Methuen’s first dog park had its official grand opening last month with a Block Party at the recently renovated Gill Avenue Park.

Methuen Recreation Director Steve Angelo estimated at least 150 children and their parents attended throughout the day.

He said, “This is a wonderful park and we hope it will be utilized by the residents. It has so much for families.”

A new full-size basketball court was also unveiled last month at the site, which includes a playground and lots of open field space. Additionally, there’s a hot-weather Splash Pad which Angelo noted would be opening shortly after the school year ends.

To get to the park, take Broadway to Oakland Avenue, turn left on Railroad Street then right on Gill Avenue.

The dog park includes two separate caged areas: a large one with a walkway through it as well as a smaller one with all grass. There is also a three-level water fountain that has a built in “bowl” at the bottom for the thirsty pooches after they’re done running around.

Dogs must be leashed at other open spaces – like the Methuen Rail Trail and city parks – due to the state’s leash law, so this is the perfect place for dog owners to let their “best friend” roam free!

Andria Buco and her daughters Ava and Gianna took their dog Dwight, who happened to be celebrating his third birthday, on his first trip to the park and had a great time in the larger section. Dwight did not hesitate to do a few laps around with the girls.

Andria said, “It is beautiful! We will definitely be back; they are all having so much fun!”

Luna, a 2-year-old Shih Tzu mix, enjoyed some romping around in the smaller dog park with her pal Grace Rodriguez, 8.

Grace said, “She loves it!” while chasing Luna.

A little dribbling was going on – and it wasn’t from the ice cream truck, but on the new full-size basketball court. Younger children were playing on one side while the older children were dominating the other side of the court.

American Entertainment owner Mike Phillips provided a bounce house as well as the music for the day. An ice cream truck provided a much-needed refreshment on this beautiful warm day.

Methuen Community Police Officers Aaron Little and Mark Aiello were on hand to greet families with stickers, badges and bracelets along with their Pink Cruiser Hope.