11 am – 2 pm
Where: J Avenue, Downtown Plano Arts District
Cost: FREE

Christmas Tree Lighting & Holiday Marketplace

There will be ice skating, fun activities for children, a free cookie giveaway (while supplies last), festive holiday music and Santa Claus himself! Shop local vendors for unique handmade homemade gifts at the Holiday Marketplace in the Grove.

When: December 5, 5 pm – 9 pm
Where: Farmers Branch
Cost: FREE

Christmas at The Beach

On this night, you will be able to experience the parade, look at all the displays, and enjoy the traditional tree lighting ceremony! The parade begins at 6 p.m. and the tree lighting with fireworks is at 7 p.m. Santa’s Village has moved to Beard Park this year and is free to enter.

When: December 5, 6 pm
Where: Little Elm Beach
Cost: FREE

Human Sized Snow Globe

The Human Sized Snow Globe is FINALLY returning to the Market on Sunday, December 6th for a FUN & FESTIVE Photo Op!

When: December 6, 12 pm – 3 pm
Where: Frisco Fresh Market
Cost: $10 per group of 1-4 people

Texas Prairie Christmas

The evening will include a tour through the Farrell Wilson House decorated for the holidays. From there you will take a short walk to the historic pole barn for cocoa and a social distance visit with Santa. Santa will be appearing on a tractor this year! Your Texas prairie experience will not be complete without a ride on our Texas mule wagon. Enjoy holiday music and a spectacular view along the way. Lights, lanterns and longhorns are just part of this unique trip across the Texas Prairie.

When: December 10 – 12, 6 pm – 10 pm
Where: Heritage Farmstead Museum
Cost: $30

December Drive In Movie – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

From 6 pm – 7 pm feel free to walk around the farm and see the animals. The movie will begin at 7 pm promptly, and runs 1 hour and 50 minutes long. The sound will be transmitted through FM radio. Refreshments will be on sale and served by our carhops so you do not have to exit your vehicle.

When: December 11, 7 pm
Where: Cathy’s Critters
Cost: $20

Christmas Village

Warehouse Church is hosting a Christmas Village on Saturday, December 12. There will be something for all ages! They will have free pictures with Santa, local vendor booths, a petting zoo, food trucks, Christmas crafts, music, treats, and so much more!

When: December 12, 11 am – 2 pm
Where: Warehouse Church, Plano
Cost: FREE

Stories with Santa at Legacy Hall

General Admission to this event is free, but you can reserve a picnic table or soft seating lounge to guarantee seating inside a heated tent starting at $30.

When: December 19, 10 am – 12 pm
Where: Legacy Hall
Cost: Free to $50

Plano Parking Lot Pictures – Elf

Join Plano Arts & Events for a socially-distanced movie night outside Plano’s Courtyard Theater in Historic Downtown Plano! They’ll provide the entertainment to you in the comfort of your car or truck.

When: December 19, 7.30 pm
Where: Courtyard Theater
Cost: $10 per vehicle

Home for the Holidays – Plano Symphony

These performances with Hector Guzman and the Plano Symphony will feature “America’s Tenor,” Steve Amerson. Mr. Amerson’s voice has been heard in 175 feature films, during countless television shows, and in commercials. He has performed with major orchestras all across the United States, at the Hollywood Bowl, and in Carnegie Hall. Enjoy all your holiday favorites with “Home for the Holidays.”

When: December 19 & 20, 4 pm
Where: 3101 Coit Rd, Plano TX 75075
Cost: $25 – $35

Check out all these Holiday Lights around Dallas

Vitruvian Lights

Vitruvian Park transforms into a magical holiday wonderland during Vitruvian Lights

When: November 27 – January 1
Where: Vitruvian Park
Cost: FREE Parking and Entry

Radiance! Frisco – Drive Through Light Show

Marvel at 2 MILLION lights, animated to the tunes of your favorite holiday classics from the comfort of your car at Radiance!

When: through January 1
Where: Dr Pepper Ballpark Center
Cost: $30 per vehicle

Illumination Celebration

The nation’s tallest indoor Christmas tree illuminates in grand fashion for a special light show choreographed to magical sounds of the season.

When: through December 24, 12 pm – 6 pm
Where: Galleria Dallas
Cost: FREE

Zoo Lights

Cruise through a newly constructed pathway – and through familiar parts of the Dallas Zoo – while marveling at more than one million lights in elaborate displays, silk-covered animal lanterns depicting all your Zoo favorites, an ice palace fit for a trio of penguins, and so much more along the way.

When: through January 3, 6.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Where: Dallas Zoo
Cost: $65 per car/$50 for Dallas Zoo Members, Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Historic Grapevine Christmas Spectacular

Come see hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights and decorations up and down Main Street and daily performances with the animated snowman, or hangout with the Whos in Whoville at the Town Square Gazebo. Snap photos with characters, vintage sleighs, life-sized Christmas cards and more! After the sunset, the magic really comes to life with the 40-foot community animated Singing Christmas Tree, a massive City Hall Light Show Spectacular and don’t forget, there is always a 100% chance of snow flurries here in Christmas Capitol of Texas®!

When: through January 10, 9 am – 11 pm
Where: Main St, Grapevine
Cost: FREE

Prairie Lights Drive Through

Prairie Lights is the state’s premier holiday drive-through park featuring more than 5 million lights along the shores of beautiful Lynn Creek Park on Joe Pool Lake. Featuring the world’s longest light tunnel.

When: through December 31, 6 pm – 10 pm
Where: Grand Prairie
Cost: from $30

Deerfield Holiday & Christmas Lights Display

It’s time again for the Annual Deerfield Holiday light display! If you plan to visit the neighborhood during times of high traffic, use the entrances from Quincy, Preston Meadow, or Ohio. 

When: through December 31, 6 pm – 11 pm
Where: Deerfield neighborhood, Plano
Cost: FREE

Fun Food & Drink Events

Happy Hour Hike with Plano Magazine

 A new, monthly sip-and-shop event where guests can enjoy a variety of beverages while discovering new shops, restaurants and experiences throughout the Legacy West neighborhood. There will also be photo ops and live music.

When: December 3, 6 pm – 9 pm
Where: Legacy West
Cost: $20

Dinosaurs Live at the Heard Museum

From September 5, 2020 through February 15, 2021, explore nature and encounter the 46-foot T-Rex and nine new life-size animatronic dinosaurs along the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary’s outdoor trails at the 15th annual Dinosaurs Live! Life-size Animatronic Dinosaurs exhibit.

When: Daily September 5, 2020 through February 15, 2021; Depends on Museum Opening Hours
Where: Heard Museum, McKinney
Cost: Price included with Heard Museum admission and free for Members


Want to celebrate New Year’s? Here’s are some socially distanced and fun ideas to celebrate


Farmers Markets

Dallas: Saturday 9 am – 5 pm & Sunday 10 am – 5 pm, 920 S. Harwood, Dallas

Plano Farmers/Artisan Market, Saturday 9 am – 2 pm, The Shops at Willow Bend

McKinney: Saturday 8 am – 12 noon, Downtown McKinney Square

Richardson: Saturday 9 am – 1 pm, 101 S. Coit Road, Richardson

Carrollton: Sunday 10 am – 2 pm, 2722 N. Josey Lane, Carrollton

Farmers Market Mesquite TX

Related Links

Things to do This Weekend

Holiday Craft Fairs in Collin County

Fun Ideas for Winter Camps for Kids

31 Really Fun Things to do this Winter in DFW

Where can you see Santa & get your pictures?

The Best Places in Dallas to see beautiful Christmas Lights

Go Visit “We Love Christmas” at the Gaylord Texan