You Should Explore the Dallas Arboretum While It’s Raining – Why Precipitation Haters Are Missing out
The forecast calls for even more rain in our future this winter, but we are ready for it at the Dallas Arboretum! When the clouds decide to unload, visitors in the garden are scarce, which is a shame.
As an Arboretum employee who is privileged enough to stroll through the gardens almost every day, I have some insider information for you:
Precipitation haters are missing out. I treasure the opportunity to forgo sunglasses for an umbrella for these four reasons:
1. The Garden Comes Alive!
When rain douses our plants, their colors become saturated, too. The Arboretum’s red Japanese maples are a deeper scarlet, the marigolds are practically gilded and the fiery ornamental peppers spark more brightly. You might already know the scientific explanation for this—lower light levels refracting differently off of objects coated in a thin layer of water—but you don’t need the specifics to enjoy a more vibrant Arboretum. There is a special beauty to be found within the greener, more intense hues of a rain-soaked garden.
Another precipitation plus: plants can’t help but thrive in a water-rich environment. Some of our flora grow bolder in the rain—sprouting new fronds, or introducing new blooms—and flowers open wider. It’s almost like every plant you pass is happier to see you.
2. Solitary Excitement!
It’s a shame most people equate strolling in the rain with “a bad time,“ but this ultimately works out for the rest of us. Sure, enjoying the beauty of nature with a crowd is fun, but I also love the silence and freedom of an unpeopled garden. No human distractions from my deep spiritual connection with nature. No bodies to worry about bumping into. No children who, due to their stage of development, understandably struggle to monitor their volume levels. Just myself, the gentle patter of raindrops, the chirping of birds and plants galore.
Also, parking is a breeze.
3. Bolder Fauna!
The Arboretum doubles as a habitat for thousands of birds, insects and other animals, but the majority of its human visitors only see the odd squirrel or grackle. Rarer creatures like rabbits, cardinals, blue jays and even the odd cat either care more about hiding or are better at it.
After months of daily walks in the Arboretum, I’ve made an unscientific conclusion: when it’s raining, more animals come out in the open. Perhaps the showers themselves encourage these little foragers to explore an acutely altered terrain. Perhaps reduced noise and foot traffic embolden our shier residents. No matter the reason, it’s a treat to see critters in action.
The trick isn’t just exploring on a rainy day: walking a steady pace, keeping your steps light, and remaining quiet all increase your chances of stumbling upon a furry or feathered friend.
4. Splash at Will—or Don’t!
I might preach the virtues of rainfall, but even I understand the difference between “delightful showers” and “monsoon season.” Luckily, if a terrifying downpour happens to spoil your garden adventure, the Dallas Arboretum’s Rainy Day Guarantee has your back. Just see our friendly representatives at the ticket booth to receive a free pass for another, sunnier day. Of course, restrictions apply—like you can only get your rainy day pass on the very day of the occurrence, the offer is only valid for a fully paid admission and the tickets will expire in 3 months. We love our guests, and it’s important to all of us that you have a lovely time in our company.
I hope you remember my advice the next time the news reports a 20% or higher chance of rain. We’ll see you in our gardens—with galoshes on!