We had a wonderful day at the Dallas Arboretum! Their current event is called Holiday at the Arboretum and it's the perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit, especially if you go on the weekend because there are lots of great activities for children.
We started by visiting with Donner. Who knew he would come all the way from the North Pole to visit the Arboretum the same day that we were there!
Rachel was in her stroller when we first walked up to Donner. As soon as she saw him she started bouncing up and down in her seat and trying to figure out how to undo her seat belt! But both children thought that seeing live reindeer was a real treat.
We also saw costumed Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph walking around but Nicholas still gets nervous around costumed characters so he wouldn't go up to them. He is also quick to pass on face painting. I don't think he's ever had his face painted because he always seems afraid to get it done. But the painter at the Arboretum was just great. He talked to Nicholas about some things that he could paint and Nicholas actually felt comfortable enough to agree to do it! He's all boy so, of course, he wanted something creepy like a spider. But he did agree to let the spider wear a Christmas hat so he would at least fit in with the Christmas theme. Look how great the Christmas spider looks! Nicholas was so excited when he saw it in the mirror.
Ms. Claus has a storytime on the weekends but we didn't get a chance to see her today but we did see Santa Claus as he was posing for pictures. What a great place to get pictures with Santa (and the price is great too!).
We spent a great deal of time in the DeGolyer House where 523 nativity scenes are on display throughout the house. Can you believe it? 523 nativity scenes all in one place! It was incredible. The collection is actually a combination of two collections from George Dvorsky and Dr. and Mrs. Harrington. What a wonderful item to collect.
What was fascinating was the variety in the collection from the use of different materials and media like wood, metal, ivory, and plastic to the different sizes created from miniature to large scale as well as the origins of the nativities from around the world. I couldn't help but notice the different feelings evoked by different nativities. Some were very touching, some were awesomely beautiful, while others made me smile or even laugh.
We saw a nativity made from ebony from Tanzania...
And one made from metal car parts from Mexico...
You can't help but smile when you see the rubber ducky nativity! This was Nicholas' favorite :)
There were many that were simply elegant and beautiful...
And then there was one made in Uruguay from an old ammunition box.
And one made in Tennesse from corn husks...
We had fun exploring the Arboretum together and enjoying the Storybook Playhouses again before they disppear.
Of course, a little boy can find fun anywhere. Nicholas loved jumping in the puddles near the parking lot as we were leaving to go home.
Be sure to bring your little elves to visit Holiday at the Arboretum which runs through January 3rd.