Talk about festive! The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden hosts an annual "Autumn at the Arboretum" celebration, and the theme for 2016 is "Art of the Pumpkin." So what can lucky visitors expect? For starters, over 90,000 pumpkins, squashes, and gourds (as well as cornstalks and hay bales) will be arranged into arches, doorways, patterns, even Cinderella's carriage as part of the one-acre Pumpkin Village. Once families have perused the amazing structures, there are plenty of pumpkin-themed activities to make this Arboretum a whole day destination. Read on for pumpkin-y fun and festivities at what has been named one of “America’s Best Pumpkin Festivals” by Fodor’s Travel and “One of the World’s 15 Most Breathtaking Gardens” by Architectural Digest, as well as "#1 Trip to Put on Your Fall Bucket List" by Orbitz.
There’s also a Haybale Maze, a Great Pumpkin Search, and a Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch that will have plenty of pumpkins for sale so that you can create your own seasonal display. Now in its 11th year, the fall festival also includes plenty of awesome events including evening concerts, weekends celebrating Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday and literary legacy, Mommy and Me events, nature nights and educational opportunities surrounding the migration of monarch butterflies. Basically, if you live in Dallas, you could make your visits a daily or at least weekly occurrence.
The Arboretum will have 30 different types of pumpkins and will also feature 150,000 fall blooms like chrysanthemums, ornamental grasses, copper plants, and firebush. The result will be a spectacular demonstration of natural beauty when combined with gardening and horticultural craftsmanship: the pumpkin festival requires the services of 50 members of the Arboretum’s horticultural team and takes three weeks to build!
Once the pumpkin festival is over, the pumpkins are mulched and returned to the soil. The gourds also get a second life and are sold or given to the Gourd Society where they can be painted or made into instruments.
The “Art of the Pumpkin” has already begun and will run until November 23rd, so start planning your visit now. Last year, the festival saw a quarter of a million visitors, so you’ll be in good company to get into the spirit of the season.
All images © Dallas Arboretum