by Tricia White | Managing Editor
North Texas goes all-out when it comes to spreading holiday cheer. Whether you’re with kids, friends or solo, DART can help you get in the spirit – instead of in traffic. DART’s free GoPass® app, available in the App Store or Google Play, makes it easier to discover these holiday festivities:
Historic Downtown Carrollton has a vibrant display of holiday lights, decorations and “snow-flocked” storefronts in the town square. Dec. 8 is the perfect time to catch St. Nick at the annual Santa on the Square event. For an unusual selfie, head to the square on Dec. 15, when you can snap yourself with a giant, inflatable snow globe. Stick around to browse the unique shops or to eat at Babe’s Chicken Dinner House. It’s all a short walk from the Green Line’s Downtown Carrollton Station. historicdowntowncarrollton.com
Downtown Garland also is big on nostalgic charm. At Christmas on the Square, 100,000 lights adorn the neighborhood – they even “dance” to music. The event kicks off with a Square Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 29 and runs throughout December. The first three Saturdays of the month, Santa will be there, along with carolers, hot chocolate and free movies at the Plaza Theatre. Take the Blue Line to Downtown Garland Station to enjoy the family fun.
Bishop Arts District is Dallas’ own small-town-in-the-city, and it does the holidays right. The historic neighborhood shows its creative flair in the awesome lights lining the streets; usually there are some surprises in store. On Dec. 2, ring in the season at the Poinsettia Walk – a poinsettia in this case being champagne with cranberry juice. Participating stores provide the beverage, and the Dallas Streetcar’s Bishop Arts stop puts you a few blocks from the merrymaking. bishopartsdistrict.com
The Downtown Plano Arts District is rich in holiday tradition, starting with Dickens in Downtown Plano on Nov. 30, when the district transforms into a picture-book wonderland. There’s caroling, a visit from Santa and a tree lighting in Haggard Park. The festive feeling continues throughout the holidays – you can even get a traditional Italian “Feast of 7 Fishes” at Urban Crust on Christmas Eve. Take the Red Line to Downtown Plano Station, and you’re right there. visitplano.com
Downtown Irving does a knockout job of dressing up Centennial Park with beautiful lights and a series of holiday-themed displays. The Holiday Extravaganza on Dec. 1 starts with a parade through the historic town center and finishes with a tree lighting at City Hall. The gorgeous display will be up through Dec. 26 – while you’re there, take in the vintage architecture and quaint restaurants of the neighborhood, served by Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE). cityofirving.com
Dallas Zoo Lights also has a satchel-full of creativity. From Nov. 16 through the end of the year, more than a million lights outline the trees, walkways and sculptural decorations. The two dozen animal-shaped lanterns are especially cool. The spectacle is on display on select evenings; check before taking the Red Line to Dallas Zoo Station. dallaszoo.com
Editor’s Note: For more DARTable holiday fun, visit DART.org/DARTable.