Fish Family Play Area & Sabine Street Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park – Visiting Houston’s Parks, One Week at a Time

Slide at Fish Family Play Area Buffalo Bayou Park
Address: 105 Sabine Street, Houston, TX 77007

Oh friends, I am excited about this new nature play area.  Right along Buffalo Bayou, next to the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark is the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area at Buffalo Bayou Park!

Not only does it have a slide, climbing structures, water features and drums built in to the landscape, but this park has an amazing view of the downtown skyline, access to the Buffalo Bayou trails, has free parking, new restrooms at the Water Works  building… and a newly uncovered historic cistern.  It is as cool as it sounds.

Skyline from Buffalo Bayou Park and Water Works Building
 Accessible from Sabine Street and the Water Works building is the Fish Family Play Area.  Park in the free lot at the building or along the street.  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 from under Sabine Street Park
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.

Climbing Net at Fish Family Play Area Buffalo Bayou Park
Climb up the net, up the wooden stumps next to the slide, or go through the tunnel.

Fish Family Play Area Stumps for Climbing Buffalo Bayou Park
If you choose the tunnel, you will find a water table you turn on with a button and a tall log climbing structure.

Fish Family Park Buffalo Bayou Park Tunnel and Skyline
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.

Fish Family Play Area Water Table Buffalo Bayou Park
Just beyond the water is a climbing structure that is made from giant logs.  My kids smiled and asked, “We can climb on this?”.  Yes, you can climb on this!

Climbing Structure at Fish Family Play Area Buffalo Bayou Park1
Next door is a shaded picnic pavilion where you can cool off… or rent for a birthday party.

Picnic Pavillion at Fish Family Play Area Buffalo Bayou Park
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.

Water Feature at Fish Family Play Area Buffalo Bayou Park
Keep going back to the entrance and you will find 5 colorful drums across from the slide you started on!

Drums at Fish Family Play Area Buffalo Bayou
This 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.

Running through Fish Family Play Area Buffalo Bayou Park
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!

Water Works Building Wheels at Buffalo Bayou
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!)

Sabine Street Bridge Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Bridge
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!)

Bikes at Sabine Street Bridge
Buffalo Bayou Park just reopened officially, and it is amazing.  With the new Fish Family Play Area and the mystery of the Cistern, it has become one of my very favorite places to go in Houston.

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!

 

Skate Park at Buffalo Bayou Park
 

Sabrine Street Water Works Stage and Green at Buffalo Bayou Park
 

Covered Seating at Sabine Street Water Works Building Buffalo Bayou Park
 

Water Works Building on Buffalo Bayou Park
 

 

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Comments

  1. N. Zamarron says:

    Wow this looks really nice! Is this park stroller friendly?

  2. jessie Mennear says:

    Do you know if there were BBQ grills at this park?

    • Jill Jarvis says:

      I don’t remember seeing grills… but I don’t know for sure. From their website, it looks like you can contact Visitor Services:

      Questions about rental opportunities and reservations at Buffalo Bayou Park? Please contact Stephanie Kiouses, Visitor Services Supervisor at 713-752-0314 ext. 302.

      Thanks!
      Jill

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