Things to Do

Autumn at the Arboretum Returns to Dallas This September

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Tony Maples Photography


Autumn at the Arboretum, presented by Reliant, opens with a “Bugtopia” theme for 2021. The 16th annual fall festival features the picturesque Pumpkin Village September 18-October 31. Decorated pumpkin houses are 20-feet-tall, created with more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash, from the West Texas town of Floydada.

Dallas Arboretum Board Chairman Jim Ryan said, “Autumn at the Arboretum comes alive with larger-than-life insect topiaries, fascinatingly bugged-out pumpkin houses, a maze for younger visitors and even an 18-foot-long dragonfly—perfect for all those social media moments. Don’t forget to tag us, too!”

Autumn at the Arboretum features breathtaking colors of fall with 150,000 fall flowers—marigolds, chrysanthemums, and more throughout the 66-acre garden.

“At Reliant, we’re always excited to support the Dallas Arboretum as we love the family-friendly atmosphere and events that bring people together to enjoy this world-class garden and its fine exhibitions,” said Andrea Russell, Vice President and General Manager of Reliant. “We’re thrilled to help bring the Bugtopia theme to life this year and give our community an experience to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying the fall season.”

Autumn at the Arboretum Highlights

Autumn at the Arboretum Returns to Dallas This September

Photo: Dallas Arboretum

A number of special events take place during the fall festival. Here are some highlights:

Local popular bands play live music every weekend afternoon during the festival. Seasonal daily samples highlight in-season plants in A Tasteful Place garden. Insect Encounters tent features daily, hands-on experiences such as live insect demonstrations, nature art, expert chats. and more.

Mommy and Me Mondays and Tiny Tot Tuesdays, presented by Kimberly-Clark, includes face painting, stroller fitness, a petting zoo, Kindermusik, a hay bale maze, and a pumpkin patch with pumpkins for purchase and music. On Family Fun Weekend, Oct. 9-10, and on Halloweekend, Oct. 30-31, the festival also includes a petting zoo and face painting for children. Arboretum-led walking tours, harvesting, and horticulture demonstrations round out the festival.

Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Autumn at the Arboretum Returns to Dallas This September

Photo: Dallas Arboretum

Guests can also visit A Tasteful Place, a 3.5-acre food, herb, and vegetable garden. Weekly activities include free Monday cooking demonstrations with Dallas College Cooks along with activities throughout the week including cooking, floral, and horticulture demonstrations, many of which have the “bugtopia” theme incorporated.

In addition to Reliant as the presenting sponsor, other sponsors include Park Place Dealerships, Texas Instruments, Oncor, Kimberly-Clark, C.C. Young Senior Living, Doyle and Associates, Sidley Austin, and Bank of Texas.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, in Dallas. Dallas Arboretum is also home to Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. The garden is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Festival admission is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, and $12 for children 2-12. Admission is free for Arboretum members and children under two. On-site parking is $15 or $10, if purchased in advance online.

The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum.