All aboard at NorthPark
Pandemic precautions won’t prevent NorthPark Center from going overboard with Christmas decorations, though they will require making sessions and storytimes with the mall’s beloved Santa Claus virtual.
Still, the Trains at NorthPark, a huge model train exhibit benefiting Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, returns with safety measures such as added cleaning and social distancing guidelines. Visit thetrainsatnorthpark.com.
The mall also remains a place for the Salvation Army Angel Tree effort to get gifts to those in need (ntxangeltree.org). It will feature the Bark + Build Pet Houses exhibit benefiting the SPCA of Texas, a Dallas Symphony Orchestra Mobile Concert (date to be determined), and other activities. Check northparkcenter.com.
Stroll the Arboretum
Feel safer outside? Holiday at the Arboretum continues through the end of December at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.
The classic 12 Days of Christmas depicts the days in its beloved namesake carol with 25-foot tall Victorian-style gazebos. The Pauline and Austin Neuhoff Christmas Village, with 14 old-world European-style shops, opens the day after Thanksgiving. New this year: a 23-foot-tall German-built Christmas Pyramid with lighted motion on every level, an Edelweiss Haus for food and drinks, a chocolate shop, and a toy shop. Visit dallasarboretum.org.
Take a ‘Snowday’
It’s too early to predict a white Christmas (and I wouldn’t dare here, anyway), but Dallas gets SnowDay for the second consecutive year.
The interactive experience filled with seasonal and zany photo opportunities drew 5,000 guests last year at the Plaza at Preston Center.
This year Scot and Kristi Redman have moved the fun to Galleria Dallas. There they have 5,000-plus square feet, approaching double last year’s space and enough room for new photo ops and social distancing. Photos shot with integrated professional cameras and lighting, and images will be delivered instantly to visitors’ phones and available for print in the gift shop. Camera phones also should come in handy. Visit snowdaydallas.com.
Skate around the tree
Galleria Dallas, decked in holiday décor, boasts the nation’s tallest indoor Christmas tree – 95 feet tall with 450,000-plus LED lights and more than 10,000 ball ornaments. A light show featuring the tree and holiday music occurs at noon daily and every two hours after until closing.
Guests may skate around the tree through Jan. 3. Because of the pandemic, the mall will offer only one figure skating spectacular this year. The show, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, will benefit Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. Visit DCAC.org for tickets.
Visit galleriadallas.com for information about pop-up entertainment, pet adoptions, photos with Santa, a cookbook signing with Chef Katie Dixon, Breakfast with Santa at American Girl, and the Salvation Army Angel Tree. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting occurs at 6 p.m. Dec. 10-18.
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