Oh, yeah! The holidays are here! The kids are home, family is gathering from near and far, and the kitchen is filled with the delicious scents of the season. It’s a picture perfect holiday… except that the kids have only been home a day and they are already bored silly. What do you do?
We’ve combed the Metroplex for unique and fun ideas to get you and yours out of the house!
P.S. Avoid the holiday traffic and DART to your destination! Visit DART’s Rider Insider Online Calendar to find legendary locales, beloved cultural institutions and our area’s best events accessible via rail.
Pictured above: the majestic lights of Vitruvian Park in Addison. November 25 (6 pm) – January 1, 2017.
Sounds of the Season at Watters Creek
Enjoy live music, non-stop festivities, and FREE CARRIAGE RIDES while you tackle your holiday shopping list. Dozens of unique boutiques plus some fantastic family dining options are all gathered in one place. Throw in a slice of Oreo cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and a steamy hot chocolate from Sublime Chocolate and you have yourself one heck of a fun-filled day. Begins November 28th and continues through December. watterscreek.com/events
The Turkey Trot
On Thursday, November 24th, at 9:00 a.m., nearly 30,000 participants are expected to turn out at the Dallas City Hall Plaza for the 8-mile race and 5K fun run. The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot benefits YMCA programs that help the YMCA to strengthen the foundations of community. thetrot.org
The 12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum
Many people are familiar with the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” so come enjoy it in a three-dimensional experience. Everyone loves holiday lights, and seeing over 500,000 lights in one place is something no one in the family will want to miss. November 6th through January 8th. dallasarboretum.org
Home for the Holidays in Downtown McKinney
The weekend after Thanksgiving in Historic Downtown McKinney features non-stop family activities, entertainment, and food galore. The fun starts Friday, November 25th, at 10 a.m. with the Christmas Tree lighting at 6:15 p.m. Start (or finish) your holiday shopping with Candlelight Shopping until 8 p.m. at all the unique stores on the square. The celebration continues Saturday, November 26th, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 27th 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. mckinneytexas.org
Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano
Charles Dickens’ idea of a Christmas Carol is brought to life with this historic festival in Downtown Plano. Plano Parks and Recreation Department will host ”Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano” on Friday, December 2nd from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is at 7 p.m. in Haggard Park, 901 E. 15th Street; numerous restaurants and merchants will be staying open late after the ceremony. Consider catching the DART train in from the Bush Turnpike or Parker Road DART stations. plano.gov
Jingle Bell Run/Walk
Run or walk, with jingle bells on your shoe laces, for a great cause this winter season on the 1-mile Fun Run/Walk or the 5k holiday race series on Dec. 21st at Hilton Anatole. Anyone and everyone can join this family-friendly event, and it’s a wonderful way to spend time with the family while also giving back to the community. All proceeds benefit The Trinity Strand Trail and the Mavs Foundation. The Fun Run/Walk starts at 6:30 p.m., and the 5K Race starts at 7:00 p.m. dallasjinglebellrun.com
Panther Island Ice in Fort Worth
True, it’s a bit of a drive, but it’s also a long winter break. Sharpen you skating skills at Panther Island Ice beginning November 17th. Fort Worth’s only outdoor skating rink remains open 7 days a week, including all holidays, through January 16th. Even though Texas isn’t known for outdoor winter sports, Panther Island Ice is a cool way to make the most of our short winter season. pantherislandice.com
The Jingle Ball
It’s loud, it’s rowdy, and it’s not the Dallas Mavs, but this is THE concert of the holiday season. Trust us when we say your kids will think you are the coolest parents ever (unless you start dancing in your seat). November 29th at American Airlines Center featuring Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, Backstreet Boys, Alessia Cara, Charlie Puth, and more. americanairlinescenter.com
The Trains at Northpark
The most elaborate toy train exhibit in Texas is a popular seasonal ritual for many families. Housed in the renowned NorthPark Center shopping mall, the exhibit features trains rolling across 16,000 feet of track, with spectacular cityscapes occupying more than 4,000 square feet of themed environments. thetrainsatnorthpark.com
Candlelight Celebration at the Dallas Heritage Village
Take a stroll along candlelit paths and experience gleeful carolers, holiday storytelling, hand-weaving, blacksmithing, and craft-making. Taking place December 10th and 11th from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Dallas Heritage Village features over 600 candles lighting the path, as well as an American Flyer model train exhibit, surrey rides, and more. All proceeds benefit museum programs at Dallas Heritage Village. General admission (gate) is $12/adults, $10/seniors 65+ and $8/children, ages 4-12. Children under 4 and museum members are free. dallasheritagevillage.org
Want more ideas? Keep checking goodlifefamilymag.com for updates on fun and festive holiday happenings.