The holidays are here. Where did the time go?! It seems like yesterday we were moving into our dorms and apartments in the sweltering heat. Now, it’s 30 degrees and Dallas Hall already has holiday lights. The end of the semester goes by in the blink of an eye, but it is important to stop and smell the pine needles before you go home for winter break. Between projects, studying, and final exams, take some time to embrace the holiday cheer of this beautiful city.

During the semester’s home stretch, few students actually have time to spend an entire day spreading holiday cheer. However, most students have 10 to 30 minutes, a lot of students have an hour, and a lucky few might have a few hours to do something fun during the rest of the semester. We broke down Dallas’ favorite ways to celebrate into time categories. This way, everyone can enjoy a little holiday sparkle in the upcoming weeks.

how to celebrate the holidays in Dallas.

10 – 30 Minutes of Holiday Cheer

  • Get a holiday drink at one of the Starbucks locations on campus. Their holiday cups will look festive and what’s inside the cup will surely warm your heart
  • Walk to the Christmas tree in Snider Plaza
  • Do a little holiday shopping in Dear Hannah, The Impeccable Pig, Akola Jewelry, and other boutiques in Snider Plaza
  • Workout to a holiday playlist. This is the only time of year it is acceptable to blast Christmas music at all times.

One Hour of Fun

  • Make a cup of hot cocoa, grab some friends, and drive around University Park and Highland Park looking at Christmas lights. Some of the homes have amazing displays with a Christmas tree or a wreath in every window!
  • Attend SMU’s annual Celebration of Lights on December 2nd. Watch President Turner read a Christmas Story and listen to the performances by your fellow students
  • Host an ornament-making party and ask everyone to bring a different craft item. You’ll need clear, round ornaments, small containers of paint, festive ribbon, and newspaper. Check out this video for more inspiration!
  • Grab dinner in Knox Henderson at Taverna, Little Katana, or Up On Knox as you take in the beautiful lights that line the streets
  • Grab a warm peppermint drink at Royal Blue Market and walk through Highland Park Village. Their trees are wrapped to look like a starry winter night!

A Few Hours of Joy

  • Grab some friends and ice skate at the Galleria around the Christmas tree
  • Dress warm and walk around the Dallas Arboretum to admire the holiday decorations and scenes.
  • Have some friends over to bake cookies and watch a holiday movie
  • Deck the Plaza Tree Lighting in downtown on December 6th
  • Watch the Texas Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker from November 29th until December 8th
  • Dallas Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 7th
  • Visit the FREE Centennial Park Lights in Irving any night from December 7th through the 25th. This light show features over 60,000 lights!
  • Drive through the Texas Motor Speedway Gift of Lights. This drive-through experience includes almost 3 million lights. Visit Santa’s Village while you are there. The admission fee for the drive-through and village goes towards local charities.