I confess -- while my daughter and grandkids were at camp, I sneaked out by myself to see what the Summer Adventures in Dallas Fair Park was all about. I found a 20-acre midway filled with rides, shows, games, and food, all for half the price (or less) of some other amusement parks in the metroplex.
I found trick dogs, puppet shows, air-conditioned places for adults to relax while kids dig through sand pits for treasures or watch toy trains zigzag through models of Texas landmarks. Plenty of sprayground playgrounds and an inland surfing basin.
Overhead, awnings, fans and mist machines mitigated the Texas summer heat. And long commutes? Forget about it -- it’s in the heart of Dallas.
The admission price ($29.95 for adults, $24.95 for children and seniors) also gives visitors free entry to the three Fair Park museums (within museum hours) and the lagoon swan boat rides. (Exit through the gift shop and get a hand stamp for entry to the other Fair Park attractions and reentry to Summer Adventures.)
But as they say, wait for it. A “family four-pack” is $89 -- online or at the gate by mentioning the promo. There’s onsite parking ($15), but DART also offers a $10 regional day pass for two adults and up to four children, available Saturdays only. Shuttles at the gates transport you from DART stations in Fair Park to the midway area.
Summer Adventures is open through August 18, Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Friday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. -8 p.m.
The surfer-style FlowRider attraction requires swimwear (there are changing booths). At other numerous other locations, be ready to kick your shoes off to cool off in the mist and spray, or dig through the sand pits.
For more information, including special promotions and discounts, see www.fairparkfun.com/.
For DART information, see www.dart.org/about/riderinsider/mayjun13summeradventures.asp/