The Coolest Holiday Events in DFW, From Drag Bingo to Swiftiemas

Fill up the car with cozy blankets and snacks, and even wear your PJs for a ride through this winter wonderland.
Fill up the car with cozy blankets and snacks, and even wear your PJs for a ride through this winter wonderland. Jimmy Monroe/Audience Media Group
Don’t ask how it got here so fast, but the holidays officially began when you took that final bite of turkey last week. So, ready or not, you’ve got to fall in line with the rest of society and give a warm welcome back to red and green everything, stuffy company holiday parties and hearing "All I Want for Christmas" over and over and over again. ‘Tis the damn season, gals and pals, so there’s nothing to do but enjoy it and attend any of the events below around North Texas.

Elf Movie Party at the Alamo Drafthouse

Dec. 7 and Dec. 18
1005 Botham Jean Blvd.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly at this holiday class watch party — no cotton-headed ninny muggings energy allowed! Ticket buyers will view the now-classic Christmas movie and get themed props such as their own elf hat and a smell-along card, and even get to compete in a gift wrap-off that would make Buddy proud. Madalene Garcia

Texas Christkindl Market
Through Dec. 23
North Plaza at Globe Life Field, Arlington

When you can’t be in Europe to visit its holiday markets, having a little German Christmas spirit transported to D/FW is the next best thing. Shoppers will find special gifts and adventurous German food and drinks, and can take in a variety of musical performances from local choirs and bands at the Texas Christkindl Market. Kids will also have a jolly time when they find the Kinder Kids Root Beer Garden and participate in reindeer games and a wood craft painting workshop, and they can even meet St. Nicholas himself. MG

Snow Day

Daily, until Dec. 24
13350 Dallas Parkway

One of the greatest Christmas traditions is taking a photo with Santa, and the Galleria Mall's pop-up Snow Day has five different interactive rooms for selfies, where you can also visit Santa. With tickets starting at $19.99 (and that's only for children under 3), it really might be cheaper to fly to the North Pole. But if you believe a picture is worth a thousand Instagram likes, park in the mall's Blue and Purple garages next to Banana Republic, and you'll find Snow Day on the first floor. Eva Raggio

Vitruvian Lights
Daily, until Jan. 1
3699 Vitruvian Way

Addison’s Vitruvian Park offers the 10th season of Vitruvian Lights every night from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. through Jan. 1. Stroll through the glowing wonderland for free with family and pets (leashed ... the pets, that is) and take in the multi-hued magic on the daily. There are special nights offering live music and food trucks throughout the season. Find out more about the park, the lights and any weather advisories on the Vitruvian Lights website. Merritt Martin
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Addison gets a glow-up thanks to Vitruvian Lights.
Bret Redman

Dallas Zoo Lights

Through Jan. 1
650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway

Tigers and lions and … reindeer, oh my! This classic holiday zoo moment is back, but this year as a walk-through event. Visitors will feel spirited as ever on account of the one million lights adorning the place, intimate animal chats and experiences, after-hours access to rides on the carousel and mini-train, and special nights such as adults-only and members-only. Buy tickets and get more information on the Dallas Zoo website. Madalene Garcia

The Light Park
Daily, through Jan. 1
1800 E. Lamar Blvd., Arlington

Take advantage of lower gas prices and pile your family and furry ones into the car for an exciting drive-thru light show that will inject you with a hefty dose of holiday spirit. Through the windows of your ride, take in millions of bright lights and catch a vibe from the DJ’s Christmas music as you cruise through a holiday wonderland. General admission starts at $39 per car, but prices vary per date, so get your tickets sooner rather than later. MG

Holidays at Heritage
Fridays and Saturdays, through Dec.17
217 S. Main St., Irving

The month of December can become a blur of gift shopping, work parties and decorating around the house. Thankfully, the city of Irving is hosting three weekends of festivities, so no one has any reason to miss out. Attendees can take part in the parade and tree-lighting ceremony, stroll through a free light display at Centennial Park, enjoy holiday performances and movie nights and even snap a photo with Santa. Learn all about it on the event's website. MG
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All is bright in the world with this merry and heartwarming drone show.
Rob Greene

Merry & Bright Drone Show
Saturdays, Dec. 10 – Dec. 17
815 S. Main St., Grapevine

You have two chances to visit the “Christmas Capital of Texas” and gaze upon this drone show that will fill the sky with the spirit of the season. Make sure to arrive early; this event will begin at 8 p.m. sharp and lasts only 8 to 9 minutes, so there’s not much time to be late. For more details, visit the Merry & Bright Drone Show website. MG

Dallasites101 Holiday Wreath Making Party
Tuesday, Dec. 6
2633 Main St., No. 150

Calling all DIY queens! This is the time of year that you were made for, so put on your crafty crowns, search through your Pinterest boards and head over to this adorable Deep Ellum store to join in an evening of wreath making hosted by Dallasites101. A ticket to this party includes a drink from the Adventure Bar, and there’s an onsite contest for the best decorated wreath, so bring your A game! MG

Tipsy Elf Drag Bingo
Wednesday, Dec. 7
308 N. Bishop Ave.

Santa’s job is to give out the gifts, and Mrs. Claus’ job is to hold down drag bingo at this Bishop Arts holiday pop-up bar (not a bad gig, tbh). For a $10 donation, players can join in a 7 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. game for a chance to win prizes to local businesses. Proceeds go toward Legacy Cares, an organization working to provide mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment and housing services for those with HIV and AIDS. Check out the Eventbrite page to grab your ticket. MG

After-School Holiday Crafts

Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22
7310 Lake June Road

If you’re looking to spark your child’s creativity this December, take them to the Pleasant Grove Library every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. to make seasonal crafts for an hour. Children ages 6–11 can get hands-on and artsy when they design their own pan dulce ornament, winter snowglobe, customized picture frame and more. The library also offers a full calendar of programs and activities, so check out this month’s offerings. MG

A Very Merry Swiftiemas
Friday, Dec. 9
2709 Elm St.

OK, fellow Swifties, take a quick break from playing Midnights on repeat and get dressed in your most Taylor fit for this evening of trivia, costume/ugly sweater contest, lip-synching scenarios and more. If you’re the truest T. Swizzle fan, you’ll definitely want to be here to mingle among others of your kind, so buy your ticket now and get ready to shake it off at this holiday dance party. MG

Naughty or Nice K-Pop Christmas Party
Friday, Dec. 9
11433 Goodnight Lane

Every friend group has someone who is currently obsessed with K-pop, so this is a sign to make their day by bringing them to a karaoke bar for a night of special performances, boba cocktails, poster giveaways, and most of all, a chance to sing their damn heart out. Cover fees are $8 for 18+ and $5 for 21+ and can be purchased online. MG

Mariachi Christmas
Dec. 9 – 11
1440 N. Main St., Fort Worth

Here's your chance to appreciate the vibrant and deep-rooted Mexican culture in the community at the Artes de La Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts. Guests will hear from high school and collegiate mariachis along with main performer Mariachi de Oro. Also on tap is a special presentation by Ballet Folklorico Fort Worth. Tickets have sold out over the years and begin at $25, so don’t hesitate to get yours now. MG

12 Wines of Christmas Wine Walk

Saturday, Dec. 10
103 E. Virginia St., McKinney

Suburban wine moms, this one’s for you! Get a little Christmas shopping checked off the list when you explore downtown boutiques while enjoying a glass of red or white. Ticket holders will receive a souvenir glass and wine passport and have a bonus tasting at Santa’s Wine Workshop. General admission tickets start at $30 and can be bought online. MG
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Wine moms can have a holiday all their own with the 12 Wines of Christmas Wine Walk.
Rob Parrish

Christmas Cookie Decorating & Live Holiday Jazz

Friday, Dec. 16
1401 Elm St.

Imagine this: it’s the beginning of the weekend and your kids are being tyrants. You’re trying to find something to occupy them, but going to the park or the mall just isn’t satisfying them anymore. If you’ve run out of ideas, drag your kiddos over to the Thompson Hotel downtown for a few hours of cookie decorating organized by the hotel's onsite culinary team. Tickets are $20 per child, but the perk is that parents can sit back and relax with a glass of vino and live jazz music provided by the hotel for a little rest and relaxation. MG

Holiday in Whoville
Saturday, Dec. 17
2800 Custer Parkway, Richardson

Grab your friends, family and little ones for a celebration that will have everyone feeling like a cheerful citizen of Whoville. Hang out at the petting zoo, get your picture taken with the Grinch, take a peek at the live nativity scene, choose a fun face painting and more. For the full details about this free event, click on the Holiday in Whoville website. MG

A Very Itchy Christmas
Friday, Dec. 23
1519 Lipscomb St., Fort Worth

After weeks of running around through the malls, furiously filling online shopping carts and doing repeated YouTube searches for how-to-wrap-a-bow-on-a-giftbox videos, it’s safe to say you need a chill evening. When you make your way to Southside Preservation Hall, you can take the edge off with some local rock 'n’ roll featuring Itchy Ritchie and the Burning Sensations, The Troumatics and more. Tickets are $10 at the door or online, and a food truck and cash bar will be available throughout the evening. MG

5th Annual Festivus for the Rest of Us

Friday, Dec. 23
2530 Butler St.

Seinfeld lovers rejoice: the sacred Festivus celebration is back at local brewery Celestial Beerworks and it's better than ever. The pole will be up, grievances will be aired and there is a packed schedule of activities to follow — such as a push-up contest, plank hold, cake walk for prizes and other feats of strength. For the full details on this underrated holiday, visit the event's Facebook page. MG

Strait Country Christmas Ft. Mike Randall

Friday, Dec. 23
3656 Howell St.

If you ain’t here for a long time, but here for a good time, you should head over to The Rustic for this free night of George Strait classics and Christmas favorites courtesy of Mike Randall. Go ahead and make a night of it by taking part in The Rustic's ugly sweater party, happening simultaneously. RSVP for your spot — trust. MG
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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin
Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio

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