Neighborhoods in North Texas are decked out for the holidays

In Dallas’ Swiss Avenue Historic District, you can see a mix of holiday decor, from bright and festive to more elegant and nostalgic Photo: Allison Slomowitz/Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

Whether you want to see lawns adorned with displays like a rockin’ Christmas tree, colorful lights and inflatables or enjoy a silent night driving past stately homes with elegant decor, Dallas-Fort Worth has a destination for you. And some neighborhoods offer both styles of Christmas cheer. So make a holiday playlist, get your favorite seasonal drink and snack, and enjoy these neighborhood light displays. While these walkable and drive-through spots are mostly free to enjoy, some are so popular that they can get as crowded as paid attractions, so be sure to pack your patience. You can find more free and paid light displays here.



Head to the heart of the city for big trees, bright lights and countless photo ops. The live trees at the AT&T Performing Arts Center and at parks around downtown will be illuminated. You’ll find towering decorated Christmas trees at Dallas City Hall, Klyde Warren Park, West End Square, the plaza at the AT&T Discovery District, the driveway of the Statler hotel, the Joule hotel, Santander Tower and Comerica Bank Tower. Main Street Garden has a big lit tree, a matching giant wreath photo op and a doggie photo wreath. The National building and its Thompson hotel have a giant golden tree marking one entrance and an archway of colorful oversize ornaments at another. Neiman Marcus’ storefront windows are dressed for the holidays. Looking for a quirky photo? Strike a pose beside the Neiman Marcus Car Tree, made of classic car parts, at Pegasus Plaza or in front of the humongous red Christmas ball ornaments stacked on the Pegasus Lawn in front of the Omni Dallas Hotel. Or visit the new Harwood Park, where the mammoth-shaped play structure has donned a Santa hat.

Swiss Avenue Historic District

Step back in time as you take in this historic neighborhood in Old East Dallas. The elegant, early 20th-century houses that line Swiss Avenue are tastefully trimmed for the holidays in picture-perfect style. Expect lots of white lights, red bows and greenery such as garlands and wreaths. But some homeowners have gone for displays with more fun. Look for giant ornaments, Santa and his reindeer, and a house wrapped like a present tied with ribbon. Streets in the district include Swiss Avenue, La Vista Drive, Bryan Parkway, and Bryan and Beacon streets. For a map of the neighborhood, visit


Burkman Holiday Home in Frisco

The only individual home on this list is a viral sensation that’s been featured on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight. Members of the Burkman family have been perfecting the holiday display at their Frisco home for more than 20 years. It features nearly 100,000 bulbs (mostly LED), light sculptures and other displays, a train village in the garage, a post office for mailing letters to Santa, and assorted selfie stations for those who park and walk through the winter wonderland. The lights are on through Dec. 26. Check the website for superhero hours reserved for individuals with disabilities and senior citizens, special events such as photos with the Grinch and times when the exhibit is closed to the public. Free, but donations accepted for community charitable causes.

Deerfield in Plano

This northwest Plano neighborhood is the biggest and most popular display of Christmas lights and decorations in Collin County. All the buzz means that there may be long lines, especially for vehicles entering from Legacy Drive at Archgate or Colonnade drives. The Deerfield Homeowners Association suggests planning your visit on less busy weeknights and using other entrances. From Ohio Drive, turn on Quincy Lane, Adrian Way, Sundance Drive or Courtyard Trail. From Preston Meadow Drive, enter on Jenkins Drive or Quincy Lane. Unless it’s raining, lights are on nightly through Dec. 30, on weekdays from 7 to 10 and weekends from 7 to 11, though some homeowners may turn on their lights earlier. If you’d like to tour Deerfield by horse-drawn carriage, visit for reservations. Rides for four to six adults start at $195. Through Dec. 30. For more tips and a map, go to


Kessler Park

Take Sylvan Avenue south of Interstate 30 or travel West Colorado Boulevard from Kessler Parkway to Beckley Avenue to visit this tree-filled historic neighborhood. Meander the sloping streets to see mansions, bungalows, cottages, landscapes and medians decked out with lights and decor galore. Bonus sight: A view of the Dallas skyline.

Winnetka Heights

This national historic district features more than 600 preserved craftsman and bungalow-style homes south of West Davis Street between North Willomet and North Rosemont avenues. Drive through on nights throughout the season to see the decor or get a closer look when several houses open their doors during the Winnetka Heights Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 9 from noon to 6 p.m. This annual tour will show off six houses dolled up for the holidays. Visitors with VIP tickets get access to a seventh house and refreshments. Bid on local art and items during a silent auction at tour headquarters at Turner House, 401 N. Rosemont Ave., Dallas. $20 in advance, $25 at the event, $40-$50 for limited VIP tickets.


Highland Park

The swanky homes throughout Highland Park are dressed to impress for the holidays. Think wrapped trees, twinkling lights, Santas, reindeer, red bows and Christmas angels. There are several entry points, including Armstrong Parkway and Preston Road, or near Highland Park Village at Preston Road and Mockingbird Lane. For those who want to tour in style, horse-drawn carriage rides are available from several companies, including (starting at $200) and (starting at $195). The trees and storefronts of Highland Park Village are also adorned. More than 1.5 million lights illuminate the luxury shopping center.

University Park

Find big homes with big displays in University Park. Case in point: Wayne Smith’s house in the 3600 block of Southwestern Boulevard. The yard showcases his quirky collectibles, including 300-plus classic Christmas blow mold decorations, an 8-foot Kip’s Big Boy statue and the roof-mounted head of Big Tex from 1949. Neighboring streets have festive, though less unusual, displays. Other hallmarks include the Christmas tree in Snider Plaza on Hillcrest Avenue south of Lovers Lane and Southern Methodist University’s tree-lined Bishop Boulevard and Dallas Hall, which is brightly lit along with a Christmas tree and landscape trees, on University Boulevard.


Fairmount National Historic District in Fort Worth

Drive through this charming neighborhood in Fort Worth’s South Side area any night in December to take in pretty lights and sights. For extra fun, visit during Fairmount’s Festivus Holiday Light Tour on Dec. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. Start at the parking lot at One Safe Place, 1100 Hemphill St., where for a monetary donation or an unwrapped toy, you’ll get a map of participating homes that will be decorated. Some will even host performances on their lawns.

Interlochen in Arlington

A must-see for holiday lights aficionados, the Interlochen lakefront neighborhood in northwest Arlington has drawn huge crowds for more than 45 years. Arlington police will be on hand for 11 nights to help with traffic control as 100,000 visitors drive through to ooh and aah at more than 250 delightfully decorated homes. For 2023, Interlochen will welcome visitors Dec. 15-25, nightly from 6 to 11. From West Randol Mill Road, enter on Westwood Drive.

The Go See DFW calendar is a partnership between KERA and The Dallas Morning News.

Shannon Sutlief writes about fun things to do in Dallas-Fort Worth for The Dallas Morning News.