Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum

Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum

Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden

We have discovered the best family activity in DFW - the new Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum!

The Children's Garden is an 8 acre "museum without walls" comprised of over 150 interactive exhibits and 17 galleries in a beautiful natural garden setting overlooking White Rock Lake.  Check out the garden map HERE.



Viewing White Rock Lake from the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum

Texas Skywalk

My kids couldn't wait to walk along the Texas Skywalk.  It is a beautiful boardwalk that towers over the garden and along the way children can read the displays that teach them about trees and birds.



Walk in the Clouds

Along the Texas Skywalk, we discovered that we could take a Walk in the Clouds.  An awesome tree house is surrounded by heavy duty netting that extends out and then up from the tree allowing kids to jump on and climb up while seeing the ground below through the netting.  It's just like taking a walk in the clouds!  But make sure you look around the whole tree while you are there so you don't miss a thing.


While on the Texas Skywalk, we were able to get a good birds-eye-view of the gardens that we had yet to explore.  There is the indoor Exploration Center and Plaza.


The waterway and interactive exhibits on energy.



And so much more!  There are pathways that meander throughout the garden and there are exhibits and activities all along the way.  There is just so much to see and explore everywhere you look.


T. Boone Pickens Energy Exhibit

We spent a long time in the energy exhibit.  There were so many great activities to teach us about the power of wind, sun, and water.

We first learned about wind power.  This exhibit was a fun way to show that wind does have power even though you can't see it.  It puffs air at the person standing on the target but it shoots a little high for young kids to be able to feel so you might need to pick them up.


The wind tunnel was definitely a hit with my little tornadoes!



The waterway isn't there just to look nice!  You can adjust the solar panel to control the height of the water sprays or make the wheels spin.



Have you ever heard that light colors reflect light while dark colors absorb it?  You can feel the difference on these lizards and even see the difference on their individual thermometers.



The kids splashed around as they learned about the power of water and how to harness it.  Rachel redirected the water and set up dams to control the flow.



Nicholas moved water with an Archimedes screw.



And we all had fun aiming the giant water guns at the targets in the waterway to make them spin and spray water.


Texas Wetlands

There is a whole exhibit area on Texas Wetlands.  We found minnows and watches a show to learn more about the importance of this natural habitat.



Earth Cycles

Oh I loved seeing the geologic timeline and respective fossils etched into the concrete in the Earth Cycles area.  Here we learned about caves, rocks, tectonic plates and more.



We learned about erosion and how water changes the lay out of the land in this hands on activity.  The kids used sand, trees, and rocks to form their land and then they turned on the "rain" to watch how the water flow changed their landscape.


Nicholas was a human sundial!



And we explored the planets of our galaxy.

Living Cycles

The kids loved exploring this hollow log!  They lifted the flaps along the side to learn more about it but they also enjoyed scurrying through it, climbing out of it, and just running around it.


We got to see the world through the eyes of bees and we even followed the arrows in the concrete to reproduce the dances of bees.



How appropriate that Nicholas caught a real grasshopper here!  Note: this was not part of a planned exhibit :)



Exploration Center

The indoor Exploration Center was a delight for all of us.  In this building you can explore on your own or take a class with others.  We explored the displays and stuck our hands in the black boxes and described what we felt and sniffed the scent tubes to guess at the fragrances.

The kids played on the giant interactive tablets, looked at bat bones under a microscope and played a detective game to try to figure out which of the critter suspects was at fault.  We also got to listen in on a class about leaf chromatography!


First Adventure Garden 

Little ones will not feel left out of the fun at the First Adventure Garden.  There is so much here for toddlers and preschoolers to explore.  Rachel loved the Wooly Caterpillar Maze of trees to run through.


Many kids were exploring the playhouse while we were there.



And the walk along mushroom tops were just adorable and so much fun to play on and the little water spray fountains will be great to splash around in when the weather gets warmer.



We found the largest kaleidoscope ever!  Adjust the colors and the swirls and watch art and science combine as you make your own unique designs.



Did you know that math is all around us in the garden?  We learned about the fibonacci numbers and how to find numbers in nature.



I love the pendulum art activity - the kids swung the pendulum to make circular patterns with sand!  So much fun!



We LOVE the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden!  It combines nature with art, science, math, history, and ecology.  I appreciate that my kids were spending time outside and learning so much yet the whole time we were there they thought they were just having marvelous adventure!  Be sure to plan to stay for a while when you come.  We were there for over 4 hours and still did not get to see everything.

Want to win 2 free general admission tickets to the main gardens and free parking for the Arboretum?  Enter HERE!


The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218.  They are open daily 9am – 5pm and closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission prices: Adult - main garden and children's garden $18, main garden only $15; senior age 65+ - main garden and children's garden $15, main garden only $12; children ages 3-12 - main garden and children's garden $13, main garden only $10; children age 2 and under free.  Parking is $10 onsite or $5 at Gaston/Garland lot. For more information about the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden, please check out the Dallas Arboretum website (be sure to watch the video tour at the top of the page!)

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