Tired of the shopping mall and want to find a cool Christmas attraction where you can take the kids? Dallasites and visitors alike flock to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in December for the annual 12 Days of Christmas exhibit! This seasonal event shines and is excellent for anyone who loves the holidays.
A few of the seven swans — Photo courtesy of Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The centerpiece of the exhibit is a bevy of elaborate 25-foot Victorian gazebos filled to the brim with charming costumed characters and whimsical animals made famous by the beloved Christmas carol.
Each gazebo is enclosed in glass and beautifully decorated on all sides to give visitors an exciting, three-dimensional experience. Along with the exquisite decor, the gazebos also feature mechanical parts and festive music that bring the characters to life!
This annual exhibit is open day and night, and visitors can wander the less-than-a-mile walkway through the garden to enjoy the gazebos. The Arboretum even offers a fun 12 Days of Christmas search game that's fun for kids.
Both adult guests and children can partake in a special holiday tea, as well as live entertainment, a live reindeer, holiday demonstrations and additional holiday refreshments during the daytime hours. On Saturdays and Sundays, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman will be there between noon and 4 pm.
During the evening hours, the Arboretum remains open for special extended hours for The 12 Days at Night exhibit, and it's really a magical sight to see. With the addition of 500,000 lights throughout the garden, trimming the historic homes and lighting the canopies overhead, 2015 is a year that should not be missed! There's even a 30-foot-tall tree at the center of the garden, perfect for gazing upon while sipping hot chocolate.
One of the 12 days of Christmas displays at night — Photo courtesy of Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Another special Christmas addition to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is the Artistry of the Nativity, which features 300 crèches from around the world.
In addition to the Ray Harrington collection, which the Arboretum owns, the George Dvorsky collection has returned. Visitors can see this exhibit at the DeGolyer House, which is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm with guided tours.
On Wednesday evenings during the holiday season, the Nativity exhibit is open from 6 pm to 8 pm. The Restaurant DeGolyer will also be open for reservation-only dinners from 6 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday evenings. Guests can enjoy an elegant dinner and tour The Artistry of the Nativity. The three-course meal is $52 per person, excluding alcohol.
Don't miss this festive Dallas Christmas attraction! It's open through January 3, 2016.