It’s the most wonderful time of year in the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This year’s holiday at the Arboretum, which can be seen through December 31st, is even more wonderful with a new 50-foot-high dazzling music tree that adds extra sparkle to the garden’s festivities.
Dazzling Musical Tree overlooks White Rock Lake and has more than 42,000 lights swirling and dancing to holiday music. “We like to make sure we add something new and different and special every year,” said Mary Brinegar, president and CEO of the Dallas Arboretum. “We also tried to spread the traffic out into the garden itself. This brings many of our guests further into the garden, onto the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage.”
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Brinegar found a video of a similar music tree in the city of Frankenmuth, Michigan, on YouTube. With the support of an anonymous donor, a company created the tree and programmed three vignettes of candles and music for the Dallas Arboretum. The music and light vignettes are played every half hour and last eight or nine minutes.
It only took a day to install the wood and the new festive addition comes with technical support. “They’re ready in another city if something goes wrong with our electronics,” Brinegar said. “It took a little longer for us to make sure we had the sound correctly so it did not bleed out in the neighborhood. There are many different speakers around, all pointing towards the center. “
The Dazzling Musical Tree complements The Christmas Village. Inspired by European Christmas markets, or Christkindlmarket, The Christmas Village consists of charming shops and facades representing a picturesque European village. At night, shop owners hand out samples and local groups provide live entertainment.
Santa Claus, the most famous resident of the Christmas village, will be in his specially designed home on selected nights in November. After Thanksgiving, Santa will be present every night as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
In the heart of Pyramid Square in The Christmas Village is the Marilyn and Ben Weber Family Christmas Pyramid, a 23-foot-tall German-built structure. Each level is decorated with hand-carved elements, lighting and character movements. The Weber Pyramid debuted in 2020 and posed a challenge for the crew to assemble. “Now for the first time it took much longer because all the instructions came in German,” Brinegar said.
DeGolyer House, decorated by the famous designer Michael Hamilton, is home to The Artistry of the Nativity. This collection can be seen every day and every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night and features hundreds of nurseries representing a variety of cultures from around the world. In addition to the Ray Harrington and Joe Christian collections, the display also includes nurseries from Tommy Bourgeois and Peter Hall. These items are beautifully made from many materials including cork, glass, horn, seeds, corn husks, porcelain, silver, wood and more.
As they walk through the garden, visitors can see the 25-foot Victorian-style pavilions representing each verse of “The 12 Days of Christmas” with some updated characters. Originally designed by The Dallas Opera’s Tommy Bourgeois, these glass pavilions look like an oversized music box with mannequins and animals moving along with lights and music from the beloved Christmas carol.
For visitors to enjoy more than a million lights throughout the garden, trim the historic houses and the 30-foot-tall spruce tree in the center of the garden, the Dallas Arboretum is open several evenings during this holiday season. “There is such a demand now and also people want to come earlier in our exhibition period so they have smaller audience,” Brinegar said.
A respite from pandemic stress, the Dallas Arboretum sparkles with holiday magic for the whole family. “When you sit on the hill, wherever you want to see the dazzling musical tree, what’s better than fresh air, beauty, a spectacular show and a view of the lake?” said Brinegar. “I think people are looking for charm, they are looking for shared experiences, they are looking for a place to create memories. We have it all. “
Learn more: https://www.dallasarboretum.org/