The Ultimate HoliDAY in Dallas

//PICTURED ABOVE: Sprinkles Cupcakes offers holiday-edition cupcakes, including in Christmas Cookie flavor, pictured above. Photo by Laine Betanzos.


With Holiday Break quickly approaching, each of us will soon have seemingly endless time on our hands. Dallas offers numerous holiday-themed activities so that you can use that free time to get into the holiday spirit, no matter what holiday you’re celebrating. Below is a schedule for a full day of such activities, planned out exactly right. 

9:30 am

Wake up and get ready for the holiDAY!

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Start off the holiday celebration by heading to breakfast at the Original Pancake House chowing down on some of their delicious winter specials, such as the Cinnamon Brown Sugar French Toast. In addition, the Original Pancake House offers some of the best hot chocolate in Dallas, complete with fresh whipped cream on top.

11:15 am – 2 pm

Next, make your way to Preston Center for a collection of activities.

First, visit Snowday, a holiday-themed pop-up complete with numerous photo-ops, interactive spaces, and festive activities. If you’re feeling nostalgic, Santa Claus will be available for photos. 

Next, grab a delicious snack at Sprinkles Cupcakes, offering limited-time holiday-themed sweets. Their specialty holiday cupcake flavors include Christmas Cookie (a vanilla cupcake with red and green sprinkles, vanilla buttercream frosting, and a homemade sugar cookie coated in sprinkles), Chocolate Peppermint (Belgian dark chocolate cake with chocolate peppermint frosting, topped with crushed candy canes,) and Gingerbread (Spiced ginger cake paired with cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sugar, topped with gingerbread decorations). These festive snacks will surely get you in the holiday spirit!

Here you can also begin your holiday gift shopping for friends and family, enjoy the outdoor shopping center, and grab lunch.

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Head north to the Galleria Dallas for holiday ice skating! Complete with a giant, elaborate Christmas tree in the center of the rink, you and your friends can rent skates for just $3 in addition to the $12 admission fee. 

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Pay a visit to Northpark for holiday shopping and limited-time exhibits. First, take some time to go around all of your favorite stores to finish up shopping for gifts for family and friends. 

Next, stop by any of a number of holiday pop-ups and events, like The Trains at Northpark, benefitting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Presented by Bank of Texas, this exhibit has been a tradition for decades, starting in 1987. Full of impressive formations of toy trains and costing only $7 for adults, this exhibit has raised over $13 million and helped almost 40,000 families. Another option is Gingertown Dallas, benefiting Children’s Craniofacial Association. For the tenth year in a row, Gingertown Dallas has presented an elaborate exhibit of gingerbread houses, complete with restaurants, a library, a hospital, and a toy store. 

6:00 pm -8:30 pm

Finally, during the closing hours of your holiday-themed day, pick from a selection of the best places to see light shows in Dallas.

Downtown: Klyde Warren Park boasts an elaborate Christmas tree surrounded numerous fun activities, such as the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and delicious food trucks. 

Close by, the Dallas Zoo presents a holiday light show complete with enough activities for a whole evening. The Zoo offers a Santa meet-and-greet, ornament making stations, many photo-ops, and plenty of snacks. 

Arlington: Six Flags over Texas offers another impressive light show in addition to their year-round roller coasters. Holiday funnel cakes, music, and holiday markets all fill the park during December.

Last but not least, walk through Vitruvian Park in North Dallas. Vitruvian Park boasts 1.5 million lights on 550 trees, spread out over 12 acres. The light show will continue each night in Vitruvian Park through the culmination on Jan. 1, which will include live music, holiday activities, and food trucks. 


Story and photo by Laine Betanzos

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Laine Betanzos

Laine is a junior who can be found hanging out at Bachman Lake on the lookout for nutria. She loves classic movies, her pet fish, and making extensive Spotify playlists.

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