Arlington is many things – home of the Cowboys, Rangers and Six Flags, famous for the Amber Alert, a shell of its former self – but one thing Arlington isn’t is a city that quits. I’ve seen Arlington run the gamut first hand; from a great suburb in which to raise your kid to its current state of trying to reinvent itself and clean up from the development shambles that were the last 20 years. Now that I am back in Arlington as an adult, a husband and a father, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Arlington’s commitment to creating great parks. It seems like every time I take a new route through Arlington I find another great park for my son to explore. That being said, here are a few of my favorites.
- In the heart of Arlington is O.S. Gray Park at Abram and Bowen, named for a former resident who is responsible for many of the pecan trees that line Arlington’s city. This park is small but the kid’s equipment is new and enough to keep my son occupied. And as an added bonus the train that cuts through Arlington usually passes a time or two while we are there and my son will stop to watch and waive at it.
- In North Arlington is one of the better parks in all of Dallas-Fort Worth, River Legacy. I remember going there as a kid and we take our son there now. A sprawling park set against the Trinity River, River Legacy is great for toddlers and teenagers and everything in between, with bike trails, walking trails and countless other things to keep your kid busy.
- Fielder Park in Central Arlington is another gem of a park that, though small, packs a lot of punch. In recent years they updated the playground equipment that sits under some old oak trees that provide great shade. And as an added bonus there is usually a flag football game taking place on the open grassy area to entertain you while your kid plays (and mom watches said kid play).
- Like River Legacy, Arlington’s other mega-park is Veteran’s Park, a one-stop-shop for all your park needs. If you’re into biking you can do that here. Do you Frisbee golf? Veteran’s has that covered. Or do you just want a bunch of open space and some picnic tables? You can do that here, too.
For a city that is built on spending a ton of cash to entertain yourself for a few hours (Rangers, Cowboys, Six Flags), Arlington is doing a great job offering free entertainment to its residents with parks. And as they continue to build more and the playground equipment keeps getting more entertaining and safer – so long painful splinters – we will continue to load up our son and take him to a park for a few hours. Hopefully this list gives you a few new parks to try out as you explore Arlington.
Colin Burns is a Gen Y Dad blogger who writes at DadinChucks.com. Colin is a 9-5 suit-wearer by day but a father and foodie by night.