Meghan Riney is a Lake Highlands native. When she married husband Ken, a civil litigation defense attorney from Amarillo, she convinced him to plant roots here. “I sold Lake Highlands as the ‘small town in the big city,’ and he’s loved every minute,” says Riney, who blogs at thebeautyfilledlife.com and is now raising Paul, 7, James, 6, and Matthew, 4, in the neighborhood. “Everyone always jokes about how many Lake Highlands natives come back, but there’s something about this community that you just don’t get elsewhere.”
Favorite family restaurant We have a birthday tradition of going to Mariano’s and wearing the giant sombrero while everyone claps and sings. We have a love–hate relationship with that tradition, but we can’t quit it. And you’ll find us at Mariano’s almost every weekend, birthday or not. Nothing beats their margaritas, fajitas and queso.
Mariano’s Hacienda // 6300 Skillman St., Dallas
Best park Everyone in Lake Highlands calls it Fieldcrest Park (because it’s at the corner of Fieldcrest and Church Road), but I think its real name is Lake Highlands North Park. The park consists of a really nice bike-and-walking trail, a playground and a large field where we play Frisbee with our dog.
Lake Highlands North Park // 9334 Church Rd., Dallas
Favorite family outing We love to fly kites at Flag Pole Hill! Also, we never miss the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands’ Oktoberfest, held every year at Flag Pole Hill.
Flag Pole Hill Park // 8015 Doran Circle, Dallas
For a night out When we have a sitter, we always go to Cedar & Vine. It’s owned by fell ow LHHS graduates—I was class of ’00—and the food is delicious! I can’t get enough of their salmon with beurre blanc, broccolini and farro. We always run into friends there because Lake Highlands is really just a small town.
For girls nights, we meet at RM 12:20 Bistro, a chic-but-comfortable “French kitchen with a Southern touch.” Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I still can’t believe this place is really in my neighborhood. Live music, craft cocktails, locally sourced ingredients, a great patio … Why would we leave our neighborhood?
Self-care spot I try to catch the Slow Flow/Deep Stretch class at Yoga Art Music (YAM Dallas). It’s like therapy and a nap rolled into one.
Yoga Art Music // 9850 Walnut Hill, Suite 427, Dallas
Go-to for getting active I like to walk through my neighborhood, especially at dusk. I love the towering trees, the happy children everywhere and the smell of people grilling. It reminds me of my childhood here.
For cooling off We like to swim at the KayCee Pool and drive through Andy’s for frozen custard. I have only one rule: in the summertime, we listen to The Beach Boys and drive around White Rock Lake while enjoying our treats.
How they give back I’m very involved in our boys’ school, and my husband is a member of the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, the organization that has awarded more than $1,000,000 in college scholarships to graduating seniors at LHHS. Every year they put on the big community Fourth of July Parade and Lake Highlands Oktoberfest, and they support our community in many other ways.
Exchange Club of Lake Highlands // lhexchangeclub.org
How she found her mom squad I love my mom squad, and it continues to grow. Most of my mom friends are involved on the board at our children’s school, so we stay very busy working with one another to enrich our children’s learning experience and support our school (and have an absurd amount of fun doing it).
Why Lake Highlands is great for families We’re very tight knit but not exclusive—“Leave It To Beaver” with diversity! It’s just a really great place to call home.
Photo courtesy of Meghan Riney.