Our popular annual Stars & S'mores event is back. Tickets sell out quickly!
GUIDED HIKES ARE SOLD OUT. THE CANYON FLOOR TRAIL WILL BE OPEN TO ALL GUESTS.
Join us for s'mores around the campfire, stargazing through powerful telescopes, live birds, live music, lawn games, beer from Southern Roots Brewery or hard cider from Bishop Cider (limited availability), a Ben & Jerry's gourmet hot chocolate bar, and an open Canyon Floor Trail for self-guided exploration. Limited guided hikes (age 16+) are available for an additional fee.
Thank you to The Addy Foundation, a major sponsor of this event!
TICKET SALES END: Monday, January 29, 2023.
All ticket levels include:
- Telescope viewing (provided by volunteer astronomers)
- Live birds (presented by Window to the Wild)
- Live music (with Matt Nestor Music)
- Hot chocolate bar (by Ben & Jerry's)
- Make-Your-Own S'mores
- Lawn games
- Gift shop discounts
- Adult with Beer/Hard Cider: $35pp. Ages 21+ only.
- Youth or Adult without Beer: $30pp. No age restriction.
Add-ons available: Guided hikes will be presented as an upsell option ($10pp) prior to completing your ticket checkout. Ages 16+ only.
GUIDED HIKE DETAILS
- There is a solo element to this hike. Therefore, this hike is suitable for ages 16+ only.
- Guided hikes leave our building at 6:30 and 8:00. Hikes last 45-60 minutes. Participants must be present at time of departure. No refunds for missed hikes.
- Hike will be up to one mile in length on a moderate difficulty trail. The trail gains about 100 feet in elevation over the first half mile.
- Hikes are limited in capacity to optimize each participant's experience. Guided hike tickets usually sell out. Due to capacity, it is not possible for all Stars & S'mores attendees to join a hike, so we recommend purchasing tickets as soon as possible to guarantee your spot.
- Please dress for the conditions and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Please do not bring flashlights on the hike as white light impacts night vision and the hike experience. Trekking poles are permitted, but not necessary or required.
- Hikes are not suitable for those with extremely limited night vision or other challenges that would make it difficult to walk on uneven terrain and exposed tree roots in the dark. Please consider your personal limitations when deciding whether to join a night hike. While we take all precautions possible to provide a safe night hike experience, participation in a night hike does present some additional safety concerns. Participants must evaluate their own fitness level and abilities in deciding whether to participate.
- All hikes must be purchased at the same time as your general admission tickets. Since guided hikes are an upgrade to general admission, we do not permit purchases of hiking-only tickets. All hikers must also have general admission tickets.
- If you have families/groups purchasing tickets separately and want to hike together, please coordinate the hike time being purchased with all others in your party/group. Depending on ticket availability, it may not be possible to accommodate everyone on the same hike. To remain on schedule and to respect the time of all our guests, we will not transfer tickets. If you are unable to obtain tickets for all members of your party, we recommend splitting your group into separate hikes.
IMPORTANT PARKING INFORMATION
- PARKING IS NEXT DOOR AT NEWMAN ACADEMY. Set your navigation to Newman International Academy, 1114 W FM 1382, Cedar Hill, TX 75104.
- Participants may use the Balcones Trail sidewalk to walk from Newman to Dogwood. Alternatively, participants may take one of our shuttles at no cost. Please give yourself enough time to arrive at the Newman Academy parking lot, catch the shuttle or walk, get checked in at Dogwood (and receive wristbands and tickets), and walk up to the building to be ready for your hike departure time (if applicable).
- If you have a valid handicap placard or license plate, please come to the main gravel lot at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center at 1206 W FM 1382, Cedar Hill, TX 75104. The entry to the Dogwood Canyon parking lot will be managed so that traffic can be directed accordingly.
- The circle parking lot will be closed for the safety of guests and our volunteers with telescopes.
- Please do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
TIME YOUR ARRIVAL
- If you have tickets for a timed guided hike, we recommend arriving at Newman's parking lot at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled hike departure time.
- If you do not have tickets for guided hikes, we recommend arriving at the Newman parking lot no later than 7:00p to give you enough time to enjoy activities before we close at 9:00p.
- If you have tickets for a guided hike departing at 8:00p, we recommend arriving at the Newman parking lot no later than 6:30p so that you may enjoy other activities BEFORE your hike departs. When your hike returns to the building, other activities will be in the process of closing.
All ticket sales and gift shop purchases directly support Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, an operation of National Audubon Society, Inc., a non-profit organization. Our nature center must be financially self-sustainable and we rely on events like this, as well as donations, to support our mission. Ticket sales are not considered tax-deductible and help cover our costs of holding the event. In order to further support our center, please consider making a donation. Donations can be made in person or online at https://dogwood.audubon.org/donate.
REFUNDS, TICKET TRANSFERS, AND INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICIES
--Refunds: Due to the limited nature of the event, tickets are not refundable.
--Transfers: Tickets are non-transferable.
--Weather: Please note that this event is weather-dependent. In the event that we are experiencing heavy local precipitation at the time of your scheduled hike, the hike will be canceled. Telescope viewing is dependent on weather and sky conditions. S'mores are dependent on our ability to safely manage contained fires within the forest. Other activities may have limited resources and, therefore, are subject to depletion and availability.
--Cancellation: If the event is canceled due to weather, please consider your ticket purchase to be a contribution to Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, a non-profit operation of National Audubon Society, Inc., federal tax ID number 13-1624102.
When placing your order, please use a valid e-mail address. We will communicate any cancellations or changes via e-mail.
We appreciate our vendors and partners:
- Southern Roots Brewing Co - Waxahachie
- Window to the Wild
- Matt Nestor Music
- Ben & Jerry's - Plano
- Fort Worth Astronomical Society
- Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas
- Joshua Fread, lead photographer and owner of CFXimages
- Newman International Academy
- Trinity River Audubon Center
- Visit Cedar Hill TX
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please read above to see if your question has been answered. Other common questions are:
- What else is nearby? Can I make a weekend out of a visit to Cedar Hill?
- Cedar Hill is an excellent staycation destination with hotels, shopping, dining, outdoor recreation, an historic downtown, entertainment and more.
- We recommend using the Visit Cedar Hill TX website to plan your weekend and find lodging.
- For those interested in camping (tent and RV), we are located next door to Cedar Hill State Park
- The guided hikes are full. Can I still get a ticket for a hike?
- In order to have an enjoyable hike experience, we limit the capacity of each hike. If a hike time is sold out or you are unable to select the number of tickets you'd like to purchase, then we have either reached capacity or have a very limited number of tickets left. Please check other times that may be suitable for you and your guests.
- What should we bring/wear on the guided hikes?
- All guests participating in hikes should dress for the conditions and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Please do not bring flashlights on the hike. Trekking poles are permitted, but not necessary or required, especially on the all-ages hikes.
- Are restrooms available?
- Public restrooms are available at the building. Go up the ramp and make a right turn on the verandah. The doors to the restrooms are on the outside of the building, next to the water fountain.
- Is this event handicap accessible?
- Our facility is ADA-compliant. Vehicles with handicap placards or license plates will be permitted to park in Dogwood Canyon's parking lot. The parking lot is comprised of gravel and crushed granite. The pathway to the check-in table is comprised of crushed granite. The pathway to the building is comprised of crushed granite up to the concrete ramp. The telescopes will be located around the concrete circle driveway. However, use of the telescopes will depend on the individual's capabilities. S'mores and lawn games will be in the Nature Play area, which is a natural/dirt surface area, but is primarily flat. There is some outdoor seating available in this area, mostly picnic tables. Some activities may be held in classrooms in the building, which can be reached by ascending the concrete ramp. Inside the gift shop, the floors are concrete. We have a wheelchair lift for those interested in going up to our indoor Canyon View platform. For those with night vision impairment, please consider your capabilities of walking in a dark forest on uneven terrain and over exposed tree roots. For specific questions regarding handicap accessibility, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have several opportunities for those interested in supporting the event or our center.
- Volunteer - If you are interested in volunteering during the event, please contact email@example.com.
- Donate - Individuals interested in contributing to the center may do so online.
- Sponsor - Organizations and individuals interested in being recognized for their sponsorship should contact Michaela Kral at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Partner - We are interested in working with musicians, artists, food truck vendors, etc for many of our events. If you have a service you are interested in offering, contact email@example.com.