Friday, February 1, 2013

Totally Texas -- Dallas park done right

Klyde Warren Park

2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway

(between Pearl and St. Paul)


Thanks, Dallas -- in the Klyde Warren deck, we’ve finally got a public park that works. Given Dallas’ penchant for projects that look great on paper but fail in practice, I feared the Klyde Warren would lapse into disuse after the opening celebration last fall.

I’m thrilled to report that when my family dropped by on the first day of the Dallas Museum of Art’s free admission, the park was filled with people strolling, browsing the open air reading room, taking a tai chi class. And eating. Our city gradually sheds its fear of food in public places, with food trucks at the park daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To coax my grandsons out of the DMA at closing time, my daughter had proposed adjourning to the Klyde Warren just across the street. The playground was full of children but it didn’t feel cramped. How could it, with multilevel play structures that encouraged kids to move in all dimensions?

(As a person of, shall we say, mature years, I was relieved to find sitting space for those of us who don’t climb aerial webs. And to note that the family restrooms adjacent to the playground are now operational.)

The weather at our visit was similar to this weekend’s forecast -- sunny but still with a chill in the air. That didn’t keep the boys, and other kids as well, from splashing in the spray ground. If your children are like minded -- and whose aren’t -- consider bringing a towel and maybe a change of clothes for them.

The “ground” in the play area is foam padding and the small, climbable hills are covered in artificial turf. So no high heels allowed. But why would you want them anyway? This park is made for walking, with strolling trails and plenty of attractions to visit along its length.

If your “kids” include dogs, they’re welcome on-leash everywhere, or leash-free in the My Best Friend’s Park area. (Of course, you do the clean-up.)

The Klyde Warren is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. It’s got drinking fountains, and faucets and basins outside the family restrooms. And Wi-Fi, of course. And although more restrooms are planned when a permanent restaurant opens late this summer, there’s a restroom truck with a changing table opposite the playground. Street side parking is available, although limited. On our most recent visit, we parked in a paid lot in the Arts District. We’ve also taken the McKinney Avenue trolley, which stops next to the park.  And since you’ve got your walking shoes on, DART stops are only a few blocks away. For more information, including scheduled activities,

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