Every morning I pass by the in-progress Klyde Warren Park on the way into the office, and every day I become more excited by the 5.2 acres of goodness straddling Uptown and the Arts District. I tend to be overly optimistic about these sort of things, but I can’t help but think the park is going to be a game changer for our city. (Or at least an incredibly cool place to take my girlies for all manner of outdoor fun.) In anticipation of the official opening at the end of this month, I asked our (incredibly thorough) intern Caitlin Adams — a self-proclaimed park lover — to give us an overview of the park’s myriad family-friendly features and activities. Enjoy!
By: Caitlin Adams
Some of my most treasured childhood memories took place amid afternoons at our neighborhood park. I could spend hours going down the metal slide with my brothers, even when the 90-degree days promised I would leave with burnt thighs. But the park in my memories does not even begin to compare to Dallas’ long awaited Klyde Warren Park, opening this month. This 5.2-acre grassy gem in the heart of the city will boast a staggering array of programs and features. Gone are the days of racking your brain for ways to keep your kids entertained without having to sacrifice your own interests. Community members and park organizers have ensured an impressive lineup of activities that will appeal to adults and children alike. Without further ado, here’s a snapshot of things to come in this hybrid, one-of-a-kind park.
Children’s Garden: This 15,000 square-foot area will be the perfect area for imaginations to run wild while parents kick back and revel in their child’s sheer joy. The garden’s features include an interactive fountain, a child-scale amphitheater, play structures, and sand pits. Perhaps the grandest feature, (and one that has 10 year old me sticking my tongue out in envy) is the Storytelling Deck, an oak tree wrapped in stairs that lead to a tree house-like deck. Seriously, what child hasn’t longed for a tree house to host neighborhood club meetings? Small crowds can gather on the elevated deck to watch puppet shows and plays.
This entire area must have been designed from a parent’s dream. The park is surrounded with benches and shade sure to make relaxation a breeze, a perimeter fence ensures children won’t wonder off, and bright-color rubber floors are the perfect surface to prevent injury should kids take an unforeseen tumble.
Lending Library: Take the carpool to the park after school to encourage reading in a safe, comfortable environment. Check a book out from the “Lending Library,” a compilation of all genres of books, and enjoy it stretched out under a tree. Be sure to return books before you head home so other children can benefit from the selection.
My Best Friend’s Park: I did say this park was a great destination for the entire family. Bring your dog to the 4,000 square-foot enclosed dog park and you are sure to meet a few furry friends.
The Botanical Garden: Maybe my days spent working at a florist made me biased, but is there anything more serene than being surrounded by flowers? A walk on the paths through the gardens is a great way to get children familiar with our environment’s natural beauty, and the colorful blooms will be easy on the eyes.
Story Telling Park: The Park has enlisted more than 25 storytellers to entertain guests. Storytellers will read popular fairytales, and some audiences will get to hear animated personal anecdotes from storytellers’ pasts. Bring a blanket and kick back while someone else takes the reins and entertains your family.
Yoga Classes: Need to blow off steam from the workweek? Want to breathe fall’s fresh air after being cooped up all day? Bikram Yoga Dallas will host weekly yoga classes on Thursday evenings. Bring your mat and do your best proud warrior while overlooking the downtown lights.
“Knit Together:” Grab your friends and head to the weekly knitting circle hosted by the Shabby Sheep. I have always wanted to be the kind of person that wears hand knitted scarves and hats, and these classes will be the perfect way to jump the hurdle and ensure one-of-a-kind fall accessories.
The World’s a Stage: I had an extreme case of stage fright when I was little (my bowl cut probably didn’t help) so my parents shipped me off to acting camp to bring me out of my shell. Luckily for you, such extreme measures can be avoided by simply heading downtown. Dallas Children’s Theater will offer dramatic activities and workshops for all ages, and students will treat visitors to performances.
Additionally, there will be regularly scheduled performances, Chess tournaments, concerts, movie series, ballroom dance classes, seminars, and much, much more.
This list of endless possibilities has me itching to go to the park and let my inner child run free! Grab a kite and meet me on the Great Lawn. Who’s with me?