Where is the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center located and how do I get there?
The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is located on the southwest corner of Memorial Park, at 4501 Woodway Drive. Our entrance is located approximately one-eighth of a mile east of the 610 Loop West on Woodway Drive.
Parking on the Arboretum grounds is extremely limited and fills up quickly on weekends. Additional parking is available in a satellite lot at the Running Center, just east of the Arboretum’s entrance on Woodway Drive. It is a pleasant quarter mile hike under the Memorial Park Living Bridge to the park’s entrance. Be aware that spaces in the Nature Center lot may be cordoned off for class and event attendees.
What are your hours and admission fees?
Admission to the Nature Center is free. The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a non-profit organization and donations to help maintain trails and wildlife habitat are appreciated. Programs are available for school, scouts and other groups. (Reservations are required for group programs.)
The grounds of the Nature Center are open 365 days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The building which houses the Discovery Room, Nature Shop, Library, classrooms, and offices is open 7 days/week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Discovery Room is open Tuesday -Sunday (closed Mondays) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Nature Shop is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Please note: During the week, groups may be scheduled for programs in the Discovery Room. We advise calling ahead to check availability of the Discovery Room.
What is the purpose of the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center?
As one of the oldest nature education facilities in Texas (founded 1967), the Arboretum is dedicated to our mission: “…to provide education about the natural environment to people of all ages and to protect and enhance the Arboretum as a haven and as a sanctuary for native plants and animals.”
How is the Arboretum funded?
The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization funded exclusively through our members and supporters, including corporations, foundations, and individual contributors. We do not receive any tax revenue. Because we do not receive any government funding, our members and donors play a vital role in helping us provide nature education and enhance the nature sanctuary grounds. The Houston Arboretum is a private non-profit educational facility that operates city land.
Do you have picnic areas or food available for sale?
We do not have areas suitable for picnics on the grounds. Picnic areas are located nearby in Memorial Park. Vending machines inside our building offer drinks (sodas and water), and frozen fruit bars. Light snacks are sometimes available in our Nature Shop. Please note to protect our exhibits and collections, food and drinks are not allowed in our Discovery Room.
Are dogs allowed?
Yes! As a responsible pet owner we ask you to abide by all city ordinances including controlling your dog on the leash at all times and cleaning up after your pet while visiting the Arboretum. As with our 2 legged visitors, dogs must be kept on the trails at all times (no swimming in the ponds). Dogs are allowed in the building lobby – tiled areas only.
Do you offer birthday parties?
Birthday party programs are available. To see a list of nature-themed birthday parties available and details, click here.
Do you allow weddings?
There are 5 locations on the grounds where wedding or memorial services are permitted. The largest location on the Arboretum’s lawn accommodates a maximum of 200 people. Click here for more information.
Do you rent your facilities?
When not in use for our educational programs, rooms inside our building can be rented for business meetings, staff retreats, and social events. Find more information here.
Do you allow parents or siblings to attend with registered children in programs?
No. If you feel that your child is unable to remain in the program without you for more than a few minutes, you probably should wait a year before you send him/her to that program. Our children’s programming and week-long camps promote independent learning and socialization. Parents and siblings are not allowed to remain in the classroom during class/camp hours.
Do you allow photography on your grounds?
Yes. We welcome, free of charge, all nature/wildlife photographers, individuals, and families to tour our grounds for the various wildlife found here year round. We also welcome for other types of photography and those details can be found within our Visitor Policies page: http://houstonarboretum.org/visitor-policies/