If all you remember about Levy Park, which had remained mostly unchanged since it first opening in 1941, is that it housed a few baseball diamonds and a dog run, you're in for a surprise: The 5.9-acre park at the corner of Richmond and Eastside has been totally redesigned, and is reopening to the public this Saturday with a full line-up of activities and performances.
While the ball fields have been removed, this was done to make way for more public use spaces, including a performance pavilion, two event lawns, a games and reading area for kids and adults alike, and a sprawling playground with a rock wall, seven-foot-tall slide and even a tree house tucked amongst the large live oaks. The dog park has remained, however, along with the community gardens that made the park a mainstay in its Upper Kirby neighborhood. But even in those two areas, you'll see big changes.
You'll now find a 7,500-square-foot rain garden that harvests and reuses stormwater, while the community gardens have been enhanced by the addition of an observation deck that provides scenic views of the whole park. Meanwhile, the 6,600-square-foot dog park is now separated into large and small dog areas, with water features and play berms (a.k.a. little molded hills for your pups to scamper up and down) in each.
This Saturday's relaunch of Levy Park includes a stable of activities designed to take full advantage of the park's new amenities. Mayor Sylvester Turner will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon, after which the park will feature everything from free yoga (at 1 p.m.) and tai chi (at 2 p.m.) on the lawns to a tango exhibition (at 3:45 p.m.) and a set from Grammy-winners Grupo Fantasma (at 6 p.m.) on the performance stage. The Houston Public Library will be hosting a story hour in the reading area from 10 to 11 a.m. while the Houston Museum of Natural Science will have interactive exhibits on display from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Our suggestion for the best way to enjoy your Saturday at the new park? Head to the Eastside Farmers Market across the street, which runs from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday, for breakfast and coffee. Pick up a picnic lunch while you're there, then take it with you to Levy Park and spend the afternoon enjoying the latest gorgeous green space to bloom in Houston.