There’s nothing like the smell of magnolias blooming and seeing the bursts of Azaleas to let us know that it’s springtime in Atlanta. Nothing, that is, unless you count the wild critter that’s replaced your kiddo at the dinner table, who suddenly hates clothes, loves dirt, and rips through the yard as though he’s made the switch from Ovaltine to Folgers in the mornings without telling you. Nature knows it, you know it, and the kids know it: winter is finally over! Read on to find the ten best spots to celebrate the first day of spring in Atlanta.

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Picnic at Piedmont Park
Our recipe for a perfect Spring Saturday includes one blanket, one chilled bottle of prosecco, 2-4 juice boxes, assorted fruit, crackers, and cheese, some prosciutto, and Piedmont Park. Or you could just grab a couple bags of Chick-fil-a to go. Whatever. Pull some sustenance together and cop a squat on Atlanta’s favorite lawn. Don’t forget to bring some balls or a frisbee for the kids to fetch.

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Run or Bike the Silver Comet
Atlanta was once named Terminus in homage to the number of railways that converged here, and luckily for us, someone had the foresight to turn 95 miles of those abandoned railway lines into pedestrian trails. The Silver Comet is easily accessible from many locations, but the most popular entrance to the trail is in Smyrna, where you can leave your can, pop out that stroller, and try to keep up with the training wheels leading your charge.

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Go Fishing at Sweetwater Creek’s Reservoir
Who knew that our city’s favorite beer is named for one of our city’s best kept secrets? Only 15 minutes from downtown, Sweetwater Creek State Park boasts easy and moderate trail hikes to Civil War-era ruins, plenty of green space, and a 215-acre reservoir for paddle boats and shoreline fishing. No need to dig your own worms, however, as the park also has a one-stop bait shop where you can rent boats and buy bait.

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Dine al Fresco
Nothing makes you feel like you’ve survived the winter like dining al fresco, and Verde’s patio, paired with their kid-friendly staff and liquor license for the grown-ups, is a failsafe way to say “adios” to Jack Frost. If tacos and margaritas aren’t your thing (?!), check out our other favorite patio dining options with the kids.

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Hike to the ‘Hooch
Don’t pack the swimsuits no matter how nice the forecast looks because the Chattahoochee River won’t be bearable to touch until at least August, but there’s no better time to take the kids on a trek through the river that runs through us than Spring. It’s as bug-free as it’s going to be all year, and the ‘Hooch has plenty of trails and vantage points to enjoy.

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Whip Your Toes into Shape with a Mommy and Daughter Pedi
Have months of being cloaked turned your toes into daggers? There’s no better time than today to share some Mommy and daughter bonding over pretty peds. Check out our round-up of the best Atlanta spots to get ready for sandal season.

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Take in Opening Day of the Braves
While the home opener is April 8th, two weeks after Spring’s official debut on March 20th, heading to the ballpark with the kiddos for a hot dog, the batting cages, and a chance to be caught on the kiss-cam (and also watch some baseball) can’t be beat.

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Air Out the House
Before central heating and air, Spring breezes could be felt inside every home on Peachtree Road when residents threw up the sashes to air out the house. With pollen season ramping up at the beginning of April, you and the kids can invite Spring into your own home before the yellow blizzard begins.

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Spend the Day on the Putt-Putt Course
We loved hitting the greens as kids, and in homage to the Masters right here in our own backyards, why not take the kiddos out for a round of putt-putt? Good news! Duluth is home to a swashbuckling Pirate’s Cove course that will make your mateys mad with excitement.

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See the Ducks and Feed the Fish at the Duck Pond
In addition to the free-range ducks of all makes and models roaming free at the pond in Peachtree Heights, you’re nearly certain to see baby ducks and goslings each Spring. Take a picnic and plenty of bread, be sure to leash any four-legged friends who accompany you, and watch where you step.

How will you spend the first day of Spring? Share with us below!

—Shelley Massey

Photos courtesy of The Silver Comet Trail via Facebook, Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf via Facebook, Friends of the Duck Pond via Facebook, Glamour Girls Day Spa via Facebook, Verde via FacebookCreative Commons via Flickr and the author