As someone still relatively new to the Dallas area (I moved here last August) I am learning more and more about the city everyday. I have gone to my first State Fair, visited a handful of the numerous museums the metroplex has to offer, and have been to my fair share of sporting events. However I find that sometimes I am still missing out on some of the great things that Dallas has to offer to make new family traditions. One of those great things is Candlelight.
Every year Dallas Heritage Village has a winter celebration in which the museum is open at night and is lit by the glow of countless candles. Our period homes are decorated for the holidays in historical fashion, and you can find the various ovens being put to use with cooking demonstrations. It is an exciting time and one that I am ecstatic to take part in this year. You may be wondering, however, out of all the things to do in Dallas, why should I make Candlelight my family’s tradition? I asked various staff members that same question and here is what they had to say:
Kay Lewis, our Volunteer Coordinator and a Guest Services Representative, explains. “Imagine walking into the colorful past with your family. You see people walking about in period clothing, hear carolers singing about the season, smell wonderful scents of food, have a chance to make Yuletide crafts, ride on a hay ride, visit with Father Christmas, and much more. Crisp weather with lighted candles everywhere. Make a new Holiday tradition for your family. Join with a family membership and enjoy Candlelight free, as well as other special events throughout the year.” Candlelight tickets go on sale November 1 and can be purchased on our website. However, as Kay mentions, you don’t have to wait to purchase your tickets! With any of our membership options, you get an allotted number of Candlelight tickets for free. It’s a great way to bring the family out and experience all the magic for a low cost(membership must be purchased by December 1, for complimentary Candlelight 2014 tickets).
As another Guest Services Representative, Joanna Shampine, describes, “Candlelight always gets me into the Christmas spirit. It works its magic on me every time. There is a wonderful variety of entertainment including carolers and dancers, a delicious bake sale, people in period costumes, the skilled blacksmith, and wagon rides. The vintage buildings are on display with old-fashioned decorations, dinner is available and people with Christmas spirit are sharing their joy. For the young visitors, there is a special area with crafts just for them and they can also visit St. Nicholas. Now this is old-fashioned! Candlelight warms the heart. Come and see for yourself!” Sometimes experiencing the traditions of the past is a great way to create new traditions for your family now. Plus visitors young and old take joy in seeing St. Nicholas because you are never too old to be swept up in the Christmas excitement.
But St. Nicholas isn’t the only attraction at Candlelight that stays in people’s minds year round. As Racheal Fullerton, Guest Services Representative can tell you, “every year at Candlelight we have vendors who come in and they make the most excellent kettle corn, and it is very cool to watch them make it. I love the atmosphere of the Village at Candlelight, the cold air and the sights of the walkways lit by candles and walking into the homes where people are cooking in the kitchens. Families should make this their holiday tradition because it is a truly unique event in Dallas and something to look forward to before Christmas, a chance to step away from the hectic crowded stores and enjoy an evening in our historic village.” As you can see even the kettle corn is reason enough to make this event a family tradition for years to come!
Finally Candlelight also has the ability to restore the holiday spirit for some visitors. Candlelight Volunteer and former Guest Services Representative, Elizabeth Qualia explained, “The past few years haven’t felt like Christmas and the holidays for me because my sister and I are growing up and our family traditions have had to change. Some of that child-like wonderment and magic had seemed to disappear especially since my sister moved so far away. Attending Candlelight brought back some of that holiday sprit and happiness for me. Plus there is NEVER a line to see Father Christmas.” Candlelight is not only a time to witness all the seasonal wonder, but also to spend quality time with loved ones away from all the hustle and bustle. Candlelight brings the holiday season back to its most simple element of simply being together.
This year Candlelight will be held on December 13 and 14 from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. Discounted tickets for the event are available online and we hope you decide to make Candlelight your new holiday tradition this year!