This park has a slide, climbing structures, water features and drums built in to the landscape. And it also has an amazing view of the downtown skyline, access to the Buffalo Bayou trails, has free parking, new restrooms at the Water Works building. Plus there is a newly uncovered historic cistern. It is as cool as it sounds.
If you walk to the top of the Water Works, you will be on top of the cistern and by the new stage, grass and picnic spot. If you walk around the skate park, you will find the gated entrance to the playground.
Buffalo Bayou Park Fish Family Play Area:
Right near the bayou, but behind a short fence, is the coolest 2 story park. First you will see a giant 33 foot slide that rushes you down the bank of the bayou.
It takes you to a climbing net (and back up a 2 story treehouse), to a sandpit, and tunnel that may soon be covered in vines.
If you choose the tunnel, you will find a water table you turn on with a button and a tall log climbing structure.
The water table is something I've never seen before, with water that bubbles out the top of the stone table. My son thought it was perfect for playing trucks... but it might also be perfect as a sensory table or a place to cool off.
Next door is a shaded picnic pavilion where you can cool off... or rent for a birthday party.
Making a loop back up to the start you will find another water feature, where you can push a button to make the "creek" bubble, or turn the knob to start the faucet. This is where my kids soaked their clothes and giggled a lot.
The Fish Family Play area at Buffalo Bayou Park is beautiful and different and really exciting for my kids. It is multi-level and wraps around the bank of the bayou, so it is not a mom-sits-back-and-relaxes kind of park... it's a follow-the-kids-and-explore-together kind of spot. But don't worry, it's so cool you will want to see everything for yourself.
Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern:
The playground is full sun but has the pavilion for shade. The Water Works building also has shade, tables and chairs. It also has the mysterious cistern under it!
The Cistern was Houston's first underground drinking water reservoir. This reservoir was decommissioned many many years ago, but has been uncovered and is being improved to be a space for temporary art exhibits.
Construction was underway when we visited, but the glimpse we saw was scary and amazing all at the same time. Once it is done, there will also be a periscope to view the exhibit from the top of the Water Works! (Update: It's now open for tours!)
What to know:
When we visited on a weekday afternoon, a few people were skating, flying kites and exercising near the Water Works. A security guard was at the skate park and we had no safety concerns.
Do keep in mind that the parking lot and street are not visible from playground, so leave valuables at home. Also, the playground dips down away from Sabine Street, and the bikers and joggers come and go. Always be aware of your surroundings. (In fact, be aware of your surroundings where ever you go!)
This is a park you should really go see for yourself. Bring a bike or a picnic or your camera... or just go to play!
Buffalo Bayou Park:
Address: 105 Sabine Street, Houston, TX 77007