The most wonderful time of the year will soon return to McKinney, Texas. Get ready to celebrate the holiday season in style with several festive activities and events for residents and visitors to McKinney. Browse our guide below to discover the best things to see and do as you experience the merriment of the holiday season in McKinney.
48th Annual Holiday Tour of Homes
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Come home for the holidays during the 48th Annual Holiday Tour of Homes in McKinney. Explore five private homes adorned in their holiday finery.
Take a self-guided tour of some of the most spectacular residences in the McKinney Historic District. The Holiday Tour of Homes benefits The Heritage Guild of Collin County and Chestnut Square, a cooperative that includes several historic house museums in downtown McKinney.
Tour of Home Tickets are $25 per person and permit one admission to each private home for use on either one or both days of the tour, Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5. Guests may also enjoy brunch or tea in the quaint 1920s-era Bevel House at 405 S. Chestnut St. in Chestnut Square. Tickets for brunch and tea are $15 per person.
The Heritage Guild of Collin County and Chestnut Square is a nonprofit organization that supports Collin County, Texas, history and heritage through hosting event programming, maintaining historic buildings and artifacts, and empowering citizens to become stewards for historic preservation and interpretation.
Tickets and more information: Participants can purchase tickets from Heritage Village at Chestnut Square by calling 972-562-8790.
Holiday Lights in the Christmas Capital of Texas
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Witness historic Grapevine transformed into an illuminated winter wonderland with millions of holiday lights. Several holiday light-themed events will take place in Grapevine to usher in the holiday season:
- Carol of Lights, Monday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.: Live performances, a spectacle of lights, and breathtaking fireworks at City Hall make the Carol of Lights a can’t-miss event. Reserved seating for the event is $5; tickets go on sale beginning Monday, Oct. 25.
- Parade of Lights, Thursday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m.: More than 100 lighted floats and marching bands make up the Parade of Lights that will travel down historic Main Street. Watch for Santa Claus on the last float of the parade.
Twinkle Light Boat Parade, date and time TBD: Discover a floating festival of lights on Lake Grapevine with the Twinkle Light Boat Parade. The parade picks up participants as it circles Grapevine Lake at each marina, including Scott’s Landing and Silver Lake. Members of the public can watch the parade take shape along the shores of the lake. For the best views of the parade, head to Oak Grove Park and Katie’s Woods. A 10-minute fireworks show is also part of the parade.
Home for the Holidays
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Downtown McKinney is the place to be Nov. 26 to 28 for the Home for the Holidays festival. The community’s merchants invite residents and visitors to find the perfect gifts for everyone on their lists with extended shopping hours during this weekend of festivities. More than 100 boutiques, art galleries, bookstores, antique shops, and more offer plenty of places to visit and explore.
In past years, this premier holiday festival has also included:
- Horse-drawn carriage rides.
- Visits with Santa Claus.
- A Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
- Train garden displays.
- Children’s activities.
Look for updated event information on the Historic Downtown McKinney website.
Event dates and times: Friday, Nov. 26, and Saturday, Nov. 27, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 28, noon to 5 p.m.
North Pole Express
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Experience the magic of Christmas courtesy of Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express. Journey with Mrs. Claus as she travels to pick up Santa for a trip to Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas.
Families with children will enjoy this holiday train ride that will include a visit from Santa, a keepsake photo with Santa, a stroll through the snowy Christmas Village Forest, cookies and Santa’s Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk treat, and more.
Guests can choose first-class coach ($40 per person) and touring class coach ($35 per person) seating options. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 28, beginning at 10 a.m. Dates for the November and December North Pole Express experience will appear on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s website. Great Wolf Lodge and Trinity Metro TEXRail serve as presenting sponsors for the North Pole Express.
Location: Christmas Village inside the Cotton Belt Railroad Historic District, 705 S. Main St., Grapevine
St. Paul’s Journey to Christmas
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St. Paul Lutheran Church in Plano presents its Journey to Christmas Live Nativity and Christmas Concert for the community. Travel to Bethlehem, where the story of Jesus Christ’s birth unfolds through six live outdoor action scenes. Dressed in costume, members of the St. Paul family will share the message of Christmas through narration and interpretation. Live animals further contribute to the presentation that will capture your heart and mind.
This year, 2021, represents the 30th year St. Paul Lutheran Church has presented this live nativity and Christmas concert. Admission for members of the public is free. Please register to attend. Bring a canned soup or vegetable product to donate to the Prince of Peace Christmas Food Baskets Ministry.
Event dates and times: Friday, Dec. 10, 7 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 11, 6 to 9 p.m.
Location: St. Paul Lutheran Church, 6565 Independence Parkway, Plano
Explore the sights and sounds of the holiday season in the McKinney area when you take part in some of these spirit-filled community events. What did you think about our list of holiday activities? Is there a can’t-miss holiday event you think we should include? Write to us and let us know about it. Our team members at Huffines Hyundai McKinney are always pleased to share information about things to do with members of our community.
Note: Event dates, times, and locations are subject to change. Please contact the businesses and organizations hosting the activities presented above to confirm the status of these events before making plans to attend them.