Fun Holiday To-Do List

All aboard at NorthPark

Pandemic precautions won’t prevent NorthPark Center from going overboard with Christmas decorations, though they will require making sessions and storytimes with the mall’s beloved Santa Claus virtual.

Still, the Trains at NorthPark, a huge model train exhibit benefiting Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, returns with safety measures such as added cleaning and social distancing guidelines. Visit

The mall also remains a place for the Salvation Army Angel Tree effort to get gifts to those in need ( It will feature the Bark + Build Pet Houses exhibit benefiting the SPCA of Texas, a Dallas Symphony Orchestra Mobile Concert (date to be determined), and other activities. Check

Stroll the Arboretum

Feel safer outside? Holiday at the Arboretum continues through the end of December at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

The classic 12 Days of Christmas depicts the days in its beloved namesake carol with 25-foot tall Victorian-style gazebos. The Pauline and Austin Neuhoff Christmas Village, with 14 old-world European-style shops, opens the day after Thanksgiving. New this year: a 23-foot-tall German-built Christmas Pyramid with lighted motion on every level, an Edelweiss Haus for food and drinks, a chocolate shop, and a toy shop. Visit

Take a ‘Snowday’

It’s too early to predict a white Christmas (and I wouldn’t dare here, anyway), but Dallas gets SnowDay for the second consecutive year.

The interactive experience filled with seasonal and zany photo opportunities drew 5,000 guests last year at the Plaza at Preston Center.

This year Scot and Kristi Redman have moved the fun to Galleria Dallas. There they have 5,000-plus square feet, approaching double last year’s space and enough room for new photo ops and social distancing. Photos shot with integrated professional cameras and lighting, and images will be delivered instantly to visitors’ phones and available for print in the gift shop. Camera phones also should come in handy. Visit

PHOTO: Courtesy Snowday

Skate around the tree

Galleria Dallas, decked in holiday décor, boasts the nation’s tallest indoor Christmas tree – 95 feet tall with 450,000-plus LED lights and more than 10,000 ball ornaments. A light show featuring the tree and holiday music occurs at noon daily and every two hours after until closing.

Guests may skate around the tree through Jan. 3. Because of the pandemic, the mall will offer only one figure skating spectacular this year. The show, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, will benefit Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. Visit for tickets.

Visit for information about pop-up entertainment, pet adoptions, photos with Santa, a cookbook signing with Chef Katie Dixon, Breakfast with Santa at American Girl, and the Salvation Army Angel Tree. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting occurs at 6 p.m. Dec. 10-18. 

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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