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As the weather truly begins to cool and the leaves start to change colors, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is in full swing with its Autumn at the Arboretum festival. Named one of “America’s Best Pumpkin Festivals” by Fodor’s Travel, it runs through November 25, and includes a fantastic display of beautiful seasonal flowers, pumpkins and gourds galore.  Nancy Pfrommer, Dottie Lawrence and Julie Caywood—all Arboretum volunteers—are co-chairing this season’s event.

Pfrommer and Caywood have both been volunteers at the Dallas Arboretum for three years, but this is their first year co-chairing the annual fall festival. “I have heard so many volunteers say, ‘we think of the Arboretum as our own extended garden’ and we are all so pleased to be able to share it with the community,” said Caywood.

Like her two co-chairs, this is also Lawrence’s first time to co-chair the event, but she is no stranger to the garden. “We [she and her family] discovered the Arboretum shortly after we moved to Dallas in the early ‘80s,” she said, “so I have been a supporter and member for many years. We have seen the garden grow and blossom-quite literally.” 

“Looking back over the years, I find I have many favorite memories,” added Lawrence. “Recently, we loved the Chihuly event, especially viewing the magnificent glass pieces at night. The 12 Days of Christmas in 2014 was another magical evening event. We enjoyed it on a very cold night—long johns, ski gloves and hats made it more fun somehow!”

And while the Dallas Arboretum offers a host of wonderful events year round, Autumn at the Arboretum is a special time for visitors and volunteers alike.

The highlight of the festival is the nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village, which is celebrating its 10th year at the Arboretum. The Pumpkin Village is created with more than 75,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash—the most ever used—by the talented horticulture team.  Cinderella’s carriage will also return, along with thousands of pumpkins, a pumpkin patch, hay bales and cornstalks artfully arranged throughout Pecan Grove, creating a popular photo opportunity for visitors. Highlighting the Pumpkin Village are more than 150,000 blossoms, flourishing throughout the Arboretum, including zinnias, impatiens, salvia and coleus.

“We all volunteer during Autumn at the Arboretum in various ways,” said Caywood, who is also a Garden Guide Trainer. “Since fall is my favorite season, I love all the colors of fall and the amazing pumpkins.”

“I have many favorite moments from the Dallas Arboretum,” adds Pfrommer. “I love hearing comments from guests, and helping make their visit a memorable one, and I love participating in special events, galas and helping special projects such as this annual festival.”

In addition to the renowned pumpkin village, Autumn at the Arboretum visitors find plenty of activities in the main garden and the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, such as:

Cinderella’s carriage and thousands of pumpkins—are artfully arranged throughout Pecan Grove—for popular photo opportunities.

Hay Bale Maze at the Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch provides discovery and fun for children.

Oktoberfest Garten from 11 a.m.-3 p.m at Café on the Green with a traditional German menu, and a view of beautiful, full beds of fall color. 

Piano melodies from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. by Keith Schmorr on the Brinegar Patio.

Garden melodies, weekends from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn.

Live Music with Spanish Guitar, Recognizable Classics Saturdays 12 p.m.-4 p.m. & Sundays 1 p.m.-4 p.m. at the Woolf Circle.

Free Garden Tours held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. at the Entry Plaza.

Kimberly-Clark Mommy & Me Mondays and Tiny Tot Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday.  For moms, grandparents, caregivers and their children, includes a petting zoo, nature art, story time, face painting and Kindermusik in the Pecan Grove.

Harvest Tea at Restaurant DeGolyer, Monday–Friday, seatings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Seated tea is available for guests 13 years old and older. Cost ranges from $47 to $57, and reservations are required.  To make reservations, contact 214-515-6511 or teas@dallasarboretum.org.

“Golden Hours” Photography on, October 6, 7, 13, 20 and November 4 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Back by popular demand, the main gardens are open for special after-hours enjoyment and photography. The event is intended for amateur photographers, portraits and hobbyists.

Monarch Migration Day takes place October 10 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the Moody Oasis, a rooftop garden in the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden featuring Monarch Migration Activities filled with plants that attract butterflies. A face painter is available to paint butterfly faces on children.

Columbus Day Weekend Festivities, Saturday, October 10-Sunday, October 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Guests are invited to listen to live music and participate in nature crafts and face painting in the Pecan Grove. Have a picnic on the lawn overlooking White Rock Lake!

Eddie Coker Concert, Monday, October 12, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sponsored by DallasChlild, Eddie Coker performs children’s concerts on the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn.

Book Reading by Patricia Vermillion on Saturday, Oct. 10, 1-3p.m. , local author of Texas Chili? Oh My!, reads her festive children’s book, The Three Little Pigs – Texas style!

Family Fun Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Trick-or-Treat throughout the gardens with costumed characters and other family fun activities. Children are encouraged to wear festive costumes.

“Autumn at the Arboretum is sure to put guests in a festive mood,” said Lawrence. “We want them to see it through the eyes of the children and make happy memories. I hope every part of their visit is fun. And I hope they come back often—not only at festivals. Many people don’t realize the Arboretum is open 362 days a year, and there are beautiful things to see and memories to be made every day.”

“We want visitors to remember that there are many unique treasures they can find at the Arboretum, and I hope they realize that Dallas has a gem in their back yard,” adds Pfrommer.

For more information on Autumn at the Arboretum or any of the events, call 214.515.6500 or visit http://www.dallasarboretum.org/visit/seasonal-festivals-events/autumn-at-the-arboretum.

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