50 Things to Do This Christmas


Here's at least 50 ways to spend the holidays in Fort Worth.

By Kayla Roberts

‘Tis the season for twinkling lights, gift shopping and family activities. The holidays bring plenty of events from traditional to unconventional to the Fort Worth area, so if you are looking for activities to get you in the spirit, here are 50 Christmas-themed things to do.

Festivals and Family-Friendly Activities

Starlight Symphony

1. ICE!, featuring 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, the self-proclaimed “Christmas Capital of Texas,” has plenty of things to see, from the 54-foot Christmas tree to the snow tubing hill. But perhaps its biggest highlight is ICE!, and this year’s theme is ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Don’t forget to wear a coat —  the 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures will be kept at a frigid 9 degrees.
Where: Gaylord Texan
1501 Gaylord Trail
When: Nov. 10-Jan. 1

2. Panther Island Ice
Fort Worth’s only outdoor skating is back, open seven days a week throughout the holidays. We recommend bringing a donation of two canned goods on Wednesdays for $2 off admission.
Where: Panther Island Pavilion
223 N.E. 4th Street
When: Nov. 17-Jan. 15

3. Holiday in the Park
Six Flags Over Texas is turning its theme park into a winter wonderland by boasting 70 Christmas trees with over 10,000 lights. Check out Six Flags’ Texan take on the holidays with attractions like “Deep in the Heart of Christmas,” a light up canopy of the Texas flag, and “Lone Star Lights,” a choreographed light show.
Where: Six Flags
2201 E Road to Six Flags St.
When: Nov. 17- Jan. 7

4. North Pole Express
This Victorian train ride journeys through the Christmas tree trail leading to the North Pole. Get ready for a hike through a snowy Christmas tree forest to meet the big man himself.
Where: Grapevine Vintage Railroad
705 S. Main Street
When: Nov. 24-Dec. 23

5. Santa’s Toy Factory
Kids can test Thomas & Friends, Hot Wheels and Barbie toys at the Parks Mall at Arlington. Santa will also be on hand to take photos with his little helpers.
Where: Parks Mall at Arlington
3811 S. Cooper St.
When: Through Dec. 24

6. Christmas in the Stockyards
For a little Cowtown charm, hit up the Stockyards for a free event offering live music, a gunfire show, photos with Cowboy Santa and a parade. It will take place on the veranda of the Historical Livestock Exchange Building inside Stockyards Station.
Where: Fort Worth Stockyards
130 E. Exchange Ave.
When: Dec. 2

7. Christmas Tyme in Aledo
Located just 20 minutes outside Fort Worth, downtown Aledo is holding its annual holiday festival with food and entertainment. Support the local businesses with some holiday shopping and drop by to see Santa and his reindeer.
Where: Downtown Aledo
When: Dec. 2

8. Starlight Symphony
The bustling Crockett Row at West 7th will be hosting its Starlight Symphony once again this year. Kicking off the event will be Santa’s arrival, followed by the light show, hourly music and sledding. Friday and Saturday nights will have free horse-drawn carriage rides. Saturdays will include events like “Help Complete Santa’s List.” On Dec. 9 and 23 Santa will be at Crockett Row.
Where: West 7th Street
When: Dec. 1-Dec. 31

9. Pleasures Past Carriages Christmas Light Tour
Get a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city of Lakeside, lit in Christmas lights. Passengers choose what time they want to ride and what carriage they want to ride in, and carriages can carry between four to 20 passengers. Go to Pleasure Past’s website to make a reservation
Where: Flower Mound
951 Long Prairie Road
When: Dec. 1-Dec. 30

10. Haynie's Green Acres
Christmas isn’t complete without the tree — even if it is pink. Just 20 minutes south of Fort Worth, Haynie’s Green Acres features Texas-grown custom colored trees from 4-feet to 12-feet tall. Families can also enjoy free hayrides and complimentary cider and coffee.
Where: Haynie’s Green Acres Christmas Tree Farm
10405 Shannon Valley Drive
When: Nov. 24-until trees run out

11. Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop
This 3,500-square-foot wonderland will showcase old-time model trains, arcades, a carousel and photos with Santa. Bass Pro Shop offers everything from laser arcades to weekly crafts. Drop the kiddos off and get some uninterrupted holiday shopping done for the outdoorsman in your life.
Where: Bass Pro Shop Grapevine
2501 Bass Pro Drive
When: Nov. 12-Dec. 24

12. Whistle Stop Christmas
Located about 30 minutes outside  Fort Worth is Whistle Stop Christmas, a festival located in Cleburne. Along with the lighting ceremony there will be singing, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, train rides and holiday treats.
Where: Hulen Park
846 Hillsboro St.
When: Nov. 20-Dec. 31

13. Holiday in Heritage Park
Holiday in Heritage Park is worth the drive to Weatherford. Check out over 10 activities including petting zoos, animals adoptions, ice skating and letters to santa. Don’t worry about close parking, there will be a free shuttle ride from Weatherford College.
Where: Heritage Park
317 Sante Fe Drive
When: Dec. 8

14. Christmas for the Birds
This 82-year-old Fort Worth holiday tradition has kids to bring a unique ornaments to the Botanic Gardens — that is, homemade biodegradable bird feeders. The garden recommends making the birdfeeders with fruit, nuts or peanut butter.
Where: Botanic Gardens
3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
When: Dec. 16

15. Palace Theatre
This vintage, art deco theatre, which normally shows classic films such as “Grease,”  will start showing Christmas films this November. “Home Alone,” “A Christmas Carol,” “A Christmas Story,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “White Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “The Grinch” will be showing each Friday up to Christmas. We recommend stopping by a local Grapevine restaurant before the movie and bringing in the receipt for a free small popcorn.
Where: Palace Theatre
300 S. Main Street
When: Nov. 25-Dec. 23

16. The Polar Express
Back at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s Omni Theater is one of the most iconic Christmas films, “The Polar Express.” The museum is the only place in the Southwest where you can watch a domed IMAX showing of the film.
Where: Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s Omni Theater
1600 Gendy St.
When: Nov. 18-Dec. 14

17. Here Comes Santa Claus
Santa will be in Sundance Square for photos starting  Nov. 18. Visits are $20 cash and benefit the Fort Worth Sisters Cities International Youth Program.
Where: Sundance Square
201 Main Street
When: Nov. 18-Dec. 23

Lights and Displays

Fairmount Festivus

18. Fairmount Festivus
Festivus is Christmas lights tour of the city starting at Kent & Co. The Space. There will be photos with Santa, crafts, and refreshments — plus games for both children and adults. 
Where: Kent & Co. The Space
1101 W Magnolia Ave.
When: Dec. 12

19. XTO Parade of Lights
The parade is coming back to Fort Worth, and if you’ve gone to this before, you’ll need to make note of the new start location off of Weatherford Street and Houston Street. The parade hits Commerce Street, Ninth Street and the Convention Center. Avoid the crowds by parking at Farrington Field and take advantage of the shuttle services. Also, don’t forget to bring an unwrapped toy for donation.
Where: Downtown Fort Worth
When: Nov. 19

20. Grapevine Christmas on Main
The “Christmas Capital of Texas” decorates its entire city in twinkling lights and transforms its Victorian buildings with wreaths and bows. Entertainment is held in the heart of the event at Town Square Gazebo. This event also offers a tractor-drawn wagon ride for $1 per person, and all proceeds go to the preservation of Nash Farm.
Where: Downtown Grapevine
When: Nov. 24-Dec. 23

21. Texas Motor Speedway Gift of Lights
This Texas-sized drive thru light show features over 500 original displays in a 1.5 mile drive and benefits local Fort Worth-Dallas charities. Be sure to come pose with Santa with this twinkling backdrop.
Where: Texas Motor Speedway
3545 Lone Star Circle
When: Nov. 23-Dec. 30

22. Interlochen Christmas Lights
This free attraction allows you to drive around and see the unique light displays, and even tune in to some radio stations that correlate music and light shows. Be patient, there tends to be a line.
Where: Arlington
When: Dec. 15-25

23. Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge
Finally, Texas gets a little snow. Great Wolf Lodge offers a Snowland Suite including twinkling garlands, decorated Christmas trees, and milk and cookie delivery. If you decide to stay the night, you can even enjoy the holidays in a swimsuit at the popular indoor water park kept at 84 degrees. We suggest booking early because the resort offers a limited amount of rooms.
Where: Great Wolf Lodge
100 Great Wolf Drive
When: Dec. 2-Jan. 1

24. Carol of Lights
Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate will flip the switch to light up the city with over a million lights. Along with the light show, expect crafts, food, singing snowmen and Mrs. Claus. This event is free.
Where: Downtown Grapevine
200 S. Main Street
When: Nov. 20

25. Enchant
For the first time, Globe Life Park in Arlington will host Enchant, the World’s largest Christmas light maze and market. Enchant will also feature the Texas Christkindl Market, an ice skating rink and visits with Santa in his golden palace.
Where: Globe Life Park
1000 Ballpark Way
When: Nov. 24-Dec. 25

26. Sundance Square Plaza Tree Lighting
Is it really Christmas if you haven't taken a selfie in front of the Sundance Square tree? Fort Worth is kicking off  the holidays with its annual tradition of lighting the 65-foot-tall Christmas tree, holiday carols and a visit from Santa.
Where: Sundance Square Plaza
420 Main Street
When: Nov. 18

27. Arlington Holiday Lights Parade
Arlington had its own parade, too. The parade hits Abram Street, West Main Street, South Center Street and East South Street. The event also offers games, a tree lighting, pictures with Santa and movie screening of “Elf.”
Where: Downtown Arlington
When: Dec. 9

Theatre and Dance

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

28. The Nutcracker
An annual tradition, the Texas Ballet Theatre’s performance of The Nutcracker returns to Bass Hall. The Tchaikovsky classic is choreographed by artistic director Ben Stevenson.
Where: Bass Hall
525 Commerce St.
When: Dec. 9-24

29. Sister's Christmas Catechism - The Gift of the Magi
This Christmas-meets-mystery comedy follows the story of Sister as she tries to solve an ancient mystery — who stole the Magi’s gold?
Where: Bass Hall
525 Commerce St.
When: Dec. 13-17

30. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Also playing at Bass Hall is holiday favorite, "White Christmas." This timeless story is about two friends putting on a film at an inn in Vermont and somehow find love in the process. Tickets start at $44.
Where: Bass Hall
525 Commerce St.
When: Nov. 14-19

31. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
If you can’t say “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” without singing it, check out Bass Hall’s performance of this iconic Christmas TV special. Get ready to see Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster and Santa. Tickets start at $28.
Where: Bass Hall
525 Commerce St.
When: Nov. 21-22

32. Motown Christmas
This musical is filled with all the popular holiday songs from Motown Records in 1973, including Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. This show is a popular one, so be sure to book your tickets early.
Where: Jubilee Theatre
506 Main Street
When: Nov. 24-Dec. 24

33. Santa Claus: A New Musical
This musical tells the story of Santa Claus, who decides to retire after 1,000 years and has to pick someone to take his place. Tickets start at $21.
Where: Casa Mañana
3101 W. Lancaster Ave.
When: Nov. 24-Dec. 23


Fort Worth Symphony

34. Cowboys Christmas
For a truly Texan Christmas, check out this concert at Bass Hall. Michael Martin Murphey will perform cowboy poetry, music and stories. Tickets start at $39.
Where: Bass Hall
525 Commerce St.
When: Dec. 18

35. It's a Wonderful Life - Fort Worth Symphony
This 1946 classic will be screened at Bass Hall, with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Chamber Choir performing the music live.
Where: Bass Hall
525 Commerce St.
When: Dec. 1

36. Home for the Holidays - Fort Worth Symphony
All of your favorite holiday tunes are jammed packed into one night at Bass Hall. Sing along, expect a visit from Santa and get ready for some snow — indoors.
Where: Bass Hall
525 Commerce St.
When: Nov. 24-26

37. TCU Horns for the Holidays
TCU Horn Studio will perform holiday classics in the annual Horns for the Holidays concert. This event is free and open to the public.
Where: TCU PepsiCo Recital Hall
2800 S. University Drive
When: Nov. 30

38. TCU Combined Choirs Christmas
Six different TCU choir groups will perform in the annual Combined Choirs Concert. This event is free and open to the public.
Where: TCU Ed Landreth Auditorium
2800 S. University Drive
When: Dec. 3

39. A Glorious Christmas
A Glorious Christmas, held at UTA College Park Center, will feature popular contemporary Christian groups Casting Crowns and For King and Country. Tickets start at $20.
Where: UTA College Park Center
600 S. Center Street
When: Dec. 3

40. Winter Wind Ensemble Concert
Texas Wesleyan University will be holding a Winter Wind Ensemble, featuring both classical and original holiday tunes. This event is open and free to the public.
Where: Texas Wesleyan Martin Hall
1201 Wesleyan St.
When: Nov. 30


Decorators Warehouse

41. Decorators Warehouse
Decorator’s Warehouse in Arlington is the largest Christmas store in Texas and has all the lights you could possibly need for your house. This year-round store offers pre-lit trees, outdoor and indoor lights, flowers, ornaments and other decorations, plus a dainty tea room serving light bites, desserts and drinks.
Where: Decorators Warehouse
3708 W. Pioneer Parkway
When: Year-round

42. Christmas Wonderland Gift Market
The third annual Christmas Wonderland Gift Market will have local local artisans, crafters and food vendors. This wonderland offers Christmas décor, crafts, letters to Santa, holiday baked goods, carols and pictures with Santa.
Where: Cross Point Church of Nazarene
3000 N.W. Loop 820
When: Dec. 3

43. Holiday Market with Santa
Find some hidden treasures for your friends and family at Traders Village starting Nov. 28. Make sure to stop by and get your photo taken with Santa.
Where: Traders Village
2602 Mayfield Road
When: Nov. 25-Dec. 17

Walks and Runs

Jingle Bell Run, Photo from Facebook.

44. Speedway Candy Cane Classic Run
If you’re looking to burn off a few holiday treats for a good cause, join the Speedy Candy Cane Classic Run. Fort Worth’s Texas Motor Speedway is holding this event to raise money for the Speedway Children’s Charities and The Cowtown C.A.L.F. Program. The route goes around the Texas Motor Speedway and then through the Gift of Lights display. Catch your breath after the race at the drive-in movie — the speedway will screen “The Polar Express” at 6:15 p.m. on its Big Hoss HD TV. Register on the website.
Where:Texas Motor Speedway
3545 Lone Star Circle
When: Dec. 16

45. CRC Christmas Day 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk
Taking place on Christmas Day, this run takes place at Trinity Park and offers
free refreshments and bounce houses for the kiddos. Register on the website.
Where: Trinity Park
2401 West 7th St.
When: Dec. 25

46. Jingle Bell Run
The Jingle Bell Run is full of festive gear and philanthropic support. Sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, the Jingle Bell Run is an annual 5K race to help raise money for research. Register on the website.
Where: Panther Island Pavilion
223 N.E. 4th Street
When: Dec. 2


Candlelight Christmas in Ryans Place, Photo from Facebook.

47. Candlelight Christmas in Ryan Place
Continue the tradition that began in 1984. Tour five festive and historical homes to raise funds for neighborhood projects. This year’s homes are from 1919, the 1920s and the 1940s and represent the eclectic architecture in the Historic Ryan Place Neighborhood.
Where: Ryan Place, Fort Worth
When: Dec. 2-3

48. Wine Train
After all the holiday shopping, adults need to wind down. The Christmas wine trail offers a classic holiday meal, two free glasses of wine and a complimentary souvenir glass provided by Messina Hof Grapevine Winery. Go to website for tickets.
Where: Grapevine Vintage Railroad
707 S. Main Street
When: Nov. 30-Dec.14

49. Holiday Cooking Classes
Impress your inlaws this year, or just have a fun date learning to prepare some traditional and non-traditional holiday treats. Dishes include a holiday lobster, gingerbread houses, enchiladas, tenderloin and cookies.
Where: Central Market
4651 W. Freeway
When: Nov. 17-Dec. 23

50. Arts Fifth Avenue
You’ll want to call a sitter for this one. Arts Fifth Avenue has a couple adult-friendly shows this season —  “A Fifth of Christmas” and burlesque show “Va Va Voom.” However, children are welcome to attend “A Jazzy Christmas,” a live jazz and tap dance show.
Where: Arts Fifth Avenue
1628 5th Ave.
When: Dec. 2-18