Sundance Square, Fort Worth
While the retail and restaurant scene has shifted, downtown Fort Worth still draws a crowd, especially on the weekends. Whatever squabbles there are over Sundance Square management, they don’t seem to be a concern to visitors, especially those from out of town. We love that there’s still a live Christmas tree, one of the few on public display. This year’s 65-foot Norway spruce comes from Mancelona, Michigan. Fort Worth artists once again painted oversize ornaments for the tree; one of our favorites is this cardinal by Ariel Davis.
The Shops at Clearfork, Fort Worth
With ample parking, lots of retail and dining options and a pet-friendly environment, this shopping center is even better during the holidays. Whether it’s browsing the gorgeous window dressings at Neiman Marcus, Tiffany and Louis Vuitton or getting your photo taken with the cheerful Santa on The Plaza in the center’s greenspace, you can’t help but feel festive. A $10 donation to The Greatest Gift Catalog Ever, an online shopping guide to local nonprofits, gets you a visit with Santa. Donate $25 for a reserved slot with jolly old Saint Nick or $50 for a Sleigh Pass, which requires no reservation and is good for groups and big families on the nice list. Booking information is on the website.
Fort Worth Stockyards
This holiday season could be a tipping point for Fort Worth’s Northside destination, as events and attractions have ramped up big time. Check out light displays, festive shops and bars/restaurants up and down North Main Street, Exchange Avenue and Mule Alley. The Hotel Drover dresses up for the holidays and, even if you’re not a guest, you’re welcome to check out the festive backyard and lobby areas. Our advice is to use a car service, as parking in the Stockyards can be a challenge, and go during the week if you want to avoid the biggest crowds. A 40-foot tree is set up in front of the Livestock Exchange Building, too, and the twice-daily cattle drives don’t stop for the holidays. Here are some other highlights; visit the website to purchase tickets, book times and check out the map.
Stockyards Rodeo Rink This new addition takes over the lawn in front of the Livestock Exchange Building with skates to rent, a hot cocoa “corral,” a picnic area, fire pits, holiday lights and more. Purchase tickets on the website.
Cowboy Santa Sporting boots and Western wear, he’s back and ready for his close-up with you and yours. (We visited with Cowboy Santa on Page 66.) Book a photo session ahead of time to avoid the long lines.
Christmas in the Stockyards The Dec. 3 celebration includes live music, reindeer games, a parade and more.