The outdoor temp may be persistently suggesting shorts and flip flops most days, but the calendar tells us it is indeed time to don your ugly sweaters, pull out those tangled strings of Christmas lights from the attic, and join the maddening crowd out in the streets and malls with gift list in hand. That’s right…. the reindeer games have begun! There are so many festivals, tree lightings, parades, musical offerings and special events in our Metroplex, your head will be spinning like a dreidel! We’ve chosen a few of the larger local events to share so you’ll know where to take the fam bam this holiday season. Summer or winter attire is dealer’s choice!
Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth will showcase choirs from the Greater Fort Worth area schools performing on the Sundance Square Plaza Stage every Monday – Thursday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm now through December 17th, free of charge. You can find a listing of the choirs Sundance Square’s website.
Fort Worth’s West 7th Street offers up Starlight Symphony Opening Night for your enjoyment! Free (there’s that glorious word again) Horse and Carriage Rides take off from Crockett Square every Friday and Saturday – 7 to 10 p.m., now through January 2nd. A fantastic music and light show begins at the top of each hour from 6 to 10 p.m. through December 31st. You do not want to miss the 18-ft LED Christmas tree in Crockett Square! Now, that’s how you do it, West 7th!
Panther Island Ice in Fort Worth is cool. Really cool! Seriously… it’s ice. An ice skating rink, outdoors. In Texas. While you’re’ ruminating on that, here are the details: Now through January 16th, Fort Worth’s only outdoor skating rink is open 7 days a week, including all holidays. Hours will vary during school holiday breaks and each holiday, so call ahead. Regular admission is $12 and includes skate rental. Admission is only required for those wishing to skate. If you prefer to sit and chill while friends and family slip slide away on the ice, you are welcome to do so free of charge. Parking is free. Free x 2 on this one! Dust off those ice skates and get out there. In shorts.
Texas Motor Speedway showcases a whopping 200 unique displays and 2 million LED lights. The Gift of Lights is a visually appealing 2-mile drive through the Speedway. Gates open each night from 6-10:00 p.m., now through December 30th. Admission is $25 per car, so feel free to pack ‘em in! (Note: large vehicles such as RVs and buses are more, and that’s only fair.) The Gift of Lights is a Toys for Tots drop-off center, so if you were already planning on donating this season, bring a new, unwrapped children’s toy and receive a $5 discount at the gate. At the end of your drive, Santa’s Village is located in the TMS infield for photo ops with the big guy in red, and other holiday good times.
The Texas Christkindle Market in Arlington is known as one of the largest open-air holiday markets in the entire Southwest! Now we’re talkin’! Next to Globe Life Park, this market chock full o’ goodies is family-friendly and features unique shopping for gifts and for holiday decorations. You’ll also hark back to Octoberfest with authentic German cuisine, holiday beverages, live entertainment and stuff for the kids! You can get your festspiele on now through December 23rd.
Let’s mosey over to Grapevine and check out the sparkly goodness of the Magic of Christmas Light Show. Running nightly from 6:00 until 11:00 pm, you can find the luminous display at the corner of Main Street and Dallas Road in downtown Grapevine. This much beloved light show is approximately 20 minutes in length. Always good times in Grapevine with many unique shops and restaurants in the downtown area!
The ever popular “Ice!” exhibit at the Gaylord Texan is a charming part of the hotel’s Lone Star Christmas celebration. Open now through January 1st, this year’s theme is “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”! Based on the 1970 television special, the attractions and giant ice sculptures feature characters such as Kris Kringle and the ill-tempered Burgermeister Meisterburger, as well as five ice slides. Five of ‘em! Who’s in the mood for a burger now!
Frisco Square transforms into a winter wonderland during their extravagant Christmas in the Square, now through January 1st. You will be dazzled by the nightly light shows synced to music, snow flurries, outdoor ice skating (another one!), carriage rides, parachuting Santa and more. I have to ask… what more is there to see after a PARACHUTING SANTA!? Maybe SNOW FLURRIES!? Admission is… you guessed it, free! However! There is a fee for some activities, as follows. Light & Music Show: Nightly, 6-10 p.m. Snow Flurries: Fri-Sat, every 15 min. May be the only snow you see this year! Skate the Square: Outdoor ice rink is open Friday-Sunday, noon until 10:00 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 4-9 p.m. $10 per person including skate rental. Carriage Rides: Horse-drawn carriage rides load at the corner of Coleman and Frisco Square. Thursday-Sunday, 6-10:00 p.m. (except December 25th), $6 per person.
Fall pumpkins and the like have made way for decorations in the key of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum. The “12 Days of Christmas” exhibit features a dozen elaborately decorated 25-foot gazebos, each with its own holiday music and mechanical movement. The best time to enjoy this outing is in the evening hours. Additionally, Santa Figurines will be showcased up at the DeGolyer House, along with holiday teas and some special weekend activities. Holiday cheer not to be missed at the Arboretum in Dallas!
The Galleria in Dallas will Celebrate Chanukah this year with a large-scale Menorah, as they light a candle every evening at 6:00 pm! You can find the giant Menorah on Level 1 near the Guest Reception Center. The Galleria provides a beautiful backdrop for this celebration! Not to be missed.
The choirs of Kimball, Life Charter, Conrad, Dunbar and Lincoln high schools, plus Texas College and Charles Rice Elementary Singers perform hymns, spirituals, gospel and classical music in Dallas for the Christmas Kwanzaa Concert. Three hundred voices will be backed by the Townview High School Band. December 9th at the Naomi Bruton Main Stage in Downtown Dallas is the when and where. Ticket prices start at $10. Go check these young people out, as they raise the roof in celebration!
Now, it’s time for some eggnog and mistletoe! Enjoy your holiday season with friends and family!