Until recently, something was missing from the downtown experience -- a central link that would make the Arts District a true district, somewhere the public could go for lunch or a stroll in uninterrupted peace. Between St. Paul Street and Pearl on the doorstep of the DMA now sits Klyde Warren Park, a park that embraces the trunks of nearby skyscrapers and the river of freeway beneath it, and somehow, against all metropolitan odds, delivers grassy silence.
After floating there during its opening weekend, we came up with these five options for making use of the park, in case you're still looking for a way to break it in:
1. Jog it. A romp around the perimeter of the park is a half-mile. The path is well defined, safely lit by lamp, and it meanders through a few different gardens, making for a unique trail that offers nature and skyscraper.
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2. Have a picnic on the main lawn. The park is just over five acres and beautifully maintained. You can choose to gaze into oncoming traffic that runs beneath the park, or at the architecture of the new surrounding buildings; Klyde Warren gives the everyday park-goer a chance to get up close to buildings downtown without threat of getting your heel chopped off by a taxi cab.
3. Bring the family. The park has space enough for a Bocce ball game, football toss, or even a badminton game. If you have over caffeinated your child, put them on the jungle gym on site and let them exhaust their energy outside rather than in front of the Xbox.
4. Take a pet. Living downtown with a pet can be tough for owners who need a spot for their furry friend to find "relief." Not anymore. For dogs, there is an established rest area that offers owners bags for dog dung and trash cans for disposal. The area is enclosed by fence so if your dog is polite enough you can let them off the leash and have a game of fetch.
5. Take a break. For those seeking a light stroll, or an afternoon of peace, there are plenty of benches located all through the park that are perfect for letting the world slow down around you. The park, you may have heard, sits atop Woodall Rogers, but the highway sounds disappear when you're at the park. It's perfectly quiet.