They say the best things in life are free—and nothing gets the giggles going like rolling down a good, grassy hill. When long lines and pricey admission tickets get you down, head to one of our favorite hilly spots for a few rounds of free fun.
It has been said that kids need wide open spaces and a little dirt to help them grow, and Piedmont Park has been growing kids for generations. While Atlanta’s backyard has plenty of hills throughout the park, head to the northwest side of The Meadow for the longest and grassiest hill around.
Hint: The Green Market on Saturday mornings is a great destination for the kids who remember to bring their bikes. After wearing them out in the grass, head over to the market to pick up a few fresh items to enhance your picnic. And don’t worry if you didn’t remember to pack a lunch. The Park Tavern, along with frequent food truck visitors, are just a pedal away on the southeast side of the park.
Northwest of the intersection of Monroe Dr. and 10th St.
Frankie Allen Park
In the heart of Buckhead off Pharr Road, Frankie Allen Park is the central nervous system for generations of Buckhead Baseball players. Find your hilly knoll between the playground and baseball diamonds, and if you’re there on the weekend, you can plan to buy some solid concession stand food and catch a game.
Hint: Beyond the baseball diamonds you’ll find additional hilly terrain. However, this is a favorite spot for neighbors to let fido run free, so if you decide to roll down one of the alluring hills beyond the recreational areas, be sure to do a poop patrol first.
445 Pharr Rd.
This lovely Midtown park in Ansley has everything you need to while away a day: a playground, a stream and pond, shaded paths, green space, and one heck of a hill. To get there, park near the playground and save yourself an uphill climb. Just beyond the stone retaining wall, you and the kiddos can let it roll all afternoon long.
Hint: The afternoon dog crowd usually arrives around 4. While they generally keep to themselves in the valley and do a good job of cleaning up after their pooches, it might be a good idea to walk the swath of the hill you plan on rolling down prior to your launch. An ounce of prevention…
The intersection of Lafayette Dr. and Barksdale Dr.
Tanyard Creek Greenspace
This small neighborhood between Buckhead and Midtown on the West Side has both a green space with a paved track (perfect for bikes and trikes) and a really cool playground area rear the pond. Satisfy your hill hunt by parking on the street at the green space, and roll your way down to the flat area.
Hint: The green space also has two fenced-in dog parks (one for large dogs, and one for small). Bring Fido and wear everyone out!
The intersection of Loring Dr. and Garden Ln.
Just below the playground and across the street from the playing fields lies a sweeping vista just begging to be conquered. The terrain gently slopes toward the street, but is a long run that ensures that your littles roll to a complete stop before getting anywhere near the traffic.
Hint: Some of the trees in this part of the park have acorns (ouch!), so be sure to do a barefoot test prior to launching the kiddos down the hill.
West Wieuca Rd. between Lake Forrest Dr. and Pool Rd.
Murphy Candler Park
Located in Brookhaven, this large park boasts plenty of hilly runs perfect for letting the littles fly. For a sure thing, enter the park on West Nancy Creek. Driving along the lake, you can’t miss the paved path running beside the road, which is elevated about lake level and affords a nice opportunity for a short roll (it levels out in most places before the lake, so you don’t have to pack a change of clothes). Keep driving and you’ll spy several other likely spots for a roll in the grass in the direction of the covered picnic pavilions.
Hint: The wooded playground at Murphy Candler Park is a favorite of the littles, because it’s just vintage enough to get their adrenaline pumping. Pack a picnic, then hit the playground, and pry your kids away from the monkey bars by telling them that you know of the perfect hill to roll down (on your way out of the park).
1551 W Nancy Creek Dr. NE, Brookhaven
Do you have a favorite hill in Atlanta? Share your spot with us below!
Photos courtesy of the author and cam knows on Creative Commons via Flickr