Celebrate Spring at the Dallas Arboretum’s First Ever Groundhog Day Party
Starring the Arboretum's own weather-predicting woodchuck
Words Elizabeth Quinn, Photography Courtesy of Dallas Arboretum
Published January 2019
Updated February 20, 2019
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Like many North Texans eager to trade sweaters and boots for sandals and shorts, we’re counting down the days until it’s warm weather again. This Saturday (February 2) is Groundhog Day, and the question on everyone’s mind: can we expect six more weeks of winter, or is spring right around the corner? And while the rest of the nation relies on Punxsutawney Phil for the answer, this year locals can turn to our very own weather-predicting woodchuck making her debut at the Dallas Arboretum.  

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GROUNDHOG DAY CELEBRATION
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
8525 Garland Road, Dallas, 214/717-4139
Saturday, February 2, 7-9am
Cost: $5/person; parking ($15/at gate; $9/online)

Ahead of the annual Dallas Blooms festival (which opens on February 23), the Arboretum is hosting its first shadow ceremony with the help of their newest addition to the team, Arboretum Annie. According to holiday lore, if the groundhog sees her shadow, we will have six more weeks of winter. No shadow? Spring will arrive early. Turn the early morning event into a fun game for the family and have the kids share their predictions!

The event kicks off at 7am in A Tasteful Place, the Arboretum’s edible garden, and will be hosted by WFAA meteorologist Colleen Coyle. Load up on breakfast bites (not foraged from the garden—food and beverage will be available for sale) before the sun rises at 7:22am. After Arboretum Annie makes her prediction, people can snap photos with Annie, make groundhog-themed crafts and settle in for a screening of the classic holiday flick, Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. 

The $5 admission is valid for the entire day, so be sure to enjoy a stroll around the garden grounds (and consider a visit to the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden) before heading home. The kids will be so tuckered out from all the activity that they’ll need a mid-morning nap.

Groundhog Day guests are encouraged to don a hat (Texas-style recommended) to participate in a hat contest. Decoration materials will be provided so that participants can create something elaborate, magical or simple for their head-topping look for a chance to win a prize.