Holiday at the Arboretum Is Magical

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Holiday at the Arboretum 12 Days of Christmas
Photo by Chris Waits

Holiday at the Arboretum, presented by Reliant, returns with a garden magically transformed to get people into the holiday spirit. The beloved Christmas Village, the 12 Days of Christmas, and a 50 foot-tall Dazzling Musical Tree are open to the public both day and night through Dec. 31.

The Dallas Arboretum debuts The Artistry of Faith & Culture in the historic DeGolyer House. The exhibit features the three world holidays celebrated during the season—Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa—along with Diwali celebrated in the fall.

Holiday at the Arboretum

The holiday festival also showcases live, seasonal performances from local schools, churches, community groups and professionals in The Christmas Village. Other special events include a special Bishop String Quartet concert (Nov. 29 and 30) holiday tea (daily), vendor markets (select weekends) and more.

“Holiday at the Arboretum is the perfect way to celebrate the season with something for everyone,” said Dallas Arboretum board chairman Jim Ryan. “It’s a great place to bring the children and grandchildren to meet Santa Claus, learn about other holiday traditions at The Artistry of Faith & Culture exhibit, and sip hot chocolate while strolling the garden. It’s magical in the evening with a million lights, too!”

Weber family Christmas pyramid lighting
Photo by Chris Waits

An official tree lighting for members was held Nov. 9 in front of the Marilyn and Ben Weber Family Christmas Pyramid. The garden is open for visitors during the evening hours until 9 p.m. To purchase advance tickets, please visit the website for details.

“At Reliant, we’re passionate about supporting the communities we serve, and lighting up the holidays is one of our favorite ways to do that,” said Andrea Russell, vice president at Reliant. “We’re excited to partner with the Dallas Arboretum to spread holiday cheer to the North Texas community and encourage everyone to get in the holiday spirit with a visit to see this spectacular display.”

The Christmas Village

Inspired by European Christmas Markets, or Christkindlmarket, The Christmas Village is comprised of charming shops and façades representing a quaint European hamlet. The Christmas Village is wonderful during the day, but it’s magical at night with lighted trees, shop owners passing out samples and live entertainment. Each house is individually designed for the Dallas Arboretum, with the Christmas Village as an attraction for everyone.

Holiday Christmas Village
Photo by Chris Waits

Santa Claus has his own house and a sleigh for photo opportunities. He is in his house on select days and nights in November and December (check schedule below and online). New this year, the Arboretum offers exclusive private photo opportunities with Santa for the entire family throughout the festival with Ivey Photography.

The Marilyn and Ben Weber Family Christmas Pyramid, a 23-foot-tall German-built structure, is decorated with hand-carved elements, lighting and character movement on every level. The Weber Pyramid is the perfect complement to the Christmas Village and is the signature element in Pyramid Square. Also featured are an Edelweiss Haus serving food and drinks and a larger biergarten and performance area.

The Artistry of Faith & Culture

Each day, and every Monday-Wednesday evening, the community is invited to visit the historic DeGolyer House, elaborately decorated by renowned designer Michael Hamilton. The exhibit celebrates the diversity of the holiday season. The display prominently features the three world holidays celebrated during the season: Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa. The display also features Diwali, the festival of lights, which occurs in late October.

Special thanks to the community partners that helped with this special exhibit: Interfaith Council of The Thanks-Giving Foundation, DFW Indian Cultural Society, Texas Jewish Arts Association, thinkIndia Foundation, and Pan African Connection & Friends.

The Dazzling Musical Tree, a 50-foot-tall tree animated with more than 42,000 lights and merry holiday tunes, is presented on the hour and every half hour of the day and evening on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn.

The 12 Days of Christmas Gazebos

Guests can continue to enjoy the 25-foot-tall Victorian-style gazebos that represent each of The 12 Days of Christmas with some updated characters. The gazebos come to life at night beginning November 9, except for Thanksgiving Day (closed) and December 24 (closes at 5 p.m.), December 25 (closed) and New Year’s Eve (closes at 5 p.m.). These glass gazebos resemble an oversize music box with mannequins and animals that move along with music and lighting.

Holiday at the Arboretum
Photo by Chris Waits

More than a million lights are sprinkled throughout the garden, trimming the historic homes and the 30-foot-tall spruce tree in the center of the garden. They help make Holiday at the Arboretum the perfect place for getting into the holiday spirit.

Tickets, which range from $10-$35, are required for garden entry, and guests are encouraged to reserve preferred dates early. For more information, please visit dallasarboretum.org/events-activities/holiday-at-the-arboretum/.

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Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.

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