Photo: Victoria Ditkovsky/Shutterstock

You Can Bring Your Own Booze to This Amazing 66-Acre Botanical Garden That Has a Grilled Cheese Kiosk

Dallas-Fort Worth Parks Art + Architecture
by Morgane Croissant May 22, 2023

While at first glance Dallas seems to be all about barbecue, big-horned cows, rodeos, and sporting events, the city is also big when it comes to delicate flowers. Yup, the Big D is home to the Dallas Arboretum, one of the most impressive botanical gardens in the world. So, once you’re done eating ribs while cheering the Dallas Cowboys, make your way to this peaceful corner of the city for some extraordinary greenery, and even waterfalls.

Where is the Dallas Arboretum? How do I get there?

The Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located in East Dallas, sandwiched in between Garland Road and White Rock Lake.

The Arboretum is a 7.7-mile, 21-minute car ride from Downtown and Reunion Tower, the most famous landmark in the city.

If you prefer public transport, the route 214 bus will get you from Downtown Dallas to the Arboretum in a little more than 30 minutes. The ride will cost you $2.50.

How big is the Dallas Arboretum? How much time is needed to visit?

Fountain at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Photo: Victoria Ditkovsky/Shutterstock

The Arboretum consists of 21 gardens spread over 66 acres and it is recommended to budget at least three hours to see the best of it all.

Map of the Dallas Arboretum

Because it’s so large, with 21 gardens over 66 acres, you may want to look at the site’s map before your visit. That way, you’ll know where to park and the best spots for the kids before setting off.

What is the best time of the year to visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden?

Spring and early summer are the best times of the year to visit if you want to see colorful and abundant blooms. That said, the Arboretum is beautiful all year long.

What are the hours of operation of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden?

The Arboretum and Botanical Garden is open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Is the Dallas Arboretum free?

The Arboretum is only free for those who purchase a membership. Memberships start from $102 per year to $50,000 per year.

The price of admission to the Arboretum varies throughout the year. Most days, adults pay $20; seniors aged 65 and over pay $16; and children between the ages of two and 12 pay $12, but there are incredibly good discounts to take advantage of if you plan your trip well.

Between January 2 and February 18, and between July 1 and July 31st, everyone pays $5. Between August 1 and August 31, everyone pays $3. Between May 1 and June 30, adults pay $16; seniors aged 65 and over pay $14; and children between the ages of two and 12 pay $10.

Note that there are other discounts available, including BOGO events, family days, and more.

How can I purchase a ticket to the Dallas Arboretum?

You must purchase your timed entry ticket online in advance. Upon booking, you will be able to see how busy the Arboretum will be that day and make an informed choice regarding the time you wish to visit. Also, booking your parking online before your visit allows you to save $4.

Are dogs allowed at the Dallas Arboretum?

The only pets allowed at the Arboretum are licensed service animals.

Can you bring food into the Dallas Arboretum?

Bringing food, snacks, and drinks is highly encouraged and there are even recommended picnic spots inside the gardens. You can even bring alcohol if you wish.

If you have not had time to pack any food before your visit, there are many of options within the Arboretum, including a grilled cheese sandwich kiosk, a café, a restaurant, and tea room for afternoon tea.

Does the Dallas Arboretum have a pumpkin patch in the fall?

Fall decor at the Dallas Arboretum

Photo: CFlorencio93/Shutterstock

Autumn at the Arboretum is a wonderful fall festival that’s taken place every year from mid-September to late October for the past 17 years. During that time, visitors enjoy a wide range of orange, yellow, and red blooms and foliage, as well as the amazing Pumpkin Village created with more than 100,000 pumpkins, squash, and gourds, with houses made with the autumn fruits.

What happens during Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum ?

Christmas decoration at the Dallas Arboretum

Photo: Kit Leong/Shutterstock

Every year in November, Holiday at the Arboretum kicks off and it’s a sight to see with more than one million lights used for the occasion. There is a Christmas Village where Santa poses for photos, and the Dazzling Musical Tree — a fifty-foot-tall tree that sings holiday tunes and that’s decorated with more than 42,000 lights. The gazebos throughout the gardens are also all decorated and animated as part of the 12 Days of Christmas exhibit.

Beyond the grand decor, the Holiday at the Arboretum event includes music and other entertainment, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, and more festive animations.

Where to eat at the Dallas Arboretum?

There are many food options at the Arboretum, ranging from a grilled cheese sandwich kiosk on the grounds to the DeGolyer Tea Room where you can enjoy an elegant afternoon tea. There is also a sandwich counter at the Lula Mae Slaughter Dining Terrace, as well as a café (Café on the Green) and a restaurant (Restaurant DeGolyer).

If you want to eat lunch or dinner before or after your visit, the closest highly praised restaurant is Smoky Rose, where the specialty is Texas Barbecue. For breakfast, try out one of Matador’s selection of the best breakfast spots in Dallas.

The best hotels near the Dallas Arboretum

Check out Matador’s selection for the best airport hotels in Dallas and the best Airbnbs in the city.

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.

HALL Arts Hotel Dallas, Curio Collection by Hilton

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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HALL Arts Hotel Dallas is located only 15 minutes away by car to the Arboretum, in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. This five-star property has all the amenities expected from a luxury hotel: a rooftop swimming pool with sun loungers and umbrellas, a 24-hour, 2,900 square-foot fitness center, in-room spa treatments, and even an art gallery. There’s also a restaurant on site, Ellie’s, and a rooftop bar, Waves. All 183 rooms are fitted with air conditioning, work spaces, free WiFi, designer toiletries, and premium bedding.

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Casa Duro

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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Located in the Lower Greenville neighborhood of Dallas, only 12-minutes away by car from the Arboretum, Casa Duro is an aparthotel consisting of three unique and elegantly decorated luxury apartments. The soundproofed apartments are situated above the Sister restaurant and Cafe Duro, making it easy for guests to fuel up without straying too far. Each apartment has free WiFi, a fully equipped kitchen, air conditioning, designer toiletries in the bathroom, a workspace, and a 65-inch TV set up with streaming services.

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The Kimpton Pittman Hotel

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Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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15 minutes by car to the Arboretum, the Kimpton Pittman Hotel is located in the trendy and artsy Dallas neighborhood of Deep Ellum. There is an outdoor pool, a poolside bar, a restaurant, and even an art gallery on site. The decor is modern and elegant throughout. All 165 rooms have premium bedding, a workspace, free WiFi, and designer toiletries in the bathroom. Guests can get an in-room massage and have access to the 24-hour fitness center.

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