The tree is trimmed, the toys are wrapped, and we’re about to close the books on another holiday season. If it all felt like it went by too fast you can still hold on to what’s left of the Yuletide season by taking in one of the beautiful light displays in the North Texas area.
You might have felt the pressure feel the pressure to rush out and see the holiday lights before Christmas, but let me just throw out the notion that the perfect time to view those fabulous light displays might just be after the holidays are over. The crowds have thinned and the pressure to squeeze in every experience before Christmas day has magically disappeared. Suddenly, instead of feeling compelled to rush, you can relax and really enjoy the beauty of the displays at a slower pace.
Here are some light displays you and the kiddos can check out. Hopefully, they’ll help the holiday glow last a teensy bit longer.
If Clark Griswold is your spirit animal and big 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. Let the little kiddies take a romp through the Holiday Magic Walk-Through Forest. Admission is $45 per car through Dec.31.
You know what they say, “Go big or go home.” Well, the Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth is all that and a bag of chips. 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 where you can meet Santa, ice skate, or go on a train ride to experience what Christmas is like at the North Pole. Open daily until Jan. 5.
If driving’s not your thing and you prefer to go walkin’ through your winter wonderland, check out Vitruvian Lights in Addison. You and the little kiddles can run, skip, or stroll through a beautiful 12-acre park that’s lit up with millions of lights wrapped around more than 550 trees. The lights remain on every evening through Jan. 1 and it’s free.
An often overlooked place to view lights is Klyde Warren Park. Get out of your car and let the tinies run off the sugar cookies on the path around the park, or head over to the ultra-modern playground for a little jungle gym action. A side note–this park is one of the few that I’ve seen with real bathrooms, not port-a-potties. Trust me when I tell you this is important information to have on hand during hot chocolate weather. If the kids are still extra energetic take a stroll over to the AT&T Performing Arts Center and check out the 72 trees in the center that are illuminated by 250,000 lights.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is getting into the holiday spirit with The Modern Lights. The museum will be illuminated with festive lights in celebration of the holiday season and passersby will be invited to enjoy the museum galleries for free, 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and until 9 p.m. on Fridays. The lights will be illuminated nightly through Feb. 16.
Looking for something really different? Head to the Dallas Zoo for Zoo Lights. After the animals are tucked into bed for the night, the zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland with nearly 1 million lights illuminating the park. Stroll along a path that covers 25 acres within the Zoo, and enjoy light-wrapped trees, overhead and hanging light displays, and lighted 2-D decorations. If the gang gets hungry, grab a treat from the s’mores station or some hot chocolate.
Ice skating! Light Show! Christmas Tree Maze! Whether you’re a kid or just a child at heart, there’s something for everyone at Frisco’s 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 Dec. 31.
Is it 10 Pipers Piping, or 10 Lords A-Leaping? Find out 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. While you’re visiting the garden be sure to stop by their new Christmas Village. Inspired by an old European market, the Yuletide village is comprised of 13 shops and elaborate illustrations and façades that represent a European hamlet. Each shop varies in size, from 16 to 19 feet, and has space for several children and adult guests to experience at the same time. Both exhibits are on display through Dec. 31.
For even more light displays check out Art&Seek’s Holiday Event Guide.