When you’re sweating by 7 a.m. but your kiddos need some airing-out, fret no more. We’ve got you covered—literally. Read on for our favorite shady (in a good way) parks.


Winn Park

Situated smack dab in the middle of historic Ansley Park neighborhood, Winn Park is an oldie but goody. And, because it’s been around a while, so have the trees and urban forrest that have matured along with it. With easy access from Lafayette Dr., Winn Park has play equipment for the bitty babes and the bigger ones, too, along with plenty of green space, a walking path, and small, picturesque ponds. It’s a Win-Winn for all!

32 Lafayette Dr. NE
6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Orme Park

Come for the shade. Stay for the sandbox. You don’t even need to bring your own shovels, because the neighborhood keeps a collection of buckets and toy diggers in the well-shaded sandbox. Other attractions include a splinter-free climbing structure (of synthetic wood), swings and picnic tables.

795 Brookridge Dr. NE
6 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Underwood Hills Park

This hidden gem just outside I-75 off Howell Mill is surprisingly large—a big kid play structure, a little kid play structure, a shaded pavilion, a spider man climbing web, tennis courts, and a wooded path that leads to an open green space—and filled with neighborhood families and others who’ve lucked out to find this little gem. With the exception of some sunny spots that filter through the old-growth trees, Underwood Hills Park might be Atlanta’s shadiest (in a good way) playground. Parking is available at the intersection of Harper and Ridgeway.

1845 Harper St. NW
6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Loring Heights Park

What was once a duck pond is now a landscaped fishing pond (ducks are still welcome), deck, and playground—thanks to an active neighborhood association. This may be our favorite spot for a quick play and picnic, with shaded picnic tables and easy access from all sides.

Loring Dr. and Garden Ln.
6 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Bessie Branham Park

Winner of the 2005 City of Atlanta Playground of the Year Award, this little Kirkwood playground has fun out of the sun for all ages. There is one large section of the playground that’s not shaded, but the swings, the toddler climbing area and the see-saw are all cool and shady even on hot summer days. There’s a water fountain on site but no public bathrooms, so come prepared.

2051 Delano Ave.
6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Beaverbrook Park

This 6.8 acre neighborhood park on the south side of Buckhead boasts a creek, a walking trail and a softball field in addition to the shady playground. In the shade you’ll find a large wooden play structure, a smaller plastic toddler structure, a see-saw, swings and even a tetherball pole.

Brookview Dr. NW
6 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Oakhurst Park

Play all afternoon on the various climbing structures on this shaded Decatur playground, and then stroll to one of the restaurants in Oakhurst for dinner. The 8-acre park includes fields, a tennis court and a basketball court. Extra bonus? Unlike many intown parks, Oakhurst has a picnic pavilion with bathrooms.

307 Feld Ave.
6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Where’s your favorite summer playground? Tell us below!


–Shelley Massey and Lisa Baker