Dallas: Autumn At The Arboretum Starts This Week

The Pumpkin VIllage at the Dallas Arboretum is fun for kids of all ages.
The Pumpkin VIllage at the Dallas Arboretum is fun for kids of all ages.

Photo Credit: Dallas Arboretum

Grab your favorite flannel shirt, slip into your comfiest jeans, and pull on your boots because Autumn at the Arboretum starts this week and it’s a great way to kick off sweater season in Dallas! Sure, it’s still 96 degrees but we all know that here in North Texas the change of seasons has more to do with fashion that it does actual temperatures.

There’s no doubt that autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit the arboretum. The weather is more pleasant now that 110F afternoons are merely a sweltering memory. Many of the flowers that bloomed so beautifully in the summer are still producing a show of color and the cooler fall temperatures actually encourage deeper, more vibrant colors – there are over 150,000 fall-blooming flowers. Thousands of pumpkins are arranged in such a way as to bring out the colors int he chrysanthemums, ornamental grasses, copper plants and firebush. It’s truly a blaze of color.

The highlight of the fall festival is the Pumpkin Village which is created wit more than 75,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash.  This year the display will be made into an Old Texas Town in the Pecan Grove plus there will be a Texas mosaic made of pumpkins. The Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch has pumpkins available for purchase. There is also a Great Pumpkin Search, a Hay Bale Maze, and Cinderella’s Carriage to complete the pumpkin theme. There will be plenty of activities for kids of all ages throughout the festival. Special events include scavenger hunts, Mommy and Me Mondays, Tiny Tot Tuesdays, special music, and autumn teas.

One of our favorite spots is the Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill. There are over 80 varieties of Japanese Maples planted in the two acre garden which turn bright, crimson in the fall. Numerous waterfalls and a re-circulating creek provide soothing water sounds as you walk through the area. The star of the garden is a huge, Weeping Japanese Maple that is over 100 years old that anchors the center of the garden.

This premier addition to the Arboretum was designed by Rowland Jackson of Newman, Jackson, Bieberstein, with construction services provided by The Beck Group. Key design elements of the Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill include a new entry off the Paseo de Flores and a large gathering plaza that overlooks a re-circulating creek and numerous waterfalls. Opened in fall 2011, this charming area also includes a series of paved walkways and a stone bridge connecting the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage to the Magnolia Allee. An especially large weeping Japanese maple, nearly 100 years old, anchors the center of the garden.

The 66-acre garden is a relaxing place to spend an autumn afternoon strolling through the gardens, attending one of the special events, or taking family pictures. The glorious fall foliage of Arboretum in September and October rivals the sea of bluebonnets along the I-20 roadsides in March and April when it comes to taking some beautiful family pictures.