Friday, February 21, 2014

Totally Texas -- Spring into flowers and fests

Forget those news feeds of blizzards and ice. Come see what’s out that’s sunny and nice, in this brief summary of spring outdoor festivals in North Texas.

February 22-April 6 -- Dallas Blooms, Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. After a few days of warm weather, the first cherry trees have burst into bloom, as shown by the picture illustrating this post. Daffodils are coming on strong, with hyacinths, tulips, azaleas and more not far behind. The theme is “Birds in Paradise," with those playhouse-sized birdhouses and giant peacock topiaries. Special events during the festival include Hanami cherry blossom viewing March 16. Tickets $15 for adults, $10 for kids. Discounted tickets available at area Tom Thumb stores. For more information and online parking discounts, see

February - mid-March -- Mrs. Lee’s Daffodil Garden, Smith County Road 3104 near junction of CR 3103, Gladewater. Miles of trails wind through nearly thirty acres and millions of daffodils. It’s wonderful, uncrowded and free, but very weather dependent. When I called this morning (February 21), daffodils had not yet bloomed. Check for updates at the daffodil hotline, 903-845-5780, or

March 21-April 6 -- Azalea & Spring Flower Trail, Tyler. Eight miles of trails with incredible displays of azaleas, dogwoods, and other spring flowers. Follow signs south from Smith County Courthouse on North Broadway, downtown Tyler. For scheduled events, see

April 1-30 -- Ennis Bluebonnet Trails, Ennis, I-45 south from Dallas. Bloom updates available starting the first week of April, with peak bloom usually in third week, depending on weather. This is THE place to see bluebonnets in North Texas. The associated Bluebonnet Trails Festival runs April 12-13 in Ennis, with arts and crafts, music, children’s activities, and vintage automobile show. Free. See

April 5-May 26 -- Scarborough Renaissance Festival, 2511 FM 66, Waxahachie. Jousting, juggling, swordplay, and all things medieval, music, and food. Saturdays, Sundays, and Memorial Day Monday. Adult single day tickets $24, but numerous discounts available. See

April 26-27 -- Artscape in the Arboretum. Nearly a hundred artists fill the Arboretum’s Pecan Grove. Free with Arboretum admission. See

April 26-27 -- Japanese Garden Spring Festival, Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth. (Parking behind Montgomery Street Antiques Mall on I-30 access road). Traditional Japanese arts, music and cultural traditions amid hills, ponds and gardens, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Ticket prices not yet available. For information, see
May 3-4 -- Cottonwood Festival of the Arts, Cottonwood Park, 1321 West Beltline Road, Richardson. More than two hundred forty juried artists, music, food, children’s activities. Free parking and admission. Open 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. May 3, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. May 4. See

May 16-18 -- Wildflower! Art & Music Festival, Richardson. Cottonwood’s more about art, Wildflower! more about music. At Galatyn Park Urban Center, U.S. 75 and Galatyn Parkway. Six stages, children’s activities, food, vendors. Single day adult tickets $20, on sale starting April 14. Numerous discounts, including half-price entry for Richardson residents. See

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