Something awesome is coming to Dallas. Or rather, someplace awesome is coming to Dallas. The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is opening at the Dallas Arboretum on September 21st. The Children’s Adventure Garden is the result of a beautiful, flowery, secret garden colliding with the coolest science museum ever. And I’ve got your sneak peek right here.
The only Children’s Garden of this type in the world, it offers more than 150 interactive exhibits on an eight-acre site. Each area is like a museum gallery, but with no walls. Every exhibit is based on state and national curriculum standards for life and earth science. And it’s all been designed with a lot of thought and care considering how to teach kids science and get them interested in it at a really early age.
In addition to beautiful paths and gardens to explore, there are 17 different galleries focusing on different scientific topics. The flow of the garden moves from the ground (seeds) to the sky (weather and the water cycle) covering all sorts of science in between. The exhibits are all incredibly interactive. The exhibit below, teaching about erosion and the water cycle, was one of my favorites.
Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden Galleries:
- The Entry Plaza – Shaded amphitheater that can accommodate 200 people. Plus fountains for splashing.
- First Adventure – Walled and shaded garden designed for the youngest visitors to play in natural settings.
- The Incredible Edible Garden – Exhibit focusing on good nutrition, the multicultural aspects of food, and economic botany.
- The Orchard and Vineyard – This area is a beautiful extension of the Incredible Edible Garden, which teaches that food also comes from trees, shrubs and vines.
- Plants Are Alive – An inside look at the life of plants that helps young children discover how plants live and grow. Oversized plants, a la Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
- Kaleidoscope – Two kaleidoscopes to show patterns and shapes, refraction and reflection. World of patterns, shapes and structures in nature and integrates concepts of science, math, art and architecture.
- The Oasis – A rooftop display garden that is beautiful in every season, the Oasis offers a lovely high spot in the center of the garden for visitors to relax and view the nearby learning galleries. Programming changes with the horticultural display.
- The Texas Skywalk – An elevated walk that’s 240 feet long through the tree canopy in the heart of the children’s garden, The Skywalk invites visitors to discover the benefits of trees and demonstrates what lives in the treetops.
- Pure Energy – Here, children investigate how energy from the natural sources of wind, sun and water can be transformed into electricity for our use. An energy tower, shooting water pistols and sun blasters are additional features that teach these concepts.
- Habitats – An adventure bridge, a 30-foot tree snag and a canopy walk above the habitat trail add excitement and challenge as kids learn about different habitats.
- Living Cycles – In this learning room, children observe change and the circle of life, from changing seasons and plant and animal life cycles to pollination, metamorphosis and decomposition.
- Earth Cycles – Children actively explore a cave, rock and water cycles, a weather station, fossils and the solar system.
- The Amazing Secret Garden – This maze offers children engaging rewards along the way to the secret garden.
- The Walk on the Wild Side – This discovery trail includes switchbacks with tracks in the path along the way to help visitors guess which native animal or plant is hiding around the next turn.
- Exploration Center with OmniGlobe – This 9,100-square-foot building employs innovative exhibits and interactive technology to engage children in all aspects of life and earth science exploration.
- Texas Native Wetlands– The largest learning room, Texas Native Wetlands is a 31,000- square-foot wetlands ecosystem experience with floating bridges, boardwalks through grass tunnels and a secluded wildlife blind.
- The Petroglyph Walk – Inspired by Native Americans, the Petroglyph Walk features large rocks with symbols and designs on them, depicting the messages used by ancient Americans to communicate.
Only one section of the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is indoors. The Exploration Center features a plant lab for experiments, smart tables, CSI Mysteries to solve, a soil lab and the signature feature, the OmniGlobe. The 5 ft tall globe transforms via a touch screen into high-tech models of planets—including Earth—moons and the galaxy. The programs demonstrate continental drift, ocean currents, population density, deforestation, hurricanes, tsunamis, geology and ecosystems. Weather events, such as an impending hurricane can be shown in real time, thanks to an Internet connect to NASA (delayed by seconds).
Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden Nitty Gritty Details
The Dallas Arboretum is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. A part of the Dallas Arboretum, the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is located at 8657 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. More information can be found at www.dallasarboretum.org.
The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Admission to the Dallas Arboretum is $15 for adults (13-64 years old), $12 for senior citizens, $10 for children 3-12 years old. There will be an additional fee of $3 each for members and non-members to enter the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, although members will receive a number of free passes based upon their membership level.
Admission to the Children’s Garden will require timed ticketing to prevent overcrowding and to enhance enjoyment for our guests. Advanced ticket purchases will be available in September online, in-person at our ticketing locations or at the time of admission to the Arboretum, if available at www.dallasarboretum.org.