This past weekend, we took the kids for a ride on the M-Line trolley and to Klyde Warren park.
That wasn’t what we had planned on doing, though.
Really, it went down like this: I got the kids all dressed and ready for a fun trip to the zoo. The car was loaded. The sunscreen was applied. The proper shoes were on their feet. The snacks were packed. The stroller was in the trunk. I told them we were going to zoo and that we’d see monkeys.
Claire was running around the house on her tip-toes saying “Monkey, monkey, monkey!”
And then…I peeked at my zoo pass and realized it had just expired.
:::INSERT VERY GRUMPY LANGUAGE AND A FEW CHOICE WORDS HERE:::
We had chosen the zoo for the day’s destination because we had an annual pass and it was going to be free. We needed it to be free for a reason. And so, we were stuck with the fun task of telling the kids that we were not going to the zoo, after all.
There was only one thing to do, and that was to offer something even more exciting. I asked if they’d like to ride the Dallas trolley instead. The answer?
And so, we loaded up and drove to Dallas for a ride on the M-Line trolley. And as a result, this summer series of blog posts – Free in Dallas – was born.
This first post is all about the fun you can have with a free trolley ride and a visit to the very cool Klyde Warren Park.
What You’ll Do:
The M-Line trolley is free. Trolley cars are air-conditioned (and heated), and run 365 days a year between Uptown and Downtown, Dallas.
We like to park in the West Village shopping center (parking is free) and pick up the trolley in front of the Starbucks on Cole and Lemmon (you can see a map of the trolley’s route and stops here – and you can see the schedule here). Be warned that this is one of “those” Starbucks – there’s not a changing table in the restroom (boo, Starbucks, booooo!). There are shaded tables that you can sit at out front, though, so your kids can watch for the trolley.
The trolley ride is lots of fun. If you have little ones like I do, they’ll be mesmerized by the construction work going on in the city and the big buildings they get to pass.
Get off the trolley at Klyde Warren Park (just ask the driver if you’re not sure which stop it is).
Klyde Warren Park is located on top of Woodall Rogers, and it’s awesome! Jack *loved* that we were on top of the tunnel (the same one we’d drive through to go to the zoo, actually) and so close to the big buildings Downtown.
You can buy lunch at a food truck if you’d like. Of course, that would keep the trip from being free – although Charles did splurge on some sort of pork-marinated-in-radish sandwich from a food truck, we mostly ate from the picnic lunch we had packed. There are plenty of tables and chairs, or you can spread out a blanket on the grass.
The kids can play at the playground or splash in one of the two fountains/splashing areas. You can also pick out a book to read or a game to play from one of the many kiosks (everything is free to borrow while you’re there).
What You Need to Know:
Be sure to check out the trolley’s schedule before you go. If you’re like me, and are a little intimidated by taking the kids on trolley all by yourself, you can read these tips for riding the trolley before you go to help ease some anxiety (it’s really easy, I promise). You’ll just catch the trolley in the same spot you were dropped off at for the ride back. The trolley ride (from Starbucks to Klyde Warren Park) took us about 15 minutes.
If you’d like to buy lunch from a food truck at Klyde Warren Park, get there between 11AM-4PM. You can see the daily food truck schedule here.
There are also tons of daily events going on at Klyde Warren Park – check out the daily schedule and see if you find something you’d like to participate in!
What You Need to Take:
I would avoid taking a stroller if possible. I did see a couple on the trolley, but it is *so* much easier to get on and off without one. I took my trusty Ergo.
You’ll also need:
- Bottled water
- Snacks for the kids (or a picnic lunch)
- Camera (it’s a cool place – take pictures!)
- Bathing suit and change of clothes if you want to let the kids play in the splash park
Turned out, the kids enjoyed this excursion just as much as they would have enjoyed the zoo. Jack is already asking me to ride the trolley again.
Have fun, and don’t forget your sunscreen!