Everyone's favorite time of year is finally here: tamale season. Besides that, Dallas is also fully into the holiday spirit, and the city is loaded with enough activities to help you celebrate all month long. Can you bring your family to these events? Yes. Is there alcohol at most of them? Yes. Coincidence? No. 'Tis the season for busting out the ice skates, drinking spiked eggnog, and taking advantage of all the holiday photo ops... and stocking up on tamales.
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Ice skate around the Christmas tree at the Galleria
Nothing will get you in the holiday spirit quicker than ice skating around the nation's tallest indoor Christmas tree. No judgments if you hold on to the edge of the rink the whole way around.
Take a picture with Santa Claus at the flagship Neiman Marcus in Downtown
Arguably the best (and best-dressed) Santa Claus in town spends his days at the decked-out OG Neiman Marcus. It's well worth the wait in line to get your pic with the big guy in front of Neiman's fabulous tree and let him know what luxury items are on your list.
Pretend you're in Europe at the Texas Christkindl Market
If you can't make it across the pond for the magic of outdoor Christmas markets, take a short trip to Arlington for the Lone Star State's version. Stroll through rows of tents featuring handmade goods as you sip on German beer and snack on Fletcher's Corny Dogs. Truly the best of both worlds.
Explore Downtown's Wanderland and pick up a few gifts along the way
Every Thursday through Sunday from now until December 17th, Main St transforms into a winter wonderland where you can eat, drink, shop some pop-ups, and snag a pic with Santa. Make it a Friday date night or family night and catch a classic holiday movie on Pegasus Plaza.
Be transported to the North Pole at the Gaylord Texan's ICE! exhibit
The Gaylord Texan truly outdoes itself for Lone Star Christmas with 2 million pounds of life-size ice sculptures, five-story ice slides, and endless cool (literally) photo ops. This year, ICE! tells the story of the classic Christmas special Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, and the experience ends with a full iced-out nativity scene. Tickets range in price depending on the date and age, and we highly suggest spending a bit more for the snow-tubing pass.
Watch the menorah get lit
The Intown Chabad hosts its seventh annual (giant) menorah lighting on December 28th. Celebrate the Festival of Lights while munching on latkes and jelly donuts. It all takes place between Mi Cocina and the Magnolia Theatre at West Village.
Travel through the 12 Days of Christmas at the Arboretum
A plus of not living in a city with subzero holiday temperatures? Outdoor activities are still a go. Spend the day wandering around the Arboretum looking at a seriously impressive and intricate display of the 12 Days of Christmas. Since there's mulled wine for you, it's safe to take the whole family.
Check out the Trains at NorthPark
At some point, you'll have to battle the dreaded holiday crowds at the mall. Might as well incorporate a little fun and make a pit stop at the famous trains exhibit of NorthPark. Take a break from the madness (and prevent a child's meltdown) by watching elaborate toy trains roll across America.
Bring to-go hot chocolate and scope out the fabulous Christmas lights of Highland Park
Bundle up, pack a hot chocolate, and head to Highland Park for a carriage ride around one of Dallas’ most extravagant 'hoods. Extra points if the hot chocolate is spiked.
Eat a hog while drinking some 'nog, for free
Every Monday-Friday starting at 5:30pm, The Rustic will be serving free (yep!) whole-roasted hog and spiked eggnog for the happiest of holiday hours. It's only free while it lasts, but with this special running until December 23rd, you have plenty of chances to snag the best of the Hog & Nog happy hour.
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