There is nothing quite like the holiday season in Plano. The community comes together to jingle their bells and light their candles to bring about that festive spirit we all look forward to every year. With loads of performances, showcases and jolly displays, there are plenty of chances to join in on the fun. Check out our holiday season bucket list of events in Plano that you and your family won’t want to miss.
The belly-laughing, family-friendly production of “The Three Musketeers” marks the very last show by Theatre Britain. The Plano-based theater company will be hanging up their costumes after they finish their Dec. 30 performance, so you won’t want to miss out on your last chance to see a traditional British panto. The group is great at slinging out corny jokes and getting the whole audience to participate in the show, so everyone will feel the infectious spirit after taking their seats. Plus, with British snacks and drinks available for patrons, you will really feel like you have been transported to England. Whether you come out for opening night on Nov. 25 or another show during its run, this exciting event is the easiest way to take your family on a holiday vacation across the pond.
Let your furry friend get a taste of the holiday excitement by coming out to Santa Paws at The Shops at Willow Bend. Good boys and girls can come out from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 to grab a picture with Santa in the Ice Palace. They may even walk away with a special treat from the big man himself. Make sure you come prepared with your proper leash so that your pup doesn’t go running away to join Santa’s reindeer.
Get a look at the area’s best holiday lights display by driving through the Deerfield subdivision in West Plano. Starting on Dec. 1, you can navigate through the one-way route to take in dazzling displays celebrating Christmas, Hannukah and even Star Wars, the Cowboys or the Peanuts gang. While the lights will be up until Dec. 30, you won’t want to miss the tree lighting ceremony held on opening night. Come out at 7:30 p.m. to drink some cocoa, munch on tasty treats and watch the Christmas tree come to life. You can also leave your mark on the event by donating to the Children’s Medical Center’s Change for Children’s campaign the night of or online.
The Downtown Plano Arts District is going to be lit this season after hosting Dickens 2017. Come out on Dec. 1 to take part in one of the area’s most festive celebrations of the season. With snow tube slides, horse-drawn carriage rides, and live entertainment acts, there’s a load of activities to keep all ages entertained. This year will see the return of Ice Fights. Sculptors will be showing off their skills on one of the event’s four entertainment stages, competing for the audience’s applause. New this year is a holiday car show presented by the DFW Camaro Club down 15th Street. The night wouldn’t be complete without the traditional tree lighting ceremony at Haggard Park. Whether you come out for the entertainment, lights, food or booths, this local favorite is a sure bet for must-attend holiday events.
Ho, ho, ho-ld the phone! You heard that right. Come out to Toyota Stadium on Dec. 2 to participate in The Santa Run, a Santa-themed 5K or 1-mile walk/run with a holiday twist – all participants receive a five-piece Santa suit upon registration. After the big race, families can enjoy hot cocoa and coffee, live music, free food, various vendors and a Santa’s playground featuring the big man in red himself. This day of fun is also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring out your furry friend to participate. All of the day’s activities will benefit Plano-based My Possibilities.
Step back in time when you visit the historic Heritage Farmstead Museum during Lantern Light on Dec. 2. With all of its twinkling lights and turn-of-the-century charm, this quaint celebration is like nothing else in the area. Take a wagon ride through the farm, listen to childrens’ choirs, make your own festive candles, tour the historic Farrell-Wilson house and so much more. This will be the first year the event will feature snow and sledding, so make plans to slide back into your favorite childhood holiday activity. This is an event the whole family may want to make into a yearly tradition.
For a day full of festive floats, flags, Santa, snowmen and much more, come out to the Plano Lions Christmas Parade on Dec. 9. High school marching bands, drill teams, cheer squads, and JROTC will be out in full force to lead the fun, as well as Boy and Girl Scouts, YMCA Guides/Princesses and other local organizations. The parade starts at 9 a.m. at Plano ISD Administration building on 15th Street, turns north on Independence and then east to end at Plano Senior High. Come out to see the excitement for yourself. It’s a great way for the community to get behind the local school system and join together in the spirit of the holiday.
Despite his busy schedule, Santa will be making a quick trip down to Carpenter Park Recreation Center on Dec. 9 to spend some time with Plano families. Santa will be enjoying tasty breakfast treats, leading holiday crafts and spending some one-on-one time with your little ones. You will walk away from the event with a souvenir photo that will help make the morning memorable for days to come.
Don’t be a Scrooge – come out and see North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) put on “Scrooge the Musical,” based on the Dickens classic. This year, NTPA will be treating both sides of Plano to their fantastic show, with Dec. 8-10 at their brand new facility at The Shops at Willow Bend and Dec. 15-17 at the Courtyard Theater in Downtown Plano. You may see some familiar faces on the stage with NTPA’s President of the Board, Darrell Rodenbaugh, reprising his role as Ebenezer Scrooge. Whether you are called out by the telling of this heartwarming tale or just want to see Santa, sing Christmas Carols and try out holiday-themed treats at intermission, there are no wrong reasons to treat yourself to this fabulous show.
Christmas isn’t just for kids! If you are looking for an adult holiday activity, come out to the Downtown Plano Art & Wine Walk on Dec. 14. This will be the last walk until next April, so make sure you don’t miss out on exploring some of historic downtown’s local hotspots while sipping on great wines, shopping locally made art, finishing up your Christmas shopping and listening to holiday music all throughout the neighborhood. Stop by McCall Plaza to grab your collectible glass, passport and wine tasting guide before setting out on a fun night out on the town. If you visit six or more stops on the list, you can enter to win prizes at the end of the evening.
Round out your seasonal celebrations by coming to the “Home for the Holidays” concert series at the St. Andrew United Methodist Church on Dec. 17. This is one of Plano’s most popular holiday traditions, featuring more than 150 musicians, the Plano Symphony Orchestra, the Plano Civic Chorus and a popular sing-along session. Word has it there may be a few visitors from the North Pole as well. This local favorite is one of the last holiday shows of the year and a fitting end to this festive season.