Here are our top picks for (mostly) FREE family-friendly events happening in the DFW Metroplex November 20 – 22, 2015. There’s a lot going on this weekend, check out the What’s Happening calendars for additional events, like free yoga classes, story times and more.
Friday, November 20, 2015
The 2015 Addison Circle Annual Tree Lighting!
This event will be full of holiday fun featuring children’s activities, horse carriage rides, holiday shopping, refreshments, door prizes and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free children’s activities include a face painter, caricature artist, balloon artist, and coloring contest. Santa and Mrs. Clause will arrive by the Town of Addison’s fire engine for all the children to enjoy. The WaterTower Theatre along with a kids choir will entertain the crowds throughout the event, and Mayor Todd Meier will address the attendees before the lighting of the tree. Nonperishable food items or unwrapped toys will be collected and donated to the Metrocrest Food Bank.
Date: Nov 20, 2015
Time: 6:30pm- 8:30pm
Location: Beckert Park, 5044 Addison Cir, Addison, TX 75001
Late Nights at the DMA, Dallas
6:00 p.m.–midnight; Free
Be one of the first people to see our newest exhibition, Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, and learn more about this artist and his rarely seen black paintings. In addition to performances, lectures, Pollock film screening, and several kid-friendly activities, one of the nights highlights is Late Night Creations: Pollock Bots, Create a Jackson Pollock–inspired action painting with Scribble Bots! Build a robot equipped with markers, pastels, and paintbrushes and send it skittering and jumping across the page. All materials provided, and all ages welcome. View the full schedule here.
Date: Nov 20, 2015
Time: 6pm – midnight
Cost: FREE. (some special exhibitions may require a ticket)
Location: The Dallas Museum of Art
Downtown Wanderland, Dallas
A season-long programming featuring Unbranded, “Park It Pop-Up”, happy hours, photos with Santa, and more kicks off this weekend. Downtown Dallas, Inc. invites you wander around Downtown and explore all the new retail, restaurants, and bars that have popped up in recent months. Season-long programming will include shopping, entertainment and family-friendly activities, all set to live music, movie screenings, photos with Santa and more!
Date: Nov 19 – Dec 31, 2015
Location: Downtown Dallas
Throughout the holiday season, visitors to The Shops at Willow Bend are transported to a winter wonderland when they step inside the spectacular holiday Ice Palace. Inspired by the magic of winter, the Ice Palace features a 30-foot globe encircled with a series of majestic arches and smaller globes that appear to be carved from ice. Visitors will be immersed with magical vignettes of polar animal footage and, upon entering the largest dome, see and feel falling snow and a captivating video and light show.
Date: Nov 6 – Dec 24
Time: During mall hours
Cost:FREE to walk through globe, Santa photos – prices vary
Location: 6121 W Park Blvd, Plano, TX 75093
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Light the Night in Allen
Join Watters Creek for a magical evening to kick off the holiday season and welcome Santa. The festivities begin at 4:30pm when KLUV’s Jody Dean, the evening’s emcee, gets everyone into the holiday spirit. Mrs. Claus will be passing out free cookies, there will be complimentary carriage rides, hot cocoa, caroling, face painting, and more.
Date: Nov 21, 2015
Time: 4:30pm, Tree lighting at 6:15pm
Location: 970 Garden Park Dr Allen, Tx 75013
Cedar Hill’s 8th Annual Magical Tree Lighting Festival! with Disney’s Frozen Characters
Discover the new Hillside VillageShopping Center at the 8th Annual Magical Tree Lighting Festival! Enjoy live music by Rockestra, meet Elsa and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen, and be sure to stick around for our tree lighting ceremony with Santa and Mayor Rob Franke. The festival will also feature a toy drive, snowman, stilt walkers, an interactive talking tree, and much much more!
Date: Nov 21, 2015
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Location: 305 W. FM1382 75104 Cedar Hill, Tx at Hillside Village Shopping Center
The 2015 Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash
Since 2007, Etsy Dallas (an independent local craft collective run by volunteers) has hosted 7 wildly popular and successful independent art shows in support of the handmade movement in Dallas. The Bash features hand-picked artists, designers and crafters selling their top quality handmade goods to the public. Additional fun includes live music, entertainment, Free DIY Crafts to make & take, photo booth, food, and a full bar. The Bash is home to the famous and original free Bash Goody Bags. While the Bash is a family-friendly event, the vibe is fun and hip – a show full of handmade love and good times. Think of it as a party – not your typical craft show! Note: “Etsy Dallas” and the “Handmade Bash” are independently located in Dallas TX and are not affiliated with Etsy, Inc.
Date: Nov 21, 2015
Time: 11am – 6pm
Location: South Side Event Center at Gilley’s Dallas, 1135 S. Lamar, Dallas, TX 75215
The 13th Annual Cedars Open Studios – Art Tour
For the past twelve years Cedars Neighborhood Artists have opened their doors to the public for one day to showcase the talent, creativity and vibrant lives of the artists that work and live here. This free event draws thousands of visitors, from all walks of life, to explore the neighborhood studios, learn about art, shop and enjoy local bars and restaurants. Visit the cedars artists in their homes and studios – as independently unique as the individual artwork created within, whether it’s glass blowing, photography, painting, sculpture or expressive hula-hoop dancing, you won’t want to miss a single one!
Old Time Music Jam at Dallas Heritage Village
Tap your toes, clap your hands and join in on the new Old Time Music Jam. Come and play! No expectations on your level of playing. All comers are welcome. If you don’t know what old-time music is, no problem, come and learn. Dallas Heritage Village is home to the largest and finest collection of 19th century pioneer and Victorian homes and commercial buildings in Texas. These buildings, moved from throughout North Central Texas to Dallas’ first city park, line the tree-shaded 20-acre setting of Dallas Heritage Village. Stroll the grounds and discover what life was like over 100 years ago for ordinary Texans.
Date: Nov 21, 2015 (recurring monthly on 1st & 3rd Saturdays)
Location: Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 South Harwood, Dallas, TX 75215
The Trains At NorthPark™, Dallas
The Trains at NorthPark™ benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas is the most elaborate miniature toy trains exhibit in Texas. Over 1,800 feet of track takes visitors on a journey across America, from New York City to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Dates: Nov 21 – Jan 3, 2016
Times: Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 9 pm
Cost: FREE for kids under 2 , $7.00 for adults, $3.00 for children (ages 2 – 12) and senior citizens (age 65 and older)
Location: NorthPark Center, 8687 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75225
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Day of Giving and Thanks – Wellness Event and Benefit at Fairpark, Dallas
Kutumba Yoga is hosting a free Wellness Event to benefit the North Texas Food Bank. The event features yoga, meditation, spiritual and informative discussions, and a presentation on the problem of hunger followed by a meditation to end hunger. With a focus on gratitude and ending hunger worldwide Kutumba suggests considering fasting for the day to remember those who have little, and donate what you would have spent on food to the North Texas Food Bank!! “This is a chance to fill our food banks in a season when so many are going without. Feeding America Estimates that in order to fill the food insecurity gap in Dallas County alone for a year, we need an extra $213,512,000; for the state of Texas, $2,007,186,000. The North Texas Food Bank provided 62 million nutritious meals for hungry North Texans in 2014, and with your help we can support our community with even more this year!”
Date: Nov 22, 2015
Time: 9am – 7:30pm
Cost: FREE, Raffle Tix & Donations benefitting the North Texas Food Bank can be purchased here.
Location: Fair Park, Parry Ave & Exposition Ave, Dallas, Texas 75226
Parade of Lights & Sundance Square Christmas Tree Lighting, Fort Worth
“Let the Season Begin!” with Fort Worth’s renowned annual Holiday parade featuring over 100 illuminated entries featuring community groups, supporters and local personalities from around Fort Worth. The Sundance Square Christmas Tree will come to life immediately following the XTO Energy Parade of Lights! Santa will move from the parade to the tree, and bring to life this incredible Downtown icon. Bring your family earlier in the day to Celebrate the Holidays Together Downtown, and make a day of it. Avoid the crowds by parking early or using our shuttle (which runs from Farrington Field beginning at 2pm). Watch for the Wheelie-ing Elvi, other entertainment and Cowboy Santas who will ride around the route collecting toys for kids in need before the parade begins.
Date: Nov 22, 2015
Time: Activities begin at 2pm, Parade starts at 6pm with Santa appearing around 7:10pm, Tree Lighting approx 7:45pm see detailed schedule
Location: Parade starts at Belknap & Throckmorton & proceeds east along Belknap Street, turns south on Commerce and goes all the way to 9th Street. At 9th Street the parade turns west, proceeds past the Convention Center to Houston St., and then turns north on Houston Street all the way to Weatherford St.
Activities & Tree Lighting at Sundance Square.
Lights at Legacy Movie, Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting, Plano
• 2pm | Watch Happy Feet with Santa Claus at The Angelika Film Center. Purchase your $5 ticket at The Angelika or online here. This event will sell out!
• 4pm – 7pm | Continue or join in the Holiday Celebration after the movie. Exclusive Swag Bags will be available FREE to the first 200 guests who visit The Shops at Legacy booth. Lucky recipients will receive a surprise gift card in their bag!
Santa Photos will be available with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Children’s Health, ride our Christmas Train and enjoy live entertainment, craft activities with Mrs. Claus, balloon animals, face painting, caricature artists, magic with Mr. Scrooge, Christmas parade plus the lighting of the sixty five foot tree!
Date: Nov 22, 2015
Time: 4pm – 7pm
Cost: $5 film, FREE Holiday Celebration, Santa Photos starting at $25.
Location: The Shops at Legacy, 5741 Legacy Dr, Plano TX 75024
Not Free but Worth Mentioning
DAMN: Dallas Ambient Music Nights IX
A monthly Ambient Music, Media and Art event “ushering in a bonafide niche music scene,” according to the Dallas Observer. Along with top notch sounds, this month the event will be held at Black Lodge, a gallery space that will display beautiful projections as well as physical art. See the DAMN IX facebook event for details about performers and artists.
Date: Saturday, Nov 21, 20
Time: 8pm – 2am
Location: Black Lodge, 212 S Walton St, Dallas, Texas 75226
ICE! and Lone Star Christmas at Gaylord Texan Resort, Grapevine
Christmas is back at Grapevine’s Gaylord Texan Resort. With 2 million twinkling lights, 15,000 ornaments, an amazing 54-foot-tall Christmas tree, a 8-foot-tall gingerbread house, Santa’s Wild Workshop Snow Tubing, Cookies and Milk with Mrs. Claus and ICE! 2 million pounds of ice hand carved by a team of over 40 Chinese artisans. Stroll through a maze of themed ice sculptures throughout a 14,000-square-foot exhibit hall kept at a numbing 9 degrees, a heavy parka is provided, but dress warmly and bring a pair of gloves. Ride down huge ice slides and watch a masterful ice carver create amazing sculptures before your eyes.
Dates: Nov 12 – January 3, 2016
Cost: Children under 3 are FREE. $12.99 – 29.99,
Location: Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, Texas 76051
Panther Island Ice – Outdoor Skating Rink, Fort Worth
Fort Worth is about to get a lot cooler as the city’s favorite holiday tradition, Panther Island Ice, returns this weekend for another season. Fort Worth’s only outdoor skating rink remains open 7 days a week, including all holidays, through January 18th. We hear rumors that they have plans for visits from Santa, seasonal music and more. We’ll post details as they’re announced.
Dates: November 20, 2015 – January 18, 2016, Open 7 days a week, including holidays.
Times: Mon Thur 3pm-10pm | Fri 3pm-11pm | Sat & Sun 11am-11pm & special holiday hours.
Cost: $9 – $11
Location: 223 NE 4th Street, Fort Worth, TX 76164