We all can get a little cranky if we spend too much time sitting at our desks breathing stale air, so it’s important to get outside and enjoy the mild Atlanta weather whenever possible. There are plenty of opportunities to have a fun family day outside, whether you want to run around Stone Mountain or just take a relaxed stroll through the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. One fun way to check out the local neighborhoods is by using the Clue Town books, which provide scavenger-hunt type activities to get you through spaces like Piedmont Park and the BeltLine. Some days you might just want to grab a relaxed lunch and take a ride on the SkyView in Centennial Park, while others might see you jogging as a group down the BeltLine, but there are always new adventures to be had in Atlanta’s many green spaces.
1342 Worchester Dr. NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
In a city known for its green spaces, Piedmont Park is Atlanta’s most popular outdoor destination, basically the South’s version of Central Park. For kids, it has plenty of space to run around and two different playgrounds to choose from. The Noguchi Playscape, located near the 12th Street Gate, is a fantastic creation of the famous artist and sculptor Isamu Noguchi, while the Mayor’s Grove Playground is a newer option designed to be interactive for tots and their caregivers.There are plenty of events throughout the year in the park, including arts festivals which usually host children’s rides and activities, and a weekly green market with locally-produced goodies.
The BeltLine is the place to see and be seen on weekends in Atlanta. One of the city’s newest public parks, it offers a path between many of the in town neighborhoods and families can walk, run or bicycle from one area to the next. There are public art installations to view along the path as well as frequent food and art festivals in many of the areas connected by the BeltLine. You can even sign up to take a narrated tour if you want to learn more about the project and its future plans.
Centennial Olympic Park
265 Park Ave W NW
Atlanta, GA 30313
One of the iconic images of Atlanta family fun is the vision of children playing in the Fountain of Rings at the Centennial Olympic Park. Get your kiddos suited up and let them run through the world’s largest interactive fountain and be sure to bring your camera to capture the moment. The park is located near other major tourist attractions including the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, so it can easily be incorporated into a family fun day in town. There is a giant ferris wheel named SkyView that provides great views all the way to Stone Mountain on a clear day and you can grab lunch at Googie Burger. There are frequent concerts and other events throughout the year, including one of the largest July 4th celebrations in town.READ MORE: Clean air advocates urge Georgia school systems to apply for school bus rebate funding
Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is another fun place to take the family where you can enjoy some of the city’s natural beauty. Throughout the year, the garden changes as different foliage comes to life and there are frequent events that everyone can enjoy. The holiday season sees the garden transform into an impressive light spectacle, while this summer it will showcase new glass art creations by Dale Chihuly. Concerts are held throughout the summer and the Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi group occasionally performs on the main lawn. The new Gainesville location offers a different layout and landscape with its own concerts and events as well.
1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Stone Mountain Park is definitely an Atlanta experience complete with plenty of activities to keep the entire family busy for a day. The Lasershow Spectacular is a summer tradition that has recently received a facelift with more modern effects and graphics, while still maintaining its kitschy Southern character. Athletic families can hike up to the top of the mountain or you can kick back with the Summit Skyride. No matter how you get there, the view from the top is fantastic and a great spot for family photos. There’s a water park, a petting zoo and mini golf, amongst other activities. Visit in the winter for snowy fun with the whole group!
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Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com. “