Where? Dallas Arboretum
If you already read our review of Autumn at the Arboretum, you know how much we love the Dallas Arboretum. However, three years ago, the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden opened and did the impossible- made the Arboretum even more fabulous! The Garden is not only visually stunning but interactive, playful and stimulating for many age levels (including adults). The park is set up in several different zones all focused on different earth science topics. The park makes a perfect outing for your little ones, just learning to walk and explore, all the way up to a third grader on an epic field trip (and there are a lot of field trips out here so be warned!!!)
My first tip is bring a bathing suit/change of clothes/wet bag if you’re going when the weather is warm. There are several water features beckoning your young ones to jump in and play, including the splash pad at the entrance. My son was soaking wet right from the start with no spare clothes. Mom fail!
As you walk through the park you’ll discover several distinct zones, each highlighting an educational aspect of Earth Science. You can pick and choose what you think is best for your young guests based on either the map they give you as you enter, or the signs at each entrance to the zone. My second tip, use your best judgement on if your kid is too old or too young to enter. One of the first areas, “My First Adventure”, is clearly for the youngest guests but I’ve seen kids much older in there ruining it for the little guys. Try to be respectful because there are a lot of areas that are appropriate for each age.
Throughout the park you will learn about every type of Earth Science you can imagine. “Walk in the clouds”, climb through a huge tree, slide down a giant vegetable, make your way through an actual hedge maze and so much more. The park truly lives up to it’s name, Adventure Garden. You will not be disappointed in the $3 extra you spend on this special gem within the Arboretum. In fact, if you have kids, skip the general Arboretum and come to this instead if you’re on a time crunch. It is hands down my favorite exhibit in all of DFW and a definite must see!
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO OF THE GARDENS: https://youtu.be/Hls5f_DRZRA (provided by Dallas Arboretum)
Friends, my only complaint about the park is that it is such a fabulous teaching tool, it is always packed full of field trips. Three out of four times I went, several zones were closed for these field trips. For someone who has to drive an hour to get to the park, missing out on these areas is not cool! Check ahead of time by calling to see if there are any field trips scheduled if you’re going on a weekday. Or I’ll let you in on my secret, go on a Monday because no schools are allowed to book field trips on Mondays.
If you can, plan the whole day just for this exhibit. I recommend bringing a stroller because this addition is at the back of the Arboretum grounds and is a bit of a hike to get to. Additionally, there is a lot of walking once you’re inside the 8 acre garden. My glider board is wonderful for this type of exhibit because my three-year-old can hop on and hop off whenever he’s feeling a little tired of walking (or we need to speed up). There is a cafe at the entrance of the exhibit that has healthy meal and snacks for purchase. Make sure you check it out before you go inside. Hangry is a real thing in my house- and I’m not just talking about with my kids.
Your Out and About Friend,
What is your favorite Earth Science? Mine is geology!
Day and time we visited: Saturday 12PM
Level of crowds– Medium
Changing Table: Yes
Cleanliness of Bathroom: Excellent
Recommended age: 2-10
Food Options: Yes
Allowed to bring in food and beverages? Yes
Stroller friendly– Yes
Staff supervision provided: No
Safety concerns- No
Recommend going again? Yes
Type of animals or exhibits: Nature/Science
Additional parks within? Yes- The Arboretum
Member discounts or deals? Yes
Some shade– Some pockets of shade by trees/ outdoors
Non Field trip days? Mondays
Gift Shop– Yes