During the darkest time of the year, holiday lights make for beautiful displays when we could all use something a little magical in our lives. If you live in McKinney, Texas, many neighborhoods and surrounding areas put on festive displays that kids and people of all ages will enjoy. You’ll also have easy access to the holiday lights just down the road in Dallas. So pack the kids in the car, grab some hot chocolate, and head out to see the festive lights at some of these locations.
Christmas Parade of Lights
The Christmas Parade of Lights is put on by the McKinney Rotary Club with a different theme each year. This year’s theme is Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. This parade features illuminated vehicle floats created by nonprofits, local clubs, businesses, and more. It will take place in Historic Downtown McKinney on Saturday, December 11, and is expected to start at 6:30 p.m. The free trolley is a fun and convenient way to get to the parade without contending with traffic and downtown parking. It runs about every 15 minutes, from First Baptist Church to the downtown area, one block from the square.
Grapevine Christmas Lights
Image via Flickr by Alex Butterfield
The town of Grapevine is located about 45 minutes southwest of McKinney, but it’s worth the drive for the holiday festivities. Called the Christmas Capital of Texas, Grapevine takes the holidays seriously. The town puts on hundreds of events over 40 days including a Christmas village with Santa, millions of lights, a holiday decorating contest, and much more. The events kick off with the annual Carol of Lights street lighting and show on November 22. This includes live performances, a spectacle of lights, and the main event, which is an amazing display of fireworks at the City Hall at 7 p.m.
Christmas in the Square
Located in the neighboring town of Frisco, just 20 miles west of McKinney, Christmas in the Square runs from November 26, 2021 to January 2, 2022. One of the largest holiday events in North Texas, this choreographed light and music display will run daily from 6 to 10 p.m. and is free for everyone to walk through the square. Some additional activities, such as the outdoor ice skating rink, may have a fee. The display features over 175,000 lights, with music speakers stationed around the square. You’ll also be able to buy your tree at one of the lots in the area.
Holidays at the HEARD Museum
The HEARD Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary put on an annual fundraiser event called Holidays at the HEARD. This event is ticketed with prices ranging from free for small children, up to $9 for non-member adults. This outdoor event features light displays along a half-mile nature trail including light-wrapped trees, as well as illuminating the HEARD’s life-size dinosaurs. There will also be a Christmas Village with booths where you can purchase hot drinks and snacks, and children can have photos taken with Father Christmas and Mother Nature. The event goes from 6:30 to 9 p.m. each night.
Holiday at the Arboretum
The Dallas Arboretum’s annual event, Holiday at the Arboretum, features over a million lights, music, and entertainment, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, and more. It also showcases the popular Christmas Village, inspired by European Christmas markets with quaint shops where you can buy food and hot drinks, toys, and more. The event has many features, including the 12 Victorian-style gazebos decorated to represent the 12 days of Christmas, and light displays throughout the gardens. Prices start at $10 and go up depending on your age, membership status, and the specific date. Note that tickets must be purchased in advance.
Dallas Zoo Lights
The Dallas Zoo Lights is a drive-thru event with prices starting at $50 per vehicle for members, while non-members pay $65. The mile-long route takes about 30-45 minutes to drive, and you’ll get to see 1 million magical lights, brilliant holiday displays, elaborate 3-D lighted sculptures, and enormous animal lanterns. Along the route, certain areas of the path will be transformed with immersive video projection mapping for a unique experience, and the road will end at the Reliant Holiday Village. The event runs from November 19 to January 2, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on select evenings.
Chestnut Square Christmas
The Heritage Village at Chestnut Square comprises some of the oldest historic houses in McKinney that have been preserved for the education of present and future generations. The village hosts many community events, including a farmers market and seasonal celebrations. Its holiday event, Christmas in the Village, puts on lights and a decoration display each year. It also features events for kids such as letters to Santa, reindeer feeding, and more. Tickets to the event are $10 per person or $30 for a family. Drinks and food are available to purchase, and you can get some holiday shopping done at the arts and crafts market.
Several neighborhoods in McKinney put on light displays during the holidays. The Village of Eldorado is located at Eldorado Parkway at Country Club Drive and lights typically go up in late November and stay till the end of December. The village also holds a lighting contest in mid-December. Other neighborhood lights can be found at the Tucker Hill neighborhood at 2100 State Boulevard from early December until January, with nice walking paths to enjoy the holiday lights. You can also find several houses at Greystone Court and along nearby Pecan Hollow Trail.
Holiday lights make the dark days of early winter feel magical and add cheer to the colder nights. McKinney is a great place to be for the holidays due to the many festive things to do around the area. This also includes seeing some of the light displays in the greater Dallas area. At Huffines Kia McKinney, we hope you’re as excited for the holidays as we are. Have you been to any of the places on this list? Contact us and tell us which spot you plan to go to to see the holiday lights in McKinney.