12 Days of Christmas
November 9 to December 31
One of “The South’s Best Holiday Experiences” – Southern Living Magazine
In December, we celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with Holiday at the Arboretum, featuring the return of the magnificent The 12 Days of Christmas outdoor exhibit.
Celebrate the holidays like never before with this centerpiece exhibit featuring an elaborate collection of 25-foot Victorian style gazebos filled with the charming costumed characters, whimsical animals and music made famous by the beloved Christmas carol. Each gazebo will be encased in glass and extravagantly decorated on all sides to provide a dramatic, three-dimensional experience, and will feature mechanical parts and festive music that will assist in bringing the characters to an even more life-like state.
Enjoy the .75-mile walk through the garden exhibit, as you witness these handcrafted gazebos spread across our winter wonderland.
12 Days of Christmas Sponsors
Day 1: Partridge in a Pear Tree
Sponsored by Jeanne R. Johnson
The Pear Tree has gold branches sprinkled with rhinestones, green mirrored leaves, and gold, rhinestone encrusted pears. The partridge sits “center stage,” intricately painted and adorned with rhinestones. The tree revolves with the partridge in it.
Day 2: Two Turtle Doves
The Two Turtle Doves cuddles on an arrow that pierces a heart-shaped cage suspended from the roof of the gazebo. The feather-tailed turtle doves are intricately painted and covered with rhinestones. The outer cage of crystal beading is decorated with fleur de lis banding on top and bottom.
Day 3: Three French Hens
Day three reflects the native countryside of the Three French Hens. White and gold oval French mirrors bolster Victorian perches for the hens, and this base turns. The hens, black-and-white with red accents,sits in gold straw nests.
Day 4: Four Calling Birds
Sponsored by A Friend of the Dallas Arboretum
The Four Calling Birds sit on filigreed, jeweled, Victorian hanging bird perches within an inner oval cage made of iridescent bead strands. The calling birds are multi-colored, with feather plumes and long tails.
Day 5: Five Golden Rings
In honor of Great Grandparents Dolph and Evelyn Bosley and their 5 Gold Rings
The Five Golden Rings feature a Victorian circus with a ceiling draped in red and white fabric to mimic a circus tent. The center circus ring has a pedestal with oval mirrors on which a white bear wearing a vest and collar balancing a spinning gold ring on his nose. The bear is surrounded by four seals wearing ruffled collars that are seated and balancing spinning bedazzled gold rings on their noses.
Day 6: Six Geese A-Laying
The Six Geese A-Laying is set in a snow-covered forest. Snow-flocked trees of varying sizes sit on a mirrored floor that turns. Snow and rhinestone “rocks” are piled high around the edges of the gazebo. Two geese are sitting on nests, two are standing in their nests to reveal golden eggs, and two are nested in the trees. The geese have feathered and rhinestones heads and necks, and feathered bodies.
Day 7: Seven Swans A-Swimming
Sponsored by Phyllis and Tom McCasland
The seven swans float in a snowy, ice crystal palace. The gazebo feature a pond with a tiered fountain and frozen water and icicles in the center of a mirror, or “frozen” pond. The swans, six white and one with black feathers with small crowns on their heads, are around the fountain.
Day 8: Eight Maids-A-Milking
Sponsored by Kathy and Gene Bishop
This gazebo feature a truly spectacular English barn divided into four wedge-shaped stalls. There are four intricately painted cows and four beautifully costumed maids sitting on stools while milking. Four other maids are carrying pails.
Day 9: Nine Ladies Dancing
In Honor of Chloe Simone Shea. Given by Holly & Tom Mayer, Maile and Charles Shea
Nine Ladies Dancing feature a Victorian ballroom. The ladies are costumed in beautiful Victorian beaded gowns and have elegant period hair styles. All of them move around the gazebo, and four make complete turns.
Day 10: Ten Lords A-Leaping
This gazebo features ten ice-skating lords. The mirrored floor is a frozen pond. The lords are dressed in Victorian outerwear and ice skates, and all will be skating.
Day 11: Eleven Pipers Piping
Sponsored by a Friend of the Dallas Arboretum
The pipers are dressed as Scottish bagpipe players in red and green tartan plaid. Each piper plays bagpipes. The ceiling is draped in green and red tartan to match the pipers’ kilts, and a circle of horns adorned with roping and tassels will suspend from the ceiling over the pipe major. The pipers also move in this gazebo.
Day 12: Twelve Drummers Drumming
Sponsored by Myron K. Martin
This gazebo is a spectacular choice to the exhibit. The drummers are dressed in white pants with red and gold piping, red jackets and red hats with gold trim. They move in concentric circles, with one set moving clockwise and another set moving counterclockwise.