A Collin County Guide to Family-Friendly Holiday Events

This time of year always illustrates just how big Collin County is getting — there are so many holiday events. Let’s have a look!

(And don’t miss the other sections of our holiday guide for a list of all the wonderful stage shows, places to look at Christmas lights, where to cut your own tree, and more!)

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Holiday events in Collin County Christmas events Plano

Featured event

train at ICE at Gaylord Texan

November 12 – January 2
Christmas at Gaylord Texan

Discover a winter wonderland at Gaylord Texan Resort and be dazzled by four-and-a-half acres of magical indoor gardens decorated with millions of twinkling holiday lights, 25-foot-tall nutcrackers, magical miniature train sets, and a 54-foot Christmas tree — just to name a few! Delight in all the festive activities including a TWO-MILLION-pound, hand-carved ice attraction themed after The Polar Express. Explore it all with a Texas-sized vacation for the whole family to enjoy!

✨Special promo code: MOMS
Offer valid between 12/11 – 12/15, 12/26 – 1/1. Offer valid for listed dates only. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Tickets must be purchased online. Limit of 10 tickets per purchaser. Not retroactive. Other restrictions may apply. Discount based on 50% off GENERAL ADMISSION ticket pricing and valid for all dates mentioned in the promotion. Limited number of tickets available on select dates.

Be sure to check ahead for changes or cancellations.

ONE-TIME EVENTS

November 19
Holiday Kickoff
Grandscape | 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Start the season right with live performances, face painting and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a fireworks show to cap off the evening. Free!


November 19
Light the Night
Watters Creek | 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Get in the spirit with caroling, carriage rides, children’s holiday crafts, and festive entertainment! KISS FM will emcee, and Santa arrives at 6:30 p.m. to light the tree, a glittering display of 145,000 lights synchronized to music. Enjoy a fireworks show to end the evening. Free!


November 20
Lights at Legacy
Plano | 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Come out to The Shops at Legacy for live entertainment, Santa photos, toy soldiers on stilts, balloon artists, free train rides, and complimentary food and drink. See link for a schedule of the evening. Free!


November 21 – November 23
Thanksgiving Week
Grandscape | 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Need a fun activity during Thanksgiving break? Grandscape has a few events lined up this week, starting with the Grinchmas Party on Monday. Take pictures with the Grinch and enjoy crafts, games, treats, and giveaways. Tuesday, you can meet Anna and Elsa, and Wednesday is the Harvest Scavenger Hunt. Free!


November 25 – 27
Home for Holidays
McKinney | Friday & Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Historic Downtown McKinney kicks off the season with a big weekend festival of live music, food, kids’ activities and crafts, Santa visits, and extended shopping hours in the 14-block area. So many attractions: Ferris wheel, carousel, snow hill, Frosty’s train, petting zoo, rock climbing wall, Candyland area, and more. Free!


November 30
Christmas on the Square
Celina | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Featuring live musical performances, amusements, food, and a dazzling tree lighting ceremony in the Historic Downtown Square. Family-friendly activities include train rides, a live reindeer, bounce houses, and photo opportunities with Santa. Free!


December 1
Tree Lighting Celebration

Princeton | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season with the annual tree lighting, Santa visits, Feed the Community hosted by Princeton Public Works, and much more. Specific details to come. Free!


December 1
Christmas in the Park

Murphy | 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Holiday performances, food and craft vendors, kids’ activities, Santa pics, a Christmas parade, tree lighting, and more. They ask that you bring a new, unwrapped toy for the annual toy drive benefitting the Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center. See details on the parade and the tree decorating contest at the link. Free!


December 1 & 8
Cookies With Santa
Fairview Town Center | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

This year, there are two dates to meet Santa for cookies! Your ticket includes a cookie decorating kit, Santa visit to the table, a gift bag for each child (or toddler gift for kids under two), story time with Santa, and a photo area where children can sit on Santa’s lap. Take your own pics! $20 per person; kids under two are free.


December 3
Sugar Plum Fairy Tea
Grandscape | 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

This looks quite cute and is sure to sell out. Grab your tutus and tiaras and enjoy a tea party as you watch scenes from The Nutcracker performed by the Texas Ballet Theatre School. There will also be themed crafts, cookie decorating, and more. Tickets from $65.


December 3
Wylie Arts Festival
& KCS Holiday Express
Downtown Wylie | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Shop for art, handmade crafts, and unique gifts at Olde City Park and FBC Wylie Event Center. They’ll have lots of festive fair foods too.

Also! After a yearslong absence, the KCS Holiday Express Christmas train will stop in Wylie at the end of the festival! Board the train, visit with Santa and his elves, and tour the inside of the cars, each with a different theme and all festively decorated. It rolls up at 4:00 p.m. Free!


December 3
Prosper Christmas Festival and Parade
Prosper | 2:30 – 7:00 p.m.

This annual event in Downtown Prosper has lots of kid-friendly activities, including a fun zone and the Kids Christmas Shoppe. They’ll also have live performances, games, prizes, vendors, a tree lighting, fireworks, and more. Note: The Rotary Club Christmas Parade begins at 2:30 p.m. See link for route. Free!


December 3
Holly Jolly Celebration
Allen | 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.

The City of Allen brings extra cheer to their annual holiday celebration this year. The event kicks off with the Holly Jolly 5K, followed by fun family activities and lighting the dazzling 46-foot tree. Free!


December 3
Merry Main Street
Frisco | 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Lots going on here including the famous Kid’s Holiday Store for ages four – 12, a holiday market, tree lighting, family activities, live music, a parade, and more. Tickets/reservations are required for the Kid’s Holiday Store ($12 per child and will sell out!). Get those at the link above. The festival is free!


December 3
Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting Ceremony
Flower Mound | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

This year’s parade theme will be “Toyland Christmas.” Watch twinkling floats parade down Spinks Road to Gerault Park for the tree lighting ceremony with choir performances, pictures with Santa, activities for kids, local vendors, food trucks, and more. See additional details at the link. Free!


December 4
Dickens 2022
Downtown Plano | 5:00 – 10:30 p.m.

This family celebration in Historic Downtown Plano’s Arts District includes a real snow slide, food, fun, shopping, and photos with Santa. Don’t miss the tree lighting ceremony in Haggard Park at 7pm. Free!


December 4
Festival of Lights Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting
Wylie | 6:00 p.m.

Wylie makes a weekend of it, with the art festival and Christmas train on December 3 and a Christmas parade and tree lighting tonight. The parade rolls down Ballard Avenue and ends with the tree lighting ceremony in Olde City Park. Details at the link. Free!


December 7
Sachse Christmas Extravaganza
Sachse | 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

The evening begins with a parade and tree lighting, followed by visits with Santa, a petting zoo, train rides around the complex, and a winter wonderland surprise you won’t want to miss. See link for details on the parade route and spectating. Free!


December 10 – 11
Journey to Bethlehem
First United Methodist Plano | Saturday: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Sunday: 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

See the Christmas story come to life at this walk-through nativity event at First United Methodist Plano. It’s outdoors, so be sure to dress for the weather. Make online reservations to secure a specific time. Free


December 10
Journey to Christmas Live Nativity

St. Paul Lutheran Plano | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Head to St. Paul Lutheran for a trip through the interactive Bethlehem Village and six lively scenes leading up to the birth of Christ. The church asks that you please RSVP at the link. Free!


December 10
Parade of Lights
McKinney | 6:30 p.m.

This annual Rotary Club parade features an emcee, decorated floats, McKinney ISD drill teams and bands, antique fire trucks, and of course, Santa. The 2022 theme is “Christmas in Toyland.” Ride the free trolley to avoid parking hassles. Free!


December 9 – 10
Holidays at the Heard

McKinney | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Bundle up to see lights and holiday decor as you walk the half-mile Heard nature trail. Live festive music will delight audiences under the stars in the Heard outdoor amphitheater. More event details to come. Ticket info and photos from previous years at the link.

ONGOING EVENTS

November 18 – December 23
Miracle on 134th Street
Celina | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Visit Santa in his 8,500-square-foot workshop and enjoy magical outdoor lights, Sugar Plum Fairy Island, a Christmas carousel, train rides, food trucks, fire pits and s’mores, gift shops, and more. FAQs and details at the link. Tickets from $20.99; kids three and under are free. Season passes are available if you think you’ll go a bunch.


November 18 – January 3
Christmas in the Square
Frisco | 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Frisco Square has a nightly holiday light spectacular set to music on 107.3 FM (and piped in through speakers), shopping all around the square, and an outdoor ice rink. Select nights include carriage rides and visits with Santa; check the calendar for a complete schedule. Skating is $15 per person, with or without your own skates.


November 19 – December 18 (Fridays and Saturdays)
Cowboys Christmas Extravaganza
Frisco | 6:00 p.m.

If you’re a Cowboys family, or if you just want more synchronized choreography in your life, head to The Star in Frisco. It will host a weekly holiday performance showcasing the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue Dancers, Dallas Cowboys Drumline, Santa, Rowdy, special guests, and more. Parking and admission are free.


November 19 – January 2 (select dates)
Holiday in the Park
Arlington

Each year, Six Flags over Texas transforms into a winter wonderland with sparkling lights, festive decorations, seasonal treats, and lots of activities, rides, and heartwarming shows.


November 21 – January 8
Christmas Capital of Texas
Grapevine

Grapevine is the “Christmas Capital of Texas,” so you should hop over to the link and take a look at everything on the docket. The North Pole Express at Grapevine Vintage Railroad is a SUPER HOT TICKET. You’ll also find parades, a North Pole Neighborhood, and all sorts of Christmas events.


November 25 – December 27
Lights on the Lake
Little Elm

Lots of ongoing holiday fun in Little Elm this year! Along with the incredible light show, Lights on The Lake will have pictures with Santa, a hot air balloon glow, Ferris wheel, carousel, and an ice rink. There will also be food trucks, vendors, live music, and themed weekends. See link for theme details and varying hours of operation. Tickets from $16; kids two and under are free.


November 26 – December 17 (Saturdays)
Breakfast With Santa
Fairview Town Center | 9:00 a.m.

This popular event is back and bigger than ever. Santa visits your table, character-breakfast-style, and each child will receive a gift bag (if under two, a toddler gift). There will also be story time with Santa and a photo area with Santa where you may use your own camera. Check the link for breakfast details — options range from full buffet to breakfast burritos, depending on the day. Tickets from $25.

After almost 20 years in other parts of Texas (Austin and Fort Worth!), Katie now lives in Richardson with her husband and two kids. She's horrible at social media but secretly likes Twitter best. Favorite uses for her phone: reading library books and listening to comedy podcasts. Least favorite uses: making and receiving calls. If you've seen Death Becomes Her or Big Business more than once, you'll be best friends.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Great & Thorough Planning on Your Part, showing All events Offered!
    Thank you for Opening & Offering Families to Unwind & Make Super Good Memories with Mr./ Mrs. Santa!! A Real Reindeer Should be a Ladting Memory!
    Reading the Offerings Near McKinney, Plano, & Frisco is a Must!
    Thanks for Your EFFORTS & Love as We Celebrate His Birth!
    In Him, Blessings to You & Your Family this Christmas!!
    Sincerely,
    Annette Castles

    29 yrs Veteran Educator( Tyler, Jefferson, Kilgore, & Channelview,Tx…
    11 yrs with Salvation Army, Tyler, Tx. Tutorials for 5, 6,7th graders who Live on Site Full-time!
    A real Challenge for Tutoring Teachers!! Very Rewarding!
    Students LOVE The ANGEL TREE… Asking for gifts Appropriate for their Age!!Their Parents have No Jobs! We instill Hope, Faith, & Charity!!
    Blessings to You & Yours!!

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