The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is a sight that you must see, no matter how old you are. I ventured to the park with my sister and her toddler and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the 8-acre interactive garden that was designed specifically to address state and national science standards in life, earth and environmental sciences. I watched my 3 year old nephew as he ventured the park with such enthusiasm and interest at each exhibit he passed.
With 17 indoor and outdoor gallerias, The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden highly impressed me. Here’s a run down of the different Galleries and what they have to offer.
1. The Entry Plaza: A welcoming orientation area large enough to accommodate 200 people in a shaded amphitheater that offers the first bird’s eye view of the garden. This area has a water fountain upon entering that allows children to run through.
2. First Adventure: The walled garden allows the youngest visitors to play in natural settings and be introduced to science. They can play in the catapillar maze, a sandbox, giant acorns and insects, mushroom seats, tree house and more.
3. The Incredible Edible Garden: Vegetables, grains, and interactive exhibits help children, particularly urban children, learn that food comes from plants. They will learn about nutrition, the multicultural aspects of food and economic botany.
4. The Orchard and Vineyard: This is an extension of the Incredible Edible Garden, which teaches that food also comes from trees, shrubs, and vines.
5. Plants Are Alive: An inside look at the life of plants that helps young children discover how plants live and grow. In this area the plants are large, including 16 ft tall flower filled pots.
6. Kaleidoscope: Located in a horticulturally beautiful area focused on plant formation and structures. It includes two kaleidoscopes – on that is 6 feet tall – to show patterns and shapes, refraction and reflection.
7. 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 nearby galleries.
8. The Texas Skywalk: This has to be my favorite exhibit, it’s an elevated walk that is 240 feet long through the tree canopy in the heart of the garden. The Skywalk invites visitors to discover the benefits of tress and demonstrates what lives in treetops.
9. Pure Energy: Children can 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. This was probably my nephews favorite gallery. He absolutely loved being able to play around in the water.
10. Habitats: This 500 linear foot trail through a woodland ecosystem helps children learn about the interconnections among people, plants and animals.
11. Living Cycles: In this learning room, children observe change and the circle of life, from changing seasons and plant and animal life cycles in pollination, metamorphosis and decomposition.
12. Earth Cycles: Children can actively explore a cave, rock and water cycles, a weather station, fossils and the solar system.
13. The Amazing Secret Garden: This maze offers children engaging rewards along the way to the secret garden. Changeable panels make the maze either more or less challenging for different age groups, and questions at turning points speed children to their goal. I definitely got lost in this maze and had to leave out the entrance.
14. The Walk on the Wild Side: This discovery trail included switchbacks with tracks in the path along teh way to help visitors guess which native animal or plant is hiding around the next turn.
15. Exploration Center with OmniGlobe: This 9100 sqaure foot building employs innovative exhibits and interactive technology to engage children in all aspects of life and earth science exploration. Located in the Globe Theater, the five-foot-tall OmniGlobe is one of five in Texas and the largest in the state.
16. Texas Native Wetlands: This is the largest learning room consisting of 31000 square foot wetlands ecosystem experience with floating bridges, boardwalks through grass tunnels, and a secluded wildlife blind where children can discover the adaptations of plants and animals living in the wetland environment.
17. The Petroglyph Walk: This walk features rocks with symbols and designs on them, depicting the messages used by ancient Americans to communicate.
Not only was the garden so much fun, It was absolutely beautiful and loved that it overlooks White Rock Lake.
My three year old nephew had the best time exploring and learning all while having fun at the same time. I can say that I had equally as much fun as he did. The garden is beautiful and packed full of adventures for kids (and adults). The weather is finally cooling down so head there and enjoy everything the park has to offer. Even if another hot day pops up this Fall, the garden had misters throughout so you will stay cool.
Know before you go
The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is open 9am-5pm, 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 of members and non members to enter the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. Admission to the Garden will require timed ticketing to prevent overcrowding and to enhance the level of enjoyment of all guests. You can purchase tickets in advance online at http://www.dallasarboretum.com
- Pets are prohibited in the garden.
- Due to space limitations on walkways, only strollers and wheelchairs are permitted. Wagons and wheeled carriers are not permitted.
- No professional photography is allowed, but personal photography with your phone and personal camera are permitted.
- Dining locations for food purchased or brought into the garden are allowed in specified areas.
- Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
- Bicycles are not allowed in the garden. There is a secured, designated bicycle stand in the parking lot.
What is your favorite Gallery in the Garden?