Things to Do in Dallas and Fort Worth in December

Tours, Holiday Lights, Parades, and Charity Runs

Dallas, Texas

John Coletti/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Numerous holiday events and a relatively mild climate make Dallas–Forth Worth (DFW) an attractive place to visit in December. While the Northeast is usually being battered by snowstorms, the average high in DFW throughout December is a comfortable 58 degrees Fahrenheit, warm enough to walk around and enjoy the holiday lights on display without freezing. Get a taste for a real North Texan Christmas by taking part in any one of the many events that DFW has to offer.

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Dallas Holiday Parade

The Dallas Holiday Parade kicks off the holiday season. One of the largest parades in the United States, the parade attracts a crowd of more than 500,000 spectators. The parade features spirited marching bands, famous characters, magical holiday floats, larger-than-life balloons, and much more.

The parade is always on the first Saturday of December and begins at 10 a.m. The starting point is at Commerce and Houston streets, and it continues through downtown Dallas. Attendees have the option to purchase a bleacher seat if you want a reserved spot, or you can show up on the morning of the parade and find a free place to sit along the parade route.

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Homes for the Holidays Tour

Each year the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association hosts a Holiday Home Tour as a fundraiser to earn money for local clasrooms, showcasing four different homes of varying styles in the Park Cities area in the center of Dallas.

Homeowners can volunteer their house for the day, which are architecturally impressive and ornately decorated for Christmas. This year's tour on December 6, 2019, features homes like a historic facade with a modernly designed interior and a Greek Revival by a renowned 1920s architect. Participants can shop at the Christmas market with goods from local vendors and enjoy food catered by neighborhood Mexican restaurant, Tulum.

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BMW Dallas Marathon

Address
718 N Buckner Blvd #424, Dallas, TX 75218, USA
Phone +1 214-800-2087

Formerly known as the White Rock Marathon, you can lace up your running shoes and enjoy the BMW full marathon, half marathon, and five-person relay through Dallas. The racecourse highlights iconic landmarks throughout the city and features hundreds of thousands of spectators cheering on participants. As Texas' oldest marathon, the race attracts runners from every state and across the globe each December. 

The race always takes place on the second Sunday of December, and pre-registration is required in order to participate.

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Jingle Bell Run

Address
2201 N Stemmons Fwy, Dallas, TX 75207, USA
Phone +1 214-748-1200

The Dallas Jingle Bell Run benefiting the Trinity Strand Trail and the Mavericks Foundation begins from the Hilton Anatole on December 20, 2019. This is a festive family-friendly event with a nighttime 5K race, 1-mile fun run, and a lively post-race party. Participants come dressed in their spirited holiday attire and get a pair of jingle bells and glow sticks to "jingle all the way" through the race. Carolers and music are along the racecourse.

The post-race party is held in the Chantilly Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole with a live performance by the Mavs Maniacs, photo opportunities with the Dallas Mavericks Dancers, and complimentary beverages and snacks.

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Holiday Shows

The Dallas and Fort Worth area features a number of festive plays, concerts, and musicals that offer something for everyone, from a variety of performances of "A Christmas Carol" and Christmas concerts to rock performances and a staging of "The Nutcracker" performed by puppets.

If you're a fan of Christmastime music, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra always puts on a variety of holiday-themed shows in December. The Christmas Pops Concert is one of their annual shows, plus other favorites like "Fiesta Navidad!"

The Dallas Children's Theater puts on an annual holiday show for your kids as well. For the 2019 season, get tickets for the children's book classic, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas Show."

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Trains at NorthPark Center

The Dallas skyline at The Trains at NorthPark

The Trains at NorthPark

Address
8687 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75225, USA
Phone +1 214-631-7354

The Trains of NorthPark Center offers train lovers over 1,800 feet of train track that winds through miniature landmarks like Reunion Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and the Golden Gate Bridge. More than 40 locomotives pull train cars around the track to the delight of kids and adults. Visit the display on the second level of the NorthPark shopping center, beginning November 16, 2019, through January 5, 2020.

Since 1987, the trains have raised more than $13 million for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, which has helped more than 37,000 families.

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Holiday at the Arboretum

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical GardensDallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Jose Enrique Aguirre / EyeEm/Getty Images
Address
8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218, USA
Phone +1 214-515-6615

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden presents Holiday at the Arboretum featuring the return of the 12 Days of Christmas outdoor exhibit from November 9, 2019, until December 31, 2019. Twelve different Victorian-style gazebos each depict a different line from the classic holiday carol, "12 Days of Christmas." At the center of the exhibits stands a huge 30-foot decorated tree.

Visitors can also take part in a variety of other holiday events throughout December at the arboretum, such as Christkindlmarket Treasures, holiday tea, and visits from Santa.

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Prairie Lights

Address
5610 Lake Ridge Pkwy, Grand Prairie, TX 75052-3067, USA
Phone +1 972-237-4569

From Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, enjoy Prairie Lights, a two-mile stretch of decorations and festive fun featuring over 4 million lights, hundreds of new displays, an all-new holiday magic light show, a snow maze, walk-through lighted displays, pictures with Santa, seasonal food, and family fun. About halfway through the drive, the Holiday Village has Santa, carnival rides, snacks, and souvenirs.  

Long lines are expected at this popular north Texas event, especially on weekends before Christmas. A fastpass admission option is also available if you prefer to pay more and skip the wait.

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Six Flags' "Holiday in the Park"

Holiday in the park

 Six Flags

Address
2201 E Road to Six Flags St, Arlington, TX 76011, USA
Phone +1 817-640-8900

During select days from November to early January, Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas, twinkles with Christmas lights. It's the most magical time of the year filled with enchanting experiences—when rollercoasters mix with a giant dose of Santa Claus. The breathtaking winter wonderland features a variety of interactive activities that capture the holiday spirit.

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New Year's Eve Parties

Address
2200 N Lamar St, Dallas, TX 75202-1006, USA
Phone +1 214-978-2583

The Dallas and Fort Worth area has a number of options for you to ring in the New Year in style. Enjoy a rockin' New Year's Eve show at the Dallas House of Blues or head over to the world's largest honky-tonk at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth for their New Year's Eve show. There is no shortage of options for where to spend your last night of the year in the DFW area.

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Christmas Lights and Chocolate Tour

View holiday lights in style on a private bus! Begin by tasting scrumptious treats at chocolate venues such as Dude, Sweet Chocolate, Donna's Pie House Cafe, and CocoAndre Chocolatier. Then relax as you glide past some of Dallas' most spectacular displays in the Park Cities while enjoying great drinks. Bring a blanket, listen to holiday music, sit back, and relax. The tour admission includes transportation via private bus, many food samples, and wonderful drinks. This delicious activity is great for families, couples, groups of friends, and solo travelers.

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Things to Do in Dallas and Fort Worth in December