Tree lightings, parades, events
Nothing gets you in the spirit like community tree lightings, parades, and visits with Santa. Another sign that the holidays are here: The Trains at NorthPark, which DART is proud to partner with Ronald McDonald House of Dallas to sponsor. The display includes 1,600 feet of track rolling from coast to coast on a whimsical rail journey across America – from the autumn foliage of New England to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge with many stops along the way. Be sure to check out the DART car! To get to the mall, take the Red Line to Park Lane Station, then hop the NorthPark Shuttle (Bus Route 402).
Here are some DARTable celebrations guaranteed to spark a sense of wonder in young and old alike.
The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot rings in the holidays each year on Thanksgiving morning (Nov. 23). The 55-year tradition kicks off at 9 a.m. in front of Dallas City Hall. The holiday event includes both certified 5K and 8-mile races in a festive, family-friendly atmosphere. (If you choose to walk some or most of the course, no worries; you’ll have plenty of company.) Not only is DART the best way to get there, we can save you money, too. Get $5 off your registration fee by using the promotional code TROTDART. Race day registration begins at 7 a.m. at Dallas City Hall Plaza, and the main races start at 9 a.m. City Hall is about a 10-minute walk from Union Station on the Red and Blue lines (the Trinity Railway Express does not operate on Thanksgiving Day). Dallas City hall is about the same distance from Akard Station on all four DART Rail lines.
Dallas Holiday Parade has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families throughout North Texas. The show stopping event takes place Dec. 2 from 9-11 a.m. The parade runs on Commerce, Harwood and Young streets. Access it via Union Station on the Red and Blue lines, plus the Trinity Railway Express; or West End, Akard and St. Paul stations, each on all four DART Rail lines.
Dickens in Downtown Plano brings the magic of Christmases past to life. On Dec. 2, the Downtown Plano Arts District becomes a wonderland with carolers, a visit from Santa and a tree lighting in Haggard Park. Step off the Red Line at Downtown Plano Station and step back in time.
Klyde Warren Park’s Tree Lighting Celebration is an entertaining event that includes photos with Santa. The grand finale is the tree lighting – a dazzling spectacle in the glow of the Dallas skyline. The event is from 3-6 p.m. Dec. 2. The park is a short walk from St. Paul Station on all four DART Rail lines.
Santa on the Square in Downtown Carrollton is bursting with lights, decorations and festivities. Catch Santa from 4-8 p.m. on Dec. 2. The square’s one-of-a-kind mom-and-pop shops will be all decked out for the season. The festivities are a short walk from the Green Line’s Downtown Carrollton Station.
Holiday Main St. Fest & Parade gets you in the spirit with music, dance and festive floats. The fun happens from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 2. Catch the event near Downtown Rowlett Station on the Blue Line.
Christmas in the Branch features a Celebration of Christmas on Dec. 2, featuring live music, carnival rides, strolling characters, Santa, shopping, a drone show, and Dasher's Silent Disco – all capped off with a fireworks show. The event takes place at Farmers Branch Historical Park, walkable from the Green Line’s Farmers Branch Station. There are other events throughout the month in the park and elsewhere in Farmers Branch; check the website for details.
Christmas on the Square marks the return of the tree lighting ceremony to the newly redesigned Downtown Garland Square. On Dec. 7, enjoy a performance by Q the Band, festive Christmas carolers, the chance to snap photos with real-live reindeer, a snow hill for frosty fun, and photo opportunities with Santa Claus. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 9:30 p.m.; the tree lighting is at 6:30 p.m. Get to the Square by taking the Blue Line to Downtown Garland Station.
Santa’s Village is a miniature, holiday-themed town in Richardson. There are children’s activities, live performances and hot chocolate. The village is open Fridays through Sundays from Dec. 2-17 at Huffhines Park. You can get there on Bus Route 243, departing from Arapaho Station on the Red Line. It’s a half-mile walk from Arapaho Center Station, or you can ride Bus Route 238.
Sing for Joy is Turtle Creek Chorale’s joyous holiday concert with a Celtic twist. Celtic musicians and a full orchestra bring a new sound to holiday favorites. See the performance on Dec. 18-19 at the Meyerson Symphony Center, walkable from Pearl/Arts District Station on all four DART Rail lines, or from the M-Line trolley.
Vitruvian Light is a dazzling, spectacular transformation of Vitruvian Park into a a magical holiday wonderland. Stroll through the park, enjoy the view, and grab dinner at local restaurants. Lights are on daily Nov. 27 – Jan. 1. The park is in the Farmers Branch GoLink Zone.
Dallas Zoo Lights makes the zoo grounds vibrantly luminous, with a million lights and dozens of animal-shaped light sculptures and lanterns. See the amazing display on select evenings from Nov. 17 through Jan. 2. The Red Line’s Dallas Zoo Station puts you right there.
Holiday-themed performances are a beloved tradition for families in North Texas. DART takes you to these plays and musical performances that celebrate the wonder of the season.
The Nutcracker is a much-loved holiday tradition featuring indelible characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King, Texas Ballet Theater’s classic production of this seasonal favorite has two runs. The first run of the performances is from Nov. 24-Dec. 3 at the Winspear Opera House, walkable from Pearl/Arts District Station. If you miss it, there’s a second run from Dec. 8-24 at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall – just take the TRE to Fort Worth Central Station and get on the bus route known as The Dash.
Home for the Holidays: Marcia Ball, Carolyn Wonderland, and Shelley King showcases three of Texas’ finest for a rousing night of holiday music. The show happens on Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. at the Kessler Theater. Bus Route 9 gets you within a few blocks, or it’s a mile from the Bishop Arts stop of the Dallas Streetcar – you can stroll and shop in the Bishop Arts District.
Vocal Majority Christmas Show is a harmony-filled adventure depicting a family as they try hard to entertain family and friends and find the true meaning of Christmas. In Act 2, the mood shifts to beloved and sacred Christmas songs. The show runs from Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Eisemann Center – right across the plaza from the Red Line’s Galatyn Park Station.
A Christmas Carol rejoices in the holiday spirit with spectacular sets, flying ghosts and rousing music. The crowd-pleaser plays Nov. 30-Dec. 30 at the Wyly Theater, walkable from Pearl/Arts District Station on all four DART Rail lines, or from the M-Line trolley.
Holidays at Heritage kicks off Dec. 2 with a nighttime parade through downtown Irving, followed by the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony. The festivities start at 6 p.m. All the way through Dec. 16, you’ll find free family events every Friday and Saturday. The celebration is a short walk from Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE).
The Polyphonic Spree 20th Annual Holiday Extravaganza stars Dallas’ premier – and only – rock band/choir/orchestra. The world-famous group, led by front man Tim DeLaughter, puts on a rousing holiday show at 7 p.m. on Dec. 15-16 at the Majestic Theatre. That’s three blocks from St. Paul Station on all four DART Rail lines.