It’s winter break! The kids are home (or still home), and the family is seeking some safe holiday cheer. The Dallas Metroplex offers some exciting places to go and so much to explore.
Here are some of our favorite ideas to get you and yours out of the house!
– Good Life Family Editors
Christmas at the Gaylord Texan
You don’t have to travel to the North Pole to experience the magic of the Gaylord Texan during the holidays. Overnight resort guests and local day visitors can pre-purchase individual tickets now for the full lineup of Christmas activities, including a brand-new marquee pop-up exhibition, “I Love Christmas Movies;” brand-new 50,000 square foot outdoor holiday lanterns attraction, Yuletide Bright; and brand-new Build-Your-Own Snowman experience made with REAL snow in addition to fan-favorite activities including Snow Tubing, Ice Skating, Gingerbread Decorating, Elf on the Shelf Character Breakfast, and more.
“I Love Christmas Movies” is an exclusive multi-sensory pop-up exhibition in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products allowing guests to experience beloved holiday movies, including THE POLAR EXPRESS™, A CHRISTMAS STORY™, ELF™, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION™, and THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS™, in a completely new way. All designed with social distancing measures at the forefront, as guests young and young-at-heart navigate the multi-sensory exhibits, they will enjoy 15 fully immersive scenes complete with replicas of film props, audio clips and more, making participants feel as if they have stepped into part of the actual story.
Yuletide Bright – NEW OUTDOOR EVENT
Evoking a heart-warming feeling of Christmas, the enchanting Yuletide Bright outdoor holiday lanterns attraction will display over 50,000-square-feet of colorful, glowing holiday-themed lanterns, characters and scenes for visitors to journey through outside, under the Texas stars.
Guests can take a thrilling ride down the Snow Tubing hill made with real snow, glide on the Ice-Skating Rink made with real ice, enjoy snowy fun in a Build-Your-Own-Snowman activity using real snow (brand new this year!), take a spin on the Christmas Carousel, flex their critical thinking skills in two holiday-themed Escape Rooms, divulge in a delicious buffet at the Elf on the Shelf Character Breakfast, and complete holiday-themed art in the Christmas Craft Studio. In addition, the resort will also offer Photos with Santa by DEI; Build-A-Bear Workshop®; Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions, a live retelling of the Christmas Classic ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas; a Mistletoe Mile Scavenger Hunt; and more.
WHERE: Gaylord Texan, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine
WHEN: Now through January 3, 2021
TICKET INFORMATION: To purchase event tickets or book a holiday room package, visit www.ChristmasAtGaylordTexan.com. For more information on the “I Love Christmas Movies” exhibition, visit ILoveChristmasMoviesExperience.com. Advance online reservations are required for all ticketed events.
Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm
HO! HO! HO! SANTA CLAUS is in town!
Head to the spectacular Watters Creek shopping center for a magical month of holiday fun. While we know that this holiday season is going to be different due to COVID-19, at Watters Creek, they will still be celebrating your favorite old traditions while adding new ways to keep you and your family safe and comfortable.
Schedule your time for a magical in person or virtual time with Santa, November 27 – December 24. Santa has made a special stop in his sleigh at Watters Creek and has worked extremely hard to provide you and your family a safe and joyous experience. This year, due to the Coronavirus, they have put special safety protocols in place*, and your family has two options to meet Santa:
Join Santa at Watters Creek at Santa’s Bavarian Village, located next to Village Burger Bar on Garden Park Drive for an in-person and contactless photo session with Santa.
VIA ZOOM VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE:
Visit with Santa virtually from the comfort of your home – your special visit will include a keepsake video of your time with Santa.
Visit the Sweet Tooth Motel
You’re invited to “check in” at Sweet Tooth Motel, created by wife and husband duo Jencey and Cole Keeton, an immersive art pop-up venue that features emerging experiential artists. Located near the interactive Christmas tree on Village Green Drive, this smaller version of the original Sweet Tooth Hotel allows visitors to enjoy the unexpected, imaginative art experience in a more private and safer environment during the holiday season. Tickets are required.
WHERE: Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm, 75 @ Bethany Rd., Allen
WHEN: Now through January 3, 2021
TICKET INFORMATION: Visit watterscreek.com for more info.
A St. Andrew Christmas
Journey of Lights
St. Andrew United Methodist Church invites the community to safely celebrate the season at “Journey of Lights,” a new outdoor, immersive Christmas experience benefiting the church’s new mental health initiative. Enjoy a festive, outdoor celebration of Christmas lights, music, meditation, and more. You’ll visit Snowfall Lane, see the giant Advent calendar, and find plenty of photo ops at Christmas Village; get immersed in the show of lights, projection, and music synchronized at Light in the Darkness; and pause for reflection at Nativity on the Pond.
WHEN: December 11 – 19, 6 to 9 p.m.
St. Andrew Drive-In Concerts
St. Andrew is partnering with the VOCES8 Foundation to present Handel’s Messiah, performed by VOCES8 and the Academy of Ancient Music at Trinity College in Cambridge, England, through video on an LED wall. Sound will be available through car speakers via a designated radio station.
WHEN: December 20, at 8 p.m.
Take Imperial Brass home for the holidays with streaming access to a specially recorded virtual concert, recorded in St. Andrew’s Sanctuary! The hour-long concert setlist includes all songs from the December 21 parking lot concert, plus a few extra tunes. Streaming can be accessed from 7:00 p.m. December 21 through Christmas Day. Enjoy the tunes yourself, or give an early gift of music to others!
WHEN: December 21 – 25
TICKET INFORMATION: standrewumc.org
Scrooge – The Musical
Enjoy this timeless classic. Ebeneezer Scrooge has spent all his life accruing gold and allowing all his loved ones to slip through his hands. On Christmas Eve 1843, Scrooge is given the gift of one more chance to redeem himself for mankind and for his soul. The musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol presented by North Texas Performing Arts reminds us to love one another and to hold each other close. For this year’s milestone 10th anniversary of Scrooge – The Musical, and to accommodate COVID-19 concerns, NTPA will offer audiences an option to view Scrooge – The Musical at the theater with limited seating or from the comfort of their own home with a livestream high-quality video experience.
WHERE: North Texas Performing Arts Center, 6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano (in the Shops at Willow Bend) or the comfort of your own home
WHEN: Now through December 20
TICKET INFORMATION: https://northtexasperformingarts.org/event/scrooge
Panther Island Ice in Fort Worth
Sharpen your skating skills at Panther Island Ice, Fort Worth’s only outdoor skating rink.
WHERE: Panther Island Ice, 223 NE 4th St., Fort Worth
WHEN: Now through January 18
TICKET INFORMATION: Must be purchased in advance to minimize in-person contact at pantherislandice.com.
Vitruvian Park transforms into a magical holiday wonderland during Vitruvian Lights. Take a colorful, socially distanced stroll through a fairytale of lights. Fun for the entire family – even properly leashed pets are welcome.
WHERE: Vitruvian Park in Addison
WHEN: Now through January 3, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
TICKET INFORMATION: FREE. Visit vitruvianpark.com/events/event/vl/.
Holiday Lights at the Dallas Zoo
Drive through the Dallas Zoo Lights – the zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with over one million lights after the animals’ head in for the evening. Cruise through a newly constructed pathway – and through familiar parts of the Dallas Zoo – while marveling at more than one million lights in elaborate displays, silk-covered animal lanterns depicting all your zoo favorites, an ice palace fit for a trio of penguins, and so much more along the way!
WHERE: Dallas Zoo, 650 S R L Thornton Fwy., Dallas
WHEN: Now through January 3, 6 to 9:30 p.m.
TICKET INFORMATION: Dallaszoo.com
Holiday at the Arboretum
Holiday at the Arboretum, presented by Reliant, is Dallas’ favorite holiday tradition! Stroll the garden to see the 25-foot-tall elaborately decorated Victorian-style gazebos that represent each of the 12 Days of Christmas. In the evenings, the garden comes to life for a beautiful nighttime experience aglow with over one million lights. After Thanksgiving, enjoy our Christmas Village, visits with Santa Claus, entertainment, shopping, food & beverage options and more.
WHEN: Now through December 31
WHERE: Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas
TICKET INFORMATION: dallasarboretum.com
Candy Cane Lane
Candy Cane Lane is a multi-level visual Christmas attraction that will allow guests to celebrate the holidays in a touchless environment from the safety of their cars. Each level of Candy Cane Lane combines all of the wonderful outdoor experiences of Christmas including a vast array of holiday lights, classic holiday lantern characters, and a wonderland of surprises around every corner. Candy Cane Lane is protected by weather conditions, so they are open rain or shine.
In addition, there is a special upgrade to get a memorable 2020 photo opportunity with Santa Claus himself. The family stays in the vehicle but can pop your head out while Santa and his elves socially distance. It will be the family photo that not even the 2020 Grinch can stop.
WHEN: Now through December 26
WHERE: American Airlines Center, Silver Parking Garage
TICKET INFORMATION: candycanelanedfw.com