Did you know that there's a secret Teddy Bear Park in Dallas?
It's true! You'll find this family of adorable, giant teddies hidden in beautiful Lakeside Park ... one of Dallas' prettiest parks. The cuddly statues really couldn't be cuter, and this fun guide has everything you need to plan a visit!
Have you ever heard of Teddy Bear Park? I first learned about this unique park a few years ago, and it's been on my Dallas bucket list ever since.
Until recently though, I had never seen the huge statues in person. I'm glad I finally did, because they're sooo cute. I even got a chance to cuddle up in one's lap, and I recommend you do the same!
The park they're located in is gorgeous, too. We spent a couple hours wandering around and taking photos ... it was the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon!
I know you're going to love seeing this unique Dallas park, too, and I'm sharing exactly where to find the bears below. Keep reading for lots of tips, then plan your trip!
About Teddy Bear Park
You'll find these giant teddy bear statues in Lakeside Park. The park is located in affluent Highland Park, one of the 10 richest places in the U.S. Many of Dallas' most well-to-do residents live there, and you'll have fun driving by their homes as you search for the teddies!
Lakeside Park follows Turtle Creek and features over 14 beautifully landscaped acres. To track down the bears, cross the picturesque wooden bridge. Then look for the teddy bear statues hidden in a little pocket just to the right. They're pretty easy to spot!
Alas, the whole park is not covered in bears, but the ones that are there make a fun photo op nevertheless! You'll find three four-foot cubs in the park, and one giant 10-foot teddy.
If you would like to take photos with the bears, I'd suggest visiting during the week or earlier in the day on weekends. That way, you won't have to compete with other visitors for the perfect pic.
The lovable granite statues were created by artist J.T. Williams and were inspired by the bronze bears that used to greet visitors at FAO Schwartz at North Park Mall. They were donated to the park by the Harlan Crow family on Christmas Eve in 1995.
Tip: Teddy Bear Park is a popular site for photos, however set dressings / props and professional equipment (such as artificial lights) are not allowed.
More Things to Do in Lakeside Park
These sweet statues take up a tiny corner of pretty Lakeside Park, so don't leave without checking out the whole thing. You could easily spend an hour or two there walking the paved trails and checking out all the lovely nooks and crannies.
Here are a few things to do in Lakeside Park during your visit:
- See more statues. After you've visited the teddy bear statues, continue following the trail away from the lake for a short distance. Look to your right, and you'll be able to peek through a fence onto Harlan Crow's expansive backyard. Crow is the wealthy real estate investor who donated the teddies, and his property is positively littered with statues of former world leaders, like Stalin, Lenin, and Churchill (it's kinda crazy!). Read more about the statues and his home here.
- View the mansions along both sides of the park. Lakeside Drive, which borders the park to the east, is lined with impressive houses. And the estates along the western banks of Turtle Creek are even more spectacular.
- Check out the waterfall. The dam that creates Exall Lake is located under the bridge, and you can spot the waterfall it creates through the trees just south of the bridge.
- Stroll along the paths that follow the lake and creek. You'll find an abundance of beautiful flowers, lily pads, towering trees, and wildlife along the way. Take time to relax on one of the many benches and to read the plaques explaining the history of the park and town. I especially enjoyed the area south of the bridge, which had a number of stairs and hidden pockets.
- Pack a picnic. While I wouldn't plan a boisterous family reunion in this quiet park, it would be the ideal setting for a romantic date for two.
- Bring your fishing rod. I spotted a couple people fishing on our visit, so why not try your luck, too? Apparently, the lake is stocked with bass and catfish.
Teddy Bear Park (aka Lakeside Park) is located along Lakeside Drive, between Beverly Drive and Armstrong Parkway, in Highland Park. You can get directions and find it on a map here.
Once you arrive, park anywhere on Lakeside Drive (Lexington Avenue is the closest cross street to the statues), then walk across the wooden bridge. After you've crossed the bridge, look for the bears on your right, near the lake.
More Things to Do in Dallas
I hope you enjoyed reading about this hidden Dallas park! After your visit, keep exploring, because there are tons of fun things to do in the city! Here are some of my faves:
- Explore Highland Park - While you're there, why not visit some of the town's other attractions? If you want to spend more time outdoors, then head to nearby Flippen Park, which has a beautiful gazebo and water fountain. You could also go shopping at the upscale Highland Park Village, or go house peeping ... you'll find plenty of beauties in this area!
- Other Dallas Neighborhoods - Dallas isn't exactly known for being a walker's paradise, but downtown is the exception! Follow my free Downtown Dallas Walking Tour to see all the sites. Bishop Arts and Deep Ellum are two other neighborhoods that are perfect for exploring on foot, as well.
- State Fair - The fair is one event I look forward to all year, and it's located right in the city. Check out my Texas State Fair Guide for all the must have details.
- Beyond Dallas - Heading out of town? There are so many unique sites to see in Texas! Some of my favorites include visiting the state's National Parks and exploring the Panhandle (there are tons of fun things to do in Amarillo, and nearby Happy, Texas is worth a stop, too), and you'll be spoiled with road trip opportunities, too. This El Paso to Phoenix Trip is a fun one!