Tents and Tales Campout, River Legacy Park Arlington


The Tents & Tales events, sponsored by the City of Arlington, is just another example of the terrific activities Parks and Recreation Departments can do!  This urban camping experience is held at River Legacy Park, a park where camping is not normally allowed except for this special evening!


Know Before You Go

Pre-registration is required.  Please call 817-459-6434 to make your reservations.

The restrooms at River Legacy are nice, with flushing chrome potties.  As a rule, I always bring soap and toilet paper.

Dinner of hot dogs and chips are provided, but you should consider bringing extra snacks or food for dietary restrictions.

Pets are not allowed, so make arrangements for a doggy sleepover for your pup!


What to Bring

In addition to a tent, bedding, bug repellent, baby wipes (for dirty hands, and everything else) and chairs, you should bring some fun items for the kids to play with and take advantage of being outside late at night!  A few of our favorite items are bubble wands, glow sticks and toys for playing in the big, open fields, such as footballs, frisbee or even kites!

Annalise Jennings, Marketing Manager for Mountain Sports in Arlington at 2025 W. Pioneer Parkway offers these tips for fun ways to engage children in outdoor and nature play, “Coghlans products are a great way to get your child’s interest peaked into being outdoors and away from electronics. They are simple to use learning tools that provide entertainment throughout the day. Another great option would be National Parks Campfire Games or Geomate Outdoor Partycache Kit. They are perfect for getting the whole family involved in outdoor activities.”.  Click HERE to visit their website to see their entire selection of children’s outdoor gear!



The park department offered organized crafts and activities, too!  My kids enjoyed making bracelets!



My kids wanted to spend some time playing on their favorite playground, the giant treehouse which has rope tunnels which actually wind through the nearby trees!  The playground opened July, 2012, and we’ve never seen another one like it!


Natural Area

Behind the playground is a natural area, and a paved walk around it.  The entire area is fenced off, keeping you on the paved trail.  Of course, my kids don’t want to stay on a paved trail, and quickly headed off for the nearby woods to explore and search for hidden creatures, both real and mythical.


Let the kids pack their favorite fishing rod, as the little pond by the playground is a great place to let them get their line wet!  They probably aren’t going to get their line wet, but there’s a great chance they’ll be pulling little perch out one after another!  The pond is my oldest son’s first place to head each year during the campout, where other boys his age are usually also fishing, and he soon makes friends to hang out with the rest of the evening!

A fishing license is required for anyone 17 years of age or older.

Hike and Bike Trails

Bring your bikes!  River Legacy has a wonderful, 8 mile one-way paved hike and bike trail that runs along the Trinity River, perfect for the entire family!  There are also trails in the interior of the park.

For the more adventurous, a 10-mile mountain bike trail is maintained inside the park by the Dallas Off-Road Bicycling Association (DORBA).  This is one of the premier mountain bike trails in Dallas/Fort Worth, and offers some great areas to ride for both beginners and experienced riders!  Click HERE to visit their website for current information and closures on the trail.


River Legacy has some incredible geocaches hidden throughout the park!  If you are new to geocaching, it’s a wonderful, fun and basically FREE family activity, and Tents and Tales at River Legacy is a great park to get started!  Click HERE to visit Geocaching.com, watch a video and begin your adventures!



Your kids will love the Tales portion of the evening, when storytellers from Arlington Public Library come out to read, followed by a live animal encounter from River Legacy’s Living Science Center.

The Arlington Public Library has great events for children, tweens and teens year round!  Click HERE to visit their website.

The River Legacy Living Science Center is a terrific, hands-on learning environment.  Admission to the interpretive center is FREE.  They also offer preschool nature school during the school year, as well as Spring Break and Summer Camps!  Click HERE to read more.


No camping trip would be complete without a chance to make S’mores!  Did you know that the yummy camping treat, which combines a roasted marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker, was invented by Girl Scouts?

Once we had cleaned off the marshmallow and snuggled down in our chairs and tents, and watch a movie on the big, outdoor movie screen!

It is a wonderful end to a special evening.  By eleven at night, most of the noise was down to a whisper as campers zipped up for the night.  I awoke once or twice to hear the sounds of faraway owls and the train, and morning was delivered to us by the sound of the birds, my absolute favorite thing about camping!


The City of Arlington did a great job, too!  Click HERE to view their calendar of events for more fun activities!

Things to do in Arlington 

Whew, there’s a lot to do in Arlington, for a complete list, click HERE.

As a Naturally Fun Blogger, I was invited out by the city to this event, but was not financially compensated for this post, and all opinions are strictly my own!


Arlington Parks and Recreation 

River Legacy Park,  701 NW Green Oaks Blvd. 

Click HERE to visit their website. 

Click HERE to visit their facebook page.  

Click HERE to visit them on twitter. 

Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 


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