Holiday Displays And a New Culinary Garden Take Center Stage at The Dallas Aboretum

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Photos courtesy of The Dallas Arboretum

The turkey dinner is a memory. Black Friday is behind us. It’s time to plan activities to get the holiday spirit flowing, entertain visitors, and make magical memories for little ones! Especially with the glorious weather we’ve been having this year, a trip to the Dallas Arboretum is a must.

Holiday Display — The Twelve Days of Christmas

Back again is The Twelve Days of Christmas exhibit which Southern Living Magazine calls “one of the South’s best holiday experiences.” Strolling the gardens amidst more than a million tree lights to see these Christmas carol lyric-inspired dioramas is a great way to walk off feasting. There’s an array of holiday-themed special events and entertainment most Wednesday-Sunday evenings — live music, a film-screening, craft and game workshops for children, and more. And at the DeGolyer house, more than 800 nutcracker figurines from the private collections of Rosemary Thornton Brinegar and the Himert Family are on display once again, this year styled after the ballet The Nutcracker Suite.

Dallas Arboretum 12 Days of Christmas|

There’s plenty to see and do here during the day, too. The carousels and grounds are gorgeous viewed in daylight and Santa is on hand for visits with kids on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

A Tasteful Place Culinary Garden and Event Center Activities

As if the White Rock Lake area isn’t cool enough already, the Dallas Arboretum opened a gorgeous new addition this year – a $12 million “potager” kitchen garden and event center, bringing culinary programming to area amenities. A Tasteful Place showcases fruits, herbs, and vegetables that can grow locally. Master gardeners are on hand daily as docents to provide advice and information to folks who aspire to do this at home.

Clearing brush from the little used former culinary garden site revealed a beautiful view of the downtown skyline set against the lake. It’s now the backdrop for a grassy lawn and hardscape features, spacious enough for a lovely wedding. The adjacent event building can accommodate 90 for a seated dinner and up to 150 in a standing reception. Its show kitchen opens to the dining area via barn doors which can be closed to conceal the cooking area.

A view of the Dallas skyline from A Tasteful Place garden at The Dallas Arboretum

Scheduled programming for A Tasteful Place includes cooking demonstrations and classes by area chefs and by students from the Food and Hospitality Institute of El Centro; health and nutrition classes hosted by staff of U.T. Southwestern Medical School and Texas Woman’s University; a weekly recipe exchange, kids’ cooking classes, and more.

Irish cooking expert Rachel Gaffney

An upcoming example: Native Irish woman Rachel Gaffney will bake up some holiday treats at a December class featuring Irish butter shortbread cookies, spiced holiday pear loaf, mince pies, and brandy butter. There’s a fee for this class ($60 for members; $65 for non-members) and select brunch and dinner events, but many of the programs, including nutritional presentations and chefs’ demonstrations are complimentary with admission. See the Arboretum website for a full calendar and reservations for holiday events scheduled thru January 7.

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Valerie Jarvie

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