One of my all-time favorite family traditions as a child was piling in the station wagon and going to look at Christmas lights around our town. We would turn on Christmas music and enjoy the beautifully decorated homes together. (Of course, this was a town of 1500 in Oklahoma, where more than a third of the residents live just at or under the poverty line….but we do love our icicle lights!)
In Dallas-Ft. Worth there are lots of places to see Christmas decorations, and one of the greatest things about living in the DFW metro area for more than 16 years (in 6 different suburbs of it!) is that I’ve seen A LOT of what it has to offer. At Christmas time, there is a LOT of shine to share. Here’s my Top 10 Places to See Christmas Lights in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro area.
Arlington – Interlochen. From the Arlington city’s website: “The holiday lights in the Arlington neighborhood of Interlochen are known throughout the Metroplex as a stunning display. The light competition usually begins in mid-December. The route to view the lights traditionally begins at Randol Mill at Westwood, west of Cooper Street.” Arlington police are traditionally on hand in this northwest Arlington neighborhood to help direct traffic. In fact, they have a page full on information about traffic routes and suggested tips on the city’s site (this dates from 2004 but I imagine the traffic pattern is still the same). To see a map of the location, click here. Photo credit here.
Cleburne – Whistle Stop Christmas at Hulen Park. The lights turn on every year just before Thanksgiving at the Whistle Stop Christmas in Cleburne – all 3.5 Million of them. The tradition started 13 years ago and has become a county-wide event. See their website for all the events, details, and info. Click here for location map.
Dallas – Highland Park. This exclusive neighborhood in Dallas is worth a driving tour any time of year, but especially shines at Christmas time. Start your tour at the enormous pecan tree at the intersection of Armstrong and Preston (click here for location map). This 75 foot wide, 75 foot tall tree has 5000 lights and takes 4 men a full week to decorate (check out the Highland Park website for more cool history).
Frisco – Frisco Square. As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. But in Texas, everything is bigger in Frisco. Including the Christmas light displays. This one, called Christmas in the Square, is sponsored by the city of Frisco and other vendors, and bills itself as the largest choreographed light display in Texas. I certainly haven’t heard of others with a parachuting Santa (special event on Dec. 12).
Grand Prairie – Lynn Creek Park. What can I say….4 Million lights, drive through tour, 10 minute choreographed light show set to music. It’s called the “Must-Visit, Drive-Thru Holiday Light Show in Texas. See the World’s Largest Drive Thru Light Tunnel.” It’s sponsored by the City of Grand Prairie, but has its own website: http://www.prairielights.org. Never been, but it sounds beautiful. Click here for location map.
Fort Worth – Sundance Square. The official Fort Worth Christmas Tree is lit every year at the end of the Parade of
Lights (27th annual lighting in 2009 was on Nov. 27). The 52′ tall tree is surrounded by other beautifully lit buildings in downtown Ft. Worth (see full details of the tree here).
Plano – Deerfield. I used to think nothing could compare to the lights in Highland Park…until I saw Deerfield. While in a smaller area, and no 140-yr-old pecan tree, this neighborhood in northwest Plano (click here for location map) takes its Christmas Lights seriously. In fact, they’ve dedicated a full page on the Deerfield HOA website to on this holiday tradition, including two suggested driving paths. Carriage rides available from Party Animals Carriage Rides between Dec 5 and Dec 30.
If you’d like to see a list of over-the-top individual homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, here’s a couple of options:
http://www.tackylighttour.com (This site allows you to even enter your zip code and see the tacky Christmas light displays near you on a map – highlighted with a light bulb, of course!)