By Rachael Gerron
Web Content Contributor
In the midst of a pandemic, it can be hard to find fun things to do; more importantly safe, fun things to do. However, being outside can be one of the safest things to do while avoiding COVID-19 (as long as you are properly hydrating and social distancing).
According to Rochester Regional health, “the increase in temperature due to summer weather won’t sufficiently contain the spread of the virus, and physical distancing and wearing a mask is always the safest way to stay protected.” Fortunately, living in Texas provides us with lots of great outdoor activities where we can safely social distance.
The Dallas Arboretum, located in East Dallas, is a great option for people wanting to spend time outdoors while staying safe. I recently visited the flower garden with my family and it was a great experience!
The Arboretum has implemented many modifications to normal procedures, including blocking off certain sections of the garden that wouldn’t allow for social distancing, such as narrow pathways. Before the pandemic, the park encouraged more self-navigation, but now, there is one main pathway, with signs up guiding you around the grounds and pointing you back to the main path if you stray away.
Ticket buying is also a different experience. Now, visitors have to purchase tickets online and select a four-hour time slot, in which a party of 10 or less can visit. You can find a full list of temporary guidelines in place to ensure visitors’ safety here.
During our visit, we had the garden almost completely to ourselves the whole time, which was a nice change from its usual number of visitors. Because of this, it was so much more peaceful than normal times, when it tends to get very busy. We were able to walk around and not feel like we were interrupting someone’s photo-op.
Speaking of photo-op, it’s a great time to take pictures here for the same reason! The arboretum of course has beautiful flowers but it is also backed up to White Rock Lake, which can make for some great backdrops for the ultimate quarantine photoshoot.
Another positive effect from the lack of visitors is the increase in wildlife. The birds and squirrels are out and about now that humans are no longer crowding the pathways. So, if you miss being harassed by friendly squirrels on Texas State’s campus, take a trip to the Dallas Arboretum!
Overall, I feel that the arboretum is making visiting the gardens a very safe experience for guests. So if you live in Dallas, or are here anytime soon, stop by the Dallas Arboretum for some safe summer fun.
Featured image by Rachael Gerron.