Culture / Entertainment

36 Only-In-Dallas Things to Do This Holiday Season — 2023 Edition

Celebrate as Only a North Texan Can


In terms of Texas cities, Dallas has always had a flashier quality than most. It’s an attribute that may not work for all, but it certainly gives us an edge when it comes to the holidays. The season always shines a little brighter (or at least a little bigger) in Dallas, with multiple Nutcrackers, top-tier tea times, enviable pop-ups, and millions upon millions of twinkling lights.

Consider this your ultimate guide to the 2023 Dallas holidays. From towering tree lightings to tipsy elves, there’s a little festive something for everyone.

*We’ll continue to update this list throughout the season, so please feel free to give us a bookmark! 

The Trains at NorthPark
The Trains at NorthPark are always fun to see on 1,600 feet of track.

Holiday Lights & Décor

See the largest miniature train set in Texas, benefitting the Ronald McDonald House, at NorthPark. (Nov. 11 – Jan. 5 | NorthPark Center)

Stroll through the Dallas Zoo’s larger-than-life animal lanterns and million-light display. (Nov. 17 – Jan. 2 | The Dallas Zoo)

Experience the one-two immersive holiday punch of SNOWDAY Dallas and Santaland at The Galleria. (Nov. 18 – Jan. 8)

Step inside some of Park Cities’ most extravagantly decorated dwellings during the 24th annual Homes for the Holidays tour. (Dec. 1 | Highland Park and University Park)

Book a staycation at one of Dallas’ best (and most festive) hotels.

Take a decked-out Dallas neighborhood tour along Swiss Avenue, Timberhollow Circle, and more.

The Dallas Arboretum
The Dallas Arboretum goes all out for the holidays.

Family-Friendly Fun

Run (or walk — no judgment) the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot. (Nov. 23| City Hall Plaza)

Explore the glittery, feathery, and bejeweled 12 Days of Christmas at the Arboretum. (Nov. 9 – Dec. 31, 2023)

Take in a North Texas Nutcracker — your pick!

Texas Ballet Theater: The Nutcracker (Nov. 24 – Dec. 3 & Dec. 8 – 24, 2023 | Winspear Opera House and Bass Performance Hall)
Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Espresso Nutcracker (Dec. 9 | Majestic Theatre)
Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet (Dec. 10th [afternoon and evening] Music Hall at Fair Park)
Ballet Frontier’s The Nutcracker (Dec. 1 -3 | Will Rogers Auditorium)

Attend Klyde Warren Park’s towering Tree Lighting Ceremony, featuring live music, ballet performances, and the Emerald City Band Holiday Special. (Dec. 2)

Enjoy a timeless, horse-drawn holiday tour with Dallas’ top carriage rental companies.

Grab your fellow filthy (but festive) animals for Home Alone in Concert at the Myerson Symphony Center. (Dec. 16 – 18)

Tipsy Elf-117
The Tipsy Elf pop-up returns to the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff.

Dallas Holiday Food & Drink

Get toasty at one of the best festive holiday teas in Dallas.

Spend some time at the Tipsy Elf. (November 24 through December 23| Bishop Arts District)

Begrudgingly get in the spirit with a Mariah Carey Christmas Party (featuring a Mimi impersonator) at a beloved Dallas dive bar. (Dec. 1)

Book a holiday cottage at the Adolphus’ Winter Village or snag a spiked French cider at “The Cocoa Lounge

Warm up with some of the most decadent cups of hot cocoa in Dallas.

Sip a “Polar Express” or “Let’s Get Toasted” at Leela’s decked-out wine bars in Uptown, Lower Greenville, and Trophy Club.

Try one of (or all of) Dallas’ iconic holiday treats.

Take a trip to Arlington for the longstanding Mexico restaurant Campo Verde and its kaleidoscope of holiday cheer — or at least its $8.50, 27-ounce Texas margarita. (All holiday season | 2918 W Pioneer Pkwy)

Don’t miss the annual Highland Park Village shopping stroll.

Holiday Shopping Experiences in Dallas

Craft your own wreath or ornaments with the pros at Oil & Cotton. (Oak Cliff)

Take a luxury shopping stroll through Highland Park Village. (Dec. 6, 4 – 7 pm)

Make it a disco cowgirl holiday at The Sweet Tooth Hotel. (Downtown Dallas) 

Experience the Augustinus Bader Skin Lab Pop-Up, exclusively in Dallas. (In West Village through the holiday season)

Have your gifts exquisitely wrapped at St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange — all proceeds go to charity. (Highland Park Village)

Fill your tree with one-of-a-kind ornaments by local artists found at the Blue Yule party. (Dec. 1)

Pay it forward with Dallas CASA, Genesis Women’s Shelter, the Salvation Army, and more.

Score unique presents and support small businesses with the best gift shops in Dallas.

Polyphonic Spree Dallas this weekend
The Polyphonic Spree

Holiday Concerts & Tours

Catch country music Christmas queen Amy Grant in concert. (Dec. 9 | Music Hall at Fair Park)

Have a jazzy holiday with Ricki Derek, his 15-piece band, and a Merry Little Christmas Show. (December / multiple venues)

Explore the preserved architectural gems at the Winnetka Heights Holiday Home Tour. (Dec. 9 | North Oak Cliff)

See Jose Hernandez put the merry in Mariachi. (Dec. 11 | Majestic Theater)

Take in the choral cheer of the 19th annual The Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza. (Dec. 15 and 16 | Majestic Theatre)

Discover Weber Pellet Grill at Bering's

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