VIDEO: Dallas Arboretum Blossoms For Spring

March 15, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Sydney Giesey

VIDEO: Dallas Blooms from on Vimeo.

The Dallas Arboretum’s 27th Annual Dallas Blooms festival officially started Saturday featuring the theme “It’s a Fairytale World.”

“I think it’s the largest display we’ve ever had,” Arboretum Board Chairman Steve Coke said.

Dallas Blooms is the Dallas Arboretum’s major floral festival. It lasts for 44 days and is sponsored by Capital One Bank. The Arboretum expects that about 225,000 people will come during the six-week festival, according to Vice President of Marketing Cris Emrich.

Dallas Blooms has also been named as one of the 14 places in the world to see spring.

“Our role is that everyday, for 44 days, it’s the perfect day to be here,” said John Semyan, who co-chairs the Dallas Blooms event with his wife Kim.

In addition to more than 500,000 spring blooms, 3,000 azaleas and 100 Japanese cherry trees, there will be a Fairy Tale Castle exhibit sponsored by Lambert’s and Moore Tree Care. The seven fairy tale castles built by local architects include “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Princess and the Pea,” “Rapunzel” and “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters.”

Each castle has a storybook in front of it that gives a synopsis of the children’s tale. The goal behind the exhibit is to capture the imagination of children and promote the importance of literacy, according to the Arboretum.

But why fairytale castles?

“There are so many fairytales that have gardens involved in the fairytales,” Emrich said.

For example, there are gardens under the sea in “The Little Mermaid.” In “Jack and the Beanstalk,” Jack’s mother throws the beans into a garden and rapunzel is actually an herb.

Many children were running around the park from castle to castle, including Natalie Melancon.

“I haven’t seen them all yet, but I’m pretty excited about Rapunzel, but I think I’ll like them all,” she said.

Although the Fairy Tale Castle exhibit debuted on Dallas Blooms’ opening day, the castles will remain until Dec. 31.

“We have found that having structures such as the fairy tale castle gets a lot of attendance and a lot of interest with the kids,” Semyan said.

The Dallas Blooms festival also features two tulips that are unique to the Dallas Arboretum: the Laura Bush tulip and the first ever Dallas Bloom tulip. The Laura Bush tulip is a pink colored tulip that was bred specifically to the former first lady’s liking.

“We got the Laura Bush tulip because we knew that Laura Bush was going to be here in Dallas,” Emrich said.

The Dallas Bloom tulip is a purplish tulip that ties in nicely with the festival’s color for this year- purple. Emrich said the Arboretum chose purple because it is a royal color and therefore accurately represents the theme “It’s a Fairy Tale World.”

Capital One has joined in the festivities as well. The company will be running two promotions during the event. The first promotion is the “make your home your castle” promotion. The winner will receive a $10,000 landscape makeover. You can enter by going to a Capital One Bank in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and filling out an entry form.

The second promotion is “buy one get one free” Tuesdays. The coupons are available at any Capital One Bank location in the DFW metroplex.

In addition to the Dallas Blooms event, the Dallas Arboretum is breaking ground for two new projects later this month. It will break ground for the Nancy Rutchick Red Maple Rill on March 8 and for the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden on March 21.

The Red Maple Rill will be located on the south end of the concert lawn and will feature 150-year-old maple trees and many water features and will have an emphasis on peace and serenity, according to Coke.

“This will be a place to stroll or sit and think, meditate, chat, read, whatever is on your agenda for that particular visit, a very inviting, very serene place to be,” he said.

The Children’s Adventure Garden will be a seven-acre facility with 15 teaching stations and a state of the art computer lab.

“This facility is going to be the world’s finest educational facility for children K1-6 on life and earth sciences anywhere.  There will be nothing like it in the world,” Coke said.

He said about the Dallas Arboretum, “If you think it’s a landmark today, just wait.”

Although the exhibits and the scenery are important, Shelly Slater, a reporter and anchor for WFAA and one of the speakers at the opening day proclamation, reminded guests that the spring festival was about more than just the blooms.

“This truly is a place that’s not just about the flowers and the ambience,” Slater said. “I think it’s about bringing families together.”

Mustang Weekend Guide

November 12, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Post by Elizabeth Lowe

All there is to see and do around the Hilltop.

Holiday Hay Day
Market Center Sample Sale
To Do: Shop venders from around Dallas and Houston for unique goods on the cheap.
Beware: There’s a lot of bling. Forego the sequin covered purses and sweaters for the rhinestone belts and boots.
Enjoy: Holiday cheer for all! And be sure to stop by the Salvation Army Angel Tree to spread a little cheer to Dallas kids.
When: Fri. – Sun., 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Intense Cinema
127 Hours
What: The latest film from the director of “Slum Dog” opens this weekend at the Angelika Theatre in Mockingbird Station.
Who: James Franco stars as hiker and real life survival man Aron Ralston. There’s Oscar talk already for Franco and director Boyle.
Warning: This is not a relaxing matinee movie. Boyle and Franco explore the harrowing details of the hiker’s experience after being trapped in the wilderness, pinned under a boulder. Be prepared to winch.
When: Fri. – Sun. and throughout the month

Pumpkin Madness
Great Pumpkin Festival at the Dallas Arboretum
To See: “The Only Pumpkin Village in the World,” as claimed by the Dallas Arboretum.
Why: This is the last weekend to catch all the pumpkin madness. Have you ever been inside a house made completely out of pumpkins? It’s a harvest season celebration at its best.
We wonder: How many pumpkin pies could one make out of one house?
When: Fri. – Sun. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

A Dose of Culture
31st Annual Diwali Show
What: Diwali is a celebration of lights for Indian cultures, across all religious sects. SMU’s Indian Student Association puts on the show and holiday celebration every year in collaboration with community organizations.
To See: It’s a night full of color, beautiful clothes and dancing.
Stay Late: After the show, they will be serving a traditional buffet and dancing late into the night.
When: Sat. 7 p.m.-9 p.m. (or later)
Where: Hughes-Trigg Theatre

Art Inaugural
ARTOPIA presented by the Dallas Observer
Art Smart: Not a regular on the Dallas art scene? Well this is the perfect opportunity to get a taste. Victory Park will be packed on Saturday night in celebration of all things local art.
Not Buying?: No need. Most students are not in the market for pieces of artwork, but Artopia is more like a giant party. Come for the art, stay for the mingling and people-watching.
Why: This is Artopia’s inaugural event, one that may become an annual tradition to bring awareness to the artsy, and impressive, side of Dallas life.
When & Where: Sat., 8-11 p.m. at Victory Park

Burst the Bubble Blog: Row Your Boat at White Rock Lake

October 13, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Post by Elizabeth Lowe

Fall is here but the weather is still a Dallas-perfect 75 degrees – perfect for a jaunt outside The Bubble.

This week, consider exploring all there is to do around White Rock Lake.
The area is reminiscent of the bike, river and nature trails in Austin minus the drive and weekend crowds.

My personal favorite activity to do in Austin is kayaking on one of the city’s several rivers. Imagine my excitement when I heard White Rock Lake here in Dallas is offering kayak rentals this fall! Not only is the drive shorter, but it’s also a nice, quick break from the often mundane SMU weekend lifestyle of Greenville, Boulevarding, and Uptown.

White Rock Paddle Company is now renting kayaks and canoes through the end of October for various rates. For a mere $19.99 an hour, you can rent a tandem kayak or canoe to explore the lake with a friend. You can even stay out until sundown to catch a Texas sunset on White Rock.

The White Rock Paddle Co. also conducts lake trips for Thursday Nights at the Arboretum. Paddle or no paddle, this regular Thursday night live music event is another not-to-miss at White Rock.

Starting around 6 p.m., locals fill the open-air amphitheater with quilts, picnic baskets, and bottles of wine to watch an evening of live music on the lake. Beatlegras delighted concert-goers last month with their bluegrass-Beatles fusion and played past sunset making for a beautiful fall night.

Petty Theft, a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers tribute band, hits this amphitheater stage this week. Tickets are $16.00 for non-members, but you can pack your own picnic and drinks to make a night of it. My words of advice: get there early, bring a blanket, and pack bug spray. Gates open at 6 p.m. with music from 7-9 p.m.

Take advantage of this great weather and burst The Bubble outside on White Rock Lake. Whether you bike, kayak, or catch some tunes you’re sure to find a nice getaway just down the road.