There is no better time than now to get out and explore Atlanta on foot, bike, or trike—which we’re especially partial to—via Atlanta’s newest pedestrian interstate, the BeltLine. A former railway corridor that’s being developed incrementally throughout in-town neighborhoods, the BeltLine is pushing up more than daisies. Parks, restaurants, and retail developments are cropping up where empty industrial spaces once dwelled, and families can make a day of fresh air, entertainment, and exercise with little to no effort or expense. Read on for a few of our favorite ways to play on the BeltLine.
Photo: A. Bloomston
Learn How to Ride a Bike
Sometimes a parent just needs to outsource. If you think that teaching your kiddo how to ride a bike is one of those times you could both use a little help from your friends (in this case, instructors from REI), then head to KIPP Strive Academy for a 2-hour introductory bike riding course for kids. Adult classes are also offered on separate dates. Register in advance here for kids classes as they become available, and for the scheduled classes on March 5, April 9, May 7, and June 4, 2016.
Kipp Strive Academy, 1444 Lucile Avenue SW
Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture via flickr
Hunt for Horticultural Features on an Arboretum Walk
Join a Trees Atlanta docent-led walking tour of the BeltLine and enjoy fresh air, check out new city views, and learn about Atlanta history and it’s native plants as you pass them along the way. Tour groups meet Friday and Saturday mornings (10 a.m. though May 2016, then 9 a.m. in the summer to beat the heat) behind Parish Restaurant, and you should register here in advance.
Parish, 240 N. Highland Avenue
Photo: A. Bloomston
Learn How to Skateboard with the Littles at the Fourth Ward Skate Park
Join instructors for a one hour beginner skateboarding class with your favorite shredders, then head to the Fourth Ward Skate Park to perfect your skills. To check for upcoming class availability and to register, click here. And remember, it’s B.Y.O.B.—bring your own boards.
Beginner Class meets at 1614 Arthur Langford Jr Place, SW, and the Fourth Ward Skate Park is located at 830 Willoughby Way NE
Photo: S. Massey
Explore the Trees Atlanta TreeHouse
Pay a visit to the new education and research center of Trees Atlanta—The TreeHouse—for weekly children’s and adult programming. Don’t miss The Thirsty Roots Reading Group—a free reading club designed for ages 2-7 to learn about nature through books and projects. To see a complete schedule of events at the TreeHouse, click here.
Trees Atlanta Treehouse, 112 Krog Street, 404-458-4515
Photo: Terren in Virginia via flickr
Get the Kids Running with the Kilometer Kids Club
If the thundering of feet through your living room has convinced you that you may have an Olympic distance runner in the making, sign your little runner up for a free running program (managed by the Atlanta Track Club) for ages 7 to 14. Clinics are held at various times during the year in the evenings. To look for upcoming clinic dates and to sign up, click here.
Grant Park, Boulevard & Confederate Ave parking lot
Photo: S. Massey
Join a Free Running Group and Bring Your Stroller
The Run.Walk.Go! Club meets every first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. for a 2 to 4 mile run (or walk) and welcomes runners with strollers. Just the motivation you might need to prepare for an Atlanta BeltLine Running Series race that takes place throughout the year on the BeltLine! Click here to find out where the meeting location is every week.
Meeting locations vary; see website for details.
Photo: Amanda Hirsch via flickr
Find Inner Peace with Free Yoga Classes for All Ages
Parents of preschoolers, unite! Meet for free yoga classes every second Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and second Sunday of the month at 12 p.m. at Historic Fourth Ward Park for a 60-minute yoga class for every fitness levels (bring a yoga mat or towel). Or, show up every Tuesday (weather-permitting), in the field next to Old Fourth Ward Skate Park at 7 p.m. for King of Pops Free Yoga in the Park.
Historic Fourth Ward Park, 680 Dallas Street Northeast and Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark, 830 Willoughby Way
Photo: Nan Palermo via flickr
This annual event will be held on April 2, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature live music and great food in a family-friendly outdoor environment.
Historic Fourth Ward Park, 680 Dallas Street NE
Photo: Tim Pierce via flickr
On April 16, 2016 from 2 to 6 p.m., Washington Park will play host to the Jamboree, the official Atlanta BeltLine Free Fitness Series kickoff. Check out fitness demonstrations, the Farmer’s Market, music and dance performances, games, pick-up sporting events, and of course, there will be food trucks.
Washington Park, 102 Ollie Street NW
Photo: Chris Samuel via flickr
Old Fourth Ward Fall Festival
Reserve September 8th and 9th on your calendars for this two-day affair built around the awesome Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade. The event features Atlanta’s best food trucks, live local bands, lantern-making workshops, games and more.
Fourth Ward Skatepark, 830 Willoughby Way NE
How do you like to spend a day on the BeltLine? Tell us in the comments section below.
— Shelley Massey