Dallas Arboretum

The DALLAS ARBORETUM is already heralded in gardening circles as one of the nation’s most elite grounds. But on Sept. 21, that distinction will grow to include the Dallas Arboretum as one of the nation’s most elite hands-on learning laboratories for children.

The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is literally a “museum without walls.” With 8 acres dedicated solely to teaching life, earth and environmental science (mostly outdoors, although there is a 9,100-square-foot building that houses a plant lab for experiments, SMART Tables, CSI-like mysteries to solve and a soil lab), the Children’s Adventure Garden is based on national and state science standards. Kids of all ages can learn about photosynthesis and plant cycles as they observe a 16-foot plant at Plants Are Alive; learn how to harness water, sun and wind to create electricity at Pure Energy; learn about weather patterns and observe real-time weather on the 5-foot OmniGlobe (one of only 50 in the world); zigzag through a giant maze at the Amazing Secret Garden; scamper like a squirrel in Walk in the Clouds; and walk on a 240-foot-long Texas Skywalk through a tree canopy. With a $62 million price tag, these are but a few of the exhibits the Children’s Adventure Garden features.

“We want to get children excited about science,” says Brian Shivers, chairman of the Dallas Arboretum board. “They will learn about the natural world through technology, hands-on activities and interactive exhibits — many that are unique to our garden — that will engage and motivate them, all in a spectacular outdoor setting.” www.dallasarboretum.org