Saturday, July 13, 2024

Travel with Terri: Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum

“Texas’s Best Christmas Event” is at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, according to Southern Living Magazine. It’s truly magical strolling through these magnificent gardens at Christmastime.

Victorian-style gazebos at the Dallas Arboretum

You probably know about the 25-foot-tall elaborately decorated Victorian-style gazebos that represent each of the 12 Days of Christmas. This display is just epic! All 12 are so extremely creative and detailed and include music that fits the theme. It’s beautiful in the day… but in the evenings, the garden really comes to life with over one million lights.

But do you know about the Arboretum’s Nativity Exhibit and the charming Christmas Village?

Inside the historic DeGolyer House, elaborately decorated for Christmas, is the return of the beloved theme “The Artistry of the Nativity.” This collection features hundreds of crèches representing a variety of nativity scenes, depicting the birth of Christ, from around the world. In addition to the Ray Harrington and the Joe Christian collections, which the Arboretum owns, the display also includes crèches from Tommy Bourgeois and Peter Hall. These unique and original nativity pieces are crafted beautifully from many materials including cork, glass, horns, seeds, cornhusks, porcelain, silver, wood and more. It is something to see – an amazing collection and display.

This Christmas Village is a great replica of 12 charming shops and facades of a quaint European holiday market. Measuring almost 20 feet tall, each house features illustrations and embellishments found in authentic European Christmas markets. Shopkeepers are posted outside each building, offering samples of their wares including baked goods, candy, hand-carved pencils, and jingle bells. Children and adults can explore these large themed houses and experience the holiday businesses including a bakery, a candy shop, Santa’s House and more.

Christmas Village at the Dallas Arboretum.

At night, the Christmas Village shops and trees shine bright with more than a million lights in the Arboretum. During the weekends and evenings, there are also volunteers dressed as shopkeepers in each store, most passing out samples of their wares, such as a piece of candy at the candy shop.

Be sure and stop inside the Christmas Village Shops. You will find something new in each one!

Post Office – Bring a letter to Santa and drop off it at the post office in the Christmas Village. Be sure to drop the letter in the mailbox and it will make its way to the North Pole.

Bakery – Enjoy viewing illustrations of baked goods and a wood burning stove in the window. Enjoy a small sample, served by the baker.

Candy Shop – Visit the candy striper for a candy cane and see how candy is made.

Bookstore – Stop by the bookstore to receive a specially designed bookmark to take home.

Flower Shop – See the beauty of the garden come to life at the flower shop. Guests can take home a seed packet to grow their own beautiful flowers.

Clock Tower – Over 21 feet tall, the clock tower is made of bricks and stands next to the Bandstand.

Music Shop – Guests can make some noise in the music shop with the tambourine and triangle, and enjoy a jingle bell to take home.

Doctor’s Office – Pick up a specially designed Dallas Arboretum Band-Aid from the resident doctors and nurses in the Christmas Village.

Cobbler – Visit the cobbler and see how he repairs worn soles of shoes. Guests can take a plastic shoe horn home with them.

Band Stand – Enjoy listening to local choirs and ensembles to celebrate the holidays throughout the day and each night.

Butcher – Visit the butcher to learn all about the different cuts of meat. Guests are welcome to enjoy a small sample of bacon bits.

Hat Shop – Stop in to see all the gorgeous, hats and fascinators from years past. Snap selfies with various hats on sticks.

Carpenter – Guests are welcome to stop by and view what the carpenter has created from wood and may take a pencil home with them.

Christmas Pyramid at the Dallas Arboretum.

And you certainly cannot miss the imposing Christmas Pyramid! It’s a 23-foot-tall German-built structure, and is decorated with hand-carved elements, lighting and character movement on every level. The Christmas Pyramid is the perfect complement to the Christmas Village and is the signature element in Pyramid Square along with an Edelweiss Haus serving food and drinks and a larger biergarten and performance area. This adorable village and collection of shops has been inspired by traditional German Christmas markets or Christkindlmarkets.

All Christmas displays are open through the end of December. Note: The Arboretum is closed on Christmas day, but reopens on the 26th.

Terri Guthrie
Terri Guthrie
Terri Guthrie is a member of Society of American Travel Writers, Texas Travel Alliance and International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Follow Terri on social media at Travel with Terri.

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