Celebrating the Holidays in Plano, TX

The holidays in Plano_Horses at Lantern Light by Madi Scott

Originally published by Madilynn Scott on Crosswalks and Cairns. Follow Madilynn’s adventures at @MadiMScott

If you’re wanting to celebrate the holidays all season long in the DFW metroplex, then Plano is the perfect place to bring your family! There are a variety of holiday attractions, festivals, and experiences throughout the city. I had the opportunity to bring my family to the Dickens Festival in Downtown Plano, as well as the Lantern Light event at the Heritage Farmstead Museum. Both events were festive and unique, and entertained my family for hours!

This post is sponsored by Visit Plano. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Dickens in Downtown Plano

Dickens in Downtown Plano is an annual community event with food trucks, local vendors, music, Santa, and free activities for the little ones. My favorite part of the night was the official “tree lighting ceremony.” I had never been to a city’s tree lighting before! Something about a community coming together to pray and celebrate Christmas really touched me! I believe there is power in gathering- whether you are gathering with family, friends, coworkers or neighbors. This was such a cool opportunity to gather as a community and feel the Christmas spirit together!

If you saw my Instagram stories while we were there, you probably figured that my 5 year old Owen’s favorite part of Dickens in Downtown Plano was the snow slide! It looked almost like a gunny sack slide you’d see at a carnival or fair, but the lanes were wider, not as steep, and covered in snow. Owen has since told every neighbor, passerby, teacher, and cashier he’s come in contact with “did you know I rode a snow slide?! You ride on a tube and I had to go all by myself on the tube and it was so fun!” We need to work on that stranger danger thing.

We ate well at Dickens in Downtown Plano! Central Market offered marshmallow roasting. We may have lied and convinced Owen it is against event rules to roast a marshmallow before eating dinner, so before heading to the fire, we stopped at a food truck. I’ve heard good things about the restaurants in the area, but at this point in the night, the restaurant wait times were pretty high. We grabbed a bowl from F and F Express and I kid you not, my super skinny, food-refusing 5-year-old ate that thing as he has never eaten anything before. He even went back for a second bowl. We’ll be tracking down that food truck again soon.

After a few teriyaki bowls, Owen and I headed to the s’mores tent, hosted by Central Market. The line was long but it moved fast, and the s’mores were messy but they were delicious, and nothing that my baby wipes secret weapon couldn’t handle. S’mores were a good start to the sugar rush we were after! Before heading home for the night, we stopped at Amazeballz. Amazeballz are cute, creative and, above all, tasty cake balls! They even have some “adult” cake balls if you know what I’m saying. We stuck to the kid-friendly desserts and indulged in our lemon, cinnamon roll, birthday cake, and chocolate cake balls!

Lantern Light

The next day, we visited the Heritage Farmstead Museum for the Lantern Light, Victorian Holiday event. Have I been living under a rock these past few years? Where have I been? Where has this place been? Why have I never visited before? It’s so charming, especially with the Christmas decor on display!

While at this museum, it’s easy to forget the busy city around you. It feels like you are back in slower, quieter times. The Lantern Light event is another outdoor Christmas celebration. After Dickens in Downtown Plano, I felt that the Lantern Light Event was a great way to give back to Plano and the community.  Admission prices were very reasonable ($6 or less per person), with the money going back to keep the museum running. Local choirs performed on stage throughout the night, and the horse-drawn wagon rides got us as close to a sleigh ride as we are going to get in Texas! The animals and lawn games were fun and amusing for all of us! Have you ever tried to walk on stilts? Not as easy as it looks, apparently.

After eating dinner at a picnic table, playing on the lawn, and enjoying a wagon ride, we took part in the activities offered at the different houses around the farm. We colored candles by dipping them in hot wax. Owen was proud of his paper crafts. Story time kept my wild child focused for a solid 30 minutes, credit to the North 40 StoryTellers who hosted this activity!

The Gift of Christmas and Other Plano Festivities

I’ve only begun to cover the Christmas events and attractions in Plano. I mean… this was two days’ worth. Imagine the other days leading up to Christmas! In fact, Plano starts their Christmas season in November with shopping events like “’Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market,” Plano Christmas Market,” and The Lights at Legacy.” Between those shopping experiences alone you should be able to cross off your entire Christmas list!

If you are into performing arts, Plano boasts intricate shows all month long. One show with a fantastic reputation is “The Gift of Christmas” at Prestonwood Baptist Church. We were unable to attend this year due to the show selling out quicker than I anticipated. Next year I need to get my act together and snag some tickets earlier in the season. The performance looks amazing and the best part is- baby sitting is offered for those who don’t want to ask their little ones to sit through the show.

Something else I love doing with my boys this time of year is driving around to look at Christmas lights. We drove through Deerfield in Plano the other night and we were so amused! Now I want to keep hunting for more Christmas lights! This list on the Visit Plano website should help our quest!

I love sharing about my family’s fun times, not with the intention of saying “look at these fun things we did,” but more to show you “look what you can do with your family!” Put “Dickens in Downtown Plano”, and “Lantern Light, a Victorian Holiday” on your radar for 2020. For more ideas on how to celebrate in Plano this year, check out the the holiday events page on Visit Plano’s website. We’ve had so much fun celebrating Christmas in Plano, and I’m sure you will too!

For more events and attractions in Plano, explore Visit Plano’s website.

Unless otherwise stated, photos are property of Madilynn Scott. 

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