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Jessica Murrugarra and family in South Dallas

Why South Dallas is Home for Jessica Murrugarra

Fair Park and more

Jessica Murrugarra says her family moved to Dallas’ South Boulevard-Park Row Historic District “to put down roots in a place that believes diversity is beautiful. The stay-at-home mom and her husband John are raising two daughters: Jolie, 2, and Jemma, 1.  

Best park Fair Park. We pack our bike trailer with a hammock and food for the ducks. Once there, we string our hammock on one of the many freestanding hammock stands by the water and relax while the kids feed the ducks and run around the green space. They also have lounge-style lawn chairs and tables to set out snacks and water on a hot day. 

Fair Park // 3809 Grand Ave., Dallas 

For a night out I like going to Opening Bell Coffee near South Side on Lamar for a casual meet up with a friend. They have local beer, live music and, of course, really great coffee. My favorite is the Dirty Chai. This place is also a great daytime escape with kids since it has a chalkboard table, crayons and coloring pencils. 

Opening Bell Coffee // 1409 S. Lamar St., Suite Q12, Dallas 

Self-care spot Koffee Day Spa. They make you feel like a queen when youre there. I personally recommend the pedicure, fullbody massage, hot stone massage (a life changer!) and the facial. Its a Black-owned, modern, minimal boutique focused on clean beauty. 

Koffee Day Spa // 1118 S. Akard St., Dallas 

Go-to for getting active I love walking in my neighborhoodone loop is exactly 1 mileand looking at the grand historic homes. The view never gets old. For a more intense workout, I go to Park South YMCA to swim laps in the indoor pool or Exall Park, which has workout machines placed all along the walking path. 

Park South Family YMCA // 2500 Romine Ave., Dallas 
Exall Park // 1355 Adair St., Dallas 

For cooling off  Exline Pool, which is currently being renovated with a new tube slide, or the new Mildred Dunn splash pad. We can also walk to our local library for a cool down and a good read after a good walk. 

Exline Family Aquatic Center // 2430 Eugene St., Dallas
Mildred Dunn Sprayground // 3300 Carpenter Ave., Dallas 

How they give back We donate to Abide Womens Health Services. Its mission is to provide quality, affordable health services to women in South Dallas and surrounding areas. 

Abide Women’s Health Services // 2612 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas

How she found her mom squad By getting involved. I joined my neighborhoods social committee and met several moms that way. We celebrate Easter, Valentines, Halloween and MLK Day together and have an annual block party every October. When its safe to gather in larger groups again, we are going to have a big party for the kids. 

Why South Boulevard-Park Row is great for families Its a tight-knit community full of diversity and history. Generations of families live here and care about each other. There is also history everywhere you look, from the architecture of the homes to the murals of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X  just a couple blocks away. 

Photo courtesy of Shoott.