Light the way to Holiday Cheer
By Carrie Dunlea
There’s something magical about Christmas lights. The way they twinkle and seem to dance before our eyes. Colorful holiday displays can lighten the heart of even the biggest Grinch this time of year. How can one not be happy when there is so much beauty that lights up the darkness?
Residents and visitors to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area will have plenty to see throughout the next few weeks as the season for lights kicks into full swing. So, take a minute to peruse a few of our findings for Christmas magic in the Metroplex.
If you’re the type of person who likes to “go big or go home” check out the exhibit of Enchant Christmas, the world’s largest Christmas light maze adventure. The exhibit opened November 26 and continues through January 2 at Fair Park in Dallas.
Visitors can tour the light maze, go on an ice skating trail magically lit with special displays, visit Santa and Mrs. Claus or share hot cocoa with their loved ones while listening to live entertainment.
With an attraction such as a magical light maze how can you go wrong? At Enchant, visitors join “The Great Search” to find Santa’s nine missing reindeer lost in the mystical forest to help save Christmas and receive a gift from Santa. Bringing younger children? Reserve a spot for them at the Little One’s Play Place where they can enjoy crafts, storytime with Mrs. Claus or let them get their jiggles out with blocks and tumbling mats while you enjoy a beverage at the Polar Bar.
Want to try ice skating? Bring back great childhood memories or create new ones as you don a pair of ice skates and take a spin on the ice skating trail — hopefully in an upright position!
Shoppers will find the experience enchanting as you peruse goods from the Nordic-inspired market complete with food, jewelry, home goods and more. Bring your Christmas shopping list, you never know what you’ll find!
Just a short distance way, visit Vitruvian Park in Addison and enjoy the annual Holiday Lights Spectacular
happening now through January 2. Millions of sparkling LED lights are wrapped around more than 550 trees at Vitruvian Park – transforming an ordinary park into a magical wonderland for the holiday season.
While visiting to view this impressive display, happening each night from 6 – 10 p.m., there will be food trucks, Santa photo ops and live music provided by the Jordan Kahn Orchestra or the Dallas String Quartet on select nights. There is plenty of free parking available onsite at the park so visitors can enjoy all that there is to offer.
If you’re hosting out of town visitors, wow them with Holiday at the Arboretum happening now at the famed Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Whether you visit during the day, or at night, you won’t be disappointed. There is literally something for both young and old alike.
During the day, experience the magic of Christmas and the beauty of the 66-acre property overlooking Dallas’ White Rock Lake. Plan ahead and schedule a Holiday Tea at the Restaurant Degolyer, Sweet Treats with Santa, cookie demonstrations, horticulture classes and much more to make your holiday trip extra special.
Happening each day, and Monday-Wednesday evenings, the historic DeGolyer House is open to view “The Artistry of the Nativity” featuring hundreds of crèches representing a variety of cultures from around the world.
Day, or night, step into a dramatic, three-dimensional experience reminiscent of a Victorian music box as you visit the 12 Days of Christmas display. There are 12 elaborate 25-foot-tall glass gazebos in the garden filled with the charming, costumed characters, whimsical animals and winter scenes made famous by the beloved Christmas carol.
At night, the Christmas display comes alive in a whole new way — especially with one million lights illuminating the garden. Check out the Christmas Village, reminiscent of a European market with shops, and a place for Santa and his sleigh for unforgettable photo ops. There will be live performances most nights in the village, check the schedule in advance. New this year to the arboretum is a 50-ft. tall musical tree with 42,000 lights and holiday tunes that play at select times. Visit dallasarboretum.org to learn more and reserve your tickets to experience this amazing display.
For those of you who want to view lights the old-fashioned way; from the comfort of your car while you listen to holiday music on the radio, opportunities await.
Check out the annual Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. From the warmth and safety of your car, you can observe a fantastic light show, and at the end you can travel to Santa’s Village, located in a large garage on the inside track, where you will meet Santa for a North Pole Christmas experience. Make a reservation for the ride and Santa photo. Funds raised go toward local charities. Visit giftoflights.com.
Another stunning opportunity nearby is the annual Prairie Lights display located at Lynn Creek Park on Joe Pool Lake. A dazzling 4 million lights are set along two miles of path and this year promises to be amazing as hundreds of new displays and shapes of all kinds line the arch over the roads. Halfway through the drive, exit your car for a stop at Holiday Village where you will find food, gifts, Santa, and the Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Through Forest. Once back in your vehicle, the second half of the drive ends with the very animated light tunnel – the perfect finale to a night you will never forget! If you want to stick around for a while, back again this year are carnival rides, included with park admission. Purchase tickets at prairielights.org.
Happening for the second year in a row a small town much closer to home is Farmersville Lights. Just off Highway 78 in Farmersville, visitors can drive along the parkway and enjoy the brilliant display of lights, then park and take a walk through the lighted tunnel for some great photo ops. If you plan your visit ahead of time, carriage rides will be happening again this year on select nights. Have extra time? Visit the historic downtown area for shopping and eating opportunities and much more. Visit farmersvillelights.com.
This year, unwrap new holiday traditions as you take your loved ones, and your guests, on festive excursions that don’t involve crowds or a trip to the airport as you discover the sights, lights and sounds of Christmas.