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Scenes From Opening Weekend at Klyde Warren Park.

By Heather Abbott on Monday, October 29, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Since construction began in 2009, Dallas has been eagerly awaiting the opening of Klyde Warren Park. And, this past weekend, all anticipation was finally answered with a magnificent two-day grand opening event.

And, just above the Woodall Rogers Freeway and right between Pearl and St. Paul Streets, the 5.2 acres of urban green space really did look beautiful. Designed by the Office of James Burnett and maintained by the Woodall Rogers Park Foundation, the park will provide daily free programming like yoga, outdoor concerts, film showings and more.

Meaning? Well, that to say the park is interactive is something of an understatement.

Its location alone literally connects the city of Dallas, creating a hub for culture and outdoor participation. And it's not just a simple plot of green grass with a couple of sitting benches.

During grand opening weekend, which flows into this week as well, the park was filled with visitors of all walks of life: Young or old, human or canine, there's a spot for everybody.

For the kids, there's the Children's Park, a sectioned off area with a fountain, climbing structures and a small amphitheater for storytelling.

For the dogs, the is My Best Friend's Park, a small area perfect for playing and meeting new pooches. The dog park also includes a fountain -- for drinking or for playing, if so inclined -- as well as a couple of grassy hills made of AstroTurf. Dogs are allowed anywhere in the park, but this small area is a wonderful addition where they may roam leash-free.

And for those interested in sports, a game cart is available for checking out equipment so you can play ping pong, golf, croquet and more whenever the park is open.

There are also less physically active parts of Klyde Warren Park -- spots where visitors can flex their mental muscles instead. The Dallas Public Library has a sponsored book shelf in the Reading Room, a shaded area perfect for taking a quiet break. Next to the Reading Room and part of the Reading & Games Courtyard is an area dominated by chess tables. Soon, there will be programs offered with UTD chess champions.

Between the 50-plus free activities, the two dozen food trucks, the live concerts, the special appearance by Owen Wilson and the free admission to the Dallas Arts District museums (including an amazing interactive showcase, The Color Condition, in the Nasher's garden), the grand opening of the park was a major success.

Even architect Nathan Elliot was strolling around, soaking in the positive feedback, none of which really needed to be spoken, as it was obvious in everyone's smiles.

This week, Klyde Warren Park will start maintaining its regular hours from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on a daily basis.

And, hey, they'll even have free WiFi soon.

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