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What’s your favorite thing to do during the holidays? Sip hot chocolate in a cozy café? Wait in line with your niece and nephew who are dying to talk to Santa? Stroll the most picturesque pockets of town hand in hand with your honey? Regardless of what tops your list, we’ve got a few more things that you absolutely must add in order to get the most out of this holiday season in Dallas.

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dallas holiday tea
Photo courtesy of The Adolphus

Have Holiday Tea at the Adolphus Hotel
Held in the French Room, this beloved seasonal tea features a special three-course menu ($55 per person) of tea sandwiches, scones and pastries to go with your oolong and Darjeeling. Champagne is extra, but we say go for it—Christmas (tea) only comes once a year. (Call 214-651-3615 for reservations.)

Go Ice Skating at the Galleria Dallas
It may not be that cold around North Texas all that often, but that minor detail has never gotten in the way of this North Dallas shopping destination offering some of the most magical ice skating around. Add to that a full lineup of festive programming and a beautiful, sparkling Christmas tree and you have a recipe for holiday happiness regardless of your age.

dallas holiday carriage
Photo by Shea Cannon

Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Through Highland Park
Many lifelong Dallasites have family memories of cuddling up on a horse-drawn carriage while taking in the fantastic Christmas lights in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the state. Most people make their reservations weeks in advance, but you might get lucky with a last-minute cancellation or you can wait until after Christmas, when there’s more availability. (Rides start at $190 for one hour.)

See a Holiday Production in the Dallas Arts District and Beyond
Take a break from playing hostess and let someone else entertain you for a night. Musical theater fans are sure to enjoy A Christmas Story at AT&T Performing Arts Center, while classical aficionados won’t want to miss the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in a variety of Christmas concerts. Looking for something different but equally special? A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens at the Dallas Children’s Theater is a treat for family members of all ages. 

trains at northpark dallas
Courtesy of the Trains at NorthPark

Take Your Favorite Tot to the Trains at NorthPark
Chances are, you’re the mom, aunt or pal of a toddler/young person who is crazy about trains. And even if you aren’t, there is something nostalgic about the awe-inspiring Trains at NorthPark. Not only is this collection of toy locomotives seriously impressive, but proceeds from the ticket sales (just $7 for adults and $4 for kids) benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.

Shop Holiday Pop-Ups
While it’s always good to shop local, there’s something about the holidays that makes us want to support our neighbors even more. The holiday pop-ups sprinkled throughout the city are a great way to see all the latest wares on offer from Dallas small business owners. Our favorite? The Unbranded Holiday Pop-Up happening in Downtown Dallas, Tuesdays through Saturdays until December 22.

Lace Up for the Jingle Bell Run
Keep yourself from falling off the fitness bandwagon this holiday season by committing to running in one of Dallas’s most storied races. Located at the Hilton Anatole, the event includes a variety of races for every fitness level, starting at just $20. The best part? This event is totally dog-friendly and all proceeds from the run benefit the Trinity Strand Trail and the Mavs Foundation.

dallas christmas bar
Courtesy of Hide Dallas

Drink Coffee and Cocktails in Festive Locations
Each year, a handful of local establishments deck their halls in ways that are sure to give you all the holiday feels. Some of our favorite spots this year include Hide (temporarily renamed Miracle at Hide), Fiction Coffee (currently Deck the Hall Street) and the Mansion Bar (which, let’s be honest, is always cozy AF).

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