Plano Holiday Traditions

holiday traditions

The holidays are a special time for family gatherings, delicious foods, festive events, holiday parties, and carrying-out family traditions. Every family has some kind of holiday tradition, whether big or small or many or few. Light-looking, cookie-baking, church services, photos with Santa, caroling, volunteering, or going to holiday performances… whatever it may be, make fond memories and cherish the moment this holiday season.

Here are a few holiday events to add to your list this year; maybe it will begin a new tradition for you and your family.


Taking Photos with Santa is many kid’s favorite activity during the holiday season. Now through Christmas Eve, dress up the kiddos and take them to The Shops at Willow Bend to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what’s on their wish list this year. Find Santa himself on the lower level Grand Court at the Ice Palace, a 30-foot globe complete with light snow falling, a light show, and more. Each child will receive a cookie plate from Santa just for visiting.

On December 1 at 5:30 p.m., attend Dickens in Downtown Plano and the City of Plano’s annual tree lighting! Enjoy this free annual holiday celebration with snow tubing slides, an Ice Fight Stage (where ice sculptors compete for applause), horse-drawn carriage rides and the annual tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. at Haggard Park.

The 31st annual Lantern Light at Heritage Farmstead Museum is December 2 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Lantern Light is a unique holiday experience that provides Heritage Farmstead Museum visitors the opportunity to recall holiday traditions from days gone by. The event will include tours of the holiday exhibit in the Farrell Wilson House, children’s crafts in the one room school house, wagon rides, candle dipping, historic demonstrations, storytelling, songs of the season in the historic pole barn, delicious treats and photos with Santa. The event will also feature a snow mountain and sledding area for all to enjoy for a minimal fee. Admission is $5, with children 2 and under being admitted for free. 

Who doesn’t love a good parade? It wouldn’t be the holidays without the Plano Lions Christmas Parade on December 9 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The parade starts in the parking lot of the Plano ISD Administration building and travels west on 15th Street then north on Independence, east on Parkhaven, and ends at Plano Senior High School. See high school bands and drill teams, floats by local organizations, and even a visit from Santa himself!

The Gift of Christmas featuring the Living Nativity is a very special holiday tradition to many in our community and across North Texas. From December 9-17, The Gift of Christmas is a visually stunning multimedia event complete with special effects, a nearly 1,000-member cast and choir, live orchestra, flying angels, and much more. With camels and kings, flying drummer boys and beautiful virtual scenery, the Christmas story comes to life in a breathtaking way. The scenic pieces, costumes, and choreography are highlighted by a brilliant, original musical score, arranged and orchestrated just for Prestonwood Baptist Church. Tickets range from $16-$55.

The Plano Symphony Orchestra’s Home for the Holidays performance is a family favorite. Happening December 17 at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. with over 150 musicians, Home for the Holidays includes seasonal favorites for orchestra and chorus, the popular audience sing-along, visitors from the North Pole, humor, the great pipe organ at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, and plenty of surprises. Tickets range from $14-$42.


Packing the family up in the car with hot chocolate and going light looking is on many people’s holiday tradition’s list. Kids and adults alike find themselves fascinated in the majesty of holiday lights. For a traditional light-looking adventure, go to Plano’s Deerfield community and see their famous spectacular holiday lights December 1-30. You can even reserve a carriage ride or Segway tour!

Of course, holiday shopping and gatherings top the list as well. For a complete list of shopping areas in Plano and dining options, explore our website. Need a gathering place for a small holiday lunch or dinner? Check out our list of options. 

For a complete list of holiday events in Plano, click here. Also, don’t miss out on our holiday trip giveaway! You could win a two-night stay at the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park, a $50 True Food Kitchen gift card, a $50 Roy’s Restaurant gift card, a $50 Pinstack gift card, and a $100 Visa gift card! Enter here. The winner will be announced on December 2, 2017 on Visit Plano’s Facebook page.

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