Families in the Greater Atlanta area who have settled somewhere in the suburbs on the northeast side know that there are many great places to visit and sights to see here. But, what you may not know is how many great parks and playgrounds there are in the area, just waiting for you to discover. Here are a few of my family’s favorites:
This family-friendly park in Tucker is well known for its youth soccer league, Triumph Youth Soccer Association, the largest youth sports association in DeKalb County. However, anyone can enjoy the beauty of this park when you want to get outside, get some fresh air and maybe have a picnic or let the kids play on the playground.
It is actually 121 acres of beautifully cared for nature preserve with walking trails, a community garden and even a duck pond, waterfall and small lake. You can find out more from the Friends of Henderson Park, a community group that helps tend to the area and promote it in the community.
For more information about Henderson Park:
Address: 2723 Henderson Road, Tucker
Stone Mountain Playground
If you have a season parking pass for the Stone Mountain Park, you already know what a great investment you’ve made in your family’s leisure time. For a small price, you can come and go from the park all year and enjoy the beauty of the mountain from a more local, less touristy perspective. There are picnic tables everywhere, covered pavilions, beachy areas and just plain beautiful patches of grass to plop down a blanket, open a picnic basket and let your kids run around and play.
Even better, Stone Mountain’s playground is perhaps one of the best in the area. It is large enough for plenty of kids to play freely all at once with plenty of spaces for a great game of hide n’ seek. But it is small enough and enclosed that parents can relax a bit without worry that their kids might suddenly wander off.
There is also a smaller playground for younger kids so they have an area to themselves. There are clean restrooms nearby, plenty of grassy open areas for a good game of Frisbee or catch. Plus, every kid seems to love spending time at the giant sand box. Bring your beach toys and you will soon be building castles and making friends from all over Atlanta.
For more information about Stone Mountain Park:
Address: 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
While Piedmont is still the park for the in-town crowd, it has really done a lot in recent years to become more accessible to families from all parts of Atlanta. There are a couple of new, urban “chic” playgrounds that kids really enjoy. The downside is that you will most likely have to pay to park, but once you are inside the park, you can easily spend the entire day.
Bring your own small cooler with drinks as sometimes the water fountains are spaced a bit far apart. And, make sure you are good with your directions because after walking a bit, it is easy to get turned around and not remember how to get back to your car.But, if you are looking for a great place for roller-blading, bike riding or flying a kit, Piedmont is a beautiful way to spend a summer day.
For more information about Piedmont Park:
Address: 400 Park Dr NE Atlanta, GA 30306
DeKalb Peachtree Park (PDK or Airport Park)
If you have ever found this gem, you know how much kids love it. The DeKalb Peachtree Park is in a most unusual place – the airport.The DeKalb Peachtree Airport (PDK) just off Clairemont Road in DeKalb County has the most adorable little playground with a grand view of the small engine and private airplanes as they come in and take off from the runway.
It has clean, updated playground equipment with plenty of climbing and swinging activities for a small group, plus a nice pavilion area if you just want to enjoy some sunshine and watch the runway. There are covered picnic tables and a nearby restaurant so you can plan to enjoy lunch while you are there, too.
Quite unique, this park also features some history with a memorial to the war veterans of Georgia and the pilots who have served our country.
For more information about DeKalb Peachtree Park:
Address: 400 Park Dr NE Atlanta, GA 30306
These are just a few of the many parks that exist around the Atlanta area. You may have to search a little or ask some of the “locals” if you are new to the area, but after a few turns and twists down our back roads and you will soon find those wide open spaces and playgrounds that will remind you of your own childhood.
And, the great part is that most of these activities are free! So, pack up the sunscreen and bottled water this Summer, grab a blanket and load the kids in the car – let’s get out to visit the parks and enjoy living in Atlanta with kid(s)!
(This blog originally appeared on the Atlanta with Kid website on May 6.)