Not feeling that holiday glow yet? Well, here’s a sure way to light that yuletide fire. Bundle up the little kiddles, hop in the family roadster and go look at some beautiful twinkling lights.
You might be saying to yourself, “Christmas is just a few days away, there’s no time to see the lights this year.” Let me just throw out the notion that perfect time to view those fabulous light displays is after C Day. The crowds have thinned out and the pressure to get every experience in before Christmas day has magically disappeared. Instead of feeling compelled to rush, you can relax and really enjoy the beauty of the displays.
Here are some light displays you and the kiddos can check out. Hopefully they’ll help the holiday glow last a teensy bit longer.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who could get through ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ without having to pause to think about what comes next. Is it 10 Pipers Piping, or 10 Lords A Leaping? Find out once and for all at the Dallas Arboretum‘s Holiday at the Arboretum. Their fantastical ’12 Days of Christmas’ display fills the garden with a dozen 25-foot glass gazebos, each filled with festive mechanical mannequins, holiday music and elaborate props. Our favorite is the whimsical 8 Maids A Milking. The kitties sleeping in the hay seem almost life-like. The best time to see the display is at night. Don’t worry about finding your way through the dark garden. The .75 mile path through the exhibit is is illuminated. You can see the popular Christmas carol come to life through Jan. 8.
Farmers Branch Historical Park has really brought it—“it” being the holiday spirit and thousands of lights– with its annual, animated light show Tour of Lights. Each display has a theme, and the tour ends with a grand finale with Kris Kringle himself. An added bonus is that the whole thing is donation only. What’s not to like? If you want to see the lights shine better get a move on because they’re only on through Dec. 30.
If you really want to do it up big, head to the Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The Texas-sized drive-thru light show features more than 600 holiday displays in a nearly two-mile span at TMS. After you’ve gone through the drive-thru park, check out Santa’s Village on the inside track of the famous raceway. There’s over 10k square feet of surprises for the kids and pictures with Santa. Open daily until Dec. 30.
Another drive thru experience can be found in Denison at the Annual Grayson County Holiday Light Show at Loy Lake Park. You and the family can stay warm and dry as you drive through the park enjoying the festive lights and decorations. The holiday lights and decorations will be up through New Year’s Eve and they are free of charge to the public.
If you’re looking for big displays with a small town feel you’re going to want to make a trip to Cleburne. You can experience a winter wonderland at Whistle Stop Christmas at Hulen Park in Cleburne. Over 3 ½ million twinkling lights decorate the 12 acre park. The Yuletide celebration continues through December 31st.
If Clark Griswold is your hero and light displays are your passion, don’t miss Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie. This drive-thru experience is the mother of all light displays. It features 4 million twinkling lights set along 2 miles of path, many of which arch over the roadway. At the halfway point you can stop at the Holiday Village for some hot chocolate and kettle corn. For an additional fee you can let the little kiddles take a romp through the Magic Walk-Through Lighted Forest, or view the indoor laser show. Admission is $20 per car on weeknights and $30 on weekends through Jan. 4.
It you’d rather walk than drive through your winter wonderland, check out Vitruvian Lights in Addison. You and the little kiddies can run, skip, or stroll through a beautiful 12-acre park that’s lit up with millions of lights wrapped around more than 200 trees. The lights remain on every evening through Jan. 1 and it’s free.
Ice skating! Carriage rides! A petting zoo! Whether you’re a kid or just a child at heart, there’s something for everyone at Christmas in the Square, the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas. This display brings over 665,000 visitors a year to Frisco Square, but wait until after Christmas when the crowds have greatly thinned and you might have the 175,000 lights all to yourself. The best part is that no matter how balmy the Texas winter, it’ll be a white winter wonderland in the Square, thanks to their snow machines. This light extravaganza is on display until Jan. 1.
Ring in the New Year at Reliant Lights Your Holidays: New Year’s Eve Edition at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. This event was originally supposed to happen on December 3 but rainy weather forced it to be canceled. Thankfully organizers rescheduled it for early in the evening on Dec. 31 making it the perfect New Year’s event for those of you with tinies. Highlights include live musical performances and fireworks, but the main reason to go is to see the hundreds of thousands of LED lights that will illuminate the buildings and trees throughout ATTPAC campus.