Holiday hikes, carnivals and more events to attend in and around McKinney this winter

family of four smiling and holding snowballs
Radiance and Frozen in Frisco are teaming up for a winter carnival at Riders Field. (Courtesy Radiance)

Radiance and Frozen in Frisco are teaming up for a winter carnival at Riders Field. (Courtesy Radiance)

Looking for something fun to do in McKinney? Check out one of these events!

WORTH THE TRIP: Now-Jan. 1 | Enjoy a Winter Carnival

Radiance Light Show and Frozen in Frisco are collaborating for a holiday event at Riders Field. This year, drivers will park their cars and sip hot chocolate as the Holly Jolly Trolley drives them through synchronized lights and tunnels. Frozen in Frisco features two-story ice tubing hills, ice skating, a 108-foot Ferris wheel and more. Times vary. Free (age 2 and under), $19.99-$39.99. 7300 Roughriders Trail, Frisco. www.radiancechristmas.com/frisco

McKinney events


Now-Dec. 19 | Take a Tree Tour

The Trinity Falls development is hosting a holiday-themed model home tour, in which 10 of 20 select homes will feature Christmas trees to provide inspiration for guests. Attendees will be provided with a map highlighting the homes where trees are located and can enjoy the tour at their own pace. Registration is requested. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.); noon-6 p.m. (Sun.) Free. 7801 Trinity Falls Parkway, McKinney. 469-215-5837. www.eventbrite.com/e/trinity-falls-tour-of-trees-2021-tickets-205796461757

Dec. 17-18 | Hike Through a Holiday Trail


The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will transform its half-mile nature trail into a holiday-themed hike with lights and decor along the Dinosaurs Live! exhibit. The outdoor amphitheater will feature live music. $10 adults; $7 kids ages 3-12; free for children 2 and under. Members save $3 per ticket. 6-9 p.m. 1 Nature Place, McKinney. 972-562-5566. www.heardmuseum.org/holidays

Dec. 18 | Time Travel to the '40s

The Roy & Helen Hall Memorial Library will host a Holiday Boogie: a chance to time travel and experience a 1940s vintage holiday. Attendees will make their own retro holiday card and ornament while enjoying jazz carols and radio broadcasts from decades past. This come-and-go event will feature a fireside storytime. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 101 E. Hunt St., McKinney. 972-547-7323. https://tinyurl.com/hs6njba2

Dec. 18 | Watch a Football Championship

The city of McKinney and McKinney ISD will host the NCAA Division II National Football Championship. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU. $20 (general admission); $25 (reserved seat). 8 p.m. 4201 S. Hardin Blvd., McKinney. https://d2mckinney.com

Dec. 30 | Learn Some Improv Skills

The Comedy Arena will host a chance to bring improvisers from all over to have fun with improvisation. With each game, attendees get a chance to join in the performance or enjoy from the audience. No one is put on the spot and anyone over age 18 is welcome to join. Free. 7-9 p.m. 305 E. Virginia St., Ste. 104, McKinney. 214-769-0645. www.showclix.com/event/improv-jam

Jan. 5 | Explore Art History

The Heard-Craig Center for the Arts will host Clair Robertson of Collin College as she presents a lecture on French painter Manet Morisot. Reservations are recommended. Free. 12:30-1:30 p.m. 205 W. Hunt St., McKinney. 972-569-6909. https://tinyurl.com/3cbzepan
By Brooklynn Cooper
Brooklynn Cooper covers public education in Frisco and McKinney. Previously, she reported on southern Dallas for The Dallas Morning News. The Durham, N.C. native and devoted Tar Heel fan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019.