Stars & S'mores - January 17 & 18, 2020 | 6p-9p
Events

Annual Fundraiser

Events

Annual Fundraiser

Join us for our annual Stars & S'mores fundraiser January 17 and 18, 2020, 6:00p-9:00p each evening.

Enjoy S'mores around the campfire, stargazing, and guided night hikes into the canyon to check on our nocturnal residents. Other activities include animal encounters, lawn games, free kids' crafts, and exclusive event-only gift shop discounts.

This year, we are expanding the event to two nights - join us either Friday or Saturday. We've also made improvements to the booking process, allowing participants to select which group hike to join. We've also added opportunities to join longer adult-only (18+) guided hikes. 

Tickets

Please note that due to the sell-out nature of the event, the pricing structure has changed this year.

All participants must purchase a General Admission ticket, which includes a S'more, telescope viewing, crafts and free activities. During the checkout process, you will be given options to purchase timed tickets for guided hikes and animal encounters. We are also offering a limited edition t-shirt and souvenir package for purchase. During the event, we will offer special discounts in our gift shop. All tickets must be purchased through the Ticketleap portal at https://dogwoodcanyonaudubon.ticketleap.com/starsandsmores2020/.

Children ages 2 and under do not need tickets, but may not join the adult-only guided hikes. We recommend taking very young children on earlier hikes due to darkness increasing throughout the evening.

All participants must have a General Admission ticket. Optional add-ons should be purchased through the Ticketleap portal and include guided hikes, animal encounters, a limited edition t-shirt, and a souvenir package.

Pricing

  • General Admission tickets are $5.00 each. Ticketleap charges an additional $1.25 fee per ticket.
  • Guided hikes:
    • All-ages guided hikes are approximately 25-30 minutes in duration and cover less than half a mile - $2.00 per person
    • Adult-only (18+) guided hikes are approximately 50-60 minutes in duration and cover up to 1.75 miles - $4.00 per person
  • Animal encounters:
    • Reptile encounters (turtles and/or snakes) are available at 6:30 each evening and last approximately 30 minutes - $1.50 per person
    • Live Bird of Prey encounters (American Kestrel) are available at 7:30 each evening and last up to 45 minutes - $3.00 per person
  • Limited edition t-shirts are $21.60 each, including sales tax and come with a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $40 or more in the gift shop during the event
  • Souvenir packages containing our logo drawstring backpack, logo water bottle, and logo pencil are $10.00 each, including tax and come with a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $40 or more in the gift shop during the event

All purchases support Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center. We appreciate your generosity and support! 

Parking

Vehicles with handicap placards or license plates will be accommodated at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center's parking lot at 1206 W FM 1382, Cedar Hill, TX 75104.

All other guest parking will be at Newman International Academy, located next door to Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center. Please program your GPS to direct you to Newman at 1114 W. FM1382, Cedar Hill, TX 75104. Once you turn into Newman's driveway, look for signs directing you to the correct parking lot where our white 15-passenger Ford Econoline vans will stop to shuttle guests to the center. Note that their driveway is long and goes to several parking lots. It is imperative that you follow signs to the correct lot.

Due to the time needed to park, shuttle, check-in and navigate up to the building where timed activities take place or depart, arrive at the Newman parking lot at least 30 minutes prior to the reservation of any timed activity.

Schedule

All timed events begin at the time scheduled. Guests should time their arrival at Dogwood Canyon at least 30 minutes prior to their first timed activity. This will allow time to park next door at Newman International Academy, hop on one of our free shuttles, get checked in at the event gate/table, and make your way up to the building where the hike will depart. Keep in mind that the event ends at 9:00p and there are many activities to enjoy, so plan your arrival, departure, and any ticketed event times accordingly.

Each evening, the schedule is as follows:

  • 6:00p
    • Gates open and shuttles begin transferring guests from Newman International Academy's parking lot.
    • During check-in, guests receive tickets for S'mores, wrist bands for guided hikes, and tickets for animal encounters. Pre-purchased t-shirts and souvenir packages will also be picked up at this time.
    • Guests are free to roam between non-timed activities as they desire until 9:00p: s'mores in Nature Play, lawn games in Nature Play, telescopes in the circle driveway, free kids' crafts in Cedar Elm classroom, hot cocoa for sale in the gift shop, exclusive event-only discounts in the gift shop. 
  • 6:30p
    • 2 All-ages guided hikes leave from the building breezeway (up to 30 minutes)
    • Reptile animal encounter begins (up to 30 minutes)
  • 7:00p
    • 1 All-ages guided hike leaves from the building breezeway (up to 30 minutes)
    • 1 Adult-only (18+) guided hike leaves from the building breezeway (up to 60 minutes)
  • 7:30p
    • 2 All-ages guided hikes leave from the building breezeway (up to 30 minutes)
    • Live Bird of Prey encounter begins (up to 60 minutes)
  • 8:00p
    • 1 All-ages guided hike leaves from the building breezeway (up to 30 minutes)
    • 1 Adult-only (18+) guided hike leaves from the building breezeway (up to 60 minutes)
  • 9:00p
    • Event closes

When you are ready to leave, just head back out to the same place where the shuttle dropped you off in the main parking lot for a quick ride back to your vehicle. Shuttles will be running continuously.

Cancellations, Transfers, and Refunds

Due to the limited nature of the event, tickets are not refundable. However, we do permit the transfer of tickets. If you are unable to attend and want to transfer your tickets, please contact dcac@audubon.org no later than noon, Thursday, January 16, 2020. We cannot guarantee the transfer of tickets after that time.

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. Crafts and other activities may have limited resources and, therefore, are subject to depletion and availability.

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. All cancellations will be posted on Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center's Facebook page.

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 download our Sponsorship Levels & Benefits form. Questions may be directed to Michaela Kral at michaela.kral@audubon.org.
  • Partner - We are interested in working with musicians, artists, food truck vendors, etc. 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?
    • As guided hikes fill, we will open waitlists online. Please purchase a General Admission ticket and sign up for the waitlisted time you are interested in. It is important that you provide a good telephone number that we can use to contact you during the event. Since the waitlist will be used when guests do not show up in time for their hike, we may contact you only a few minutes prior to the hike's departure time. We will require payment prior to the hike. If we call you, please immediately head to the gift shop to pay and join your hike. If there is a line at the gift shop desk, please come up to the front of the line.
  • 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. The animal encounters and kids' crafts will be held in classrooms in the building, which can be reached by ascending the concrete ramp. The guided hikes are on natural surface trails. The longer adult-only hikes require climbing a hill with switchbacks. However, the shorter all-ages guided hikes 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 specific questions regarding handicap accessibility, please contact us at dcac@audubon.org

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