Christmas In The Branch officially kicks off on Friday, November 29 with the opening of Skating Under The Stars at the Children’s Health StarCenter outdoor ice rink in Farmers Branch. The hours vary throughout the 50 days of festive fun and the facility is only closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Last year thousands of skaters bundled up for magical evenings on the ice and memorable experiences during the holiday season.
Admission for ages 4 and up is $10 and youth admission for ages 3 & under is free. Skaters are welcome to bring their own skates. The StarCenter also offers rentals skates in most sizes for $5 per person.
Group rates and private ice time is available. This venue is perfect for company outings and holiday parties. Please contact the StarCenter at 214-432-3131 for more information on booking an event.
Farmers Branch residents get free skating admission on select dates with proof of residency. A valid ID with a current Farmers Branch address must be provided at check out. Skate rental is not included and there is a limit of four free skating admissions per household. The select dates for free ice rink admission are as follows:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29 SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30 SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21
Children’s Health StarCenter is located at 12700 N Stemmons Freeway in Farmers Branch. Skate under the stars at the outdoor ice skating rink. Open daily between November 29 and January 17 with specified hours. In the case of inclement weather, please contact the StarCenter front desk to verify the outdoor ice rink is open at 214-432-3131.
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The Farmers Branch Parks & Recreation team and former board members received three awards at the TRAPS (Texas Recreation and Park Society) North Region awards luncheon. The North Region Conference provides educational and networking opportunities for more than 500 TRAPS members and related professionals. This year the Farmers Branch Parks & Recreation was honored to receive recognition for the Barney Wood Bark Park design, and Excellence in Maintenance Award for the Ladonia House Renovation at the Historical Park.
The 2019 Advocate of the Year was awarded to Margaret Young for her extraordinary service as a leader and member of the community. Additional details about each award is provided below.
Advocate of the Year – Margaret Young
The purpose of this award is to recognize a group or individual who has made a significant contribution to parks and recreation in their community. For more than 37 years Margaret Young has been an active participant and vibrant leader for Parks and Recreation, and as a member of the Parks and Recreation Board, spending 13 of those years as Chair. Her desire to make Farmers Branch a better living place and determination to see dreams through to fruition have benefited the community many times over. She is a staunch advocate for those who might not otherwise speak for themselves, always remembering that recreation opportunities are for all abilities and income levels.
Park Design Award – Barney Wood Bark Park
The purpose of this award is to recognize a park development project which displays a high degree of professional design quality and recreation usage. Feedback from a recent citizen satisfaction survey made it clear that Farmers Branch residents were eager for a community dog park. Because Farmers Branch is “The City in a Park,” the staff knew the dog park needed to be a top-notch experience that was inviting to dogs of all sizes and their humans. The Barney Wood Bark Park is a one-of-a-kind dog park and event venue for the Farmers Branch community with plenty of lush green space, water features, shade, and seating, as well as a trendy concession area that rivals popular restaurant patios.
Excellence in Maintenance Award for the Ladonia House Renovation at the Historical Park (right)
The purpose of this award is to recognize superior maintenance standards and practices including creative approaches to problem solving and innovative means and methods of maintaining parks and recreation facilities. The Farmers Branch Historical Park’s Ladonia House restrooms underwent an interior and exterior renovation this spring. The interior was transformed from the 1980s era robin’s egg blue and cream to a vintage look complete with wood and metal walls. New fixtures, sinks, lighting, baby changing stations, partitions, and doors brought the finishing touches to the project. The exterior of the Ladonia House went from all white to a gray scheme making the restrooms standout and easier for visitors to locate.
Farmers Branch is celebrating 50 days of “Christmas in the Branch” and the holiday season starts November 29, 2019 and lasts until January 17, 2020. Last year the festivities spanned five weeks, and this year reflects an extended schedule of ice time for Skating Under The Stars, and three dates to shop the Holiday Marketplace at The Grove.
SKATING UNDER THE STARS
November 29, 2019 – January 17, 2020 Enjoy Skating Under the STARS at our outdoor ice skating rink located at the Children’s Health StarCenter in Farmers Branch, at the corner of I-35E and 635. The outdoor ice rink hours will be as follows: November 29 – December 19, Monday – Thursday | 5 pm – 10 pm and Friday – Sunday | 2 pm – Midnight. December 20 – January 5, Monday – Sunday | 2 pm – Midnight and January 6 – 17, Monday – Thursday | 5 pm – 10 pm and Friday – Sunday | 2 pm – Midnight. Skating Under the Stars is closed for Christmas & New Year’s Day. General Admission (ages 4+): $10, Youth admission (3 & under): FREE, and Skate rental: $5. Group rates and private ice time is available.
Farmers Branch residents get free skating admission on November 29 – 30, and December 1, 7, 14 and 21 with proof of residency. A valid ID with a current Farmers Branch address must be provided at check out. Skate rental not included. Limit four per household.
In the case of inclement weather, please contact the StarCenter front desk to verify the outdoor ice rink is open at 214-432-3131.
BAH HUMBUG! A CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS
December 6, 2019 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Don’t be a Scrooge! Join us for a holly-jolly time at the Farmers Branch Historical Park and enjoy Christmas crafts and activities inside our historic structures; and, as always, a snack! Cost is $2 per person.
HOWLIDAY PAWTY & CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE
December 6, 2019 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. This “howliday pawty” is a free furr-tastic evening with Santa, crafts, entertainment, strolling carolers, story time with Mrs. Claus, dance recital, fitness equipment and class demonstrations, refreshments, and opportunities to support local dog-friend organizations and more. This event will be taking place at the Barney Wood Bark Park and Farmers Branch Community Center.
DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS – EXHIBIT TOURS
December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. & December 6, 13, 20 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. See a literary classic come to life with the holiday exhibit, A Christmas Carol: A Celebration of Christmas Past. Join Ebenezer Scrooge on his journey visiting the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Tours are free and require no registration. Don’t be a humbug, come join us on a Christmas tour hosted by the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Our 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. tour will be lantern-led!
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING & HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE
December 7, 2019 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. This is the annual seasonal kick-off celebration as we welcome in the yuletide with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting located at Liberty Plaza. Shop local vendors for unique handmade & homemade gifts at our Farmers Branch Holiday Marketplace in the Grove. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus who will have a red hot arrival courtesy of the Farmers Branch Fire Department at 5:00 p.m.! The Liberty Stage features local acts and Brad Adkins will be rocking The Grove Stage with additional entertainment provided by The Ones. Additional activities include the Lighting of the City and Stage Show, inflatables, trackless train rides, balloon artists, face painters, and holiday crafts. Call the event hotline for more information 972-919-1433.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL TEAS
December 7 and 14, 2019 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. & 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. Join us for an afternoon of live harp music, delectable treats, Christmas décor, and of course, tea. $40 per person; $30 per Friend of the Farmers Branch Historical Park member; space is limited and pre-registration is required by calling 972-406-0184.
“A DICKENS OF A DINNER” POP-UP DINNER IN THE PARK
December 13, 2019 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.The second annual progressive pop up dinner to celebrate Christmas Past at the Historical Park. Sample canapés and cocktails as you tour the historic structures. As you stroll the grounds, enjoy Victorian Christmas carolers courtesy of Vocal Magic and characters from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol provided by Firehouse Theater. The evening concludes with a traditional Victorian dinner and dessert prepared by Cedar Creek Brewhouse and Eatery in the Dodson House. Ages 18 and up; alcohol provided for 21 + with ID, cost is $50 per person; space is limited and pre-registration required.
PANCAKES & PAJAMAS
December 14, 2019 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.Fun for the whole family, Pancakes & Pajamas includes a scrumptious pancake bar, holiday craft, visit with Santa and more. Of course you should wear your comfy and cozy holiday pajamas! This event is held at the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center and the cost is $5 per member or $8 for non-members. Call 972-247-4607 for more details.
HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE AT THE GROVE
December 14 and 21, 2019 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Shop for unique gifts from local vendors at the Holiday Marketplace at the Grove. Skate at the outdoor ice rink with your family and friends. Grab a bite to eat and drink at our concessions. Bring your camera to see Santa and Mrs. Claus benefiting local non-profits. Plus musical entertainment and tons of kids activities located at The Grove at Mustang Crossing.
THE CLOCK STRIKES NOON
December 27, 2019 10:00 – NoonThe Farmers Branch Historical Park staff is counting down and prepared to ring in the New Year with your little ones at a reasonable hour. The morning will be filled with crafts, snacks, and celebrating 2020 at noon! Ages 5 – 12 (4 year-olds are permitted to attend with an older sibling), cost is $15 per child, space is limited and pre-registration is required.
The Victory Belles vocal trio will pay tribute to those who served in the United States Armed Forces on Veterans Day in Farmers Branch. The Veterans Day Celebration is Monday, November 11, 2019 at The Branch Connection, formerly known as the Senior Center. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and ceremony includes the posting of the colors. Admission is free along with an All-American hot dog lunch for the whole family.
Patriotic ceremonies and entertainment from the accomplished entertainers will highlight the event which will include the recognition of this year’s Charlie Bird Spirit of Service Award recipient. This community event has become increasingly well attended and we strongly encourage an early arrival since the room fills quickly.
Listen to world traveling Victory Belles direct from the World War II Museum in New Orleans. This popular favorite group is making their return to Farmers Branch, with music of the 1940s that brought hope and joy to the GIs, and other gems of the WWII era. Their voices pay tribute to the Veterans, their families, and all who serve our country.
The Branch Connection is closed on Monday, November 11 until 2:00 p.m. for the Veterans Day Celebration. Formerly known as the Senior Center, The Branch Connection is located at 14055 Dennis Lane in Farmers Branch, in the southwest corner of Dennis Lane and Valwood Parkway. Contact 972-919-1433 for more information about the Veterans Day Celebration. Follow The Branch Connection on Facebook!
Farmers Branch iconic green water tank was among 12 finalists for the 2019 Tank of the Year. More than 300 water tanks were nominated for the contest and nearly 20,000 votes received for The People’s Choice winner. The Tank of the Year finalists are selected by a committee and the winner was announced on October 25, 2019. All finalists are included in the Tnemec’s 2020 water calendar.
The City of Farmers Branch water tank project was completed in April 2019. The tank was originally designed in collaboration with field applicator J.R. Stelzer, Co. and engineering provided by Birkhoff, Hendricks & Carter, LLP.
The bright green hue and the distinctive leaf design on the side of the tank’s shell and cone make the West Side Water Tank in Farmers Branch, Texas, hard to miss. But, even more noticeable is the height of the tank, as it is the tallest water tower in the State of Texas, standing at 240 feet tall.
And, to add to its noticeability, the roof of the tank even showcases the town’s name, visible for anyone flying over Farmers Branch on their way into or out of Dallas/Fort Worth. For longevity, all components of the tank’s steel were painted using innovative coating systems from Tnemec, including the fluoropolymer finish, HydroFlon.
Since 2006, Tnemec has celebrated the innovative and creative uses of its coatings on water tanks with the annual Tank of the Year contest. Each year, tanks of all varieties from across the U.S. and Canada are narrowed down to determine the most impressive coatings projects in the water tank industry. – via TNEMEC