Piedmont Park: 17 Free Ways You Can Have Fun

From hiking to playgrounds, and from scavenger hunts to a farmers market, there is a TON of affordable fun for families at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.

The park is managed by the Piedmont Park Conservancy and there are multiple entry points, including one on 10th Street, and gates on 12th and 14th Street off Piedmont Ave. Our favorite way to get to Atlanta’s “Central Park” is via the Atlanta Beltline.

Here are 17+ FREE things to do in Atlanta, Georgia at Piedmont Park that are perfect for the whole family!

PIEDMONT PARK: 17 FREE WAYS YOU CAN HAVE FUN

TAKE A HIKE

Piedmont Park is a great place to get started as a hiker. Some would call this a “walk” more than a “hike,” but what do they know! Just get out there!

Paved roads are safe for little ones and great for strollers. We used this as a transition area for my oldest…moving him from inside the stroller to outside the stroller various times throughout our hike until he was finally able to walk most of the Active Oval (which is .7 miles).

Read More: 125+ BEST PLACES FOR HIKING IN GEORGIA (KIDS & BEGINNERS)

PLAY ON THE PLAYGROUND

There are two playgrounds at Piedmont Park, both loved by my boys. I’m always drawn to the Noguchi Playscape, because of the clean lines and unique structures. Located near the 12th Street gate, this playground was designed by renowned artist and sculptor Isamu Noguchi.

The Mayor’s Grove Playground is perfect for little ones. Surrounded by beautiful trees, this playground features close access to bathrooms and picnic tables.

We use the playgrounds as an incentive to walk the Active Oval.

FEED THE DUCKS AND CATCH (AND RELEASE) THE FISH

Don’t forget, bread is not good for ducks…get them some cracked corn and you’ve got a friend for life! You’ll find these colorful friends near Lake Clara Meer.

While you’re there, you can try your hand at some catch and release fishing. The lake is routinely stocked with fish, including Large Mouth Bass, Crappie, Bream and Catfish. A valid State of Georgia fishing license is needed to fish in Piedmont Park.

SHOP AT THE GREEN MARKET

The Green Market runs Saturdays from 9am – 1pm, March 25 – December 9, 2023. Enjoy local food, chef demonstrations, live music, and a farmer’s market. I

n fact, it was voted one of the top five farmer’s markets in Atlanta by Access Atlanta.

PLAY BOCCE BALL

Bring your own balls and have a great time teaching the kids how to play Bocce Ball. There is a fee every day except Friday- it’s free!

Piedmont Park offers two Bocce Courts located in the Piedmont Park Greenway area. Courts are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

HAVE A PICNIC

There are picnic tables, green space and picnic spots galore at Piedmont Park. If you want to have a huge picnic, reserve a pavilion or use the grills, you can make a reservation.

In addition to bringing your own food with you, there are plenty of concessions and nearby eateries to choose from! King of Pops, Sean’s Heart of the Park, Shake Shack, Willy’s Mexicana Grill, and Howlin Willy’s are a few of the food spots you’ll find.

TAKE PHOTOS

With hints of the historical forest that once owned the land, the Clara Meer Lake, the Midtown skyrise, and stone steps and walls dotting the park, Piedmont Park is simply a gorgeous place for photos of the kids.

Make sure you take the time to snap some quick pics. Who knows? Your holiday card photo may get done easily this year! Check out this Piedmont Park Photography Guide for tips!

TAKE A BIRD WALK

Enjoy free bird walks with the Atlanta Audubon Society on the first Saturday of every month. Everyone is welcome.

They generally last 2-3 hours, but you can always leave early if your kiddo needs to do something more energetic. (Like running around one of the play areas!)

FLY A KITE

The aren’t many places in the City of Atlanta that you can fly a kite, but the open fields here are PERFECT for kite flying! In fact, the World Kite Festival and Expo has been held here in the past.

With plenty of green space, Piedmont Park is full of kite-flying perfection.

WALK THE DOG

Rover is always welcome in the park, but he’ll love the extra reward of visiting Piedmont Dog Park where he can run free in the off leash area.

The dog park is free, but relies 100% on donations, so show a little love with your spare change!

Read More: 16 POPULAR DOG PARKS ATLANTA (AND FIDO) ADORE!

WATCH THE FOUNTAINS

Legacy Fountain features more than 70 jets, reaching up to 30 feet in the air and magnificent LED-lighting, capable of showcasing more than 1 million lighting configurations. They run from 8am – 8pm most days.

After the show, splash around in the Legacy Splash Pad.

TAKE A TREE TOUR

My kiddos love trees, so we took the Self-Guided Tree Tour of the park and adored it! In addition to having great diversity, Piedmont Park is home to a few select trees that have been crowned as “champion trees”, meaning they are the largest of their species in Atlanta or in the entire state of Georgia.

One fine example is the state champion Pin Oak located in front of the Greystone building. We were first introduced to Champion Trees through Trees Atlanta in Jonah McDonald’s book, so check it out if your kids like it as much as mine.

EXPLORE WITH A SCAVENGER HUNT

Finally, what kid doesn’t love a scavenger hunt! We love to make our own scavenger hunt sheets using Pinterest — it’s a great way to get the kids excited about walking and exploring.

ATLANTA’S DOGWOOD FESTIVAL

Each spring Piedmont Park hosts one of the most beloved festivals in the city, and it’s FREE! Last year almost 225,000 people came for one or more of the 3 days of the event.

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park cannot be missed!

Other festivals include the Piedmont Park Arts Festival, the Atlanta Jazz FestivalAtlanta Ice Cream Festival, and Atlanta Pride.

Read More: 41+ BEST FESTIVALS IN ATLANTA: SPRING AND SUMMER 2023

GO FOR A RUN

Take a run on the 4-mile loop around Piedmont Park. It will help get you in shape for the Peachtree Road Race, the famous Atlanta road race which ends at Piedmont Park.

The Peachtree Jr., a road race specifically for kids, is also held at Piedmont Park. If you don’t want to run, it’s lots of fun to watch these races, and watching is free.

TAKE A DIP IN THE POOL

The original bathhouse was built in 1911, and swimming is still a favorite summer pastime at Piedmont Park. Now, the Aquatic Center is a renovation of a pool that was built in 1973.

Monday – Friday from 3pm – 5pm it is FREE. Other times it is more affordable than most county aquatic centers. Kids under 5 are only $1…going up to $5 for adults. There are lap lanes, fountains, a lazy river, a zero-entry play area for the kids, concessions and lockers.

PLAY TENNIS

Although not free, the hourly fee to play on the Piedmont Park tennis courts is fairly inexpensive.

  • Prime Time, $5 per person per hour (weekdays after 6PM and weekends)
  • Non-prime time, $3 per person per hour

Play on one of the 12 lighted hard courts offered here. All reservations must be made in advance on kourts.com.

FISHING

There are three fishing piers and a dock at Piedmont Park for fishing. Just bring your own pole and a State of Georgia fishing license and you are ready to go. The lake is routinely stocked with Large Mouth Bass, Crappie, Bream and Catfish.

PARKING AT PIEDMONT PARK

There is free street parking around the park if you can find it, but a safer bet is to pay for parking either in the lot at Park Tavern, or in the SAGE parking deck located off Monroe Drive. Find more parking details here.

Piedmont Park: 17 Free Ways You Can Have Fun

THINGS TO DO IN ATLANTA (printable)

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PIEDMONT PARK FAQ

What is Piedmont Park famous for?

Piedmont Park is known for being a focal point of the Midtown Atlanta community. In addition to being a great community gathering place for sports, picnics, and outdoor recreation, you’ll also find popular events hosted here throughout the year.

Does it cost money to go to Piedmont Park?

Visiting the park is free and will not cost you money to enter. If you can’t find free street parking, the SAGE Parking Garage is where you’ll want to park and there is a fee. The first 30 minutes is free, and then it’s $3 for 31-60 minutes and $2 for each addition half hour. The parking garage is card only.

Is it legal to drink in Piedmont Park?

Personal food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed to be brought into the park. Alcoholic beverages can only be purchased u0026amp; consumed at legally permitted events. Glass containers are not allowed. 

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Piedmont Park: 17 Free Ways You Can Have Fun