Friday, August 22, 2014

Totally Texas -- School days, dog day, cool spray

Can summer vacation possibly be over? It seems only hours since most schools ended classes in early June. But school starts for most North Texas kids Monday;

Most city pools have already closed. But if you thought last weekend, when area pools welcomed visits from our best friends, was your last chance to catch some waves with the four-legged ones, think again. This Saturday, August 23, Dallas’ Samuell Grand Pool, 3201 Samuell Blvd. in Dallas, hosts a last Dog Day Afternoon. From 2-5 p.m. Saturday, dogs swim for $5 a pup.

Since the pool is now closed to humans, going to the dogs is a fun way to close before the pool gets drained anyway. For tips on what to do or not do, on a doggy swim day, see

Luckily for the two-footed, Dallas city spraygrounds remain open through Labor Day, September 1. Always free, they’re a great way to cool off when 100+ degree days make last winter’s polar vortex seem like a fond memory.

My grandsons wanted to huddle indoors during the heat this week. But the combination of exuberant kids and my exuberant new dogs was more than my little house could handle. On with the swim suits (for kids) and leashes (for dogs) and off to the local spray park where I watched the dogs while the boys romped through the water. Most spray parks are open from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., but check for specifics in your neighborhood. Unfortunately, the only dogs they allow are service animals.

For a lingering dose of free water fun, you’ll have to leave the dogs at home. Local parks we liked boasting kid-friendly fountains include Addison Circle Park, at Addison Circle Drive; Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rogers Freeway in Dallas (which includes a separate dog park); Pegasus Plaza, Main and Akard in Dallas; and Main Street Garden, 1900 Main Street, Dallas.

For additional fountain options, see “Water spouts keep summer flowing”, August 9, 2013, and “Summer winds down, splashes keep going,” August 16, 2013, both at this site.

The Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road in Dallas, is home to both the Toad Fountain in the main garden and the entryway fountains at its Children’s Adventure Garden. Admission to the Arboretum and to the Children’s Adventure Garden is $1 through August 31.

(Next Friday, a preview of fall--yes, fall--festivals)

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