DALLAS — 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 2022 holiday season in North Texas.
Many of the events that require tickets are already selling out, so check for availability.
Zoo Lights at the Dallas Zoo
Dallas Zoo Lights returns this year as a walk-thru event. Last year's event was a drive-thru experience.
The exhibit will be open from Nov. 17 to Jan. 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day. Get ready to check out the more than one million lights across most of the zoo, larger-than-life animal lanterns and elaborate holiday-themed lighted displays. There will also be more than a dozen new lighted photo ops, three-dimensional lighted sculptures and after-hours rides as well.
Families will also be able to visit Santa's Workshop to see Santa himself.
Dallas Zoo members receive a discount, so admission is $14 on non-premium nights and $17 on premium nights. General Dallas Zoo Lights event tickets are $18 on non-premium nights and $21 on premium nights.
There will be a member-only presale on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 before tickets go on sale for the general public on Nov. 3.
There will be an adult-only night on Nov. 29 and a member-only night on Dec. 5.
WHERE: Dallas Zoo Main Entrance, 650 S.R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75203
Holiday at the Arboretum
Known as one of Dallas' favorite holiday traditions, this holiday outdoor exhibit features a new 50-foot tall musical 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. There are more than one million lights included in the displays. Reservations are required.
The event runs from Nov. 10 to Dec. 31. The holiday-themed garden will be open during the normal daytime hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also go at night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., depending on what day you go.
The admission price is $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and $12 for children. Members can get in free.
WHERE: Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218
Enchant Christmas at Fair Park
This place is transforming Fair Park in Dallas and it has a little bit of everything! So, whether you want to see Christmas lights, ice skate or shop at a market, Enchant Christmas is a must-see this holiday season.
There's also an ice skating trail and an artisan Christmas market -- and of course Santa himself! Visit the Christmas light maze, too, which includes a 100-foot-tall Christmas tree.
The event runs from Nov. 25 to Jan. 1 at Fair Park. Tickets start at $34 for adults and $20 for children. There are also times when there will be special offers, including select Wednesdays throughout the season when you can receive one free general admission child ticket.
Click here for more details and how to purchase tickets.
The Enchant entrance is directly next to the Fair Park parking lots.
WHERE: Fair Park, 1438 Coliseum, Dallas, Texas 75210
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 40,000 families.
Tickets are available both online and in person. It is $10 for adults and $5 for children. A reservation is not required and they are not specific to any date or time.
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. 12 to Jan. 2. The exhibit will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
WHERE: NorthPark, 8687 N Central Expy, Dallas, Texas 75225
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Mansfield's Hometown Holidays
The City of Mansfield’s Hometown Holidays returns in 2022. The city of Mansfield and Mansfield Independent School District are working together for this year's event.
Visitors will be able to play games, jump on carnival rides and experience live entertainment in downtown Mansfield. There will also be an ice slide, food vendors and interactive arts.
The event will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 at 1110 W. Debbie Ln.
Here are the main events happening each day:
- Wednesday, Nov. 30 (5 p.m. to 10 p.m.)—Toy Drop Off Parade
- Thursday, Dec. 1 (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.)—Tree Lighting & Fireworks
- Friday, Dec. 2 (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.)—Drone Show
- Saturday, Dec. 3 (12 p.m. to 7 p.m.)—Dance Spectacular
Admission and parking are free. To get unlimited rides on the Ferris wheel and carousel, you can purchase a $20 pass for any of these four days.
Those who purchase online must bring their receipts to the ticket area to receive wristbands.
WHERE: Dr. Jim Vaszauskas Center for the Performing Arts, 1110 W. Debbie Ln., Mansfield, Texas 76063
Fort Worth Botanic Garden's Lightscape exhibit
Taking place within the 120-acre Fort Worth Botanic Garden and set along a beautifully illuminated walking trail custom-designed for Fort Worth, Lightscape features artistic installations that come to life after dark with color, imagination and sound.
From Nov. 18 to Jan. 8 on select nights, Lightscape ticketholders will walk a one-mile-long path with suspended strands and tunnels of light, a fire garden, undulating wave of bluebonnets, singing trees, treetop sculptures, and artistic installations. Attendees will also be able to toast marshmallows over a fire and drink hot chocolate along with other seasonal drinks at stations along the trail.
Tickets for adults cost $28, and tickets for children ages 3-12 cost $18. Children ages 0-2 get in free.
WHERE: Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Richardson's 50th annual Christmas parade
The city of Richardson's 50th annual Christmas parade will be held at 9 a.m. on Dec. 3.
It will start at Richardson Square Mall and end at Huffhines Park.
There will also be awards handed out for some of the best floats and presentations:
- Mayor’s Award
- Grand Marshal’s Award
- Chairman’s Elf Award
- Spirit Award
- Spectacular Sparkles Award
- Performance Award
- Spirit of Giving Award
- Theme-a-rific Award
WHERE: Richardson Square Mall, 501 S. Plano Rd., Richardson, Texas 75081
Arlington - Holiday Lights parade
The city of Arlington is hosting its parade downtown at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10, along with many other events.
The parade kicks off at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Lampe and South Streets. From there, it moves through Downtown before ending at Abram and Cooper Streets. Visit the Parade website for a route map. Handicap parking is available in the lot at South Street and Oak Street.
Before the parade, there are reindeer games and photos with Santa from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Pre-parade entertainment will happen from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Founders Plaza. People can stop by where they will find food trucks, vendors and Christmas carol performances.
The tree-lighting ceremony is from 7 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Pictures with Santa will also be held from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
WHERE: 301 Lampe St., Arlington, Texas 76010
Parade of Lights
The City of Forth Worth will be hosting a renewed, live and in-person Parade of Lights this November.
There will be activities happening all day, including new retailers, restaurants and a trip from Santa Claus.
The GM Financial Parade of Lights begins on Nov. 20 at 6:00 PM at the intersection of Weatherford and Throckmorton Streets. The parade proceeds east along Weatherford Street, turns south on Commerce and goes all the way to 9th Street.
At 9th Street the parade turns west, proceeds past the Convention Center to Houston St., and then turns north on Houston Street to 2nd St. The final turns for the parade are west on 2nd St. to Throckmorton Street, and south to 3rd St. where the parade will end.
For complete route information and a full map click here.
WHERE: Downtown Fort Worth, 100 Throckmorton St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Schedule of Activities:
- All Day
- Fort Worth Christmas Tree
- Shopping and Dining Downtown, including brand new retailers and restaurants throughout the Central Business District.
- Trinity Metro TEXRail service will be available from points north and east to the Fort Worth Central Station. Certain Trinity Metro bus routes will have extended hours on Sunday. The Trinity Railway Express will NOT be running on Sunday.
- 4:30 PM – Come early to get a great seat, enjoy some hot chocolate or delicious fare, visit the shops of Downtown or enjoy a leisurely meal in any of our Downtown restaurants.
- 6:00 PM – Parade begins featuring over 100 illuminated entries.
- Entries featuring community groups and supporters from around Fort Worth.
- The parade takes approximately ten minutes to move five blocks – plan accordingly as it will take approximately 40 minutes to traverse the entire route.
- Broadcast LIVE on TBA!
- 7:10 PM – Santa begins his trip around the parade route on a specially designed float.
Christmas in the Park
Mesquite's annual Christmas in the Park will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. Admission is free. This is the city's Parks and Recreation Department's largest annual event.
It's a family-friendly event that includes pictures with Santa, carnival mechanical rides, games, bounce houses, activities for kids, music and dance.
Kids will also be able to write a letter to Santa that will be dropped off in a special mailbox to the North Pole.
WHERE: Westlake Park, 601 Gross Road, Mesquite, Texas 75149
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 20 rooms. Five of these rooms include extra-special photo moments with integrated cameras and lighting.
SNOWDAY recommends purchasing tickets online ahead of time. Tickets are limited. All photo booths offer a touchless experience to take and receive your photos.
The event is happening from Nov. 18 to Jan. 8. Prices vary based on the day and time you are looking to go. Tickets start at $21.99 for adults and $9.99 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and under get in free. SNOWDAY is offering discounted tickets for seniors and active military.
WHERE: The Galleria Dallas, Level 1 next to Banana Republic, 13350 Dallas Pkwy, Dallas, Texas 75240
Peace Plaza Ice Rink
Tis the season to be in Grapevine, which is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas!
Bring the family to experience the all-new Peace Plaza Ice Rink located at Grapevine Main Station. Get ready to glide across the ice on this Texas-sized 4,500-square-foot outdoor ice-skating rink on Historic Main Street.
The ice rink will be open from Nov. 21 to Jan. 8, with hours varying depending on the day. Tickets are $20 per person for all ages.
All skating sessions are timed entry and last one hour. There will be a 15 minutes changeover period between each session for skaters and staff to prep for the next session. This changeover time will not take away from your reserved one hour of skating time. Guests who leave the ice earlier will not be compensated for unused skate time. All ticket sales are final.
Guests can check-in with their confirmation email or mobile ticket for their selected date and time at the Peace Plaza Ice Rink. Guests cannot transfer their skating time to another skating session.
WHERE: Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station, 815 S. Main St., Grapevine, Texas 76051
Irving's Holidays at Heritage
The city of Irving will be holding its annual Holidays at Heritage events that include a tree lighting, live music and karaoke to Christmas songs.
The events will take place on multiple nights from Dec. 3 to Dec. 17. The first event to kick things off is happening Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. with a nighttime Irving Polar Express-themed parade in the Irving Heritage District.
After the lighted parade, attendees can head over to Heritage Park, 217 S. Main St., to enjoy a celebration at 7 p.m. featuring the city’s iconic tree lighting, drone show, live reindeer, food vendors, holiday-themed crafts and a live musical performance by Midnight Soul Band.
Attendees can take photos with a variety of lighted holiday props and even get a selfie with Santa Claus!
Parking is free for all events.
The Holidays at Heritage celebrations continue in Irving throughout December at Heritage Park:
- Dec. 3: Lighted parade and tree lighting (6 p.m.)
- Dec. 9: live music and movie feature “Jack Frost” (7 p.m.)
- Dec. 10: Carol-oke to Christmas songs (6 p.m.)
- Dec. 16: Dance performances and movie feature “The Polar Express” (6 p.m.)
- Dec. 17: Photos with Santa, trackless train, inflatables, live performances and more (10 a.m.)
WHERE: Heritage Park, 217 S Main St., Irving, Texas 75060
Texas Christkindl Market
Arlington's family-friendly market is back with its German holiday tradition.
This market features holiday gifts, decorations, and music. What makes this unique is the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas decorations and designs from the renowned Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Village in Germany.
If you sign up online with the Kinder Club, you get exclusive access to coloring pages and special letters to Saint Nikolaus.
Admission to the market is free, although there may be parking fees.
You can check this from Nov. 25 to Dec. 23 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.
To see a list of this year's vendors, click here.
WHERE: North Plaza at Globe Life Field, 734 Stadium Dr., Arlington, Texas 76011
*While admission is free, there is an entry fee for the ice skating rink.
Chanukah Menorah Lighting
Head to the Dallas Galleria on Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. to watch a custom-designed Menorah light up for the first night of Chanukah!
Lighting will occur on level 1, near the Tiffany and Co. store.
WHERE: Galleria Dallas, 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75240
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.
You can check out these lights from Nov. 24 to Jan. 1. Admission is $35-$60.
Texas Motor Speedway suggests arriving early to the show to avoid longer wait times. Weekdays also experience less traffic. The average time it takes to get through the show is about 45-60 minutes.
Pets are allowed.
WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Cir., Fort Worth, Texas 76177
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.
There will be a lighting celebration on Nov. 25 at noon and Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. that will include an ice-skating show with a fireworks finale.
WHERE: Galleria Dallas, 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75240
This annual twinkling drive-thru light display in Grand Prairie is always fun.
Open nightly from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, Prairie Lights features four million lights and hundreds of custom displays along a two-mile path.
The display is open from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The Holiday Village allows you to get out of your vehicle and enjoy carnival rides, concessions, photos with Santa and a magical walk-thru forest.
The second half of the drive ends with a new and improved light tunnel. It typically takes about 45 minutes to drive straight through with light traffic.
Due to the high volume of cars on weekends, Prairie Lights asks customers to allow for an extra hour or longer to enter the park.
Admission is $50 per car and $150 for a limo. If you purchase a fast pass, it is $149 per car and $259 per limo.
WHERE: Lynn Creek Park 5610 Lake Ridge Pkwy, Grand Prairie, Texas 75052
Diamond Loch in North Richland Hills
Lights in the Diamond Loch neighborhood are well-known and start at 5:30 p.m. every day.
Earlier in the evening, during the week, and earlier in the season is the best time to come to avoid traffic, the city said.
WHERE: Diamond Lock neighborhood, 6300 Diamond Loch N, North Richland Hills, TX 76180
The 10th annual Vitruvian Lights will be taking place from Nov. 25 to Jan 1.
Addison's Vitruvian Park will showcase millions of LED lights that will be on hundreds of trees. The lights will be on every day from around 5 p.m. to midnight.
An official event photographer will be capturing photos throughout Vitruvian Park.
WHERE: Vitruvian Park, 3875 Ponte Ave, Addison, TX 75001
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:
*The best place to enter is at Armstrong Way and Preston Road.
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.
Experience the Holiday Lights Trolley Ride through Highland Park. Along the 1 hour ride, these festive trolleys let you enjoy magic of the holiday season and see some of the best holiday lights in the area.
Each red trolley holds 34 passengers and is heated as well. It departs from Twin Sixties Drive and Mockingbird Station.
This trolley experience lasts one hour -- with free surface and garage parking at Mockingbird Station. The rides last from Nov. 26 to Dec 24. Admission is $25.
There will be a new "adults only" holiday lights trolley where people can bring their own alcohol. You must be 21 years old for this ride.
All of the tours include narration.
WHERE: Bus lanes at Mockingbird Station. Corner of Worcola St. & E. Mockingbird Ln. Dallas, Texas 75206
*If you have any holiday events you want to be included on this list, please email Jay Wallis at email@example.com.