5 Christmas Things To Do In Dallas with Your Family

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Every Christmas we have a list of Christmasy-type things we like to do as a family. Yes, I am one of those people who can watch ELF year-round and counts down the days to Christmas starting in July.

I thought I’d share some family friendly things to do here in Dallas during the holiday season! Get your ugly Christmas sweater ready for wearing, here are 5 things you won’t want to miss!

Family Friendly Christmas Things To Do In Dallas 

We are updating our list for family Christmas Dallas things to do in 2018!  Here’s a bucket list for your holiday season here in the big D. If we missed anything, please let us know! We are always on the look out for family fun in Dallas. 

Christmas at the Anatole

Breakfast with Santa, Lights in the Park, Festive decor, kids popcorn bar, Rudolph’s Reindeer Barn, Photos with Santa, Scavenger Hunt, Face Painting, Geppetto’s Marionette Theater AND MORE!

The last few years, one of our Christmas traditions is spending time at the Anatole and somehow each year it gets better and BETTER!

Animated reindeer at the Hilton Anatole
Animated reindeer at the Hilton Anatole

The Hilton Anatole is our go-to for Dallas staycations. The Anatole resort is gorgeous, the service is excellent – but most important for our party of 6, the accommodations are FAMILY FRIENDLY!  


Seriously, look at that Santa – talk about LEGIT! Rosy cheeks, velvet red suit and a perfect white beard. 

The Breakfast with Santa is a ton of fun, and parents – the food is delish. I grew up having to go to hotel brunches for every holiday, and meh. The Hilton Anatole does their Santa breakfast to the NINES. There is food for the littles and food for the adults, you will not be disappointed! 

We already have our staycation booked for closer to Christmas this year. Every year, we keep it a secret from our kids.

Unfortunately, EVERY time we go downtown now without telling the kids where we are going (no matter what month it is!) – the kids want to know if they are going to the Anatole. It’s become an on-going joke in our family, but so thankful for this fun Christmas tradition. 

Learn more about the fun activities, breakfast with Santa and family weekend experience a Anatole Christmas.

Make sure to read our Jade Waters at Hilton Anatole Review (they have a pool resort that screams SUMMER STAYCATION!) and about our Christmas experience last year at the Anatole.

The 12 Days of Christmas at The Claus Collection Santa Exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum is a must-visit when it comes to Dallas. It’s not just a spring thing, it’s a year-round experience! During the holiday season, the gardens are transformed with twelve, twenty-five feet tall gazebos featuring elaborate scenes from the 12 Days of Christmas. 

dallas arboretum - christmas family dallas

Our family went the last 2-years. It’s magical, especially at night. Make sure to bring a coat, and you must get the hot chocolate. The kids are too big now, but when they were smaller – we would bring a wagon, wrap them in blankets and haul them around. 

Here our 2 boys are last year. We forgot their jackets. Not smart, but the hot chocolate made it all better!

The magnificent 12 Days of Christmas outdoor exhibit is absolutely amazing. We were able to attend the 2018 media preview and again, it did not disappoint! 

Learn more at the DallasArboretum.org

ICE at the Gaylord Texan

Two MILLION pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures, kept chilled at 9 degrees are what awaits you at ICE at the Gaylord Texan.

christmas dallas family friendly

This year’s theme tells the story of the classic television special “Santa Claus is Comin To Town.” With five two-story tall ice slides, us Texans get a chance to experience what a REAL winter feels like! 

Snow tubing in texas - Dallas Christmas family fun

In Texas, it snows maybe a few days a year here, IF we are lucky. The kids have no idea what real snow looks like nor the fun that playing outside in the snow can bring. No worries, the Gaylord brings the snow to Texas! Well, kind of. They offer indoor snow tubing during the holiday season (actually it’s a 12-land snow tubing hill!). It’s definitely something that you won’t want to miss! 

The Gaylord Texan offers all kinds of family Christmas fun here in Dallas, like an outdoor ice skating rink, gingerbread decorating, breakfast with Rudolph, milk & cookies with Mrs. Claus, photos with Santa and more. 

Learn more at GaylordTexanTickets.com

Dallas Galleria

Last but NOT least, one of our favorite Dallas family Christmas traditions is visiting the Dallas Galleria. Spoiler alert: I already visited this year, without the family.

Dallas Galleria Christmas Tree

Yes, the Christmas Tree is the main attraction at the Dallas Galleria – though, it’s not the only holiday attraction! There is ice skating around the tree. Shopping galore and on the weekends, there are several fun family Christmas activities to enjoy, like Slappy’s Holiday Circus. 

Check out the Dallas Galleria’s website for all the details: GalleriaDallas.com

The Trains at NorthPark Mall

Each Christmas season, along with all of the other holiday fun at the NorthPark mall – the Trains arrive.

Dallas people know NorthPark mall (or NorthPark Centre as it is now being called) as a classy shopping mall featuring just about any brand that you can imagine. Well, go to the mall more than for the shopping. Go for the trains!

The Trains at NorthPark are quite special. Not only is it the most amazing train display you will ever see (most likely) – but all the money raised for admission goes to charity.

That’s right, the Trains and NorthPark proceeds go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. How awesome is that? 

trains at northpark

For the past 31 years, the Trains at NorthPark benefiting Ronald McDonald House of Dallas (RMHD), has delighted generations of Dallas families as one of our city’s premier holiday traditions.  Since 1987, the Trains have raised more than $13 million for RMHD allowing us to serve more than 38,000 families. 

How Old Do Kids Have to Be?

The Trains at Northpark are totally meant for kids. Kid friendly score of A+. There is a shield protecting the train displays so don’t worry, if you have handsy kids who like to touch everything, they most likely won’t be able to. There are buttons that they can push that makes the train scenes do different things. 

Our boys, all 3 – ages 7, 8 and 13-years old loved the trains. We spent an hour pushing the buttons and watching which train goes where in the gorgeous display. 

If you have a little one who loves trains, than this event is a MUST. 

Tickets to See the Trains

Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for children and seniors.  Children under 2 are free.

Learn more at thetrainsatnorthpark.com

Tea with Santa at the Fairmont

A new event that we were invited to attend this year is Tea with Santa at the Fairmont Hotel. In addition to tea, this Christmas event include a brunch spread, Holiday Wonderland Candy bar, gingerbread and sugar cookie make-and-take with Santa’s elves and a Santa Reveal.

We have swore off mall Santas because nobody has time for that line! Looking forward to capturing photos of Santa with the littles at this event. Here are more details. 

Dec. 15, 2018 from 11 am and Noon seatings 

$55 adults (with unlimited mimosas and Kir Royals), $35 kids (12 and under)

Free valet

RSVP 214-720-5249

Tea with Santa Brunch features:

  • Crispy Chicken & Waffle Skewer
  • Mini Holiday Ham & Cheese Quiche
  • Winter  Spiced Pumpkin Bisque
  • Chocolate Maple Pecan Éclair
  • Peppermint Macaron
  • Raspberry Pistachio Financier
  • Lemon Meringue Choux
  • Bottomless Champ/Mimosa bar for adults and Hot tea station with “Lemonade Tea” for kids

Elf the Musical

Buddy the Elf is in a musical, y’all! Our friends at Dallas Summer Musicals is bringing the beloved show to Dallas for a short run. 

elf on broadway in dallas buddy the elf spaghetti syrup

Don’t worry – we have all the details. Tickets start at $20. Learn more about ELF in Dallas!

Well, there you have it. Our favorite family Christmas things to do in Dallas.

What are your favorite Christmas traditions? What does your family like to do during the holidays in Dallas? Leave a comment!

Learn about more fun things to do with kids in Dallas