Christmas may look and feel different this year, but there are still plenty of ways to get in the holiday spirit. Here are twelve ways to celebrate Christmas in Arlington.
- Holiday in the Park at Six Flags
- Symphony Arlington
- Arlington Holiday Lights Parade
- Christmas Tree at Levitt Pavilion
- Texas Christkindl Market
- Luminova Holidays
- Interlochen Christmas Lights
- Cooper Street Antique Mall
- Legal Draft Brewing Co. – Legal Holiday Ale
- Campo Verde restaurant
- Decorator’s Warehouse
- Mission Arlington
Holiday in the Park at Six Flags
Six Flags amusement park transforms into a winter wonderland for the holidays. There is fun for the whole family with festive shows, shopping, food, and drink. Millions of lights and other decorations make for an unforgettable experience. You even can sled down a hill made from real snow. Yes, real snow in Texas! Holiday in the Park is one of the most memorable Christmas traditions in Arlington.
They used to sell a hot chocolate drink in a souvenir take-home mug. It had whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles or shavings on top. (I’m sure they still do this or something similar.) Growing up, we had lots of those mugs in the cupboard at home. The hot chocolate at Six Flags is one of my most vivid memories of Christmas!
Symphony Arlington’s annual Christmas show returns this year. First, a performance of Symphony No. 1 in C Major by Beethoven. Then, enjoy holiday favorites and the annual Christmas Carol Sing-along. Head to downtown Arlington and catch the performance live at Arlington Music Hall. Or new for this year, live-stream the event from home.
Arlington Holiday Lights Parade
The Arlington Holiday Lights Parade began in 2002. It has changed names over the years but remains a festive part of downtown. In the past, the parade climaxed with the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Levitt Pavilion. It’s a little different this year. The entire event moved online, with virtual events and activities planned instead. Check out their Facebook page for the fun.
Christmas Tree at Levitt Pavilion
Proudly on display at Levitt Pavilion is the city’s 65-foot Christmas Tree. Visit the tree downtown and see it for yourself! Or check out this time-lapse video of last year’s tree getting built.
Texas Christkindl Market
Previous years for the Texas Christkindl Market had the event in an outdoor area with stalls of shopping in a traditional German setting. Food and entertainment were also available. It is another event that moved online this year. Their website and social media have some fun offerings — from authentic German recipes to live performances — and you can still buy from their vendors. Frohe Weihnachten!
Arlington hosts this inaugural holiday event at Globe Life Field, the new home of the Texas Rangers baseball team. I have to admit that this looks fun. With over 3 million lights, displays, a 65-foot tree, outdoor skating rink, a train, food, drinks, performers — and Santa in a giant snow globe — what more could you possibly want for Christmas? (By the way, is 65 feet the standard for giant Christmas trees? The one at Levitt Pavilion is also 65 feet tall.)
Interlochen Christmas Lights
It wouldn’t be Christmas in Arlington without Interlochen. For more than 40 years, this unique neighborhood in northwest Arlington takes Christmas lights to another level. As a kid, the family would pile in the car and make the trek to see the lights and displays. We would join the line of cars and slowly snake through the neighborhood.
Not every house joins in, but over 200 homes usually participate. There’s likely some friendly competition amongst the neighbors. They give out awards, including a “Griswold” type of award that surely comes with bragging rights. Check out some of the winners from last year!
Since staying in your car promotes social distancing, expect this event to be more crowded this year than usual. And, in a typical year, it can get very crowded, especially on the weekends. This free event is a popular tradition for many DFW families.
Cooper Street Antique Mall
We all have people on our shopping list who have everything. Head to the largest antique mall in Arlington when you need something unique. At over 50,000 square feet and aisles filled with treasures, you’ll find something for everyone on your list.
Legal Draft Brewing Co. – Legal Holiday Ale
Legal Draft is one of my favorite local breweries. Their seasonal release for the holidays will help get you into the Christmas spirit. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it in stores right now, so I might have to visit the brewery and get it on tap!
Legal Draft sets it up for us: Legal Holiday Ale is a “Winter Warmer with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla for a rich and satisfying mouthfeel. 8.4% ABV adds smoothness, and the dark roasted malts lend the coffee and chocolate notes expected in the style.” (www.legaldraftbeer.com/beer)
Campo Verde restaurant
One of my favorite local restaurants is Campo Verde. Every day here feels like Christmas. The inside of the restaurant is decorated year-round with Christmas lights. (I’m not talking about a strand of lights here and there. They have lights everywhere!) But during the Christmas season, which joyfully (or inexplicably) stretches from October through March, they somehow put up even more lights. Their website claims, “The movie “Christmas Vacation” & the Griswold’s can’t compare to the lights & decorations at Campo Verde!” You have to see it to believe it.
The lights are festive and bright, but don’t forget to eat! Campo Verde has tasty comfort food. They call their menu a mix of “Tex-Mex, Southwest & Texan Mexican, and American food.” Get some Tex-Mex, chips and salsa, and a margarita — ¡Feliz Navidad, amigos!
My wife and I have tried to go here twice recently, but they were just too crowded to get a table. It’s a popular place this time of year! So, here’s a photo of us from February 2019 instead.
Their website says that it’s “one of the largest Christmas stores in the world.” I can’t confirm that, but it’s definitely big. Going to Decorator’s Warehouse is a Christmas tradition in and of itself. I think Santa even shops here to decorate the North Pole. They have everything you could need — decorations, trees, lights, and so much more. The store is laid out in more than 20 different themes to help inspire your own decorating at home. I believe they’re open year-round, but know that they get busy this time of year.
Christmas is a joyous time for many people. For others, it can be a tough time of year. Volunteering or donating to help others less fortunate may be one of the best ways to enjoy the holiday season.
Mission Arlington is a remarkable resource for the community, and the holidays are no exception. They accept gift donations through Christmas Eve. Folks in need can visit Mission Arlington to help their kids have a special Christmas. Volunteers even wrap the presents. More than 32,000 children received gifts last year through their Christmas Store!
There you have it. Twelve ways to celebrate Christmas in Arlington. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Arlington, Texas!