My love affair with the Dallas Arboretum is long-standing. I remember coming to Dallas Blooms for the first time over 15 years ago with my little digital camera (before cell phones had cameras y’all!), taking pictures of flowers of every kind. I’ve been a fan of daffodils since I dressed up as one in my elementary school spring play and the tulips bring a smile to my face each year. Did you know there are 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs that also include Dutch Iris and hyacinths to view when you visit Dallas Blooms?
My family lives in East Dallas and we are pretty much obsessed with this place. My husband took me to the Dallas Arboretum on our first date. We took our maternity photos there when I was pregnant with our daughter. If it’s a Saturday and I start putting my shoes on, my littlest looks at me and says “Mommy, we go to ‘retum?” And, we love to take bike rides at White Rock Lake on Thursday nights and hear music from Cool Thursdays as we cycle past. I consider it the crown jewel of this side of town.
Let’s dive into what makes the Arboretum so great!
It’s kid friendly. Wide open spaces allow lots of room to run and get the wiggles out. Our favorite spots are the big hill in front of Martin Rutchik Concert stage. If no one is performing, my kids love to go up on stage and dance and sing for a pretend audience and they love to play “balance beam” on the concrete rows at the bottom of the hill. And, we haven’t even gotten to the Rory Myers Children’s Adventure Garden yet!
The views are amazing. But there are more than just flowers to peep at. My kids sat and watched the fish in the Koi pond for about thirty minutes the last time were there. We almost always find some hyperactive squirrels that want to share our picnic with us or end up chasing some quick-footed bunnies. My daughter’s obsession with princesses means we hear a lot of excited squeals from her when she sees bridal and quinceanera photo shoots in progress.
You can always count on fun things to do. Monday and Tuesdays have a variety of kids activities including a petting zoo, face painting, Kindermusik and stroller fitness. It’s great for dates, too, as there are plenty of adult options like gardening or cooking classes.
Now that you’re sold, here’s what you need to know for a great trip to Dallas Blooms.
You can bring your own picnic but the Arboretum has options, too. We are huge fans of the Grilled Cheese Kiosk. You will need to reserve tickets ahead of time. Don’t wait because the Dallas Blooms ends on April 11th.
You’ll probably want to take photos of everything! Here are a few of my secret photo spots where I can grab some great images away from the crowds:
As you walk in veer left towards A Tasteful Place.
- The Barbara and Bob Bigham Scenic Overlook is the perfect spot to blend the nature at the Arboretum with the Dallas skyline in the back.
- Have the photographer in your crew stop at Three Sisters Lagoon Overlook to snap a photo of you on the bridge above the lagoon.
Then, start to meander through the rest of gardens heading back towards the main entrance.
- The Rose Mary Haggar Rose Garden is just off the beaten path near Cafe on the Green will bloom in May. The archway makes a great stop for a photo. Most folks head across to the Crepe Myrtle Alee so this spot can often be overlooked.
- Stop and wander through the Water Walls near the Lay Family Garden.
Lastly, head towards the stage and enjoy the best view of the lake. Then, make your way around the side of the gardens closest to White Rock Lake.
- The Koi pond I mentioned feels a million miles from busy Dallas. If you wind around behind the stage and past Karen’s Gazebo back towards the main entrance you’ll find it. It feels like a secret waterfall you might stumble onto on an island getaway.
- A Womans’ Garden is so serene. And, the beautiful square arch is a perfect backdrop from either side.
- And, my new favorite spot is The Poetry Garden with its beautifully manicured hedges and florals. Make sure to snag pictures from above as well.
Dallas Blooms is running now through April 11, 2021 with this year’s theme “America the Beautiful.” This year, Dallas Blooms will have a dedicated week with a focus on one of the six regions in the United States with food, music, flowers and special events. From wine & beer pairings to children’s activities and book signings, you can find the complete schedule here.