December is a wonderful time to enjoy the many City facilities that our tax dollars support. I hope that you have the opportunity to take advantage of the following activities, many of which have no admission charge.

To celebrate our cultural heritage, H.O.P.E. (Holidays of People Everywhere) has organized a series of events at City Hall. Take advantage of the following activities and discover how our neighbors celebrate this season.

Dec. 3 – A tree lighting, 6-7:30 p.m. at City Hall Plaza, 1500 Marilla.

Dec. 9 – African Heritage Evening, 7:30-9 p.m. in the main lobby of City Hall, 1500 Marilla.

Dec. 16 – Spanish Speaking Peoples Evening, 7:30-9 p.m. in the main lobby of City Hall, 1500 Marilla.

Dec. 19 – Asian Cultures Afternoon, 2-3:30 p.m. in the main lobby of City Hall, 1500 Marilla.

Dec. 30 – Native American Indian New Year’s Celebration, 6-7:30 p.m. in the main lobby of City Hall, 1500 Marilla.

Our libraries continue the international theme for the holidays. The holiday tree in the first floor lobby of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young, is decorated with ornaments from many countries.

At the Audelia Road Library, 10045 Audelia, one can see an exhibit of Madonnas from around the world.

Mark your calendars for “Toy Shop Christmas Operetta” on Dec. 11 at 2 and 3:30 p.m. at the Forest Green Library, 9015 Forest. This musical tells the story of two children locked in a toy shop on Christmas Eve.

If you’re looking for a holiday tree-lighting closer to home, on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. you can visit the Willie B. Johnson Recreation Center, 12225 Willowdell. This is an annual event in Hamilton Park.

The Adolphus Parade is a must! The parade is set for Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. It begins at the Adolphus Hotel on Commerce and ends at City Hall Plaza.

For those who want to experience the “Sights of Christmas Past,” plan to visit Old City Park for the Candlelight Tour. The homes and buildings boast holiday décor typical of the Nineteenth Century. Tours are conducted Dec. 10-12 from 6-10 p.m. Call 421-5141 for ticket prices.

Some of the most elegant holiday decorations can be found in the Spanish-style DeGolyer House at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This year’s theme, “A Winter Wonderland,” will be featured Dec. 6-Jan. 2. Tours of the house are available daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with the admission cost included in the garden admission. For information, call 327-8263.

If you’re like the Halstead family, this season is not complete until we’ve spent an evening looking at “the lights.” This year, add Samuel Farm to your list of places to see.

“Holidays on the Farm” can be seen Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18 from 6-10 p.m. Admission is $2 per car or $20 per bus.

Our newest museum has an exhibit of Christmas Dolls for us to enjoy this season. Visit the Museum of African American Life and Culture Dec. 4 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Dec. 5 from noon-5 p.m. After you’ve seen the dolls, check out the magnificent quilts on display.

Parents who are looking for daytime activities for school-age children should call the Science Place at 428-5555. Six classes with seasonal themes are available. These holiday fun courses are Dec. 20-22 and Dec. 28-30 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. If you’re interested, call early! As with all classes offered at the Science Place, enrollment is limited.

Our cultural organizations are offering a variety of traditional entertainment. The following is a partial list of the holiday performances. Please check exact performance times and ticket prices.

Nov. 30-Dec. 26 – “A Christmas Carol,” Dallas Theatre Center. For information, call 526-8857.

Dec. 21-24 – Dallas/Fort Worth Ballet performs “The Nutcracker” at the State Fair Music Hall. For information, call 565-1116.

Dec. 16-23 – Dallas Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” at the Majestic Theatre. For information, call 880-0137.

Dec. 9, 12, 16 and 17 – Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs a Christmas Concert at the Meyerson Symphony Center. For information, call 670-3600.

Dec. 18-19 – Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform “The Messiah” at Meyerson Symphony Center. For information, call 670-3600.

I hope that you are able to enjoy some of these wonderful activities during this very festive season. And from the Halstead family to each of you – Happy Holidays.