If your allergies didn’t already give it away, you might have noticed that spring has officially sprung. Which means it is time to start planning those picnic dates and outdoor Instagram posts. We can’t think of a better place to do that than these six local gardens. Pop a couple of Claritin and plan a trip to get your flora fix.
Texas Discovery Gardens
This one made the list because, well, butterflies — obviously. Fair Park is full of fun, but Texas Discovery Gardens is where the real magic happens. Check out the Honeybee Tree and Insectarium inside the two-story, tropical-plant-filled Butterfly House. You can even plan your own private butterfly release here, too. Outside, explore 7.5 acres of gardens as well as a Shakespeare-themed section and Snakes of Texas exhibit, featuring more than 20 different scaly species. Don’t miss the Spring Plant Sale on April 7-8. Admission for the Butterfly House and gardens is $8 for adults year-round.
Main Street and Belo Gardens
The closest thing you will find to a “garden” in downtown Dallas, aside from Klyde Warren, are these two tiny urban parks. They may not boast exotic plants, but they will come in handy when spring turns to summer and you are in desperate need of a little shade in a sea of concrete slab. Both are equally exciting with small selections of plants, grasses and decorative shrubs. If you are simply in need of a breath of fresh air, these two public places will do the trick. Plus, would it be Dallas if the green spaces were not equipped with Wi-Fi and art instillations? Admission is free year-round.
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This Dallas gem is often overlooked and most definitely underrated. If seclusion and serenity are your thing, this spot is for you. Whimsical, almost witchy vibes fill this park, thanks to numerous life-size sculptures of everything from gargoyles to trumpeting angels. In fact, the park made our list of 7 Strangest Places in Dallas last year. Don’t let the name fool you; Dragon Park is equal parts garden as it is park. At Cedar Springs Road and Hood Street, you can find plenty of places, and even a gazebo, for the perfect picnic or al fresco lunch stop. Admission is free year-round.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
A forever favorite, this big, bad arboretum and botanical garden have long been a Dallas must-do. What keep us coming back are the ever-changing programs and always-elaborate exhibitions. The Dallas Blooms showcase, featuring more than 100 varieties of spring flowers, wraps up April 8, and the Cool Thursdays music showcases are in full swing through June 28. Admission prices vary; check the website for details.
Want an authentic Asian escape without having to leave North Texas? Head to Fort Worth Botanic Garden’s Japanese Garden for a tranquil trip through 7.5-acres bustling with bamboo and nearly 1,200 koi fish. Spring is by far the best time to visit since the grounds practice “mono no aware,” which means that if flowers were in bloom all year, it wouldn’t be as special. Cherry trees, Japanese maples and magnolias are a must-see, but mark your calendar for the main event, a Japanese Spring Festival on April 28. Admission is $7 for adults year-round.