Dallas-area families looking to get into the holiday spirit are in luck this year. From parades to puppetry and ice skating to elves, the city offers a ho-ho-whole lot of opportunities for holiday cheer. Here are my recommendations for a few kid-friendly festivities to add to your calendar this season:
- Children’s Holiday Parade (Saturday, Dec. 1) – Giant inflatable balloons, such as Mr. Potato Head and Rudolf, and special guests, such as Curious George and Barbie, make their way through downtown Dallas during Children’s Medical Center’s 25th annual parade.
- Santa’s Village in Richardson (Weekends, Dec. 1 – 16) – Sip on some hot chocolate and watch live entertainment as your little ones explore kid-sized houses, including Santa’s Workshop, a gingerbread house, a hospital, an ornament factory, a petting zoo and more.
- Jingle Bell Run (Wednesday, Dec. 19) – Ring in the holidays with thousands ofwalkers and runners in the 1-mile or 5K race benefitting the Trinity Strand Trail and the Mavericks Foundation.
- Galleria Dallas (Every Saturday through Dec. 22) – The Galleria’s Santa Claus —famous for his back-flips and pyrotechnics — puts on quite a performance as he ice skates around the country’s tallest indoor tree. While there, be sure to Visit Santa in his Village.
- Dallas Children’s Theater (Through Dec. 23)- The theater presents holiday-themed plays this month, including Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells and The Nutcracker.
- NorthPark Mall (Daily) – There are always plenty of holiday sights and sounds to enjoy at NorthPark Mall. Listen to Santa share a sweet Christmas story, watch the Scrooge Puppet Theatre and take in The Trains at NorthPark. NorthPark also provides plenty of opportunities to help less fortunate families through the Salvation Army Angel Tree, Toys for Tots toy drive and holiday wish fountains.
- Downtown City Lights (Daily) – Take a stroll through downtown and check out the holiday decorations and displays at the Main Street Garden and Pegasus Plaza. Kids will especially love climbing through the Neiman Marcus Crawl Tube Experience.
- Holidays in the Arts District (Various dates) – From The Nutcracker to CirqueDreams: Holidaze to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Celebration, the Arts district presents a huge array of shows, concerts and musicals.
- Klyde Warren Park (Daily) – Visit downtown’s newest park, featuring a children’s amphitheater and playground, fitness activities and musical performances for the whole family.
- Christmas Lights – Take a drive through Highland Park (start at Armstrong Parkway and Preston Road) for some spectacular light displays and beautiful holiday decorations.
What are your favorite things to do in the Dallas area during the holidays? Please share your ideas with us in the comments below.