Throughout the month of December, the public is invited to enjoy holiday events at the venues of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation in Orange. Whether it is a leisurely stroll through Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, enjoying seasonal décor and music at The W.H. Stark House or Stark Museum of Art, or an evening at the Lutcher Theater, there is something for everyone in Orange this holiday season. Celebrate the holidays with the family-friendly events provided by the Stark Foundation.

Christmas Strolls at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

December 8, 10, 13, 15, 20 and 22, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Enjoy the beautiful seasonal décor at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Christmas lights and luminaries will welcome visitors and there will be beautiful Christmas trees decorated by different local organizations, families, businesses and schools. The Children’s Garden will be transformed into a “Candyland” and the Greenhouses will be decorated with poinsettias and other seasonal flowers. Also, the Star and Crescent Moon Café and Garden Store will be open during this event. Entrance is free with a non-perishable food item to be donated to Orange Christian Services.

Dreaming of a Green Christmas at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

December 10, 2011 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Christmas trees will line the walkways and the Children’s Garden will be decorated, featuring a gingerbread house. Between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Santa Claus will visit Shangri La, and each child will receive a free picture with Santa at Shangri La while they last. Children attending will be able to make natural ornaments for their Christmas tree and for adults there will also be a wreath making workshop. A reservation and $20 fee (including entry) is required for the wreath making workshop; call 409.670.9799 to reserve a spot.

Located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, Shangri La is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sundays, noon – 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 409.670.9113 or visit www.shangrilagardens.org.

Holiday Open House at The W.H. Stark House

December 13 and 15, 2011 – 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Join us for two evenings of live music and complimentary first-floor tours of holiday decorations along with refreshments served in the adjacent Carriage House, which serves as the entrance for this event. Seasonal décor throughout the first-floor and the holiday table-setting in the dining room will delight visitors during the complimentary tours. In the Music Room, musicians will be playing holiday selections during the night. Admission is free and children accompanied by an adult are welcome. This event is in conjunction with the Holiday Exhibit Celebration at Stark Museum of Art. Non-perishable food item are being accepted as donations to Orange Christian Services.

Located at 610 Main Avenue in Orange, Texas, The W.H. Stark House is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. For more information, call 409.883.0871 or visit www.whstarkhouse.org.

Holiday Exhibit Celebration at Stark Museum of Art

December 13 and 15, 2011 – 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Museum will host a Holiday Exhibit Celebration on two evenings, in coordination with the Holiday Open House of The W.H. Stark House. View the exhibition Medieval Manuscripts: From the Stark Collections, featuring four medieval Books of Hours with Christmas based imagery including Adoration of the Magi. Enjoy live music, gallery spotlights and light refreshments. Gallery spotlights regarding the Medieval Manuscripts will be at 5:30, 6:15, 6:45 and 7:30 p.m. each night. On Tuesday, the Lone Star Pipe Band will perform traditional Celtic music and on Thursday, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School Band will play holiday selections. This event is free to the public, but in observation of the holidays, we invite visitors to bring a new, unwrapped toy to be given to a child through the Blue Santa program.

Drop-in Art Activities at Stark Museum of Art

December 27, 28 and 29, 2011 – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Holidays are a wonderful time to visit the Museum with family and friends. Drop by for free, family art activities in the Lobby. Docents will assist visitors of all ages with creating art inspired by the special exhibition Medieval Manuscripts. Try your hand at calligraphy, make a bejeweled book or draw your own illumination. Families will learn how books were created in the Middle Ages as they explore the exhibition together.

Grand Viewing: Celebrating the Newly Remodeled Stark Museum of Art

December 29, 2011 – 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new at the newly remodeled galleries and lobby of the Stark Museum of Art. See the extraordinary art collection in new light, enhanced by bold colors and state-of-the-art lighting. All galleries and lobby will be open. Reception with light refreshments. Music by Jerry Nichols and Texas Thunder. This event is free and open to the public.

Located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, Texas, the Stark Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 409.886.ARTS (2787) or visit www.starkmuseum.org.

The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis at Lutcher Theater

December 29, 2011 – 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Wrap up the holiday season with international supergroup Mannheim Steamroller appearing for the first Christmas-time performance in Southeast Texas at Lutcher Theater. This annual Christmas tour with leading-edge multimedia effects has become a holiday tradition and the ultimate family experience.

Tickets are on sale now for Mannheim Steamroller, ranging from $35-$70 at www.lutcher.org or call 409.886.5535 for more information. Located at 707 Main Avenue in Orange, Texas, the Lutcher Theater box office is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.