Carrie is a stay-at-home-mom to two children, Jack (3) and Claire (1). Previously an account manager for a local insurance firm, she now spends the days wrangling small children and wondering how the house got so messy, and considers the day a success if everyone is dressed by noon. She also likes horses, books, iced tea and lip gloss. She blogs about learning to be a Stay-at-Home-Mom at Carrie Elle.

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New Exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum (and, a Mother’s Day Idea)

I love the Dallas Arboretum.

The grounds are beautiful and impeccably maintained, the views of White Rock Lake are stunning, the staff is helpful, and maybe best of all – the kids love it (what kid wouldn’t love a place where they can run barefoot across a manicured lawn and then play in a giant frog fountain?).

If I were a squirrel, I'd live here, too!

We have a family membership to the Arboretum, and we go often (it’s ever-changing, and there is always something new and unexpected).

This morning, I decided that I wasn’t going to waste away a single day of beautiful Spring weather (you all know it’s going to be HOT in just a couple of weeks, right?!) and I loaded up the kids (and the stroller, and the baby carrier, and the diaper bag, and the blanket for us to sit on while we ate the snacks I had packed, etc., etc.) for a trip to the Arboretum.

And as usual, there was something new going on.  But, this was not at all a usual “something new” – this was pretty amazing, actually.

There is a new exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum.  The exhibit – Chihuly – consists of more than fifteen glass sculptures by world-renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuly. The exhibit hasn’t officially opened, but the sculptures are up now (they are putting the finishing touches on everything, but this didn’t interfere with viewing them one bit).

The sculptures are breathtaking, and there is something magical about walking around a corner and finding a bright red swirly mass of glass in the courtyard, or walking onto the lawn and finding a yellow tower of glass two stories tall reflecting the sunlight.

It’s nothing short of remarkable how these man-made objects integrate seamlessly with their natural surroundings.

This swirly burst of color welcomed us to the Arboretum.

Jack spent the morning running from sculpture to sculpture (and there are plenty to look at).  He was so worn out that we ran out of time (or, more accurately, energy) to visit the Small Houses of Great Artists – five playhouses that reflect the works of famous artists (our favorite is the Van Gogh house).

We were so enthralled with the sculptures, in fact, that we skipped all of our normal Arboretum favorites – the frog fountains (bring a change of clothes if your kid likes to get wet, and if that’s okay with you!), the koi pond, and the lawn overlooking White Rock Lake (which is a giant hill the kids love to run down).

We brought a picnic blanket and found a quiet place in the shade to enjoy our snacks…but, it turned out we were hungry for more than crackers and juice boxes, and we ended up buying some “real” food from Cafe on the Green – one of the Arboretum’s many dining options.  There are several places to eat, including a full-service restaurant – Restaurant DeGolyer.

And this is where I give you a great Mother’s Day idea!

The Restaurant DeGoyer hosts a Spring Tea.  I took my own mom last year for Mother’s Day, and she loved it (not only did we get some one-on-one time, but we also filled up on deliciousness like egg salad on pumpernickel bread and blueberry scones).  The tea is a creative gift for the mom who has everything (and, a little different than your average Mother Day’s lunch).

The tea is for adults 13 and up, so leave the little ones at home (you can always bring them back to the Restaurant DeGoyer for a “normal” lunch on another day!).  Or, have someone else show the kids around the Arboretum while you and mom enjoy the tea (and trust me, you will enjoy it!).

Reservations for the Spring Tea can be made by calling 214.515.6511.  The menu and details are available here (and if you miss it, there’s a Summer Tea, too!).

The cost is $47/person ($57 to add champagne) and includes admission to the Arboretum, parking, and gratuity.

Regular admission to the Arboretum is $15/adult, and parking is $10/car.

You might be interested in becoming a member – annual membership is $109, and includes admission for up to six people every time you attend (we love this, because we can bring Memaw and Grampa!).  Membership includes parking, gives you a discount at the store (oh, yes…they have a store, too…with lots of cute things), and best of all…gets you Express Entry on those extra-crowded days.

So slather on the sunscreen, pack some snacks and load up the kids.  You have a whole day of fun ahead of you at the Dallas Arboretum!




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