Any skepticism about Klyde Warren Park, which was built over one of Dallas' busiest freeways and opened in 2012, has vanished into thin air. There's good reason for that: The popular 5.2-acre park feels lively and fun pretty much any time of day. Office workers taking a break often mingle with Uptown and downtown dwellers, as well as plenty of kids getting their wiggles out. Here are five reasons to get out there any day.
1. Children's Park
A shallow splash pool reminiscent of a giant saucer and the caterpillar fountain (the arcs of water turn it into a "butterfly") in the play area are kid magnets. In other words, if you go here, expect the kids to get soaked. You'll probably also spend some time on the molecular-looking rope climbing structures and in the tree house. If the Children's Park is too crowded, try the other interactive fountains at Hart Boulevard and Moody Plaza.
2. Get moving
There's lots of free programming every day at the park, and exercise class possibilities include Pilates, tai chi, Stroller Boot Camp and Zumba. The East Lawn is a good spot for games, with croquet, ping pong and foosball (you can check out equipment, too). If you're interested in walking around and taking in the sights, here's a tip: It's about a half-mile to make a loop all the way around the park.
3. Chow down
Even the pickiest of eaters might enjoy the novelty of kicking back at one of the little green tables and trying something new from a food truck. The park's rotating roster of trucks makes it easy to stop for something delicious (check the website for daily truck hours). Examples of menu items include roast beef sandwiches from Gandolfo's New York Delicatessen, sundaes from What's Da Scoop and rice bowls at Nammi Truck. You could also stop at Relish, the park's burger and hot dog walk-up window.
4. My Best Friend's Park
Dogs can celebrate the arrival of going-outside-without-panting weather by playing off-leash and running through the fountains in the dog park.
5. The Dallas Morning News Reading & Games Room
Need some downtime? There are books, newspapers and magazines to peruse, and you can check out chess, checkers and other games from the game cart.
The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas. For a complete schedule of free activities, go to klydewarrenpark.org.