The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, a lush 155-acre nature preserve, is one of the city’s greatest natural treasures. Located in Memorial Park, at 4501 Woodway Drive, the Arboretum is home to more than 75 varieties of native trees, 160 species of birds, 16 species of turtles, 10 species of frogs and 33 kinds of butterflies. Visitors can explore and enjoy five miles of walking trails to experience nature at its most dramatic and in exquisite detail. The Arboretum grounds are open to the public daily, except major holidays, from dawn to dusk.
The Nature Center building is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Discovery Room is open every day except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provides fun, hands-on activities and exhibits to explore nature up close. Admission is free, but donations to support this nonprofit organization are appreciated.
A bustling schedule of year round activities and courses are available for adults, children and families to create a sense of wonder and appreciation for nature. For more information, call 713-681-8433 or visit www.houstonarboretum.org.
Call 713-681-8433 or visit www.houstonarboretum.org for more information
Summer Nature Trekkers Camp for kids
June 6 – August 12
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (limited half day options are available)
Kids can explore everything from hawks and other birds that soar in our skies to the microscopic creatures that live in ponds in the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center’s Nature Trekkers Camps this summer. The week-long classes offer hands-on learning experiences for children ages 5 to 12 under the guidance of staff naturalists, and include both indoor and outdoor activities at the 155-acre nature sanctuary. Camp topics include: “Bird Life,” June 6-10 and July 11-15; “MicroWorld Explorer,” June 13-17 and July 18-22; “Reptiles & Amphibians,” June 20-24 and July 25-29; “Angry Earth,” June 27-July 1 or August 1-5; and “Spiders,” July 5-8 or August 8-12. Children are taught by qualified staff naturalists in classes by age (5 & 6, 7 & 8, 9-12). Full day camp (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.): $250 members; $300 non-members. Morning only camp (9 a.m. – noon): $130 members; $165 non-members. For more information, call 713-681-8433 or visit www.houstonarboretum.org/summercamp.asp
Sunday, May 1 or May 8
2 – 5 p.m.
Build Your Own Rain Barrel
Rain barrels are not only great for collecting and storing water for future use in the garden, but they can also help you reduce your water bill. In this hands-on, make and take workshop taught by Arboretum conservation director Joe Blanton, learn how a one-time investment of less than $100 will allow you to harvest 50 gallons of water from your roof every time it rains. Cost is $75 for members; $95 for non-members. Cost of workshop includes materials to make one rain barrel. All tools will be supplied. Additional barrels and conversion kits will be available for sale at the end of class for $55.
Wednesdays, May 4, 11, 18 & 25
5:45 – 6:45 p.m.
Saturdays, May 7, 14, 21 & 28
9 – 10 a.m.
Introductory Tai Chi
The Arboretum provides a serene, natural backdrop for this graceful and meditative form of exercise. Class will be held outside in the nature sanctuary except when weather conditions are prohibitive. Cost is $15 per session or $45 per month for 1 class per week; $70 per month for 2 classes per week. Note: Beginners are encouraged to attend an Orientation class held outside, the first Wednesday of the month from 6:45-7:45 p.m.
Thursdays, May 5, 12, 19 & 26
5:45 – 6:45 p.m.
Yoga on the way Home
Why fight the traffic? Slow down and relax in the peaceful beauty of the Arboretum during a one-hour yoga session in the Arboretum’s classroom overlooking the forest. Cost is $15 per session or $12 per session when registering for a month.
Saturday, May 14
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wildflowers & Texas History Tour
This day trip will include opportunities to see and photograph many species of wildflowers found in the Post Oak Savannah eco-region of Texas. Areas that will be visited include Washington on the Brazos State Park, Chappell Hill, Brenham and the Blue Bell Country Store at the Blue Bell Creamery. Trip leader Glenn Olsen is a former president of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Cost, which includes van transportation, is $70 for members; $90 for non-members
Saturday, May 14
7 – 10 p.m.
Texas Barbeque and Star Party
Enjoy an evening at the Arboretum with food, drinks and star gazing. After a picnic barbeque dinner, stroll through the forest to the Arboretum’s Meadow Deck for viewing of the full moon and night sky with members of the Houston Astronomical Society. Cost is $35 per adult, which includes a one year membership to the Arboretum; $70 for family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children); $10 each for additional children. Registration is limited.
Sunday, May 15 or May 22
2 – 5 p.m.
Build Your Own Composting Barrel
Learn how to reduce your amount of garbage and compost your own yard and kitchen wastes in this hands-on workshop where each participant will build their own 55-gallon composting barrel.
Note: Cost of workshop includes materials to make one 55-gallon composting barrel. All tools will be supplied. Additional barrels and conversion kits will be available for sale at the end of class for $55.
Cost is $75 for members; $95 for non-members
Friday, May 20 or Saturday, May 21
9 – 10:15 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. –12 p.m.
Tadpole Troopers: Slithery Snakes
Ages 3–5 with an adult
Tadpole Troopers is a nature class for 3, 4 and 5 year olds with an adult. In May, children will learn how a snake uses its body to slither and climb up and down. Cost is $15 for members; $28 for non-members.
Saturday, May 21
9 – 11 a.m. or 1 – 3 p.m.
Naturalist Explorers: Butterflies
Ages 5 to 8
This spring, Naturalist Explorers students will explore the insect world. May’s class will study the life cycle of butterflies and go in search of butterflies in the Arboretum. Cost is $18 for members; $33 for non-members.
Saturday, May 21
9 – 11 a.m.
EcoTrackers: Magnificent Metamorphosis
Ages 9 to 12
EcoTracker classes inspire young naturalists with hands-on, engaging activities about a nature topic each month. In May, children will search for butterflies at different stages of the life cycle and learn how to attract butterflies to their own backyard. Cost is $18 for members; $33 for non-members.
Sunday, May 29
1 – 5 p.m.
Edible Wild Plants
The Texas landscape is filled with an abundance of wild edibles. Learn where to find, how to identify and proper preparation of the fruits, shoots, roots, and salad greens growing all around you. Please wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring hat, water, and bug repellent. A pen/pencil and a camera are also recommended. A plant guide sheet will be supplied. Cost is $40 for members; $60 for non-members
Monday, May 30
4501 Woodway Drive • Houston Texas 77024 • 713-681-8433 • www.HoustonArboretum.org