Whimsical Winter

Upcoming events around Dallas-Fort Worth


Mari Pletta

A storefront along Main Street of Grapevine sparkles with lights and festive Christmas decorations to celebrate the holiday season. Grapevine is known for its name “The Christmas Capital of Texas” for its annual decorations, parade, and the North Pole Express train.

Akansha Singh, Staff Writer

Whether your idea of celebrating the holidays is witnessing a bright spectacle of lights and sound in a parade or simply strolling through a park to absorb the nuances of the holiday spirit, there will be something in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for you to enjoy.


These are some of the most interesting exhibits and activities running through the winter season.


Dallas Arboretum – 12 Days of Christmas

The Dallas Arboretum has an intricate outdoor “The 12 Days of Christmas” exhibit, in which the theme of the garden decorations are inspired by the song of the classic Christmas song.


Open Wednesday through Sunday nights, visitors can stroll through the exhibit and see glass-encased gazebos, each of which are decorated for a different day in the song with bright, mechanical objects. Small choirs perform throughout the day along with other music to accompany the decorations.


“The art form of the opera, the visuals, the music, the backdrop of the gardens – it’s just a one-of-a-kind experience.”  Dallas Arboretum vice president of advertising and promotions Terry Lendecker said. “You get all the senses and it’s elaborate,”


From a gold pear tree decorated with rhinestones and a sole shimmery partridge to 12 drummers revolving in a circle, the 0.75 mile walk, illuminated by lights and enhanced by music, makes for a pleasant night. Tickets can be purchased on the Dallas Arboretum website.


Grapevine Historic Downtown – Parade of Lights

For a lively holiday experience, the city of Grapevine – which dubs itself the “Christmas Capital of Texas” – decorates annually for the holiday season, adorning their Victorian-style buildings with colorful lights, ribbons, bows and wreaths.  Shoppers can stroll down Main Street for local gift shops and small businesses. The North Pole Express runs from the Grapevine Vintage Railroad station; visitors can ride the train and receive refreshments and pictures with Santa onboard.


Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center – ICE!

The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center provides a chilly winter experience in its annual attraction “ICE!”, featuring two million pounds of ice sculptures delicately crafted by artists from Harbin, China. The resort has kept “ICE!” as a tradition, keeping the sculpted ice as well activities such as snow tubing in nine-degree temperatures. This year’s theme is based on the tales of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


Coppell High School junior Suprita Ashok visited “ICE!” with a friend last year and plans to visit again over winter break.


“Everything was so painstakingly detailed; each room was a tiny part to a big story,” Ashok said. “We were given huge jackets to keep us safe in the nine-degree air and employees sold hot chocolate at the end of the exhibit.”


Vitruvian Park, Addison – Vitruvian Lights

Vitruvian Park will also be displaying its characteristic field of colorful trees until the end of December. The park is open in the evenings for visitors to walk and enjoy the lights.


The holiday season tends to wind down after December; however, Dallas has much to offer in January in terms of the arts.


Dallas Museum of Art – Late Nights

On the third Friday of each month, the Dallas Museum of Art remains open until 11 p.m.  During Late Nights, visitors can partake in activities such as scavenger hunts, go on tours of the museum, watch concerts and learn more about the art exhibits and art around the community. Late Nights is featuring concerts by Rockestra and jazz saxophonist Drew Zaremba on Jan. 18.


Dallas Symphony Orchestra – January Concerts

Combining repertoire from classical music and modern pop, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra lightens the winter season with a variety of music. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is performing three concerts in January. Mahler’s Song of the Earth, described by the famed composer Leonard Bernstein as Mahler’s greatest symphony, will be Jan. 10 to Jan. 13. Dvorak’s New World Symphony (Jan. 17 to Jan. 19) features Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 performed by 22-year old Jan Lisiecki. The Music of ABBA (Jan. 25 to Jan. 27) features classic songs such as Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen.