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The Best Dallas Christmas Events for Families in 2023

The Best Dallas Christmas Events for Families in 2023

Christmas is coming to the Big D in a big way! There are many Dallas Christmas events, and local hotels go all out with great holiday packages. It’s easy to take a quick getaway or a special stay-cay for Christmas in Dallas.

Whether you prefer a fancy breakfast with Santa, or seeing the light displays at the Dallas Zoo, there is something to warm every family’s heart. Sugarplums and candy canes and gingerbread houses, oh my! Usher in the holiday season any way you like, just don’t miss out on the best Dallas Christmas events in 2023. 

Dallas Christmas Events in 2023

Dallas Christmas Parades and Tree Lightings

Christmas Events in Dallas include tee lightings
Main Street Garden, photo by VisitDallas

The annual Dallas Holiday Parade takes place on Commerce Avenue in downtown Dallas on the morning of December 2, 2023. Ring in the season with a jingle bell and a drum beat as you watch festive floats roll down the street.

The full parade lasts about two hours, but don’t worry, there will be food trucks at Belo Garden and Main Street Garden for lunch after the parade. For a spot on the street, there is no charge and you are allowed to bring your own chairs. However, ticketed stadium seats are also available for purchase.

The Holiday Show & Tree Lighting at Klyde Warren Park is on December 2, 2023. Expect plenty of family-friendly activities including story time with Mrs. Clause, photos with Santa, and live Christmas music during this event from 3-6pm.

The Dallas Arboretum

Dallas Arboretum host popular Dallas Christmas events
Dallas Arboretum, photo by Tarlie Harris

The incredibly beautiful Holiday at the Dallas Arboretum is truly a one-stop holiday shop full of festive cheer, exquisite decorations, shopping, delicious treats, and kid-friendly fun. It runs from November 9, 2023 – January 5, 2024.

Grab a cup of hot chocolate at the adorable, European-inspired Christmas Village and then stroll through the 12 Days of Christmas exhibit. The exhibit consists of 12 large, Victorian gazebos depicting dynamic scenes inspired by the song. They are gorgeous!

The village is also home to special programming so get ready for some holiday karaoke or bingo throughout the season.

The Arboretum has a Artistry of Faith and Culture exhibit showcasing art that celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. For an extra special celebration, book a Holiday Tea at Restaurant DeGolyer.

Family Fun Weekend is November 10 – 12. The weekend will be jam packed with family programming including a petting zoo, a bird flight show, holiday story time, and live entertainment.

For travel to Dallas any time of year. Here is our list of Top Things to Do in Dallas with Kids.

Christmas Events at the Dallas Zoo

Christmas Events in Dallas
The Dallas Zoo, Photo by Flickr/Dylan H.

The Dallas Zoo is a kid-favorite venue year round, but it turns up a notch to the celebrate the holiday season. Zoo Lights is open on select nights November 17, 2023 – January 2, 2024 from 5:30 – 10:00pm.

Bundle up because it’s back as a walk-thru event this year!

Zoo Lights will bring all your holiday visions to life with one million lights, holiday-themed displays, the ever-popular animal-shaped lanterns, Santa’s Workshop, festive drinks and snacks, crafts, musical performances, and a programmed light show.

Advanced purchase tickets are required. Expect this event to sell out early so buy your tickets now!

Looking for more Christmas events nearby? Grapevine, The Christmas Capital of Texas, is less than an hour away. Check out Your Guide to the Christmas Capital of Texas which includes memorable experiences at the Gaylord Texan.

Special Meet & Greets with Santa

Christmas Events in Dallas
Peppermint Park at the Hilton Anatole, Photo by Marty Perlman/Hilton Anatole

Throughout November and December, the American Girl Store in the Dallas Galleria hosts several different Christmas events. Register early as these events frequently sell out.

Take your favorite American Girl Doll fanatic to enjoy holiday cookie decorating, gingerbread cookie house decorating, or a holiday tea with crafting activities. Santa will be in the store on December 11th for a special family brunch, including time with Santa for wishes and photos. 

Don’t miss Missile Toes, Dallas Galleria’s famous ice-skating Santa, at the Galleria’s indoor ice-skating rink. He’ll light up the centerpiece of the rink, the country’s tallest indoor Christmas tree, in spectacular fashion on November 24 and 25 at noon.

Santaland is also at the Dallas Galleria from November 17 – December 24, 2023. It’s an immersive, simulated ride aboard the Santaland Express to the North Pole. Through a little bit of Christmas magic, Santa will know every child’s name, what they most want for Christmas, and pose with them for a professional photo.

Combine your visit to Santa’s place with a romp through Snowday to meet the elves for a full afternoon of Christmas cheer. This is an experience with different themed rooms that make for perfect Christmas photo opportunities. It runs at the same time and you can book tickets to combine Santaland and Snowday.

Enchant, at Fair Park from November 24 – December 31, 2023, features a large walk-thru light maze, professional photos with Santa, an ice-skating rink, and a Christmas Village full of gift and food vendors.

Dallas Hotel Christmas Offerings

The Hilton Anatole grounds magically turn into North Pole Texas on weekends December 8 – 30, 2023. Treat your little ones to a fun-filled winter wonderland.

Explore the Christmas Village, wander through the holiday maze, visit the reindeer stables, write letters to Santa, visit Santa’s workshop, try out the North Pole escape room, watch Santa’s Magical Marionette Theater, and more! This experience is open to hotel guests as well as those not staying on property. Reservations are required.

Of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there presiding over all of the festivities with plenty of good cheer. The hotel also offers Breakfast with Santa.

The Adolphus Hotel‘s Holiday Tea is back this year, serving up delicious treats in the elaborately decorated French Room and this year it will run seven days a week through December 31! The hotel’s tree lighting ceremony takes place on December 1 and will include Victorian carolers and plenty of Christmas cookies.

Christmas in Dallas – Holiday Shows

Winspear Opera House
Winspear Opera House, Photo by Timothy Hursley

There’s something magical about getting a little bit dressed up and heading out for a night at the theater with the family. Especially if it becomes an annual tradition that the family eagerly anticipates every holiday season.

If the traditional route speaks to your family, the Dallas Theater Center presents a lovely production of A Christmas Carol November 30 – December 30, 2023, while the Avant Chamber Ballet presents The Nutcracker on the weekend of December 8 – 10, 2023 at the Moody Performance Hall and December 22 and 23 at Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium.

The Texas Ballet Theater also performs The Nutcracker at the Winspear Opera House and Bass Performance Hall this holiday season. It is in Dallas November 24th – December 3rd and Fort Worth December 8th – 24th.

If your little ones aren’t quite ready for those big hitters, try A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Dallas Children’s Theater November 25 – December 23, 2023.

Is there a Dallas Christmas event we missed? Does your business have updated information to share? Email [email protected] and tell us about it!

Find more Christmas events near you! Trekaroo has guides for dozens of cities across the country.

Tarlie Harris