The 12 Days of Christmas

Dallas Arboretum's "12 Days of Christmas" pavilions

2014 File Photo/Nathan Hunsinger

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Though I'd lived in Dallas for well over a decade, it never occurred to me that the Dallas Arboretum would be a fabulous place to enjoy the holidays. It's not just for springtime, folks: this jewel near White Rock Lake turns into a winter wonderland, with a walking tour of twelve enchanting Christmas scenes. We're calling it a new family tradition.

"The 12 Days of Christmas," the Dallas Arboretum's centerpiece holiday exhibit, lets visitors stroll along a three-quarter-mile stretch of the gardens to view 12 glass-encased gazebos that depict scenes from each verse of the beloved holiday carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The gazebos are elaborately decorated in Victorian style with whimsical animals and mechanical characters that move to festive music. At night, the displays are elegantly lighted and holiday music can be heard throughout the gardens, and you get an entirely different experience. Seasonal sweet and savory treats for children and adults are available for purchase.

"The 12 Days of Christmas" runs from Nov. 4 to Jan. 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding Nov. 23, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1). Included with general garden admission: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for kids 3-12, free for kids 2 and younger. Parking is $15 ($8 if purchased online in advance).

"The 12 Days of Christmas" at night runs from Nov. 8 to Dec. 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. (excluding Nov. 23 and Dec. 24-25). $20 for adults, $15 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for kids 3-12, free for kids 2 and younger. Parking is included with admission.

From Nov. 24 through Jan. 7, the lavishly decorated DeGolyer house will feature “The Nutcracker Suite,” a collection of more than 800 nutcrackers. Access to the exhibit is included with general garden admission. On select dates, Restaurant DeGolyer will serve three-course dinners by Gil's Elegant Catering; reservations are required.
Information provided by the venue

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