My kids and I searched high and low for the best playgrounds in the Fort Worth area. We needed lots of room to romp, shade, restrooms, seating and a toddler-friendly play zone. We found a half-dozen hidden treasures throughout Tarrant County. Our faves are listed below. What are yours? (Maybe we’ll meet you there for a playdate!)
1. J.W. Dunlop Sports Center (Sunrise Creative Playground), 1500 N.W. Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington
- Why we like it: It has nearly everything we look for in a playground: It’s large and shady, and little ones can play safely on the big-kid stuff; the screened-in play structure prevents falls from high up. Plus, there’s a deep, roomy sandbox in the Tot Lot. NOTE: Watch out for cobwebs underneath the play structure.
2. Trinity Park, 2401 University Drive, Fort Worth
- Why we like it: Lots of slides, tunnels, swings, things to climb on and into. The play area is massive and really shady. NOTE: Check out the duck pond, which you’ll find if you follow the winding road through the park. And definitely take a ride on the miniature train, which takes a 5-mile trip throughout the park. (Check www.fpmt.us for times and ticket prices.)
3. Glenview Baptist Church’s indoor playscape, 4805 N.E. Loop 820, Fort Worth (near Haltom City)
- Why we like it: The three-story treehouse has five slides, one of which is the tallest spiral slide in Texas. Mazes throughout the treehouse lead to various levels of fun and adventure. There’s a “Romper Room” for crawlers and new walkers. Plus, it’s indoors and there’s no admission fee. (See www.glenviewchurch.org for hours; click on “Ministries,” then “Preschool & Children’s Ministry”)
4. Johnson Road Park, 640 Johnson Road, Keller
- Why we like it: The castlelike play structure has bridges and towers all around. There’s also a sandbox, a climbing wall, several sets of swings and a ship-shaped playhouse; the play area is huge and offers great spots to play hide-and-seek. And the “Tot Lot” has baby swings, slides, lower-to-the-ground monkey bars and a padded surface.
5. Chisholm Park, 2200 Norwood Drive, Hurst
- Why we like it: Plenty of room to run and lots to do here, with a couple of play areas; six slides, several climbing walls, a handful of swings and a tot spot. Plus there’s something for nearly everyone: fishing, swimming, jogging trails and more. NOTE: Plenty of shade over the park itself but none over the playground.
6. Town Park, 500 N. Main St., Mansfield
- Why we like it: Two play areas, which are partially padded, offer plenty of room to roam; five slides, swings, jungle gyms made of ropes, climbing wall, lily pads, paddlewheel; tot spot; spinning monkey bars were fun (for moms and dads, too)!