Texas Discovery Gardens, Dallas

Nestled in beautiful Fair Park, the Texas Discovery Gardens is a wonderful place to escape the sounds of the city and enjoy a day in nature.  We made a list of some of my kid’s favorite things to do when we are visiting.
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Know Before You Go 

Parking in Fair Park is FREE except during the State Fair.

They allow you to bring in lunch boxes and coolers, etc. You can stash them in the beehive like cubbies near the restrooms while you explore the gardens. They have a couple of soda machines near the restrooms, but otherwise you must leave the gardens to get food.

CIMG0097.JPGThe Daily Butterfly Release and Talk at noon in the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House & Insectarium.

The Butterfly house is amazing, with butterlies from all over the world flying free among the beautiful and exotic plants.  Yes, the sights and smells are overwhelming, but even better is taking away a little knowledge.  Each day at noon they release newly “emerged” butterflies, and talk about them and the facility.  Although we have visited for the talks many times, I learn something new each visit, such as that the butterflies will only lay eggs on a host plant that the caterpillars will eat.  An example is the monarch, which only lays eggs on milkweed.  If none of the plants are around, the butterflies simply “holds on” to her eggs until she finds an appropriate host.

CIMG0124Enjoy a picnic in The Meadows.

Pack a lunch and set up at the picnic table or on a blanket under the beautiful and shady live oak and pecan trees in the garden.  Squirrels entertain you with their arboreal acrobatics, and native butterflies dance around.  It’s one of our favorite places to spend a leisurely afternoon reading or watching the clouds drift by.

CIMG0120.JPGSpot frogs and turtles in Leftwich Pond.

A native habitat pond, they will only come out if you are very still.  My kids make a game of it, seeing how close they can get before they jump back in the water.  It’s usually followed by a game of who can jump the farthest.

CIMG0123.JPGThe Grand Allee Du Meadows   

Grab a shaded bench and relax to the lulling sound of the fountain.  The kids will love walking around the paths, and mine proclaim it to be the “softest grass in Texas”.   

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Natural Learning Center

Housed inside this cute building made of completely recycled products is the Snakes of Texas exhibit, which will introduce you to some of the most commons snakes in the state!

Butterfly Garden 

Are you a Butterfly Watcher?  Butterfly watching, similar to bird watching, is a fun hobby for families to encourage spending time outside and increase your awareness of our natural world.  Bring, or start a butterfly list and visit the garden, where native Texas butterflies can be found.  It’s also a great place to learn about different plants to grow to attract them to your garden. 

For more information on Butterfly Watching, Texas Parks and Wildlife has a introductory pamplet you can print out;  click HERE to view it. 

Cool off and get wet 

You aren’t going to find this on their map, or website.  But speaking from experience, take a towel.  My kids even wear their bathing suits, because…. it’s a garden.  They are constantly watering something, and take no objection to letting the kids cool off in the sprinklers!  Just be respectful!  If you happen to catch them on a day when the water’s not spraying, just step outside the garden to the fountain on First Avenue, to really get soaked!

Attend a special event

Take a class, a naturalist-led walk, or attend a festival at the garden, such as the Butterfly Tea Party, Fangs Festival each June, and the Bugs n’ Butterflies Festival in September.

Membership

Purchase a Family Membership for $65, and not only will you receive free admission to the Gardens for an entire year, but you will also receive 6 one-day tickets to the Texas State Fair!

pogo pass dallas

A Pogo Pass is a GREAT way to save money, a one time purchase allows you in multiple venues for FREE, and with my Promo Code, FUNINSUNTX, you can save 60% on your pass!  Click HERE for more information!

Things To Do in Dallas and Fair Park

Play

The Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park offer a touch tank, stingray feedings and daily shark shows, plus lots of tanks!  Click HERE to read more!

Visit the Leonhardt Lagoon to let the kids run and play on the structure, or quietly watch the wildlife that lives in the pond.  Bring along some cut up lettuce to feed to the fish and variety of turtles that call it home.  Pedal a swan boat around the lagoon!

To see more fun activities at Fair Park, such as what’s happening at the Gexa Energy Pavilion or the Dallas Music Hall, click HERE!

Eat

We love to take the short drive over to the Dallas Farmers Market for a variety of lunch options!  Click HERE to read more.


Texas Discovery Gardens  

3601 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Dallas (Fair Park)  

Click HERE to visit their website.    


Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 

Michelle 

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