McKinney, Texas, sits just 30 miles outside of Dallas. It’s an ideal town offering residents and visitors lots of activities. The tight-knit community has a small-town feel, but plenty of fun is going on for all ages. As we get closer to the holidays, McKinney is a beautiful place to visit. The city hosts events for the whole family, and since it’s so close to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you can also find some big city events to enjoy during the holidays. Check out these holiday family festivities in and around McKinney.
Home for the Holidays
The Home for the Holidays event is an annual tradition in downtown McKinney. This year, it runs from Friday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 28. The stores extend their hours to get started on your shopping, Santa comes to town for the kids, and there are lots of other activities for the kids.
The annual Christmas tree lighting will take place on Friday night to kick off the event, and Friday is also the start of Candlelight Shopping at the shops on the square. There is plenty of food, live entertainment, a charity 5K and 10K run, and much more.
Holiday Tour of Homes
The beautiful historic homes in and around McKinney always look beautiful for the holidays, and the Holiday Tour of Homes is the public’s opportunity to see them. From Dec. 4-5, the homes and buildings in town open up so you can get a closer look. The Heritage Guild of Collin County hosts the event, and the 2021 event will mark the 48th year. This annual tour is one of the longest-running events in McKinney.
North Pole Express
Take a magical train ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express. The whole family can join Mrs. Claus on a ride to the Grapevine Christmas Village. Once you make it to the village, you can enjoy a cookie baked in the North Pole kitchen, taste some of Santa’s chocolate-flavored snow milk, and receive a “We Believe” bell. Santa will even make an appearance on the train ride.
Once you get to Grapevine, you can walk through the Christmas Village covered in snow, take pictures, and get a keepsake photo with Santa.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Eve & Other Stories
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will return to American Airlines Center this December. On Dec. 11, they will perform at 3:30 p.m and at 8:00 p.m. The American Airlines Center is on Victory Avenue in Dallas and is home to the NBA Dallas Mavericks and the NHL Dallas Stars. It’s the perfect place for a show with a 1080 HD center-hung video board and two huge video boards at each upper end.
Image via Flickr by jdtornow
Enchant Christmas is an annual holiday event in Dallas. It features a whimsical Christmas light maze and a unique Christmas village. The 2021 event will take place at Fair Park on Robert B. Cullum Boulevard in Dallas, and visitors can enjoy the five different adventures and activities throughout the event.
The Christmas Light Maze
The 2021 Light Maze theme this year is “The Great Search.” It takes you through a maze of twinkling Christmas lights as you search for Santa’s missing gifts.
Get started on your holiday shopping at the Christmas Market. Lots of local vendors will be here showcasing their work. You can find home decor, gourmet food, jewelry, and more. The market will also have food vendors with tasty treats to eat.
The Star Experience makes your visit to Enchant even more special with full-service catering. Enchant accepts reservations for holiday parties.
Visit With Santa and Mrs. Claus
The kids won’t want to miss a visit with Santa himself. Mrs. Claus will also be there reading stories, and Santa is ready for holiday photos.
The ice-skating trail is a one-of-a-kind experience. You can rent skates and glide down the trail that features spectacular holiday light displays.
Food and Drink
There is a lot of holiday-themed food and drink at Enchant. Everyone, including the kids, is sure to find something.
This year’s Enchant experience will open starting Nov. 26 and run through Jan. 2.
2021 Dallas Holiday Parade
There’s no better way to start the holiday season than with a parade. The first Dallas Holiday Parade took place in 1987 to celebrate the 75th anniversaries of The Adolphus Hotel and the Children’s Medical Center, and it’s been an annual event ever since.
This is the largest parade in Texas, with hundreds of thousands of spectators. The parade will start at 10 a.m. on Dec. 4 at The Adolphus Hotel. It’s free to the public, but you can purchase a ticket if you want a bleacher seat. Ticket prices range from $25 to $100. A map is available online showing where the event sets up the bleachers so you can find the perfect spot to sit.
Holiday at the Arboretum
Holiday at the Arboretum opens on Nov. 9 and will run through Dec. 31. Make sure to visit and stroll through the Pauline and Austin Neuhoff Family Christmas Village with shops that look like a European Christmas Village and a 23-foot-tall German-built Christmas Pyramid with animation on every level. At night, the trees in the village light up, and there’s live entertainment throughout the season.
The Arboretum also has a 50-foot-tall holiday tree that plays holiday music and features over 42,000 lights. This event also has the 12 Days of Christmas display. It’s made up of 12 Victorian-style gazebos that represent one of the 12 days of Christmas. The glass gazebos stand 25 feet tall, look like huge music boxes with mannequins, and have animated animals that move with the music and lights.
These are some places where we take our families during the holidays in and around the McKinney, Texas, area. If you know of any other great holiday activities that we should see, give us a call at Huffines Hyundai McKinney. We’ll gather our families, check it out, and maybe add it to our list.