Update: Summer Adventures will not reopen for the 2014 season.
Summer Adventures in Fair Park
1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd.
Fair Park, Dallas
Hours: Hours vary by day. Open weekends May 4–June 2 and open daily June 7–August 18.
Admission: $29.95 adults; $24.95 for children under 48 inches; free for ages 2 and younger.
Parking: $15. Enter through Gate 11 for the closest parking.
You will never dive like a hawk – reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph – except in your dreams. But starting May 4, you can “ride” along with a real-life Harris Hawk as it swoops dramatically from a 500-foot perch. This trick of the eyes is accomplished by a camera mounted on the bird’s back as it plunges from the new Top o’ Texas Tower feature at Summer Adventures, the tropical-themed amusement park debuting at Fair Park. Dallas’ newest destination for families promises to keep them both entertained and hydrated through mid-August. Misters, splash pools and palm trees will be scattered throughout the 18 acres and 45 carnival rides and games.
For the hawk’s big dive in the Wings of Wonder feature, you won’t know whether to keep your eye on the hawk or watch the big screen for the bird’s-eye view in real time. Acting as its sky-high perch is the Top o’ Texas Tower. The $12 million behemoth is the tallest tower ride in the country and more than twice the height of the Texas Star Ferris wheel. Take a seat or walk around inside the 100-person, glass-enclosed car that creeps up the tower for a panoramic view of Dallas or even Fort Worth on a clear day. Top o’ Texas is not a high-speed roller coaster but a slow-moving joy ride for the eyes. Instead of spinning G forces, you’ll get your thrill from a view of the city on the four-and-a-half-minute ride.
For some excitement closer to sea level, pack the kids’ swimsuits for a turn on the park’s two new rides: the log flume and the FlowRider, a two-person bodyboarding pool open to kids who are at least 42 inches tall. The ride has a sloped surface with continuous waves generated by an underground motor. Adventurous kids and adults can jump in on a bodyboard, which is shorter than a surfboard, and balance on their stomachs in the water. No worries if you fall. The fast-moving water will shoot you up to the top. Not sure how to ride? No problem. Instructors are available for tips and a demo on dry land.
All rides at Summer Adventures – except for free-falling swing, the Sky Coaster – are free with admission, which means unlimited turns on the new rides and Fair Park staples for one price and a whole day of fun.