Grab your sunscreen and pack some snacks, because the Atlanta playground scene is sizzling and you don’t want to miss the action. Whether they’re into planes or playthings, art, or just the art of swinging, these 12 parks belong on your bitty’s bucket list. Keep reading to find out the inside intel on our favorite playgrounds.
Photo: Wing Y. via Yelp
Our very own “Central Park” has everything you loved before you had kids, like brunch and coffee right around the corner and miles of jogging trails—but with kids, this park gets even better. Head over to feed the ducks, and then play at not one but two amazing playgrounds. Mayor’s Grove, located smack dab in the middle of the park will make your kid ready for a nap in no time with rock climbing, tunnels, bridges and slides galore. Appreciate the arts? Check out the famed Noguchi playscape by the 12th Street entrance, the only playground in the world designed by artist Isamu Noguchi.
Helpful Hint: This park is huge so bring along a stroller as even the most energetic of tykes are bound to get exhausted!
Find It: 1320 Monroe Dr, Atlanta, Ga 30309
Photo: Stephanie V. via Yelp
Dunwoody Nature Center
This hidden gem in the heart of Dunwoody is shaded, surrounded by nature, and relatively new to the scene. With hiking and walking trails near the playground, you always have a second option in case they wear the slide out faster than you expected.
Helpful Hint: Take a minute to explore the park, where you’ll find tree swings, working bee hives (not near the playground—don’t worry!), a teepee, and more.
Find It: 5343 Roberts Dr, Dunwoody, Ga 30338
Photo: Macey M. via Yelp
Nestled in Virginia-Highlands, this neighborhood park is attended by donated children’s toys, a playground, and a nature trail, just begging to be explored. There’s even a sandbox for kids to dig in, if you don’t mind them getting a little bit dirty.
Helpful Hint: There are no water fountains or public restrooms, but Orme Park is about a 2 minute walk to nearby restaurants and shops.
Find It: 774 Brookridge Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Photo: Addy C. via Yelp
Peachtree-Dekalb Airport Park
The airplane-motif playground here is cute, but the real reason we love it? This park is literally next to a runway. Watch airplanes, helicopters, and blimps, take off and land while you push your kids in the swing, or hang out at the viewing deck for the best view. Exhausted from all the plane watching? Check out Downwind restaurant next door and recharge.
Helpful Hint: This park can get super windy so make sure to bring an extra layer to block the breeze!
Find It: 2000 Airport Rd, Atlanta, Ga 30341
Photo: Adriana P. via Yelp
Abernathy Greenway Art Park
This Sandy Springs gem has 6 art installations that are each an unique playscape for kids to explore. And whether you’ve got some serious art critics in your crew, or you’re just looking for a fun place to play, this park is worth a visit.
Helpful Hint: Since this hotspot is located alongside a busy road, you might want to check it out for the first time during a mid-week morning, when traffic is a little lighter and the noise is a little less.
Find It: Abernathy Rd and Brandon Mill Rd, Sandy Springs, Ga
Photo: Lindsay W. via Yelp
Old Fourth Ward Park
Atlanta’s first Beltline park is still one of its best! Take in the lake, hit up the playgrounds, cool off in the huge splash pad, and do some people-watching at the skate park right on the premises. We especially love the easily accessible bathrooms that make a change of outfit from all the splashing fun a cinch!
Helpful Hint: Forgot to pack a snack? Head to Ponce City Market’s food stalls for the win.
Find It: 680 Dallas St NE, Atlanta, Ga 30308
Photo: Hiren P. via Yelp
The natural beauty here is spectacular! Your kids will go nuts for the sprawling playground with a rock-climbing wall and large spider web to explore, and you will love the shade awnings, a sigh of relief during the dog days of summer.
Helpful Hint: Take a hike (or a short ride) to the end of the road beyond that playground parking lot. You’ll get an up-close look at a WPA-era hydraulic dam that once helped supply the Atlanta area with electricity.
Find It: 200 Morgan Falls Rd Sandy Springs Ga, 30350
Photo: Angela M. via Yelp
This Buckhead staple got a recent renovation, and is now a happening hot spot nestled beside the running path, golf course, tennis courts, and baseball diamonds. With multiple rolling slides, nest swings, musical instruments, a tree house, pavilion, and restrooms, this park is a sure-fire win.
Helpful Hint: Pack a picnic, because food options aren’t within walking distance.
Find It: 4001 Powers Ferry Rd Atlanta, Ga 30342
Photo: Tony W. via Yelp
Centennial Olympic Park
You could easily spend a bundle and explore the best of Atlanta all located within walking distance from this park, or. . . you can head to this park and have a fun-filled day— for free! Get your play on at the playground by the Georgia Aquarium entrance, and dance in the water fountains that have a free musical show several times a day!
Helpful Hint: Remember your dry clothes for post-playtime, when you should be sure to hit nearby Googie Burger for lunch.
Find It: 265 Park Ave W NW, Atlanta, Ga 30313
Photo: Tatiana H. via Yelp
Mason Mill Park
Pirateers and adventurers, rejoice! Your dream playground complete with pirate ship, is here! This playground is so fun and different from all others it makes us wish we were kids again.
Helpful Hint: Walk the winding nature trail and take in the funky graffiti art on the abandoned water work building.
Find It: 1340 McConnell Dr. Decatur, Ga 30030
Photo: David F. via Yelp
A tiny park nestled near Town Brookhaven, your kids will love this park for its collaborative community collection of toys, bicycles and scooters, and an awesome view of trains whooshing down the tracks. You will love this park for the friendly parents happy to chat, lending this little park a very warm neighborhood feel.
Helpful Hint: Shade is sparse here so make sure to load up on the sunscreen before heading out, but there are restrooms and a water fountain.
Find It: 2980 Redding Rd. NE Atlanta, Ga 30319
Photo: Macey M. via Yelp
Bessie Branham Park
Head to Kirkwood for a solid, shaded playground that includes a climbing tunnel, a music area, a slide, and a climbing dome and a race car. You’ll also find slides, swings, and a separate structure for younger kids, too, but there were no restrooms on site last time we visited.
Helpful Hint: Don’t skip a visit to Sun in My Belly, while you’re there. It’s worth a visit, alone.
Find It: 2051 Delano Dr. Atlanta, Ga 30317
Where is your favorite playground in Atlanta? Tell us in the comments section below!
—Shelley Massey & Aisha Saeed