Best Outdoor Kids' Retreat in 110-Degree Weather (2006)

Lake Highlands North Recreation Center

Two words: spray park. One more word: free. Really, of all the city-owned-and-operated rec centers, this is probably the nicest joint in the inventory, with a kinda-sorta-not-really sprawling water park for the kiddies, unusually refreshing summertime breezes for the folks and a DART train running nearby to entertain the whole family when it gets a little too waterlogged. And there's the usual playground, which only serves to further wear out the tykes just when you want the break; on-the-way-home naps ain't out of the ordinary after we visit.

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