Historic Downtown McKinney will transform into a winter wonderland packed full of fond memories from the past as Dickens of a Christmas comes to life.  Expect a fun, family-friendly event offering traditional live Christmas music, food, festivities period costumes, dancing, children’s activities, and much more.

An abundance of shopping, entertainment and food, it is a must do for the weekend and will surely jump start your holiday cheer.  During the event, the 12-block area of the commercial historic district will bring the sights and sounds of Dickens to life during this annual celebration.  Everything from visits with Santa, to joyous holiday music and yuletide will echo throughout the town center. Couple this with festive décor, children’s arts and crafts, a petting zoo, and a few surprises along the way as you wonder the streets and businesses of our 164 year old magical downtown.

The focus remains consistent with an emphasis on family and friends while showcasing one of the most amazing historic downtowns in the nation; more than 100 unique shops, including art galleries, home décor retailers, antique collections, gift shops, health and beauty destinations and second-to-none apparel boutiques.  More than a dozen restaurants will roll out the red carpet during the fest and throughout the holiday season.  Spend the weekend indulging in the atmosphere and taking advantage of our wonderful shops, restaurants and live entertainment.

The magical ambiance is like no other and Dickens of a Christmas exemplifies our community spirit all while attracting visitors from all over the globe.  The perfect start to the holiday season…Dickens of a Christmas – Home for the Holidays will be an unforgettable experience for all to enjoy.


Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday, November 23 at 6:15 p.m. at Mitchell Park, located on block west of the square.  Join Mayor Loughmiller and city officials as we kick off the Christmas season with the City of McKinney’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.   McKinney Main Street is pleased to present The Poor Kings during the ceremony as they takes center stage to sing holiday cheer.

Visits with Santa Claus

Don't miss your one of a kind visit with Santa Claus! Santa will be located on Tennessee Proper nestled on the perfect Dickens Backdrop created by Friends of St Vincent DePaul.

  • Friday, November 23: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 24: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 25: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Please be aware that Santa will be making visits throughout the Historic District during the hours listed above.

SKI McKinney…The Snow Tubing Hill is back by popular demand:

Let the fun begin!  Sponsored by Baylor Medical Center of McKinney, the Downtown McKinney Snow Tubing Hill - $1 per ride.  Located on East Louisiana.

Horse Carriage Rides

Happy Trails Carriage Services will be on hand to help make you and yours wonderful memories by taking a horse drawn carriage ride through the Historic District during the 32nd Annual Dickens of a Christmas...Home for the Holidays. The carriage rides will take place at the Heard-Craig Center for the Arts located at 205 W. Hunt Street, just two blocks off the square, rides are free. Below you will find the hours of the carriage rides during the holiday weekend.

  • Friday, November 25: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 26: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Frosty's Train

Main Street Magic & Fun Company’s “Frosty’s Train is back again for Dickens, located at 211 N. Tennessee Street.

Main Street Magic & Fun Company will be offering rides on their one-of-a-kind Frosty’s Train during Dickens of a Christmas…Home for the Holidays. The train depot will be in front of Main Street Magic & Fun Company located at 211 N. Tennessee St. Rides will be $2 per person; adults and children of all ages are welcome to ride.

The Goddard School of McKinney’s Children’s Activities



  • Create your own Dickens Christmas card station
  • Decorate your own Dickens Christmas tree
  • Fun Christmas themed Games

Additional Activities (costs vary): 

Petting Zoo, Face Painting, Caricatures, Sand Art and Christmas Photo Opportunities throughout downtown.

McKinney Repertory Theatre Presents "A Christmas Carol"

Friday, November 23: 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Saturday, November 24: 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Sunday, November 25: 2 p.m.

Bring your entire family to enjoy MRT's productions of Dickens' timeless story. This adaptation of the enduring classic places special emphasis on the ghostly apparitions in the spirit of Dickens' original text, and is full of Victorian song accompanied by music on the vintage theatre pipe organ. For more information and ticket information please visit mckinneyperformingartscenter.org.