Have you ever experienced Candlelight at Dallas Heritage Village? If not, here's why you should make it a priority this year. Now entering it's 44th year - Candlelight, sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Health, is a beautiful celebration of the holidays, offering something for everyone in your family. Enter the gates of what is a regular stop for school children, families and individuals all year, on December 12 and 13 (3 p.m. - 9 p.m. both days), and step back into time to see how the holidays were celebrated in the late 1800s by some of Texas' earliest residents. Follow the paths around the Village, lit by over 600 candles, and stop along the way to explore historic homes and structures decorated for the season. This year's theme - a Picture Perfect Candlelight - will show you some wonderful spots to stop and take a photo and capture a special memory with family and friends this year. Come explore how people of the past envisioned their holiday celebrations. Take a stroll and experience gleeful carolers, holiday storytelling, hand-weaving, blacksmithing, interpreters in traditional costume, and many other festive activities such as the popular American Flyer model train exhibit in the Depot, operated by the Lone Star Flyer Model Train Club. Tell St. Nicholas your holiday wishes, ride in Nip and Tuck’s donkey-pulled carriage and enjoy entertainment and performances by local groups on three stages all evening. Festive foods are available for purchase from food trucks as well as a bake sale, traditional kettle korn, nuts and more.
"Every year we love seeing our guests enjoying the many scenic decorated areas of the Village and posing for pictures, the inspiration for this year's "Picture Perfect" theme," said Melissa Prycer, president and executive director, Dallas Heritage Village. "At Candlelight, past and present images converge, honoring and creating new memories. Candlelight is truly a magical event that has been a holiday tradition in Dallas for 44 years, and we welcome visitors from across the globe."
During Candlelight, pioneer and Victorian Texas is brought to life. Guests may explore a variety of historic buildings, circa 1840 to 1910, traditionally decorated by area garden clubs. Different family holiday traditions and activities are celebrated at Candlelight in each of the homes. At the 1860s Farmstead, see how early Dallas pioneers enjoyed a modest Christmas as the country approached the Civil War. Listen to Cowboys tell tales around the bonfire, and stop by the Alamo saloon for a root beer and a game of dominoes. Don’t forget to visit a special 19th century guest, St. Nicholas, in the Depot and snap a photo with him.
In Browder Springs Hall, kids may participate in hands-on holiday crafts. Create a bit of magic with a Thaumatrope or "wonder turner." These toys were popular in the 19th century and are simple devices that brought animated entertainment to adults and children alike until the development of modern cinema. Choose a vintage illustration or draw your own for a picture perfect toy. You may also create a Popsicle stick wooden picture frame to hold your Candlelight memories. While you build a classic wooden frame with these sticks, learn the history of the popsicle. In 1905, an 11-year-old boy left his soda outside on the porch with a stick in it and it froze. When he grew up he sold the first popsicle! See what it’s like to tint photos and practice tinting vintage photos to create a unique image. Since the very first days of primitive monochrome photography, people have attempted to add color by hand to enhance the image and create a more realistic picture.
Attendees may also ride around the Village in a surrey pulled by the Village’s loveable Mammoth Jack donkeys Nip and Tuck ($5 per rider) or a hay wagon pulled by a vintage tractor ($3 per rider). Local food trucks, such as Easy Slider, Rock & Roll Tacos, and Mad Grill will be on site along with Kettle Korn and Ty’s Tasty Treats, featuring roasted nuts & hot chocolate. The Dallas Heritage Village Guild will also be holding their annual sale of baked goods, jams, and jellies.
Local musicians, dancers and storytellers entertain at the Renner School (circa 1888), on the Main Street (circa 1900) stage, in the Pilot Grove Church (circa 1890), on porches of Victorian homes and along the candlelit pathways of the Village. Entertainment groups include dance companies, musicians, bands, choirs, and many others. For a complete list of performers and performance times, please visit www.DallasHeritageVillage.org.
All proceeds from Candlelight, the museum’s biggest annual public fundraiser, benefit museum programs at Dallas Heritage Village. General admission to Candlelight (gate prices) is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 65+ and $8 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and under and museum members are free. Tickets purchased online at www.DallasHeritageVillage.org by December 12 are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 65+ and $6 for children. Visit http://www.dallasheritagevillage.org/candlelight for more details or call 214-421-5141. Self-parking at the Village is available for $5. Dallas Heritage Village is located at 1515 S. Harwood, Dallas, Texas 75215.
Candlelight corporate and family sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Preston Cooley at 214-413-3662, firstname.lastname@example.org. Various sponsorship levels are available with benefits as well as area and activity sponsorships.
Special Days during the Holiday Season
Decorated by local garden clubs and community groups, the Village’s historic structures will be open for touring during regular museum hours throughout December. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sunday, 12-4 p.m. (Closed on Monday).
With the exception of December 12 and 13, free parking is available at the Village throughout the season.
This is an event for everyone - families, friends, kids, individuals, and couples! Come experience it.