Turkey day may be over, but the holiday season is just beginning and there’s much more going on during Thanksgiving weekend than football and shopping. From holiday hoedowns to winter wonderlands, these DFW family fun events are sure to get everyone into the ho-ho-holiday spirit.
Arlington Christkindl Market
1098 Ballpark Way
Arlington, TX 76011
Dust off your lederhosen for Arlington’s 3rd annual Christkindl Market, where the entire family can enjoy a little slice of Germany right in the shadows of Rangers ballpark. Wander through the village while you browse dozens of vendor booths filled with unique gifts and handmade crafts. Then fill up on an array of tasty German treats— ranging from sausages, potato pancakes and strudels to German beer, gluhwein and hot chocolate. Strolling performers, polka dancers and musical acts like Brave Combo will give everyone a dose of jolly holiday cheer. Get in on all of the festivities for free from November 29 to December 22 —check the website for daily hours and events.
Christmas At The Anatole
2201 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, TX 75207
Add some pizzazz to the holidays by checking out the festivities going on at the Antatole Hotel this year. The seven-acre sculpture garden is being transformed into a winter wonderland complete with an ice skating pond and a million twinkling lights. Live entertainment, penguin visits from the Dallas Zoo, children’s hockey clinics, face painting, crafts and tasty holiday treats are just a sample of the daily happenings going on from November 29 to January 4. Admission is $9 for adults and $7 for children. No skates? Not a problem, you can rent them for $6 an hour.
Home For The Holidays… A McKinney Christmas
Historic Downtown McKinney
111 N. Tennessee St.
McKinney, TX 75069
There is no better way to kick start the holidays than by attending McKinney’s annual Christmas festival. There’s a new theme this year and even more activities than before, including everything from pony rides, pedicabs and horse-drawn carriages to a snow tubing hill, petting zoo and live entertainment. Parents can take advantage of shopping at the unique shops in the square while the kids keep busy making crafts, having their faces painted and chatting with Santa and his reindeer. The free holiday fun begins Friday, November 29 and continues through Saturday, November 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Related: Guide To Christmas Trees In DFW
Thanksgiving Weekend In The Stockyards
130 E. Exchange Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76164
Head on over to the Fort Worth Stockyards for a Thanksgiving weekend of western style excitement— featuring cattle drives, gunfights, holiday face painting and visits with cowboy Santa himself. The entire family will enjoy Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show and the championship rodeo taking place both Friday and Saturday. Additionally, parents can squeeze in some holiday shopping at the Stockyard’s eclectic selection of stores and galleries while the kids get lost in the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze. The festivities start at 11:45 a.m. Friday, November 29 and run through Sunday, December 1.
Grapevine Railroad’s North Pole Express
705 S. Main St.
Grapevine, TX 76051
With over 1,400 events going on during the holiday season, it’s no wonder that Grapevine is called the Christmas Capital of Texas. If you are not in the holiday spirit before you come here, you certainly will be by the time you leave. Beginning Thanksgiving weekend, the town transforms into a magical dreamland filled with millions of twinkling lights, huge decorations and live performances happening throughout the town. Between seeing “ICE!” at the Gaylord Hotel and taking part in the Main Street activities, you’ll definitely want to catch a ride on the Polar Express that runs several times a day during the weekend for $25 a person. Kids will enjoy the show at the depot before boarding the train and all of the festive fun during the ride, including hot chocolate, souvenirs and a visit with the Clauses.
Related: Best Places To Go Ice Skating In DFW
Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at Examiner.com.