Events

Annual Fundraiser

Events

Annual Fundraiser

EVENT IS SOLD OUT! Check out our next event in February!

Our annual Stars & S'mores event is back and in person! Join us for s'mores around the campfire, stargazing, and guided night hikes into the canyon.

It's our 10th anniversary and so we're kicking this popular event up a notch. This year, Mija Barbeque and Ash & Ember Brewing will be onsite with street tacos, elotes, and beer. All tickets include: one beer, tacos, elote, s'more, lawn games, and telescope viewing. Attendees may choose to purchase tickets with or without alcohol. 

Our gift shop will be open; enjoy an exclusive sale and giveaways.

Guided Night Hikes: Hikes have limited capacity and therefore, are a separate purchase.  Night hikes are offered throughout the evening. All guests must have a general admission ticket. Guided hikes will be presented as an upsell option prior to completing your ticket checkout.

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

TICKET PRICING - All sales end Monday, January 24, 3pm

  • $25.00 - Adults with alcohol (21+)
  • $20.00 - Adults without alcohol (18+)
  • $15.00 - Ages 6-17
  • Free - Ages 5 and under

Guided hikes are $5.00 per person as an "add on" which will be made available during the checkout process.
Children under the age of 5 do not need a guided hike ticket, but do need general admission tickets.

GUIDED HIKE DETAILS

Please note that each hike is limited in capacity to optimize the hiking 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.

Guided hikes leave our building at 6:15, 7:15, and 8:15. Hikes last 30-45 minutes and are up to a mile round trip.

At each hike time, there are two groups - Group A and Group B. Please note that each hike time/group will be slightly different:

  • 6:15 - Group A - Balcones Trail - This is the new paved ADA-compliant trail that parallels FM 1382 and traverses our driveway. This hike is family-friendly.  
  • 6:15 - Group B - Canyon Floor Trail - Our ADA-compliant crushed granite trail that stays on the canyon floor. This hike is family-friendly.
  • 7:15 - Group A - Canyon Floor Trail - Our ADA-compliant crushed granite trail that stays on the canyon floor. This hike is family-friendly.
  • 7:15 - Group B - West Loop Trail - This trail is not ADA-compliant and gains significant, but gradual elevation. This hike is family-friendly.
  • 8:15 - Group A - ADULT ONLY (16+) - West Loop Trail - This trail is not ADA-compliant and gains significant, but gradual elevation. This hike is not suitable for those under the age of 16.
  • 8:15 - Group B - ADULT ONLY (16+) - West Loop Trail - This trail is not ADA-compliant and gains significant, but gradual elevation. This hike is not suitable for those under the age of 16.

Note that both Groups A and B at 8:15 will utilize the West Loop Trail, but groups will be staggered and head in opposite directions on the loop. 

We recommend taking very young children on earlier hikes due to darkness increasing throughout the evening.

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 and group (A or B) being purchased with all others in your party/group. We will do the best we can, but 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 switch people between groups. If you are unable to obtain tickets for all members of your party in the same time/group, we recommend splitting your group into separate hikes. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. Other activities onsite may be enjoyed as a group without limitation.

Attendees with hiking tickets must be present at the building breezeway at the time the hike departs. Trails are not open for non-guided hiking. No refunds are provided when attendees are not present. To ensure ticketed hike attendees who are present and enjoy the full length of their hike, we will not be able to accommodate last-minute changes or onsite purchases for hikes. 

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 over 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.

Hikes that depart the building at 8:15 are not suitable for those under the age of 16.

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

We will shuttle attendees between our property and the parking lot at Newman. Please give yourself enough time to arrive at the Newman Academy parking lot, catch the shuttle, get checked in at Dogwood (and receive wrist bands and tickets), and walk up to the building to be ready for your hike departure time (if applicable). Face masks are recommended for the shuttle for attendees who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

--If you have tickets for a timed guided hike, we recommend arriving at Newman's parking lot approximately 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 7:30p to give you enough time to enjoy the majority of activities before we close at 9:00p.

--If you have tickets for a guided hike departing at 8:15p, we recommend arriving at the Newman parking lot no later than 7:00p 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

--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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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 (cash) or online (credit/debit card) 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: We will permit the transfer of tickets through noon on Thursday, January 27, 2022. If you are unable to attend and want to transfer your tickets, please contact dcac@audubon.org or call (469) 526-1987. We cannot guarantee the transfer of tickets after that time.

--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. 

SUPPORT 

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 dcac@audubon.org.
  • 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 michaela.kral@audubon.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 dcac@audubon.org

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Please read above to see if your question has been answered. Other common questions are:

  • 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/groups 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 rock 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. The guided hikes are on a variety of trail types and each guided hike ticket describes whether that specific hike is ADA-compliant. The adult-only hikes and any hikes on the West Loop Trail require climbing a hill with switchbacks. However, guided hikes at 6:15 and 7:15 can accommodate wheelchairs that are able to navigate a slight grade and over some sections that may have up to a 1" height variation. 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 dcac@audubon.org

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

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