The Most Festive Events in Dallas This Holiday Season

From noggy to nice.

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex knows how to do holidays right, from an abundance of Halloween attractions to enough fireworks on the Fourth of July to be seen from several planets away. Yet it’s the winter holiday season when North Texas truly sparkles, so much so that we know people who moved to Dallas after falling under Santa’s spell in the city. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or simply enjoy the sound of jingle bells in the background of every song from now until January, we’ve consulted each elf in our contact list to gather together a list of 15 can’t-miss holiday events.

December 1 - 30
If you didn’t get enough of a twist on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with the Apple Original, Spirited, then you’re in luck. Brian Clowdus has created an immersive experience that puts you and 49 other people in the middle of the ghostly action, starting with Jacob Marley’s funeral and taking you through multiple rooms in a historical home along with Scrooge as he reflects on his life of humbuggery. A VIP experience includes caroling with the cast inside the mansion before the show.
Cost: Tickets are $39 - $59 for general admission and $79 for VIP.

Thompson Dallas
Thompson Dallas

December 12 - 24
The third annual 12 Days of Thompson returns for adult-oriented activations, including live holiday jazz, festive cocktails, and Brunch with Santa. More than 12 miles of LED lighting, 17,000 ornaments, 35 Christmas trees (including a giant 55-foot-tall one at the entrance of the building) set the mood through the entire season.
Cost: Access is free, but some events and activations may have an additional charge.

Ice Rink at Enchant Dallas
Enchant Dallas

Now - January 2
Fair Park
Through January 2, live your own Hallmark Channel movie as Fair Park transforms into a snowy paradise with millions of twinkle lights, a mesmerizing Christmas Light Maze, and a unique ice-skating trail that winds around a forested path. While you’re there, visit the Big Man himself (and not Big Tex for once) as Santa spreads his cheer to all who visit. Upgrade to VIP for a private elf guide to take you directly to the front of lines and take photos of you and your group with your own camera, among other perks.
Cost: Adult tickets are $25 - $41. Add on VIP for $25 per person or $250 for two hours with an elf guide. Ice skating is $17 per person with free skate rental.

Now through January 3
Eight lanes of snow-covered hills await with unlimited rides all day long for one price. Add on snowball target practice, ice skating, or a walk through a 50,000-square-foot outdoor light display, or bundle several activities together for a discount. As always, the indoor holiday light show and atrium holiday displays can be accessed for free.
Cost: $22.99 (tubing all-day pass); additional activities extra

Miracle Pop-Up
Miracle Pop-Up

Now through December 24
The Union
The annual holiday bar experience, Miracle, returns to Dallas at Royal 38, one of more than 100 venues in the world to host the cocktail pop-up. At Royal 38, in addition to a lineup of jolly cocktails (including Grandma Got Run Over By a T-Rex), you can dine on festive food, too. The experience has doubled in space this year and reservations aren’t accepted, so pop in early for the best chance at quick seating.
Cost: Free to attend, drinks and food priced a la carte.

12 Drummers Drumming Gazebo at Dallas Arboretum
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden | Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Now through December 31
White Rock Lake
Experience the holidays with others at the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden, which has more than 66 acres and one million lights to enjoy. Highlights include a 25-foot-tall Christmas tree, a life-size Christmas village, and a dozen Victorian-style gazebos representing everything from 12 drummers drumming all the way back to that partridge in a pear tree. Celebrations for Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will also take place during December.
Cost: $13 - 25

Snow at the Galleria Dallas
SnowDay Dallas | SnowDay Dallas

Now through December 24
Galleria Dallas
If you’re a sucker for photo ops, this festive, interactive experience features plenty of holiday-themed backdrops to amaze your online friends, family, and followers. Bring your own camera or pose for the integrated professional cameras with instant, touchless, digital delivery. Make sure to visit the nation’s tallest indoor Christmas tree at the Galleria ice rink before or after. On Bring Your Pet nights, you can even get Fido and Fifi to tag along for the fun.
Cost: Tickets are $26.98 - $79.99 for the Snowday and Santaland combo.

People Shopping Ornaments at Texas Christkindl Market
Texas Christkindl Market

Now through December 23
Complete your holiday shopping with plenty of local businesses in this traditional German-style experience, complete with St. Nikolaus himself. Live musical acts round out the experience with performances throughout the run of the Christkindl Market.
Cost: Free

December 15 & 21
North Dallas
The Jewish Community Center of Dallas kicks off the Hanukkiah celebration with a make-your-own Hanukkiah event, during which you can make your own to take home and enjoy. Later in the week, the lighting of the largest Hanukkiah Lighting in North Texas takes place, along with sufganiyot, music, a giant inflatable Hanukkiah, and lots of photo ops.
Cost: The DIY Hannukkiah is $10; the lighting event is free and open to the community.

Mrs Claus Reading to Kids at Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas | Six Flags Over Texas

Now through January 1
In addition to many of the regular thrill rides and coasters (including Riddler Revenge and the classic Shock Wave), visitors can enjoy dozens of special holiday-themed activities and entertainment. Sled down a hill covered in real snow, kiss someone under Texas-sized mistletoe, and marvel at the nightly tree-lighting spectacular.
Cost: Tickets start at $49.99 (adult one-day admission); season passes for the rest of 2022 and all of 2023 start at $69.

Now through December 31
Frisco, Weatherford
This year’s Radiance! Holiday Light Spectacular takes place in two different cities, each with an immersive walk-thru experience now through January 3. Add-on experiences include bucking-reindeer rides, ice tubing, bumper cars, ice skating, and a snowball toss for hours of additional fun.
Cost: Tickets start at $34.99. VIP and add-on pricing varies.

Dallas Zoo Lights, Reindeer, and Woman
Dallas Zoo Lights | Dallas Zoo

Now through January 1
South Dallas
After two years as a drive-thru experience with more than one million lights, some glow-in-the-dark monkeys and other creatures, Dallas Zoo Lights returns as a walk-through event. Nightly musical performances, adult beverages, snacks, and tons of photo ops await.
Cost: $18 - $21 per person (with discounts for Dallas Zoo members).

Now through December 31
Grand Prairie
Not to be confused with the road-trippable Marfa lights that may or may not appear when you want them to, the Prairie Lights drive-thru experience features more than 5 million lights along a two-mile path to experience from the warmth and comfort of your car, as well as carnival rides, a vendor market, and all-new indoor and walk-thru attractions.
Cost: $50 - 319 (depending on vehicle size & fast-pass status)

Drag Queen Gloria Devine Hosting Tipsy Elf
Tipsy Elf | Tipsy Elf

Now through December 23
Bishop Arts District
Get in the holiday spirit(s) at this seriously fun holiday pop-up bar, now bigger than ever before with increased (enclosed) patio capacity. Thematic cocktails, including the Meet Me in the Grinch Room (which is an actual place inside the house), add to the enjoyment of the very decked-out halls complete with elves on shelves and a variety of Insta-worthy scenes. Plus, a major highlight will be drag queen Gloria Devine as a jello shot-selling Mrs. Claus.
Cost: Free. Cocktails start at $15.

People Looking at Lights at Vitruvian Park
Vitruvian Park | Vitruvian Park

Now through January 1
Meander through multiple light displays or perch yourself in a lawn chair and simply absorb the experience at this leashed-dog-friendly outdoor event. Bring your own snacks, or visit one of several food and beverage vendors on-site to make it a perfect date night.
Cost: Free (including parking).

December 4 - 26
Various locations
Reserve your tickets then get the pickup location for various holiday-themed food-and-beverage tours, including 21-and-over versions of the experience that allow motorcoach riders to enjoy boozy drinks. Indulge in margaritas and tacos, wine and desserts, or vegan foods, depending on the event you book. Each tour travels around the city to marvel at holiday decorations while listening to festive music and snacking on sweet treats from top local businesses.
Cost: Tours range from $39 - $95.

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Steven Lindsey is a contributor for Thrillist.