Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center will offer Christmas Strolls through the illuminated gardens on select evenings in December and host Dreaming of a Green Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m., an activity suited for children of all ages.

Evening Christmas Strolls at Shangri La – On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, Dec. 6 – Dec. 22, 2012, from 6 to 8 p.m., Christmas lights and holiday music welcome visitors to Shangri La for the annual Christmas Strolls. See beautifully decorated trees and wander through the greenhouses adorned with poinsettias and seasonal flowers. The young and the young-at-heart can enjoy “Candyland” in the Children’s Garden area. The Garden Store will be open with great holiday gifts and the Star and Crescent Moon Café will feature holiday cookies and hot drinks for sale. Visitors to the Strolls will receive one coupon good for 30% off the price of one item at the Garden Store. This coupon is redeemable in-store and on an evening when Strolls are taking place. Admission to the Strolls is free with a non-perishable food item to be donated to area charities.

Dates of strolls: December 6, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20 and 22, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Dreaming of a Green Christmas – On Saturday, December 15, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., visitors of all ages are invited to take part in this family-friendly event, which includes activities and crafts for the entire family. Participation in Dreaming of a Green Christmas requires the purchase of an admission ticket to the Gardens.

Visitors can participate in a natural ornament making craft, which teaches attendees ways to use elements from nature to create a take-home Christmas decoration. Stop by to make an ornament from 10:00 a.m. until noon. No RSVP is required for this activity.

Santa Claus will be available between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and free photographs will be taken by Shangri La volunteers. The Children’s Garden will be decorated for the season as a “Candyland” with a gingerbread theme, including candy canes, lollipops and a gingerbread house. Beautifully decorated trees, created by local businesses and organizations and using repurposed materials, will line the courtyard and pathways at Shangri La, and the public is invited to see this seasonal décor.

In addition, visitors can take part in a Holiday Wreath Making workshop, from 1 to 3 p.m. Learn to make a festive wreath from natural materials during this family-friendly activity. The cost of this program is $20, payable by cash or check. Seating is limited and an RSVP is required. To reserve a seat, call 409-670-6799.

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. For more information, call 409.670.9113 or visit

 Pictured: Trees decorated by area businesses, organizations and groups will also be on view during the holiday season at Shangri La.