Friday, December 6, 2013

Totally Texas -- Santa's tiny village is big in Richardson

Santa’s Village

411 W. Arapaho Road

Richardson, Texas


For the past month, my grandkids have been watching Santa’s Village rise on the lawn behind the Richardson city library along Arapaho Road. Santa's Village is a tiny town of brightly colored, kid-sized houses. And for three weekends each December, Santa is in residence.

This year he arrives at 6 p.m. Saturday, December 7, in time to light the town’s holiday tree, staying till 9 p.m. He returns to Richardson December 8, December 12-15, and 19-22.

As of fifteen minutes before this posting, anticipated wintry weather has not caused Richardson to cancel the opening, but if conditions are icy Saturday, cancellations will be posted at 972-744-4301, option 4, and at

No matter what the weather, the line to see Santa for pictures and gift requests always winds the length of the village, so best arrive well before the opening. The civic center parking lot fills early, as do the post office and bank lots across the street. Please ask before parking in front of neighboring businesses!

Besides Santa, the village is inhabited by costumed characters ready to chat and pose for pictures with children--maybe even with adults if they ask nicely! Children may leave letters for Santa at the village post office, get a height and weight check-up at the teddy bear hospital, a cookie from the bakery, view the kid-friendly window displays, listen to seasonal music performances, and more.

During daylight hours, when Santa is away, the village is still open for strolling and picture taking. Admission is free, sponsored by Richardson’s Park and Recreation Department.

UPDATE, Friday p.m.:  The city of Richardson reports activities at Santa's Village this weekend are cancelled.  Save those wish lists for next week!

Need some indoor activities while the weather’s coldest? The Bookmarks branch of the Dallas Public Library inside NorthPark (Northwest Highway and Central Expressway in Dallas) is one of my family’s favorites. I know, shopping malls get crazy in December, but Bookmarks is surprisingly laid back, and one of the few Dallas library branches open on Sundays and Mondays. Comfy chairs, kid-friendly computers, books and magazines even a parent can enjoy. For a schedule of activities, see

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