Every year around Christmas time there are so many fun and festive things to do. I remember growing up we always dressed up and went to the Nutcracker with my Nonny. It was such a fun family tradition that we started at a very young age and looked forward to it every year. With young kids it may seem “daunting” or “silly” to try and start traditions but you would be surprised by the stuff they actually enjoy.
I know Dallas has a LONG list of Christmas activities but here is my list for 2018. Some of these we have done before and some will be new for my family. If you do not live in Dallas, I am sure your city or nearest city has a fun list of festive activities as well!
12 Days of Christmas at the Arboretum – The 12 Days of Christmas is an outdoor activity perfect for the entire family. If you go with toddlers, as we did on Saturday night, keep low expectations and don’t set your heart on seeing all 12 Days. I think we made it to 1-5 and then skipped over to 11 and 12. You walk through the gardens of the Arboretum surrounded by Christmas lights and witness the intricately decorated gazebos displaying the 12 Days of Christmas. They have food and drink stations open if you are in the mood for some coffee, hot chocolate or even wine.
Zoo Lights – Our family went to Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo the week of Thanksgiving and had a complete BLAST. Cliff keeps asking me about “zoo light” and we are so excited to try out the Dallas Zoo lights this year! Added perk is you are Zoo members- it’s FREE!!
Christmas at North Park – Christmas time at North Park Mall is an absolute dream (minus all the crowds as you get closer to actual Christmas)They decorate the entire mall with lights, Christmas trees and even a life size Santa, sleigh and Reindeer. We didn’t visit Santa last year because Santa was WAY too scary but we will try this year and begin our annual photos with the North Park Santa. You also don’t want to miss the Trains at North Park. I think this is what Alden is most excited about for this Christmas season! There is also Santa’s Toy Shoppe Puppet Theater, Scrooge Puppet Theater, The Twelve Days of Christmas Clock, and so much more.
Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church – Journey through Bethlehem – This church is right down the street from where we live and they do a self guided, interactive retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus. This will be a first for our family but I am so excited to try it. It is a FREE event and will include activities for kids and a petting zoo. Who doesn’t love a good petting zoo?
Carriage Ride through Highland Park – We did this two years ago prior to the arrival of Cliff. I LOVED every minute of the ride through Highland Park looking at the beautiful houses and lights. There are many different companies that host these rides and here are links to just a few.
Walk through Highland Park Village – If you don’t want to pay for the carriage ride or don’t think your toddler can sit still that long;a good alternative is a stroll through Highland Park Village. The entire center is lit up and will honestly take your breath away. Not to mention, the shopping and restaurants aren’t bad either.
Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan – We went out to the Gaylord last year and did the ICE! At Lonestar Christmas. We enjoyed our time but all agreed that we would wait a few years to go back until the kids are a little older and will truly enjoy the experience.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra – Every year Alden and I go on a date to the DSO’s Christmas Pop concert. This is a fun tradition that we started as a couple prior to having kids and has been fun to continue. It is one night we can dress up, act like adults and treat ourselves to a night together! If you don’t want to spend the money but would love to hear the music, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has a free holiday concert at North Park Center’s North Court on Wednesday, December 12 at 7 p.m.
What is on your list of festive things to do this year??