From hiking to playgrounds, scavenger hunts to a farmers market, there is a TON of affordable fun for families at Piedmont Park. 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 at Piedmont Park– Atlanta, Ga that are perfect for the whole family!
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)
Play on the playground – There are two playgrounds at the park, both loved by my boys. I’m always drawn to the Noguchi Playground, though, because of the clean lines and unique structures. We use the playgrounds as an incentive to walk the Active Oval!
Feed the ducks – 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.
Shop at the Green Market – The Green Market runs Saturdays from 9am – 1pm, April – November. Enjoy local food, chef demonstrations, live music, and a farmer’s market. In 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 on every day except Friday- it’s free!
Have a picnic – There are picnic tables, green space and picnic spots galore. If you want to have a huge picnic, reserve a pavilion or use the grills, then follow the link for more info.
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 dotted over the park, it is a gorgeous place for photos of the kids.
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 playing 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 meets here each year in October Even the festival is free.
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!
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! You can always make your own (we use Pinterest for this all the time,) but the Piedmont Park website has a series of hunts that are fabulous!
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.
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! 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 $4 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. The courts are managed by Universal Tennis Academy.
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.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.