Thursday, May 30, 2024 May 30, 2024
68° F Dallas, TX
Advertisement
Arts & Entertainment

The Best Picnic Spots in Dallas

From the family-friendly to the romantic, here are the best parks for picnics in central and downtown Dallas.
|
Image
Enjoy the great outdoors with a picnic as we welcome the warmer weather. Natalie Gempel

It’s picnic weather once again, and we’ve rounded up some of the best spots to dine on a blanket in Dallas. Tailor your outing to your needs–we’ve included amenities like restrooms and drinking fountains in our calculus.

Reverchon Park

3505 Maple Ave.

Turtle Creek and the Katy Trail run through this historic, 41-acre park near Oak Lawn, making it a pleasant and popular destination for Dallasites looking for a taste of nature in the heart of the city. Expect a wide variety of amenities, including a baseball field, basketball court, sand volleyball court, tennis court, a pavilion, picnic tables, and a playground–but you may want to bring a blanket and stroll along the walking trail to find an optimal picnicking spot away from the bustle. 

Restrooms: No

Drinking fountains: Yes

Flippen Park 

4421 N. Versailles Ave.

The ornate gazebo, stately fountain and reflecting pool, and immaculate landscaping make this one of the most elegant and romantic picnic spots in DFW. The Highland Park gem is popular for photoshoots and weddings, too. Bring a pretty picnic spread and get ready to stage your next Instagram post–the atmosphere is ripe for photos.

Restrooms: No

Drinking fountains: No

White Rock Lake Parks 

White Rock is an obvious choice, but not all picnicking spots along the reservoir are made equal. This is one of the busiest, most-used greenspaces in North Texas, and what it lacks in privacy it makes up for in scenery.

  • T&P Hill is a great lakeside park for families thanks to its playground and a covered picnic table area. The surrounding lawns at Winfrey Point, a popular venue for weddings, is a more romantic hilltop spot. The Bath House Cultural Center has a nice location near sailing clubs on the lake’s eastern shore, and there are three large-scale public artworks surrounding the facility to peruse after your picnic. Restrooms: Yes. Drinking fountains: Yes.
  • Flag Pole Hill Park is a bit removed from the lakefront, but it offers large expanses of shaded grass, picnic tables, a grill, a public restroom, and playgrounds, including an inclusive playground designed for children with special needs.

Restrooms: Yes.

Drinking fountains: Yes.

Central Square Park 

3000 Swiss Ave.

Just a few blocks from the modern madness of Deep Ellum, there’s an odd, historic little neighborhood called the Wilson Historic District. It feels like stepping onto the set of a Victorian period film. The 22-acre district has the largest collection of late nineteenth-century houses in Dallas, as well as modern, Victorian-style buildings. In the middle of the neighborhood are two green spaces, Swiss & Liberty Dog Park, and our suggested picnic spot, Central Square Park. The latter is modest but charming, with a small gazebo at its heart. 

Restrooms: No

Drinking fountains: No

Turtle Creek Park 

3333 Turtle Creek Blvd.

The grand Arlington Hall anchors this sweet park on Turtle Creek, one of the prettiest areas of the waterway. On one side of Turtle Creek Blvd., the hall is surrounded by well-manicured lawns, a pavilion with benches, a picnic area, and a charming garden with a stone footbridge. Across the street, the creek is flanked by lush greenery, trees, and walking trails. There are picnic opportunities all around; it’s best to follow the paths and explore to find your perfect spot. (Make a day of it. This is just about exactly a mile away from Reverchon Park.) 

Restrooms: No

Drinking fountains: Yes

Pacific Plaza

401 N Harwood St.

Pacific Plaza and the adjacent James W. Aston Park offer a nice, peaceful corner of downtown to relax in. Have your meal beneath the pavilion, enjoy the kid- and adult-friendly swings, and check out some public art while you’re there.

Restrooms: No

Drinking fountains: Yes

Trinity Overlook Park 

110 W. Commerce St.

While it’s only a pocket park leading into the Trinity Skyline Trail, and the grass surrounding the trail tends to be a little muddy, Trinity Overlook Park makes the list based on views alone. It has one of the best vantage points of downtown Dallas and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Try walking or biking away from the pocket park and finding a dry spot on the riverbank to set up shop. 

Restrooms: No

Drinking fountains: No

Griggs Park 

2200 Hugo St.

This 8-acre park in the State Thomas section of Uptown is extremely popular with residents of the neighborhood, but it rarely feels overcrowded because of its interesting layout. There’s a large grassy expanse in the center, circled by a small hill, the perfect perch for picnicking with decent downtown views. Behind the hill is a more secluded green space with shady trees and a gazebo. There’s also a playground and a basketball court available for use. 

Restrooms: No

Drinking fountains: Yes

Dallas Zoo

650 S R.L. Thornton Fwy.

Sure, go for the animals, but the Dallas Zoo also has some really great spots for picnicking. Bring in your own food and drink, or snag your grub from Prime Meridian Café, Safari Marketplace, or the Serengeti Grill. Our favorite spot? The tree-shaded expanse of The Grove, which is a great spot to cool off and people (and animal) watch. Tickets to the zoo vary depending on the season, and parking is $12. (Tip: Membership gets you free admission and parking, and the DART Red Line will drop you directly at the Zoo.)

Restrooms: Yes

Drinking fountains: Yes

Dallas Arboretum

8525 Garland Road

The Dallas Arboretum offers gorgeous picnic options—the shady Val Late Garden, the riot of color from the Jonsson Color Garden, or the picnic tables and convenience of Pecan Grove. The Arboretum staff even provides their own recommendations, but it’s also difficult to find a bad place to have a picnic. Tickets vary seasonally.

Restrooms: Yes

Drinking fountains: Yes

Klyde Warren Park

2012 Woodall Rogers Fwy

Yes, it’s busy, but it’s also fun—and Klyde Warren’s proximity to the Dallas Arts District means you can plan a full day of fun. Don’t feel like packing a lunch? Grab one from a food truck or one of the nearby restaurants.

Restrooms: Yes

Drinking fountains: Yes

Image
Pacific Plaza is the perfect spot for a post-work picnic in the heart of downtown. William Tatham

Lakeside Park

4601 Lakeside Drive

Lakeside Park is often known by the moniker “Teddy Bear Park” for the giant Teddy Bear statues along Turtle Creek. The gorgeous park has 14 acres of landscaped grounds and plenty of benches and picnic spots, and great creekside views.

Restrooms: No

Drinking fountains: No

Harwood Park

408 Harwood St.

Opened last fall, Harwood Park offers a half-acre great lawn, a shaded promenade, a water-harvesting rain garden, an interactive water feature, and a fun playground with two 18-foot-tall powder-coated steel play structures shaped like mammoths. Pack your own lunch, or stop off at the nearby Dallas Farmer’s Market to pick up something.

Restrooms: Yes

Drinking fountain: Yes

Advertisement