Say “yes” to engagement photos at the Arboretum

With much anticipation, we have had the brightest blooms of the spring season here at the Dallas Arboretum, though while many couples  look forward to the blooms, they are also focused on something else: their weddings.

But before the “I dos” are said and the rice is thrown, there are engagement photos to be taken. More and more, couples are choosing outdoor venues to capture the occasion, especially during the warmer months when the flowers are in full bloom, providing a colorful backdrop and picture-perfect natural light.

The Arboretum is just such a venue. Thousands of couples get their photos taken here every year amid the gardens’ romantic landscapes and lush greenery. In case you’re anticipating capturing your own engagement moment here at the gardens, we have a few ideas for you. Here are some of the most popular, picturesque spots for your engagement photos:

Crape Myrtle Allee

With its arched, expansive bowers of mature crape myrtle trees lining its Pennsylvania brownstone pathway, our Crape Myrtle Allee provides an impressive backdrop for pics of you and your spouse-to-be. From the natural sunlight dappling through the branches to the popular “frog fountain,” Crape Myrtle Allee is one of the Arboretum’s most beloved features and provides a perfect setting for a reflective stroll captured in time. 

A Woman’s Garden

A gift from the Women’s Council of Dallas, this serene and nationally acclaimed garden features terraced walkways and exceptional views. Here, there is a bounty of settings in which to memorialize the moment, such as a native Texas limestone bridge, an alluring 140-foot hanging garden or a wellspring surrounded by towering dawn redwoods. You’ll also spy an expansive vista of White Rock Lake from the edge of a dramatic reflecting pool, making for an idyllic photo op. 

The DeGolyer Pergola

A top pick for intimate wedding ceremonies is a popular spot for engagement pictures as well. The DeGolyer Pergola boasts a breathtaking arbor overhung with vines. Underneath is a gorgeous shaded walkway, where couples have the flexibility to be shot in a variety of candid or posed ways.

While these are the three most popular spots for happy couples to pose, the Arboretum’s 66 acres gives couples the freedom to explore many other settings, including:

The Jonsson Color Garden, which features azaleas, crape myrtle trees and beautiful spring color, courtesy of our world-famous tulip display.

The McCasland Sunken Garden is surrounded by stone staircases, topiaries and gorgeous flowering beds, and makes for a serene place to stage your special moment.

So when spring and love is in the air, make use of the Arboretum’s colorful and inspiring scenery to memorialize one of the most special milestones of your life. (Speaking of, did we mention we also host weddings? Well, we can save that for another post.) Congrats to all you lovebirds! Hope to see you soon. Visit our Enchanting Engagements board on Pinterest for other ideas on locations in the garden for your photo shoot. 

Image Credit: Enchanting Engagements Pinterest Board

Ready to take your engagement photos at the Dallas Arboretum? Make sure you follow our non-commercial photography guidelines. Call 214-515-6615 for more details.

 

Family bonding at the Arboretum

With the recent emergence of spring, the time has come to leave behind the dreary winter weather and head outdoors. But make sure to bring your little ones with you. In addition to the beautiful gardens, there are activities for families to enjoy Mondays, Tuesdays and every day, really.

Mommy and Me Mondays are a fantastic way for moms and their kiddos to get a little bonding time while taking in the Arboretum’s natural beauty. The group meets Mondays from 10AM to 2PM in the Arboretum’s Pecan Grove. Activities include a petting zoo, face painting, nature art and Kindermusik classes.

Tiny Tot Tuesdays provide another day to enjoy some mommy-kid time. You’ll find many of the same activities from Monday, including face painting, a petting zoo, nature art and Kindermusik. You can join in the fun at Pecan Grove. Make sure to bring your camera along to snap some photos of your little ones! 

After enjoying the festivities, head over to the 8-acre Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden to take advantage of the age-specific galleries, beautiful views and innovative displays where you and your kids can learn about life and earth sciences through interactive exhibits.

Both Mommy and Me Mondays and Tiny Tot Tuesdays are free with general admission and will run every Monday and Tuesday throughApril 15. In case of rain or inclement weather, check the website or Facebook page the morning of to see if the events will be moved indoors.

The Arboretum hosts family-friendly activities every day of the week. They include:

Experiments and Mysteries: Exploration Center – Plant Lab

Through April 20: weekdays at 10AM, 1PM and 3PM; weekends at 10:30AM, 11:30AM, 1:30PM and 2:30PM

Children can analyze two different milk samples to decide which milk comes from an animal and which comes from a plant. Kids can also take part in a new CSI-inspired mystery, which teaches deductive reasoning. Experiments are complimentary with admission to the Children’s Garden.

Nature Puppet Show

Through April 20 (weather permitting): weekends at 10AM, 11AM, 2AM and 3PM

Children’s Garden guests are invited to watch the puppet show How Stumpy Got His Name. The nature puppet show stars Stump the Tree and several animal friends. The play is appropriate for children third-grade and younger, though all are welcome.

Learn About Birds

Through April 20

Look through the scopes on the Oasis and the Energy Tower to see the migrating birds on White Rock Lake. Visit the 9,100-square-foot Exploration Center to watch “See the Unseen,” a spin browser that captures details of a hummingbird in flight, pollen on a bat and more. Discover what birds are lurking through the Wildlife Blind in the Texas Native Wetlands. Identify various birdcalls and bird and animal tracks along the Dripping Springs Trail. 

Exciting and educational programs are also available throughout 2014 as part of the Year of the Children’s Garden initiative. Presented by respected professionals in the field of nature and chaired by exceptional community leaders, these custom events and programs highlight the unique educational offerings of the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden.

The Joy of Science presented by University of Texas at Dallas: Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden

Saturday, April 12: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Science professors and students will invade the Children’s Garden on April 12 to bring the Joy of Science to life. Look for a Physics Circus as well as activities in Geosciences, Robotics, Biology, Neurosciences, Chemistry and STEM. The Joy of Science program is free of charge to paid guests of the Children’s Garden.

You can call the Arboretum at 214-515-6500 for any additional information. Admission to the Children’s Adventure Garden is an additional charge.

Make time for a Friendship Tea

The tradition of afternoon tea has long been practiced in the United Kingdom, evoking images of well-appointed tearooms and civilized conversation. Teatime was not only a valuable social occasion, it was originally created to ward off hunger between lunch and dinner, with scones and clotted cream and jam as the prevailing nosh accompaniment.

Here at The Dallas Arboretum, we’re keeping that tradition alive and well with our Friendship Tea, served every day at 11AM and 2PM in the historic DeGolyer Estate overlooking the gardens. With a picturesque view and three delectable courses, it’s a lovely way to spend a couple of hours with a close friend.

Our courses go beyond the traditional scones and jam. First comes a demitasse of carrot ginger soup, followed by your choice of tea sandwiches, including cucumber, egg salad and turkey with orange butter. Finally, dessert, and if chocolate-covered strawberries aren’t for you, then a lemon curd tart or, yes, scones with clotted cream and jam should sate your sweet tooth.

 

And what would afternoon tea be without, well, tea? Choose from vanilla mint, cinnamon hibiscus or Earl Grey, and sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty of our 66-acre garden just outside.

So start a tradition of your own, and enjoy a refined but relaxing afternoon at our Friendship Tea. Once you finish sipping and snacking, take advantage of your surroundings with a leisurely stroll through the gardens. Please join us soon, as this exceptional experience ends February 28. Cheers!

Make your reservations here today. Prices range from $39 to $42 and include Main Garden admission, parking, tea service, tax and gratuity. Allow at least 24 hours advance notice for reservations. For more information or to book for parties of eight or more, call 214-515-6511 or email teas@dallasarboretum.org.

Welcome to a new year at the Dallas Arboretum!

It’s a new year, and we’ve resolved to branch out and bring you a brand-new blog to keep you updated on the latest happenings at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Though we’re in the middle of the coldest part of the year here in Big D, we’d be hard-pressed to refer to it as the dead of winter. There’s still plenty happening on our 66-acre garden grounds, and allium, hyacinth, saucer magnolia, alyssum, Iceland poppy, snowbells, viola and winter honeysuckle are still in bloom.

Even if the holiday decorations have been taken down, and Santa has come and gone, you can still enjoy a seasonal treat with our Friendship Tea, served through February 21 at Restaurant DeGolyer. To make reservations, call 214-515-6511 or email teas@dallasarboretum.org.

And we’re already gearing up for our annual Dallas Blooms Festival, which runs February 22 through April 6. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the event, which features more than 500,000 blooming spring bulbs, including tulips and daffodils, as well as thousands of annuals and perennials and, of course, our world-famous cherry blossom trees and azaleas.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, but talking about spring at the Arboretum, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our Cool Thursdays Concert Series. Pack your picnic basket and blanket and settle in for performances by national cover bands, including The Official Blues Brothers Revue, produced by Judy Belushi Pisano and Dan Akyroyd, and more. Plus, enjoy culinary offerings from the area’s best food trucks.

Artscape, our annual juried fine art and craft show, is another must-see. There will be plenty to spy and buy, as well as demonstrations, workshops and, naturally, food.

Obviously, there are many good reasons to turn over a new leaf and visit or join the Dallas Arboretum this year. So welcome, visitor, and stay tuned for much more coming soon!