This 7.5-acre botanic garden was actually the first public garden in the "Lone Star State" to be certified 100% organic, and it's the ideal spot for visitors of all ages to learn first-hand how important it is to sustain the natural world.
The Texas Discovery Gardens feature a wide variety of exhibits and trails, from the two-story Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium that transports visitors to a tropical rainforest environment – complete with hundreds of free butterflies! – to extensive gardens. Guests can take up a whole day just exploring all the different themed areas.
Butterflies at Texas Discovery Gardens — Photo courtesy of Texas Discovery Gardens
Start off your visit by exploring the heirloom garden, native wildlife pond and scent garden, and then make your way to the butterfly house for the daily release at noon. Then wrap up your day with a picnic in the shade garden.
The butterflies here are from local farms in the U.S., as well as imported from Colombia, the Philippines, El Salvador, Suriname and Malaysia. Depending on the day and season, the number of actual butterflies released each day varies.
Students – both children and adults – can take advantage of numerous classes and workshops at Texas Discovery Gardens. Preschoolers and school kids (from ages three to 11) can participate in Butterfly Story Time, which includes a book reading, crafts and snacks.
For school kids and older, the Texas Discovery Gardens offers EarthKeepers Children Education programs that focus on tours of the organic gardens, highlighting key science, math, language arts and social studies concepts.
Adults can enjoy a wide variety of weekend workshops, like Origami. One of the most popular workshops is the Essential Oils workshop, which teaches about the history and uses of essential oils, as well as how they benefit the body, mind and soul. In some other workshops, visitors actually get to make their own essential oils using items from the organic garden.
Local gardeners benefit from attending workshops about how to save and use rainwater, as well as which native plants grow and thrive best in the North Texas ecosystem. Local yogis like to stop by the gardens for monthly meditation sessions in the gardens.
Texas Discovery Gardens is located in the heart of Fair Park. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and admission for visitors is $8 for adults, $4 for children ages three through 11 and free for children under age three. Seniors (age 60+) get in for $6.