Christmas is a festive time of year filled with traditions, gifts, and gatherings. In the middle of baking Christmas cookies, shopping for our loved ones, and attending holiday parties, let’s take the time to spend quality time with our family and friends and do one (or a few) of these family-friendly activities to celebrate Christmas.

1. Visit the Dallas Arboretum.

Throughout the holiday season, the Dallas Arboretum will host 12 Days of Christmas, an outdoor exhibit decorated with dazzling lights and gorgeous 25-foot Victorian gazebos filled with beloved characters, animals, and music popularized by the Christmas carol. The exhibit is available to visit days and nights through December 31.

On Wednesdays-Sundays, you can experience the 12 Days of Christmas at night (from 6-9 PM), which features more than one million lights illuminating the lovely winter gardens and historic homes.

This year, the Dallas Arboretum will also debut a brand-new Christmas village made up of charming shops and quaint facades that represent the European Christmas Markets. You will find a bakery, bookstore, candy shop, and Santa’s house.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit Holiday at the Arboretum.

2. Attend a Christmas musical.

Gateway Church is hosting their annual family-friendly Christmas musical. This is one of the best family-friendly activities to celebrate Christmas that is free!

This holiday season, Gateway Church will transport you to Christmas City, USA, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While touring the town that is dedicated to celebrating Christmas, Elleanor, along with other colorful characters, discover connections the town has to American history and their personal lives.

With the magnificent musical numbers, the fantastic scenic displays, and the heartfelt performances, you will learn what makes the most wonderful time of year so wonderful and you will leave with a heart filled with the holiday spirit.

To attend this event, just reserve your tickets online. Also, if you have children (Birth-Grade 6), they have a great night planned for them while you enjoy the show!

3. Check out ICE! And Lone Star Christmas.

One of the best places to do family-friendly activities to celebrate Christmas is Grapevine, TX. A dazzling display of Christmas lights, a life-sized gingerbread house, Christmas cookies, and snow tubing are just some of the fun things you will find at ICE! and Lone Star Christmas.

At the Gaylord Texan Resort, you and your family and friends will be ready to celebrate Christmas once you catch a glimpse of their display with two million sparkling lights, 15,000 ornaments, an incredible 54-foot-tall Christmas tree, and an 8-foot gingerbread house.

There will also be special events such as Santa’s Wild Workshop Snow Tubing, cookies and milk with Mrs. Claus, and ICE! Display (carved from over two million pounds of ice). You will even get to watch a master carver create marvelous ice sculptures in front of your own eyes!

For more information on pricing and events, visit ICE! and Lone Star Christmas.

4. Go to a Christmas tree lighting.

One of the most traditional family-friendly activities to celebrate Christmas is attending a Christmas tree lighting. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than watching the lighting of a massive Christmas tree decked out in ornaments and twinkling lights!

This weekend, you and your family can join the City of Allen for their free community event: Holly Jolly Celebration and Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. You will witness the grand lighting of a 46-foot Christmas tree with more than 20,000 lights.

There will also be live entertainment, a visit from Santa and his elves, and new festivities that will brighten your holiday season! The Holly Jolly Celebration will take place on Friday, December 6, from 5-9 PM.

5. Watch a Christmas parade.

The City of Richardson will host their 47th Annual Christmas Parade. This year’s theme will be “Lone Star Christmas.” Longtime Richardson Resident and 2018 Citizen of the Year Bob Macy will make a special appearance as the grand marshal of the parade!

This year’s parade will take place on the east side of Richardson and will start at 9 AM on Saturday, December 7. And if you want to make it a full day of holiday fun, you can come back at 5 PM for the Parade’s Award Ceremony, the City’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, and the opening of Santa’s Village.

6. Tour Christmas lights in local neighborhoods.

Another great way to participate in the holiday season is to load up family and friends in the van and visit local neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights.

A great neighborhood to visit is Deerfield in Plano, TX. Most of the houses participate in decorating for the Christmas season. Many homeowners choose to decorate around a theme such as Dr. Seuss Christmas, Disney Christmas, and The Nutcracker Christmas. Some houses synchronize with Christmas music on a specific radio station, bringing their decorations to life.

You may view holiday lights from 7-10 PM on December 1-30. It gets packed pretty quickly, so be sure to get there early to line up for the neighborhood. To look at the lights, you may drive, park and walk, or reserve a horse carriage to take you through the neighborhood.

For more information, visit Deerfield Holiday Lights 2019.

7. Participate in Advent at Chase Oaks.

The Advent season is a time of expectation as we prepare our hearts for the celebration of the moment that God sent Christ into the world because He wanted an everlasting, loving relationship with His creation.

As you prepare for Christmas with your family, friends, and neighbors, take the time to reflect, worship, and spend time with God each week. Take the time to experience the hope, peace, joy, and love this wondrous season has to offer.

This year, subscribe to our Advent guide, which features weekly devotionals, art, music, and poetry. Our hope is that you will be amazed again by the incredible love of God and the hope of Jesus’ birth.

Join us for Christmas at Chase Oaks and rediscover the magic and wonder of Christmas! We will host 21 family-friendly services across five campuses. It will be an unforgettable evening of singing and celebration that will be fun for the whole family.