Merry and bright
We've never needed the joy of holiday lights to brighten a dark year like we do in 2020. All around Fort Worth, people have been decking their halls for weeks now — and even the Scrooges and Grinches are declaring, "Oh, what fun!"
Here's our 2020 guide to the biggest, brightest, most spectacular Christmas light displays in the area. (And if you're looking for more lights toward Dallas, that list is here.) Pour the hot chocolate, load up the car, flip on the holiday tunes, and enjoy these merry, magical wonderlands.
The hottest new holiday trend of 2020 is the socially distanced drive-thru. Just pack some patience along with your car snacks, as they can move slowly.
Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, now-January 3
Texas Motor Speedway will once again open its gates to the public for the annual Gift of Lights drive-thru holiday lighting spectacular around the track. The lights experience will include over two miles of light displays, with almost 3 million lights, while visitors get to stay in their warm cars, listening to Christmas music on KLTY. Due to CDC guidelines, they will not host the Santa’s Village this year. Instead, there'll be onsite food trucks that allow guests to order ahead online and pick up for the drive-thru. Tickets are $30-$60 depending on size of vehicle and may be purchased online or at the gate. Check the website for special discounts, tickets, and more.
Radiance! A Holiday Light Spectacular; Weatherford, Frisco, and Decatur, now-January 3
New in three North Texas cities this year, Radiance drive-thru lights experience is more than a mile long and takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Visitors can tune their car radios to a special station that will play coordinating holiday tunes as they meander through the light displays on each side of the car and through 160 feet of animated RGB light tunnels. Festive food and beverages, including hot chocolate and holiday cookies, are available for purchase without leaving the car. General admission tickets are $30 per vehicle, and VIP tickets are $50 per vehicle. Locations of all three events and more details are in this story.
Prairie Lights, Grand Prairie, now-December 31
A Dallas-Fort Worth tradition 15 years strong, Prairie Lights holiday light park is returning for 2020 — with some modern updates for the COVID-Christmas season and one special gift for guests: cheaper admission. Per usual, the dazzling display of over 5 million lights, all arranged in festive holiday scenes, will wind for two miles along the shores of Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie. But the park’s out-of-car experience, the Holiday Village — the traditional stop midway through with hot chocolate, cookies, and other goodies for sale — will be replaced by a new drive-thru concession option; Santa also will not appear. Admission has been reduced to $30 per car (up to eight people), and a Fast Pass (line jump pass) is available for $99. Read about tips for ticket purchase, mask-wearing, and more in this story.
Candy Cane Lane, American Airlines Center, Dallas, now-December 26
This all-new event is a multi-level visual Christmas attraction taking over an entire AAC parking garage. Each level combines Christmas outdoor experiences that include a vast array of holiday lights, classic holiday lantern characters, and wonderland surprises around every corner. Visitors can tune into a special playlist of holiday music to accompany the drive. Candy Cane Lane is fully covered, so it can take place rain or shine. Ticket prices are per vehicle and are on sale in limited quantities on the website. It's $35-$50 for General Admission, or $50-60 for VIP, which includes a socially distanced picture with Santa. Read more about the event in this story.
Dallas Zoo Lights, Dallas Zoo, now-January 3
The zoo has reimagined its annual Dallas Zoo Lights for 2020, so visitors can now drive through a holiday safari of lights in their own vehicles. They promise guests will be able to cruise through a newly constructed pathway while taking in more than 1 million lights in elaborate displays, silk-covered animal lanterns depicting zoo animals, an ice palace fit for a trio of penguins, and more. Then park and stroll through Reliant Holiday Village at the end of the route. Timed entry tickets must be purchased online in advance; $65 per car for non-members, and $50 per car for members. For ticket packages, details, and more, visit the zoo's website.
Santa’s Country Christmas, Seagoville, now-January 1
Now in its fourth year of operation, Santa's Country Christmas drive-thru lights experience is located on Hwy. 175 in Seagoville, 20 minutes from downtown Dallas. The two-mile drive-thru park includes lights, animals, and music. They'll offer free Santa Claus photos starting Thanksgiving weekend. Admission is $25 per vehicle, purchased at the door. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Immersive experiences and choreographed shows
Mask up, get out, and stroll among the lights with camera in hand.
Luminova Holidays, Globe Life Field, limited dates now-January 3
At this buzzy new holiday wonderland, guests can walk among 2.7 million lights throughout over 270,000 square feet inside and outside of Globe Life Field. It also includes a 65-foot Christmas tree, interactive activities including light up hopscotch, an ice rink, train rides for the kids, strolling holiday entertainers, and booths with food and special mementos. Note: the event is open November 25-29; then closed for two weeks during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at Globe Life Field; and then open again for three weeks, December 13-January 1. Check here for tickets ($14.99-$29.99) and here for special discounts.
Lone Star Christmas, Gaylord Texan, Grapevine, now-January 3
While there's no "Ice" exhibit this year, an all-new outdoor attraction called "Yuletide Bright" lets you walk among 50,000 square feet of colorful, glowing holiday-themed lanterns, characters, and scenes. The new "I Love Christmas Movies" display allows you to step into 15 fully immersive scenes from beloved holiday movies, including The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, Elf, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and The Year Without a Santa Claus, complete with replicas of film props, audio clips, and more. And, as always, the indoor atrium displays 2 million twinkling lights, 15,000 shimmering ornaments, and photo opportunities galore. Information on discounts here.
Main Street and Light Show Spectacular, Grapevine, now-January 10
While there's no Parade of Lights this year, millions of lights cover Grapevine's historic Main Street, stretching all the way to the new Hotel Vin. The popular Lightshow Spectacular is a brilliantly choreographed light and sound show that runs continuously each night at City Hall. Sing along with the 40-foot animated Singing Christmas Tree, and explore the world of Whoville next to the Town Square Gazebo along Main Street. Everything is free.
Reliant Lights Your Holidays, AT&T Performing Arts Center, December 4-20
The AT&T Performing Arts Center and Reliant have reimagined this popular holiday tradition so visitors can safely explore and enjoy at their own pace. Instead of taking place on one night, the event will go on for 16 consecutive nights, allowing guests to stroll among 50,000 LED lights illuminating the Winspear Opera House, Wyly Theatre, and the many trees in Sammons Park. There will also be festive projections, family photo opps, and Friday and Saturday evening pop-up performances from local artists and organizations. Admission is free.
Journey of Lights, St. Andrew United Methodist Church, Plano, December 11-19
Attendees will enjoy multiple immersive outdoor Christmas environments, including a Christmas Village featuring an oak tree filled with lights, 3D snowfall lane, music with projection of Christmas carolers, larger-than-life advent calendar utilizing actual windows, and more. It will also include "Light in the Darkness," an immersive 30-minute light show experience throughout the trees and creek area, timed and synchronized with music of all St. Andrew Choirs and Imperial Brass. Timed tickets are $5; kids 2 and under are free.
These displays make parks and businesses sparkle all season.
The Modern Lights, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, now-January 17
For the fourth year, trees around The Modern are illuminated with a spectacular array of festive lights. Not only are passersby treated to a stunning display, but visitors and families can enjoy nightly viewing opportunities with extended museum hours until 8 pm on Fridays. There are no accompanying cafe events this year. Viewing the lights outside is free.
Sundance Square, downtown Fort Worth, now-January 6
There's no Santa or lights show this year, and Sundance Square Plaza remains closed to the public. But the annual sparkly Christmas tree is up and can be admired from a distance. The 55-foot-tall blue spruce comes from Michigan and is decorated with more than 12,000 white LED lights. It can be seen from nearby restaurants and shops, and dazzles on a walk down Main Street. The lights will be on every night from 6-11 pm. Nearby parking is free on evenings and weekends.
The Shops at Clearfork, Fort Worth
The 500,000-square-foot, open-air shopping center gets decked to the nines, with trees gleaming with lights and a spectacular Christmas tree in The Plaza. Check the Clearfork Facebook page for all of their holiday happenings.
Fort Worth Stockyards
The historic Stockyards district gets gussied up for Christmas, with lights strung throughout the new Mule Alley and a festive tree near the Livestock Exchange Building. They'll have lots of holiday happenings, including photos with Cowboy Santa; mosey over to their website to keep up.
Daystar Christmas, Daystar Television Network, Bedford, now-January 3
Daystar Christmas features over 1 million lights, a life-sized Nativity, kid-friendly Christmas town, a drive-thru tunnel, and more. Guests are welcome to drive through the property or get out and explore — as long as groups keep at least 6 feet (or 2 snow men) apart at all times. No Santa activities this year, but Daystar’s Scratch Café will be serving holiday treats from 6-10 pm Fridays and Saturdays from December 4-19 and every day December 21-24.
Six Flags Holiday in the Park, Arlington, now-January 3
Six Flags Over Texas decks its halls, trees, and roller coasters with thousands of star-bright LED lights. The winter wonderland features an extravagantly decorated Christmas tree, as well as a variety of interactive activities like festive shows, holiday treats, unique holiday-themed attractions, seasonal entertainment, a Merry Marketplace, The Frosty Snowhill, and, of course, world class thrill rides. Information about discounted tickets is here.
Holiday at the Arboretum, Dallas Arboretum, now-December 31
The annual Holiday at the Arboretum features the 12 Days of Christmas and The Christmas Village. Visitors can stroll the garden to see the 25-foot-tall elaborately decorated Victorian-style gazebos that represent each of The 12 Days of Christmas, which come to life after dark in a special nighttime experience featuring over a million lights. New this year is a 23-foot German-built authentic Christmas Pyramid, decorated with hand-carved elements and lighted motion on every level, including 16 electric candles on top that light up at night. For information about timed tickets, visit the website.
Vitruvian Lights, Addison, now-January 3
Addison's Vitruvian Park transforms into one of North Texas' most spectacular holiday destinations during Vitruvian Lights, an annual celebration in which 1.5 million sparkling LED lights are wrapped around more than 550 trees to create a blazing wonderland. No special events will take place in conjunction with Vitruvian Lights this year. However, visitors are encouraged to walk through the park in a socially distanced manner or drive through on surrounding streets.
CoHoHo Corridor Holiday Light Display, Hudson Oaks, now-December 31
The Parker County town of Hudson Oaks hosts a free light display at Gene Voyles Park each night starting at 6 pm, until New Year's. Special events include food trucks, carriage rides, and more. Check their Facebook page for more details.
During the Christmas season, HOA means "holiday overdrive action" in these festive neighborhoods.
Wisdom Way Lights, Haltom City, now-January 3
The Gonzalez family's choreographed show of 8,300 LED lights features a six-minute tribute to pop icon Selena. Clips of Selena concerts are projected on an LED screen while music and snippets of interviews are played over speakers and lighted Christmas trees on the lawn "dance" along. The 15-minute show also includes characters from Nintendo game Super Smash Bros. and cartoon favorite Peppa Pig. Visitors can view the free show from their cars and listen on radio channel 90.7 FM. Wisdom Way Lights runs nightly from 6-11 pm, and until midnight on Friday and Saturdays, though January 3. Find it at 4521 Wisdom Way, Haltom City, and follow Wisdom Way Lights on Facebook and YouTube for updates.
Santa House, Grapevine, now-December 27
The Murillo family has filled their front yard in Grapevine with more than 1,000 lighted Santa decorations as a beacon of awareness for local nonprofit Grace Grapevine's Christmas Cottage program. The Grapevine Santa House is a "Where's Waldo?" maze of Santa statues, which visitors can walk among and snap photos with for free, then make an optional donation to Grace online. The lights go on every night from 5-10 pm through December 28. The home is on a cul-de-sac in the Western Oaks neighborhood, and visitors can park along the street. The exact location is 3373 Spruce Lane, Grapevine. Follow the Grapevine Santa House Facebook page for updates.
Interlochen Lights, Arlington, December 11-12, 18-25
The Interlochen neighborhood will present Interlochen Lights for just one week and weekend during the holiday season. Known as the best neighborhood light show in Texas, the event allows guests to drive through the neighborhood and pick out favorite displays while they tune into holiday music on radio stations 102.1 FM or 98.7 FM. This is one of the busiest spots in Dallas-Fort Worth during the holiday season, and it's free. The route will be the same as previous years; find the map here. Watch for updates on their website as the event gets closer.
Viridian Lights, Arlington, now-January 3
Fun and festive displays light up this Arlington neighborhood each night from 6-11 pm. It's free to drive through, but they ask that guests consider a donation honoring one of these eight local nonprofit organizations. The entrance is off N. Collins Street. View directions and map here. And cue the holiday car tunes here.
Tell Family Lights, far north Fort Worth, now-January 1
The family home near Keller Central High School puts on an annual synchronized Christmas lights show, which is more high-tech than ever this year. Guests can scan QR codes to vote on the songs and, essentially, control the show. Tune your car radio to 99.9 FM to listen along. Find the home at 5016 Keating St., Fort Worth, 76244. The lights are on 5:45-9 pm Sunday through Thursday and 5:45-10 pm Friday and Saturday. (Make sure to not block anyone’s driveway and be careful driving down the street, they advise.) Follow their website or Facebook page for more information and updates.
Foley family home, Park Glen, far north Fort Worth, now-January 1
Since 2015, the Foley family has been lighting up their home with a choreographed lights display. It plays each night from 6-10 pm and features over 20,000 LED lights and approximately 30 songs. (Half of them play on one night and half the next, so you can see different shows on different nights.) Listeners can tune to 100.1 to hear the music from their car or listen to it on speakers throughout the yard. One of the two centerpieces of the show is a singing Santa face. The other is a 10-foot mega-sized Christmas tree topped with a Bethlehem Star. Peek through the front window of the house to glimpse a hologram Santa, then drop off a letter to St. Nick in a special mailbox (he might just write back!) and walk through a Christmas light tunnel on the sidewalk. The home faces the Arcadia Park hike-bike trail, so it's easy to walk or bike up to the house for an all-outdoors experience. Find it at 8301 Greylock Dr., at Island Circle, Fort Worth, just south of Keller.
You can pick any night to drive around Fairmount and see historic bungalows lit festively for the season. But the best night of all is Festivus, the annual celebration and holiday lights tour. It takes place 6-9 pm December 12. Watch the historic district's Facebook page for more information as plans develop.
The gorgeous historic homes in this grand Fort Worth neighborhood get illuminated in spectacular fashion, as do the long walks that lead up to them. The beloved Candlelight Christmas in Ryan Place will not take place this year, but they are are preparing a self-paced walking tour the afternoon of Saturday, December. Watch their website for more details to come.
Folks who take walks and visit the ducks along Luther Lake in this westside Fort Worth neighborhood eagerly anticipate the arrival of the holiday lights on about 30 surrounding homes. The lights reflect in the water of the 10-acre lake, making for some pretty spectacular photo and video opps on clear nights. The best place to see them is along the bridge at Clayton Road.
Montego Road, Ridgmar neighborhood, now-December 31
The Montego Road Christmas Show project, now 15 years strong, takes an entire street to pull off. Two residences (mirror images of each other) comprise the main program, with two more "support homes" flanking them and curb lights of 12 other homes leading the way to the main event. The show of more than 125,000 lights is fully choreographed to Christmas music (heard on an FM radio station in the car or via outdoor speakers) and lasts about 30 minutes. It begins at 6 pm and runs until midnight each night. To find it, exit Interstate 30 at Ridglea/Ridgmar Blvd. and go north. The streets are in alphabetical order until you reach Montego Road. The display begins there, at Ridgmar Blvd., and continues west on the 1100 block of Montego Road.
Diamond Loch, North Richland Hills, now-January 1
This North Richland Hills neighborhood has dressed up for the holidays for decades. Drive through the cul de sac slowly to check out three adjacent houses that join forces to present a massive computerized show. The rest of the street decorates nicely to make an enchanted "Whoville" Christmas experience. They grow the show every year, and there are several new features for 2020. To find it, navigate to the address 6217 Windsor Ct., NRH.
Curry Christmas Chaos, North Richland Hills, now-January 6
Three houses collaborate to present a lights show synchronized to music that's anything but the "chaos" that the name implies. From start to finish, it's just over an hour long, and features a mix of pixels and standard LED lights "dancing" to music. Visitors can tune in to 89.9 FM to listen as lots and lots of Christmas trees light up on the lawn. The show runs every night (unless mother nature decides differently), 6-11 pm, through the first week in January. Find it at 3506 Reeves St., NRH. Follow the Facebook page for more information and updates.
Rushing Meadow Court and Harder Drive, Dalworthington Gardens, now-January 1
Homeowner Dave Kulesz started a neighborhood tradition when he lit up his property with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. Surrounding homes got into the fun and now attract visitors from miles around. Kulesz uses the exposure to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease, to which he lost his mother. A sign in his front yard encourages people to make gifts to the Alzheimer's Association. See the lights every night from 5:45-11 pm. Find it on Rushing Meadow Court in Dalworthington Gardens.
Miracle on West Fork at Alesio Urban Center, Las Colinas, now-December 29
Each Christmas, the Gonzales family in the Penthouse at this upscale residential community on Lake Carolyn goes big. This holiday season, they are hosting Miracle on West Fork, a holiday drive-thru light show that will showcase festively decorated windows and balconies. The spectacular lights display is left on at the Penthouse daily from 6-10 pm. They play an outdoor light show with Christmas music, and Friday and Saturdays from 7-8 pm, there's hot cocoa for visitors and it even "snows." On December 19, Santa will be taking photos for Paws and Claus, and Christmas Carolers will join in on the fun. Find the community at 387 West Fork, Irving.
Know of another spectacular lights display in DFW? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.