Texas Motor Speedway in North Fort Worth is known for it’s loud roar of engines as race cars fly around the track, race fans cheering with every lap! But during the holidays, it’s home to the Gift of Lights! Enjoy a relaxed drive in the comfort of your own car through thousands of Christmas lights, with some fun surprises along the way!
Check out my Mommy Tips for making the most of your visit to the Gift of Lights, as well as pictures of our visit, taken by my daughter (um, someone had to drive).
1. Know Before You Go
Bundle up with blankets, because it’s just more fun!
Take a thermos of hot chocolate to drink as you drive through.
Plan on spending anywhere from 30-45 minutes driving through the light displays.
Tune your radio to 98.7 FM or bring your favorite Christmas music to listen to in the car.
Make a potty stop BEFORE you get to the Texas Motor Speedway. The only restrooms are port-a-pottys at the end.
They DO close for rain/weather issues, so ALWAYS check before going.
Dogs are allowed everywhere except inside Santa’s Village.
2. Toys for Tots
Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots for a $5 discount. My seven year old LOVED getting to give it to a Marine!
Offer not valid with tickets purchased online.
After 3 visits to the Gift of Lights, we have only ever waited in a line to enter once. Even visiting on a Friday night, we were able to drive right in!
One of the exciting things about the Gift of Lights is that you are actually driving under the stands, where the concessions are sold!
4. The Grinch
We had fun stopping to watch a few minutes of the animated Grinch, and sing along with it!
But imagine our excitement when we looked in the shadows and saw the real live GRINCH lurking there! We laughed as he ran back and forth between the big columns, watching the cars!
5. Light Displays
NASCAR and Indy cars are created in lights, as well as North Pole sports, Medieval Christmas and even a Texas themed area, called Christmas Ranch!
We watched Frozen on DVD during the drive out to Texas Motor Speedway, so it was fun to find him and watch him dance around!
7. The Route
Once you emerge from under the seating, there are even more lights as you make your way around the exterior of the racetrack! Unfortunately, you can’t actually see the track.
8. The Tunnel of Lights
Everyone’s favorite display is the tunnel!
9. Santa’s Village
At the end of the road sits Santa’s Village. Inside a warm tent, you can purchase hot chocolate for $1, get a FREE bag of popcorn and take a traditional picture with Santa for $15.
As much as I love the traditional Santa pictures, I feel that the TMS missed a great opportunity here by not being a little more creative and utilizing their unique position! I can get a traditional Santa pic at any mall, but how cool would it have been to get a Santa pic in a real race car? I hope TMS reads this and considers it for next year!
10. The Ranchman’s Cafe
Located just 13 miles northwest of TMS in Ponder is the Ranchman’s Cafe, one of our favorites and must place to stop if we are in the area! Since 1948 they have served steaks, huge baked potatoes and delicious pie in a building built in 1903! It’s even been featured on Food Network’s FoodNation with Bobby Flay. Click HERE to visit their website.
The walls of the restaurants are decorated in old Ponder newspaper clippings. Legend has it that Bonnie and Clyde was attempted to rob the Ponder State Bank, only to find it had gone broke the week before! The bank building is still standing in town, and a fun place to get your picture taken!
Ahhh, the Buttermilk pie….
If you have the time, right behind the restaurant is Duessen Park, which has a really nice playground for children, and the town’s original one-room schoolhouse. The park is decorated in lights for Christmas.
11. Make a Day of It
Before you visit Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway, why not do a little shopping at nearby Cabellas, and let the kids play at the shooting gallery or check out some of their upcoming events. Click HERE to visit their website.
For an even longer day, book a reservation at Cinnamon Creek Ranch! This archery facility offers indoor and outdoor ranges, constantly has deals on Groupon and children 12 and under shoot for FREE! Click HERE to visit their website.
Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway
Click HERE to visit their facebook page for the latest updates!
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