Where is the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center located and how do I get there?
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is located on the southwest corner of Memorial Park, with an entrance at 4501 Woodway Drive. Our 610 Entrance is located at 120 West Loop North on the 610 West northbound feeder road just south of Woodway Drive. Both entrances are open to the public, however deliveries and service technicians are encouraged to use the 610 Entrance.
Parking is available at both the 610 Entrance and the Woodway Entrance. Parking on the Arboretum grounds is extremely limited and fills up quickly on weekends. School bus parking for Field Trips is available on the 610 Parking Loop.
Paid parking is available at both the Woodway and 610 Parking Loops. Parking is free on Thursdays and free for Arboretum Members. To learn more, head to our Plan Your Visit page.
What are your hours and admission fees?
Admission to the Nature Center and trails is free. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a non-profit organization and donations to help maintain trails and wildlife habitat are appreciated. Programs are available for schools, scouts and other groups. (Reservations are required for group programs.)
The grounds of the Arboretum are open daily from 7 am to dusk. The Nature Center building which houses the Nature Shop, Discovery Room, classrooms, and bathrooms is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm. Outdoor bathrooms at the Nature Center building are open during park hours. The building and grounds are occasionally closed for holidays and special events.
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.
What plants and wildlife may I see when I visit?
The Arboretum is home to a wide range of plants and animals, including many native trees, grasses, shrubs, wildflowers, birds, butterflies and other insects, spiders, frogs, snakes, turtles, lizards, rabbits, armadillos, squirrels, and more! Please note that we DO have poisonous plants like Poison Ivy and venomous snakes like copperheads and coral snakes on site, which is why we ask that all visitors (and their pets) stay on the trails. We also ask that visitors not try to feed, pick up, or touch any wildlife for the safety of both the wildlife and our visitors.
How is the Arboretum funded?
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.
How do I become a Member?
The Houston Arboretum thanks you for considering a membership. As a supporting member you are ensuring the continuation of our vital services, and you are entitled to many benefits too! Visit our Become A Member page to learn more.
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. Drinks and snacks can be purchased in the Nature Shop.
Are dogs allowed?
Yes! Our trails are dog-friendly and dogs are allowed in the Nature Center building lobby, but not the Discovery Room. As a responsible pet owner we ask you to abide by all city ordinances including controlling your dog on a 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). Please dispose of all poop bags in a trash receptacle.
Please be aware that for safety and sanitation reasons, pets are not allowed in the Nature Playscape. Pets are also not allowed at most classes and events unless otherwise noted.
Do you offer birthday parties?
Yes! To see a list of nature-themed birthday party packages, visit our Birthday Parties page.
Do you allow weddings?
Yes, there are several locations on the grounds where weddings, memorial services, and other social events are permitted. Learn more here.
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.
Where can I find information about waitlists and cancellation policies?
Waitlist information as well as all cancellation policies concerning registrations and rentals can be found here.
Do you allow parents or siblings to attend with registered children in programs?
No. Unless otherwise noted, parents and siblings are not allowed to attend children’s programs. If you feel that your child is unable to remain in the program without you, please wait until your child is ready before you send them 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 all nature and wildlife photographers, individuals, and families to visit our grounds for the various wildlife found here year round. We also welcome other types of professional and nonprofessional photography for a fee. Details can be found on our Photography Policy page.