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Your 2020 holiday guide for North Texas

Despite COVID-19, there are still plenty of ways to safely enjoy the winter season.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It's the most wonderful time of the year. 

WFAA put together an extensive guide that will help you know where to go, what to see and how to experience this 2020 holiday season safely in North Texas.

Many of the events that require tickets are already selling out, so check for availability. 

COOL DISPLAYS

Zoo Lights at the Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo Lights is back with a new, socially-distant twist. This year's event will be drive-thru, allowing guests to enjoy the Dallas Zoo's lights without leaving their vehicles.

The exhibit will be open from Nov. 20 to Jan. 3 and opens at 6:30 p.m. Get ready to check out the more than one-mile long driving path with more than one million lights, animal lanterns and elaborate lighted displays.

This year's event requires a separate timed ticket that must be purchased online in advance. Guests can choose a window of time for their entry.

Dallas Zoo members receive a discount, so admission is $50 per car for members. General Dallas Zoo Lights event tickets are $65 per car.

WHERE: Dallas Zoo Main Entrance, 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, 75203

LINK: MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ZOO LIGHTS AT THE DALLAS ZOO

Holiday at the Arboretum

Known as one of Dallas' favorite holiday tradition, this holiday outdoor exhibit features a 30-foot tall tree along with 25-foot tall Victorian-style gazebos depicting scenes from 12 Days of Christmas.

Each gazebo features movement to depict different characters from the traditional carol, such as French Hens, Twelve Drummers Drumming and Seven Swans a Swimming.

Reservations are required. Guests five years and older are also required to wear a face covering.

The event runs from Nov. 11 to Dec. 25. The holiday-themed garden will be open Wednesday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

You will get the best deal from Nov. 11 to Nov. 25, when admission is only $10 for children ages 2-12. The closer it gets to Christmas, the more expensive the tickets will be.

WHERE: Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218

LINK: MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOLIDAY AT ARBORETUM

Trains at NorthPark

The Trains at NorthPark display has been around since 1987, showcasing 1,600 feet of track and a creative holiday them!

The display benefits the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas (RMHD), raising more than $13 million and serving more than 39,000 families.

Facemasks are required and social distancing will be enforced. Tickets must be purchased online ahead of time.

Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the exhibit.

The Trains at Northpark recommends coming earlier in the holiday season or during the afternoon for lower capacity.

The trains will be set up from Nov. 14 to Jan. 3.

WHERE: NorthPark, 8687 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75225

LINK: MORE INFO ABOUT THE TRAINS AT NORTHPARK

BEHIND THE SCENES: Toy artist uses train painting to stay sober

Interactive events

Snowday

You've heard of a haunted house -- but what about a holiday house?

This kaleidoscopic, interactive experience gives people a chance to get in the Christmas spirit by walking through a unique building. Guests will navigate their way through imaginative rooms of photo ops, holiday-themed rooms and even a sideways cabin!

The experience is designed to last about one hour with more than 10 rooms.

There will be limited ticket capacity to ensure social distancing. Face masks are required. All photo booths offer a touchless experience to take and receive your photos. 

All SNOWDAY team members are subject to temperature checks upon arrival at work. Hand sanitizer will be provided through the experience.

The event is happening from Nov. 20 to Jan. 3. Tickets are $22 per adult, $8 for kids 4-12 and free for kids 3 and under.

WHERE: The Galleria Dallas, Level 1 next to Sephora. 13350 Dallas Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75240

LINK: MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SNOWDAY

Markets

Texas Christkindl Market

Arlington's family-friendly market is back with its German holiday tradition.

This now online market features holiday gifts, decorations and one-of-a-kind finds. What makes this unique is the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas decorations and designs.

While there is not a physical location this year, Texas Christkindl Market has created an updated website with the same offers from local and national vendors.

Live performances from local choirs and dancers will be broadcast through the market's social media channels.

You can check this out online from Nov. 27 to Dec.23.

WHERE: txchristkindlmarket.com

LINK: MORE INFO ABOUT CHRISTKINDL MARKET

Chanukah events 

Chanukah Menorah Lighting

Head to the Dallas Galleria, Dec. 10 to Dec. 18, to watch a custom-designed Menorah light up each night of Chanukah at sunset. 

Lighting will occur on level 1, near the Guest Reception Center.

WHERE: Galleria Dallas, 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75240

LINK: MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CHANUKAH MENORAH LIGHTING

Holiday lights

Texas Motor Speedway's Gift of Lights

The largest drive-thru light park in Texas is back! 

Texas Motor Speedway's Gift of Lights will return with more than three million LED lights.

Due to the CDC guidelines and COVID-19, there will not be Santa’s Village this year. People must remain in their vehicles the entire time.

Food orders must happen from your vehicle and be picked up for the drive through.

You can check out these lights from Nov. 26 to Jan. 3 featuring more than 150 new displays. Admission is $30-$60.

WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Cir, Fort Worth, TX 76177

LINK: MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GIFT OF LIGHTS

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The Galleria Grand Tree

The tallest indoor Christmas tree is a sight to behold.

The Galleria grand tree is a FREE holiday display inside the Galleria mall. It is a 95-foot tall structure, made up of more than 10,000 ornaments and 1,500 branches.

The tree will be up inside the mall from Nov. 27 to Dec. 24.

WHERE: Galleria Dallas, 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75240

LINK: MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE GRAND TREE

Prairie Lights

This annual twinkling drive-thru light display in Grand Prairie is always fun.

Open nightly from Nov. 26 to Dec. 31, Prairie Lights features four million lights and hundreds of custom displays along a two-mile path. It is open from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Prairie Lights this year will be a complete in-car event. It will not feature the additional out-of-car experiences at Holiday Village. However, drive-thru concessions and restroom facilities will be available at the mid-way point.

Admission is $30 per car and $60 for a limo.

WHERE: Lynn Creek Park 5610 Lake Ridge Pkwy, Grand Prairie, TX 75052

LINK: CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION

Horse Carriage Highland Park Holiday Ride

It's one of the most iconic areas for Christmas lights in all of North Texas -- Highland Park.

Many homeowners go as far as to hire professionals to decorate their houses. Many of these streets are filled with extravagant lights and intricate structures in front yards and on top of roofs.

While it is free to drive through, you can also take a horse-carriage ride to make the experience that much more special. The cost for each ride depends on the company used.

The lights generally stay up from around Thanksgiving on Nov. 28 through Christmas Day on Dec. 25.

WHERE: Highland Park, Texas 

LINK: CLICK ON EACH COMPANY'S NAME FOR MORE INFORMATION:

BRAZOS CARRIAGES, FOUR WINDS CARRIAGES, WHITEHAVEN CARRIAGE, HITCH OF MEMORIES, NORTH STAR CARRIAGES, THREEJAYS CARRIAGES, VINTAGE CARRIAGE

*The best place to enter is at Armstrong Way and Preston Road.

BEHIND THE SCENES: The horses behind holiday carriage rides: Where do they come from and how are they cared for?

Holiday Lights Trolley Ride

With some of the brightest lights in North Texas, these trolley rides will let you experience all the holiday spirit in Highland Park.

All trolley rides will follow Texas COVID-19 safety guidelines.

This trolley experience lasts one hour -- with heated seats and free parking. The rides last from Nov. 28 to Dec 23. Admission is $20.

WHERE: Bus lanes at Mockingbird Station. Corner of Worcola St. & E. Mockingbird Ln. Dallas, TX 75206

LINK: MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TROLLEY RIDE

*If you have any holiday events you want to be included on this list, please email Jay Wallis at jwallis@wfaa.com.