Riley Heruska
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Whether you're in search of brilliant holiday lights or a huge Christmas tree to use in a photo shoot, the Dallas Arboretum is the place to be at this time of year. The garden center is hosting a large selection of festive activities over the course of the next month, and you won't want to miss out on their gorgeous celebrations of the holidays. Here are just a few of the things the Arboretum and Botanical Garden is currently offering: 

The 12 Days of Christmas (Day or Night) 

From November until the beginning of January, the Arboretum hosts a festive stroll through breathtaking exhibits in their Christmas-themed gazebos. Witness the magical scenes behind glass and be dazzled by hidden creatures and dancing figures. Although the tour is fun during the daytime, the festivities get kicked up a notch once the sun goes down. More than 500,000 twinkling lights adorn the garden, and beautiful holiday music will play as visitors sip on hot beverages and gaze at the wonders. Make sure to buy your tickets in advance because this program is extremely popular with DFW residents. 

The Nutcracker Suite in the DeGolyer House

Nothing says Christmas more than 800 festive nutcrackers on display in lavishly decorated rooms. Stumble right into the famous ballet as you explore the two private nutcracker collections, provided by Rosemary Thornton Brinegar and the Himert Family. The rooms in the DeGolyer House are open to visitors from 10 AM - 4 PM most days and 6 PM - 9 PM on special dates. Check online to see when you can visit this memorable attraction. 

Visits With Santa, Letter-Writing to the North Pole, and Fun Scavenger Hunts

Even your little kids can have a blast at the Arboretum this holiday season. Santa will be there on the weekends to hear what the children want for Christmas and take a photo with them. They can also pen letters straight to Santa's home, complete with special stickers, paper, and pens that will definitely catch the big guy's attention. Kids can also explore the Children's Adventure Garden and look for Santa's little animal helpers. Take pictures with the various critters, then bring the photos to the Exploration Center to receive a prize when the hunt is finished! 

A Mistletoe Kissing Booth 

The Arboretum has set up a kissing booth at the Cafe on the Green until January, so grab that special someone and give them a big smooch under the mistletoe and grab an adorable picture. After all, what Christmas is complete without a little mistletoe? 

Marching Toy Soldiers in the Garden 

On Wednesday evenings and some weekend afternoons, larger-than-life toy soldiers on stilts will march through the garden. This is a new addition to the Arboretum's holiday festivities, and it's a photo opportunity you simply won't want to pass up. Check online to see exactly when you can spot these giant soldiers during December. 

Holiday Tea Time at the Restaraunt DeGolyer 

This month, the Restaurant DeGolyer is hosting their annual tradition of luxurious holiday tea. Get a group of friends and family together and enjoy a lavish time at the Arboretum's fancy restaurant. Click here to make reservations online. 

A Holiday-Themed Hula Hoop Performance 

Although you might not think of hula hooping as a particularly festive activity, you won't want to miss the ChulaHoop USA group showcase their skills in a lighted performance. Just purchase your tickets to the 12 Days at Night Christmas Festival and you can witness these internationally renowned hula hoopers impress visitors on December 9 or 16. 

These are just a handful of the fun activities taking place at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens this month. To learn more about their special events or purchase tickets, visit their website at

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