10 Things We LOVE About the NEW Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa
By Laura Byrne
To say we are excited about the grand opening of the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park near downtown Tampa is an understatement. We’ve watched as construction on the park has progressed over the years and finally today…we got to stand in the center of it all and WOW!!! It is absolutely stunning!
The park opens to the public Mother’s Day weekend (May 12 & 13) with a huge celebration! We highly encourage you to take the kids and go discover the 25-acre park. We promise you…there is truly something for everyone here.
Maybe you want to go one day with the kids…awesome! There’s a park, splash pad and plenty of greenspace to run! Or, maybe you want a day date with your significant other. There’s a football/soccer field for adult teams, paddle boarding and kayak rental (available Memorial Day weekend), a food truck alley and a pickle bar court (if you don’t know what this is, it’s apparently all the rage these days! We had to google it. Haha!)
Since there are so many amazing things to do and see, we’re narrowing it down to our top 10 favorite things. As Heather Erickson with the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation says, “you can come to this park 50 times and still discover new things.”
The splash pad. This had to come first because…Florida is hot! Your kids are going to love the splash pad that features a spill bucket that creates a giant splash. Right next to it is a climbing structure under the shade of trees.
The playground. This favorite is a natural. The playground is right next to the splash pad. All of the structures create a sort of horseshoe shape of things to do. In the center, there will be picnic tables under the shade of trees. The equipment is awesome, but the best part is the shade! Each playset has a shade structure over the top of it. BONUS! They’ll also be installing sunscreen dispensers throughout the park in case you forget.
Let’s play ball! They’ve pretty much covered every ball sport. There are tennis courts, pickle ball courts, basketball courts, a bocce ball court, a football/soccer/lacrosse field. The fields are designed for youth and adult leagues! If food is more of your sport, they’ve got your covered with the Food Truck Alley!
The greenspace. There is soooo much greenspace for your kids to run around and play! If you’ve been to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa, the greenspace at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park is more than twice as large. Woohoo for places for kids to run and play!
There will be a dog park. Enough said! Even our 4-legged children need a place to play!
Water sports. If you love to paddleboard, kayak, or paddle with your dragon boat team, you’ll love it here. There are floating docks for non-motorized water craft only, so you’ll have a safe place to practice and dock. The motorized boat docks are north of the park. The kayaks and paddleboards will be available for rental starting Memorial Day weekend.
The rental space. Having a party or need a place to host a meeting? The event pavillion is beautiful and the view is spectacular. You’ll definitely want to add this to your list of places to book for your next party, meeting or special event! You can even reserve one of the outdoor pavillions for your child’s next birthday party. There is plenty of space for a bounce house!
The artwork. There is artwork everywhere…even in places you’d least expect it. You’ll be greeted by beautiful metal sculptures towering above you as you enter the park, art is embedded in the benches, mosaic murals on the wall, and even the tiles near the playground are basically works of art!
It’s cool. Literally. Not only do you have the options to participate in the water sports, there are tall white posts in the park that are misters for you to walk through and cool off with just the right amount of cool most! And of course…the splash pad!
The view. The view of downtown Tampa is spectuluar. You can’t beat it and it’s perfect for your next family photo. Be sure to snap a few pictures or simply sit down and read along the canopy of trees from the original park near the playgroud! It’s gorgeous!
Want to check it out for yourself?? Head out to the park this weekend for the grand opening celebration. There are a ton of special events and activities planned including a headling concert by Third Eye Blind! There will be fireworks on Saturday night and Mayor Buckhorn will be hosting his annual Mayor’s Mac and Cheese Throwndown from 4pm-8pm on Saturday! We even here there MAY be a few appearances in the sky from the MacDill Air Festplanes!