The summer heat is on full-blast now, and, if you’re like most Dallasites, you’re open any and all suggestions for keeping cool. Look no further than the city’s parks system. Not only do Dallas’ green spaces offer ample shade, but they’re also home to some pretty spectacular water features. Whether you’re looking for splash pads for the kiddos or some family fun out on the lake, you’ll be sure to find your oasis at these five Dallas parks.
If you’ve visited Klyde Warren Park (2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy.), then you already know that it’s one of the best places in the city to experience one of the things that made the summers of your childhood so idyllic. We’re talking, of course, about running and splashing through water-spewing fountains to your heart’s content. You’ll find multiple spray pools at Klyde Warren, including two smaller ones on either side of the park as well as the main splash pad at Moody Plaza near the corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and St. Paul Street. There’s also a separate area in the kid’s park that contains even more interactive water features. And with plenty of shaded tables nearby, Klyde Warren is a great place for a cool picnic lunch. As for dessert, you find just find an ice cream or shaved ice vendor along the row of food trucks lining the park’s southern edge.
Main Street Garden (1902 Main St.) is another pocket of paradise in Dallas’ urban center. Not only is the park’s central location especially convenient — it’s connected to major Downtown thoroughfares such as Main Street, Commerce Street, Harwood Street and St. Paul Street — but Main Street Garden also sports a large fountain area. Filled with a few well-placed rocks, it’s a place where children can splash around for hours. Other amenities include on-site WiFI, a nearby dog run and a separate play area for toddlers.
If you’re looking for a more serious water adventure, head east of Downtown to White Rock Lake. This 1,015-acre body of water isn’t just beautiful to look at — it’s highly functional, too, especially in the early evenings when the breezes blow across the lake. Whether you want to launch a small sailboat off one of the boating ramps or rent a kayak from the kayak concessions, there’s plenty of recreation to be had out on the water. You can also fish, row or even rent paddle boards for the entire family.
On the northern shores of White Rock Lake, you’ll find Lake Highlands Park (9500 E. Lake Highlands Dr.). This 36.8-acre community park, established in 1930, is also home to the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center. While you will find a swimming pool inside this facility, the park’s real attraction is its fun-filled, colorful sprayground. For those not exactly familiar with a sprayground, it’s just what it sounds like — a playground outfitted with sprayers dispersing cool, clean, refreshing water. The sprayground at Lake Highlands Park is free and open to the public until 8 p.m.
Lastly, North Dallas’ Campbell Green Park (16600 Hillcrest Rd.) is home to a pretty impressive sprayground of its own. With overhead buckets that fill with water and eventually spill on overjoyed children to a large spinning wheel engineered for maximum soaking, Campbell Green’s one of the most fully featured spraygrounds in the city. The sprayground sits adjacent to a non-aquatic playground as well, making this a destination perfect for parents who need to accommodate children who love getting wet and those who’d rather stay dry. The sprayground is free and open to the public until 8 p.m.
How do you plan to stay cool this summer? Do you have a favorite retreat from Dallas’ summer heat? Share your recommendations with us on our Facebook and Twitter.