You don’t need a car to partake in the best north Texas holiday festivities. This holiday season, hop on the rail and explore some of the best winter events in Plano, Dallas and beyond. With five stations in Collin County, DART can get you to your favorite holiday event in no time.
On the first day of Christmas, my DART pass gave to me…
An elephant in a pear tree?
Dallas Zoo Lights has a million lights that bring the grounds to life, plus dozens of animal-shaped light sculptures and lanterns. Catch the beautiful display on select evenings from November 16 through the end of the year. Catch the red line anywhere between Parker Road station and LBJ station, and ride it directly to Dallas Zoo Station.
2 mouse kings
The Nutcracker is another beloved tradition. Who can forget the Sugar Plum Fairy or the Mouse King? Chamberlain Performing Arts’ production features two New York City Ballet principal dancers and choreography by the legendary George Balanchine. It’s an enchanting evening at the Eisemann Center, steps from Galatyn Park Station in Richardson. Performances run November 29 to December 1.
3 flying ghosts
A Christmas Carol captures the season with spectacular sets, flying ghosts and rousing music. In Dallas Theater Center’s reimagined version of the classic, Scrooge is a woman. The crowd-pleaser plays from November 22 to December 9 at the Wyly Theater, a seven-minute walk from Pearl/Arts District Station. Catch the red line or orange line from any of Collin County’s DART stations.
4 skating kids
Skating Under the Stars offers outdoor ice skating along with holiday activities in Farmers Branch. Stop by from 4 to 8 p.m. on December 1 for a tree lighting with a festival-like atmosphere. And on December 8 and 15, the Holiday in the Grove market will be buzzing with yuletide activity. It’s all centered on Farmers Branch Station. Hop on the red or orange line from any of the Collin County stations, then make a quick transfer onto the green line heading toward North Carrolton/Frankford Station.
5 charming blocks
Christmas on the Square will have thousands of lights adorning Downtown Garland from December 5 – December 31. Enjoy carolers, hot chocolate and a visit with Santa. The season begins with a tree lighting from 5:30-8:30 p.m. December 5. The family fun is a few blocks from Downtown Garland Station. Hop on the red or orange line and make quick transfer at Mockingbird Station onto the blue line heading toward downtown Rowlett station.
6 carolers caroling
Dickens in Downtown Plano is like stepping into a Christmas card. On December 6, the Downtown Plano Arts District becomes a wonderland with carolers, a visit from Santa and a tree lighting in Haggard Park. This trip to Downtown Plano Station is a trip back in time. The red or orange line will get you to downtown Plano in a matter of minutes.
7 decks a-dazzling
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Klyde Warren Park Holiday Show & Tree Lighting is an afternoon of entertainment and photos with Santa. The grand finale is the tree lighting – even more dazzling with the deck park’s downtown Dallas backdrop. The event is 2-6 p.m. December 7. It’s a seven-minute walk from St. Paul Station and the M-Line Trolley serves the park directly. The red or orange line will take you directly to St. Paul Station.
8 tiny houses
Santa’s Village is Richardson’s miniature, holiday-themed town. There are children’s activities, live performances and hot chocolate. The village is open Fridays through Sundays from December 7 – December 22 in front of City Hall. It’s a nine-minute walk or short ride on Bus Route 361 from Arapaho Center Station, which you can get to via the red or orange line.
9 mom-and-pop stores
Santa on the Square in Downtown Carrollton features lights, decorations and festivities. Catch Santa from 12:30-6:30 p.m. December 7. The square’s unique mom-and-pop shops will be in full seasonal splendor. It’s a couple of blocks from Downtown Carrollton Station. Hop on the red or orange line from any of the Collin County stations, then make a quick transfer onto the green line heading toward North Carrolton/Frankford Station.
10 floats a-floating
Village of Rowlett Downtown Main Street Fest & Holiday Parade gets you in the spirit with music, dance and festive floats. The fun begins at 5 p.m. on December 14 and continues throughout the evening; the parade starts at 6 p.m. The event is near Downtown Rowlett Station. Hop on the red or orange line and make quick transfer at Mockingbird Station on the blue line heading toward downtown Rowlett station.
11 guitars twanging
Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis’ 20th Annual Holiday Shindig showcases a husband-and-wife duo who are Texas music mainstays. There are two shows, at 6 and 9 p.m., at the Kessler Theater. That’s a mile from the Bishop Arts stop of the Dallas Streetcar; Bus Route 542 connects the two, or you can stroll and shop in the Bishop Arts District. Take the red line all the way to Union Station, then hop on the street car.
12 rockers spreeing
The Polyphonic Spree Christmas Show stars one of Dallas’ most famous musical exports – part rock band, part choir and part orchestra. Expect a rousing performance from the dozen-plus bandmates and front man Tim DeLaughter. The show is at the Majestic Theatre, three blocks from St. Paul Station. The red or orange line will take you directly to St. Paul station.