Children & Family

A holiday transformation

It's no easy task to transform the Dallas Arboretum into the holiday wonderland we know and love.�a0

Visit Dallas Staff
Posted on Dec 19, 2016

Each December, the holiday spirit takes over the garden with the Arboretum's popular 12 Days of Christmas exhibit. Each of the 25' gazebos, scattered throughout the garden, beautifully displays and bring to life each of the themes of the traditional English song. 

The idea for the exhibit has ties to Dallas, when Arboretum lovers Tom and Phyllis McCasland brought the idea to the Arboretum team. A "About four years ago, I thought about something spectacular for Christmas. It seemed to me that Dallas didn't have anything grand. The 12 Days of Christmas would be perfect, and the Dallas Arboretum has the space to house it. The exhibit could be educational, telling you about England, the countryside, traditions and more. It would be a perfect thing that Dallas could be known for during Christmas."'

Today, the 12 Days of Christmas exhibit continues to delight families and visitors from around the world. The process of transforming the gardens started well before December, with preliminary built outs happening while the annual Autumn at the Arboretum event is still taking place. And while the gardens are being transformed, the beauty inside the gazebos is in creation as well: fabric is being sewn for gowns, mannequins are being hand painted and costumes are being made.

Toward the end of assembly, the construction crews work with the horticulture team to make sure the greenery surrounding the gazebos is in tip-top shape and before you know it, the Arboretum is decked out in its holiday best, with glass-enclosed exhibits portraying either life-size Victorian-costumed mannequins or whimsical animals, with accompanying music.

Tom added, "I think there will be a wow factor because it's just so grandiose."

Check out a quick behind-the-scenes look of one of the gazebos being constructed!