Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum
8525 Garland Rd.
Hours: 9am–5pm daily.
Admission: $15 for adults and $10 for kids ages 3–12 for the main garden, plus a $3 fee for members and nonmembers to enter the children’s garden. Tickets are timed for entry. Purchase tickets online in advance to ensure entry.
Parking: Valet parking only will be available in the parking lots in front of the Children’s Garden and at Lakeland Drive. $10 for self-parking at the main public lot. Future parking at Garland/Gaston Road will be $5.
When the grand entrance gates to the Dallas Arboretum’s Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden finally swing open on September 21, the sight of the 20-foot-wide waterfall, treetop canopy walk and other larger-than-life exhibits just might take your breath away. Lucky for you, there’s oxygen to spare thanks to the cornucopia of flowers and greenery that are integrated into this garden paradise on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake.
The Dallas Arboretum, already ranked among the United States’ top ten botanical gardens, is now entering the world stage with this eight-acre, $62 million addition, which has both the fun factor of an amusement park and the educational value of a science laboratory that families won’t be able to get enough of.
Go ahead and plan a return visit, because you’ll need more than one trip to explore every inch of the 17 learning galleries and, yes, you’ll want to see it all. Each of the 150-plus interactive exhibits is designed to change the way your kids look at the natural sciences by stimulating their senses in a way that textbooks can’t.
The Pure Energy area, for starters, looks like a thing of the future. With a little help from water blasters, kids will learn how wind, water and solar power are harnessed to create electricity. For a jump zone like you’ve never seen, take the spiral staircase up through a 32-foot fabricated tree for cargo netting at treetop level. See those giant 3-D flower puzzles and the 16-foot-tall flower pot? Those reveal the inner workings of plant life in a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-style exhibit.
You’ll find glistening high-tech features around every bend: a real weather station at the Energy Tower, a six-foot-long kaleidoscope, and inside the Discovery Center, the largest OmniGlobe in the state. With the touch of a button, the illuminated globe toggles from a model of the 2004 tsunami to real-time images of weather streamed through NASA.
Most of the exhibits are targeted to kids in middle school and down to preschool, and toddlers can get in on the action at First Adventure, a fanciful play area with a plant petting zoo, caterpillar maze and a potting shed for pint-sized gardening.
This spectacular venue will draw families from across North Texas and beyond, so expect at-capacity crowds and tight parking while plans are in the works to expand parking options nearby – a small price to pay for this new opportunity to expand your child’s horizons.
Published September 2013