Ask every honest parent and you will get the same answer. The secret to choosing an awesome jungle gym on which your child can sit, hang or climb on is not only the quality of the playground equipment, or the fun and exercise play it brings to the child, it is also what the playground construction offers to the parent. Here in DFW, parents have really lucked out with a wealth of selections in fancy jungle gyms. Here are the five best ones.
Moody Family Children’s Museum
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
2201 N. Field St.
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 428-5555
www.perotmuseum.orgWhen entering the Moody Family Children’s Museum at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science you want to be a kid again, for where else can you climb a replica of the Dallas Reunion Tower, or stay at an indoor campsite and crawl trough fallen log? The museum, opened in December of 2012, created the area especially for children ages 5 and younger, giving babies, toddlers and preschoolers a space of their own to explore alongside a parent or caregiver — just follow the blue shimmering riverlike floor and experience the world of wonders.

Klyde Warren Park (Photo by Caroline Calais)

Klyde Warren Park
Children’s Park
2012 Woodall Rogers Freeway
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 716-4500
www.klydewarrenpark.orgOpened in 2012 and created out of thin air by decking over a downtown freeway that once divided the center of Dallas, the five acres of green space now attracts thousands of people seeking a bit of recreation. For kids, the child-size amphitheater and storytelling tree in the children’s section of the park are sure to be a favorite spot in the playground. So is the caterpillar fountain that water jets turn into a beautiful butterfly.

The Continental Avenue Bridge And West Dallas Gateway
109 Continental Ave.
Dallas, TX 75208
www.dallascontinentalbirdge.comConverted into a park in 2014, the old Continental Avenue Bridge today carries pedestrians and bicyclists from downtown Dallas to Oak Cliff. The latest addition to the Trinity River Corridor also features a playground with colorful geometric climbing blocks for smaller children and a rock climbing area for the bigger ones. Shaded areas and lounge chairs offers relaxation and a beautiful view of the city line, Trinity River and the stunning white-arch Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. The suspension bridge carrying interstate over the Trinity River is designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and opened for traffic in 2012.

Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden
The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden
8525 Garland Road
Dallas, TX 75218
(214) 515-6500
www.dallasarboretum.orgThe 66-acre botanical garden overlooking the White Rock Lake is a great space for kids to burn off energy. Specifically aiming at younger visitors, the eight-acre Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden features 17 indoor and outdoor learning galleries and fun interactive stuff like a bouncy house in the air (a walk in the clouds), a walkaway through the treetops (The Texas Skywalk), a maze and rooftop garden (The Moody Oasis).

The caboose at The Village at Allen (Photo by Caroline Calais)

The Village At Allen
190 Stacy Road
Allen, TX 75069
(972) 678-4939
www.thevillageshopping.comThe 181-acre development located at the southeast corner of Stacy Road and US 75 is a testament to the rapid north Texas economic growth; the 16-county region grew by nearly 97,000 people from January 2014 to January 2015, continuing a trend that began in 2010. And that is good news for north Texas kids. The extensive Allen/Fairview shopping center has a mix of stores, dining and entertainment, featuring lots of fun stuff for kids to do. That includes playing volleyball at the village beach, splashing off in the interactive fountain on a hot summer day, or roaming around in the Village Depot enacting the city’s railroad heritage by pretending to rob the authentic red caboose.

Caroline Calais M.S., M.A., is a journalist living in Allen, Texas. The ex-model, fashionista and afghan hound lover, was born and raised in Sweden. She moved to the U.S in 1995 and is a naturalized American citizen. Caroline rides and shows reining horses.