Monday, October 17, 2011

Totally Texas -- Fall into beauty at Japanese Garden

Fall Festival in the Japanese Garden

Fort Worth Botanical Garden

3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth


It’s all too easy for me, living in East Dallas, to make quick trips to the Dallas Arboretum and overlook the metroplex’s other great public garden to the west -- the Fort Worth Botanical Garden. This is almost a sin anytime, but especially during the fall festival in the Japanese Garden at the Fort Worth location.

Descending the pathways into a world of lush plantings, with pavilions overlooking waterfalls and koi-filled ponds makes me forget I’m in Texas -- in the best possible way. The annual festival this coming Saturday through Sunday, October 22-23, adds events that make the setting come to life like a scene out of traditional Japan.

Amid displays of flowering chrysanthemums, visitors can see sakura dancers moving to traditional music; watch martial arts demonstrations; and attend a tea ceremony. Children’s activities include calligraphy, origami, face painting and paper making.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 22, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 23. Admission is $3 for those age 13 and older and $1 for children ages 4-12. Admission is free for children under four. Remember also to bring plenty of quarters for the fish food dispensers located strategically near the garden’s ponds. The huge, colorful and sociable resident koi are so used to being fed they head straight toward shore when they see visitors.

Free parking for this year’s festival parking is in the Linden Avenue lot off the Montgomery Street entrance closest to the Japanese Garden. See or call 817-871-7677 for additional information.

The remaining outdoor portions of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden are open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. during daylight savings time, so visitors may extend their stay to enjoy the other garden attractions.


Also this week -- October’s Free Third Thursday at the Trinity River Audubon Center, October 21, has an Owl-O-Ween theme. The day’s 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. all-owl activities include close-ups of live native owls and more, at 6500 Great Trinity Forest Way (formerly South Loop 12), Dallas. See

Also free on Thursdays this month, the Dallas Angelika Film Center at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane (in Mockingbird Station), screens classic Hitchcock films 8 p.m. in the outdoor atrium. See


Upcoming -- Halloween at the Heard Museum in McKinney. It’s this Saturday, October 22.  Tickets available online at

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