When spring trots in, grinding winter underfoot, it’s a great time to follow in its tread and check out the delights of Klyde Warren Park. I know a good many people have already discovered the park near downtown Dallas, but for those who haven’t, this is a chance to learn about it.
Construction started back in 2009, but the park didn’t open until late in 2012. It took some time because Klyde Warren Park is what’s referred to as a “highway cap park.” It was constructed over Woodall Rodgers Freeway, a broad, 5-acre deck that connects the Uptown retail and residential area to the Dallas Arts District. This kind of “over the freeway” deck park is becoming quite popular in cities where freeways slice through or closely circumvent urban centers. It’s a great way to boost downtown areas or to improve neighborhoods that need perking up. Most of all, it’s a lovely expression of green and vitality that attracts people.
I don’t know about you, but I get tired of cars and more cars, exhaust filling the air like bad breath and the endless roar of traffic speeding by. That scenario is a given for any freeway, especially one speeding along the edges of a city. The idea of a deck park, which relegates traffic to flow far beneath an attractive green space, is appealing both for the prospect of entertainment and for its practicality.
Now, that explains the concept of Klyde Warren Park. Let’s take a look at why it’s a great place to spend a day.
First and foremost, it is exactly what its name implies—a park. There are two huge grassy areas: the Ginsburg Family Great Lawn, which covers 29,500 square feet, and the East Lawn, which totals 17,500 square feet. Walkways encircle and crisscross the greens and young trees provide companionable shade.
All that space allows for numerous activities.
- The Dallas Morning News Reading & Games Room – I love this concept. It’s not really a room, of course, but an open area delineated by trees and the walk, with metal racks full of books and magazines that can be borrowed by anyone who wants to read. You can sit at one of the little tables or settle on the grass. What better way to enjoy a good read than under a tree, breathing the fresh air? If you prefer to play checkers or chess, there are gaming boards to sit at. Other free games are available at the game cart. The game cart is open from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the weekends.
- Children’s Park – This is a fun children’s area with a playground, a tiny “water park,” a small amphitheater and a storytelling tree. It’s bright and cheerful and lovely for kids to let loose and be kids.
- Croquet, Ping Pong, and Putting – If you enjoy swinging a mallet, a paddle, or a golf club, Klyde Warren offers a small croquet area, several ping pong tables, and a cool little putting green where you can practice making holes-in-one. Relaxing endeavors for all types.
- Dog Park – “My Best Friend’s Park” is that special space for you and your pooch. Dogs on a leash are also welcome throughout the main park, but be sure and carry “poop” bags for nature’s unexpected call.
- Fitness – All the open space begs to be used. The park offers—for free—a boot camp, tai chi, Zumba, yoga, and ballroom dancing! Or, if you just want to walk about on the beckoning lawn and walks, you could get in some easy exercise.
- Splash Pad – There’s a main splash pad located on the corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and St. Paul Street. It’s a great place to cool off in the summer heat.
- Food Trucks – A great variety of food trucks serving all kinds of foods are available at the Park every day. It’s a fun way to ease your hunger and satisfy your taste buds. The trucks serve from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Savor Gastropub – This is the Park’s main restaurant. It’s a modern pub that serves fresh food simply prepared. The flavors are vibrant and intended to draw people together. Call 214-306-5597 for reservations.
Relish – This food truck operates as a permanent fixture on the Southwest Porch. It’s a companion kiosk to Savor. The kiosk offers gourmet burgers with relish. Fries or frozen custard finish the fill up.
You’ll find the Park at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl Street and St. Paul. There’s metered parking on the streets surrounding the Park, some of which accept credit cards as well as cash. There is valet parking available at the Savor on the northbound access road. That parking is complimentary for restaurant patrons, but park visitors not using the restaurant pay $15. The Dallas Museum of Art, across the street to the south, has a paid parking garage and there’s more paid parking at the Dallas Credit Union. Wherever you park, read the posited signs because the Dallas Police do issue tickets for illegal parking.
The Park is open daily from 6 a.m. To 11:00 p.m., accommodating early risers or after work visitors. It’s quite the delight, Klyde Warren Park…spend a day exercising or lazing in the sunshine, reading a book or splashing in spray, eating or listening to music during one of the “events” frequently conducted there. It’s fascinating to watch the traffic flow beneath the deck, or peruse the surrounding skyline of tall, glass bright buildings.
Go forth and have a great day!