Thursday, November 29, 2012
Where to find the best holiday lights in North Texas
Visit one of these attractions for a sparkly Christmas treat.
Put on your hat and gloves, fill that Thermos with cocoa and pack some cookies. It’s time to take in all things twinkly. We’ve rounded up some top area light displays to help you plan a perfectly merry and bright outing.
The Galleria Dallas tree, billed as the nation’s tallest indoor Christmas tree, features about 450,000 lights and more than 10,000 ornaments. On select dates, Missile Toes, an ice-skating, back-flipping Santa Claus, will wow the audience with the fireworks that come out of his skates. Daily Illumination Celebrations will feature lights blinking along to holiday music.
Missile Toes shows Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22 at 5 p.m. Illumination Celebrations daily through Dec. 24 at noon, 2 4, 6 and 8 p.m. (no 8 p.m. shows on Sundays). Free. 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas. 972-392-3363. galleriadallas.com.
Lone Star Christmas and Ice Exhibit
DEERFIELD: This Plano neighborhood display is traditionally one of Collin County's biggest. Expect plenty of cheerful snowmen, merry Santas, romping reindeer, twinkly trees, and more. It covers a large area north of Legacy Drive between Preston and Coit roads. The homeowners' association website says that visitors should enter the neighborhood from Legacy on Colonnade or Archgate. It also asks visitors to be sure to obey the signs in the neighborhood. Free to view. There's a map on the website. deerfieldplano.org.
HIGHLAND PARK: The mansions themselves are sights to behold. In the vicinity of Armstrong Parkway and Preston Road, sprawling homes stand majestically on endless lawns. You can expect them to be glittering for the holidays with classic light decorations. Check out the area south of Preston and Mockingbird for light displays.
INTERLOCHEN: This Arlington neighborhood has gained legendary status with its gazillions of lights and decorations. Police will direct traffic December 14-Dec. 25 from 7 to 11 p.m. (There tends to be a lot of traffic close to the holiday.) It’s in the area around Westwood Drive at Randol Mill Road. For details, check the neighborhood website, lakeinterlochen.com (under News).
Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan resort includes decorations such as 1.5 million twinkling lights and a life-size gingerbread house, plus daily snow tubing and the “Ice” exhibit. For “Ice,” 40 artists from China have carved 2 million pounds of special frozen water into sculptures showing winter scenes and the characters from the DreamWorks film Merry Madagascar. To tour the exhibit, which is cooled to 9 degrees, put on a provided parka — not a typical garment for Madagascar.
Lone Star Christmas and the “Ice” exhibit are open through Jan. 1 at the Gaylord Texan, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine. Exhibit hours are Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission to the exhibit is $21.95-$26.95 for adults, $19.95-$23.95 for seniors ages 55 and older, $11.95-$14.95 for kids 4-12 and free for kids 3 and younger. Snow tubing costs extra. Viewing decorations is free. Regular parking costs $12-$17. 817-778-1000. christmasatgaylordtexan.com.
Holiday in the Park
Six Flags Over Texas goes into twinkle mode with more than 1 million lights, holiday shows, sledding on the Frosty Snow Hill (weather permitting), a model-train display, decorated trees, chances to see Santa in his workshop and other seasonal fun and food. That’s in addition to rides, such as Superman: Tower of Power, the New Texas Giant and Titan.
Holiday in the Park continues through Jan. 6 at Six Flags Over Texas, 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington. Hours vary. $59.99 for adults, $42.99 for children at the gate; discounted tickets available online. Parking is $18. 817-640-8900. sixflags.com/overtexas.
More than 4 million lights twinkle in this drive-through holiday attraction. You can also hop out at the Holiday Village and see a walk-through area, visit with Santa and check out a light show.
Continues through Dec. 31 at Lynn Creek Park, 5700 Lake Ridge Parkway, Grand Prairie. Hours: Most Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays 6 to 9 p.m. (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve from 6 to 10 p.m.). $20-$30 per car; light show and walk-through cost extra. 972-237-4569. prairielights.org.
More than 175,000 lights blink in a free light show set to holiday music in this Frisco celebration. Other attractions include carriage rides and special activities on select dates.
The light show runs nightly through Jan. 6 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Frisco Square, Main Street and Coleman Boulevard, Frisco. The light show is free; $6 for carriage rides. For a schedule, visit friscosquare.com/cits.
The outdoor light display features LED lights on more than 200 trees around Vitruvian Park’s 12 acres. On Dec. 8, the Magical Saturday Nights of Lights music series runs from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays through Dec. 15.
The light display runs through Jan. 1 at Vitruvian Park, 3850 Vitruvian Way, Addison. Free. vitruvianpark.com.
Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway
This family-friendly holiday spectacle features more than 600 displays with some 2 million LED lights every night of the week throughout the holiday season. A portion of the proceeds benefit Goodwill Industries, Tarrant Area Food Bank and KLTY Christmas Wish.
Gift of Lights continues through Nov. 21-Jan. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth. Hours: Sundays through Thursdays from 5:30 to 9 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays and holidays 5:30 to 10 p.m. Prices: Mondays through Thursdays $15 per car; Fridays through Sundays and holidays $20 per car. Advance tickets can be purchased online or at Walgreens. 817-215-8500. giftoflightstms.com.
Follow the candy-cane signs as you take this evening drive through Farmers Branch’s downtown, illuminated with 300,000 twinkling lights and holiday decorations. The route begins at Interstate 35E at Valley View and continues down William Dodson Parkway to the Farmers Branch Historical Park, where you can get a closer look at the light displays among the historic buildings, and perhaps you’ll spy Santa in his workshop.
Nightly through Dec. 31 from 6:30 to 9:30 (the historical park portion of the tour is closed on Dec. 1 and Christmas; however, the rest of the lights and decorations can still be viewed). The tour begins at Valley View Lane and Interstate 35E and ends at the Farmers Branch Historical Park, 2540 Farmers Branch Lane, Farmers Branch. Free, unwrapped toys for WFAA’s Santa’s Helpers Toy Drive (through Dec. 19) and cash donations for local charities and are encouraged. 972-919-2620. farmersbranch.info.
A half-mile nature trail at the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary features holiday decorations and lights, and there’ll be strolling carolers, pics with Mother Nature and Father Christmas, and other family-friendly entertainment.
Dec. 14-15 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Heard, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. At the event: $9 for adults and seniors, $6 for children 3 to 12, free for children 2 and under. Get a $2 discount if you purchase your tickets in advance online. Parking is free; however, it is a distance from the main entrance. A guest drop-off area is available. 972-562-5566. heardmuseum.org.
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