Neighborhood Gems

Last in a three-part series

We wrap our three-part Neighborhood Gems series this month (check atlantaparent.com for previous neighborhoods) with more spots to play in sun or shade, flavorful finds, and places your kids will love learning something new.

by Felicia Barman, Dalia Faupel and Jen Haslam

East Atlanta l Inman Park l Grant Park l Old Fourth Ward

Sun
Make a splash at the Historic Fourth Ward Park that draws families in with sleek playground structures, active splashpad and a nearby skate park area, an outdoor theater, huge lake, neat walkways and open green spaces. 664 Angier Ave. NE and 666 Rankin St., Old Fourth Ward, 404-546-6757, h4wpc.com

Shade
The StarLight Drive-In, metro Atlanta’s only drive-in theater, shows evening films on multiple screens. Each ticket is good for a double feature, so you get two films for the price of one and kids 9 and younger get in for just $1. Tune in with an FM radio and relax in your ride or grab blankets and lawn chairs to create comfy viewing in the great outdoors. 2000 Moreland Ave. SE, Grant Park, starlightdrivein.com

Taste
Folk Art Restaurant serves breakfast all day, plus lunch and dinner, in an arty atmosphere. Menu choices include sure-fire kid eats, plus dishes with all-ages appeal like five-cheese grilled cheese and peanut butter and banana pancakes. 465 N. Highland Ave. NE, Inman Park, 404-537-4493, folkartrestaurant.com

Learn
Atlanta artist Susie Boggs Antell hosts Art Attack at Hodgepodge Coffee House each Monday, with themed storytime and songs, inventive art projects and crafting. Kids can parade around the coffee house with their creations held high for all to see. Registration is appreciated. 720 Moreland Ave., East Atlanta, 404-622-8525, facebook.com/ArtAttackKids

 

Marietta l Kennesaw

Sun
The 15.5 acre park at the Aviation Wing of the Marietta Museum of History showcases civilian and military aircraft from the 1940s to the present. Open Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For a party of 10 or more, call to book a walking outdoor tour. Suitable for ages 5 and older, wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. Parking, $5. 550 Perrin Rd., Marietta, 770-794-5710, mariettahistory.org

Shade
Hobbytown USA covers almost every hobby imaginable in its 30,000-square-foot store. Be prepared to stay awhile as children visit hands-on activity centers and play with large model train sets, kitchen sets, dollhouses, robots and other in-store attractions. 840 Ernest W. Barrett Pkwy. NW, Kennesaw, 770-426-8800, hobbytown.com/Kennesaw-GA

Taste
Twisted Kitchen features build-your-own pasta, noodle or wrap dishes made to order. Kids can customize their dish after viewing pasta choices on display. Don’t leave without a freshly-baked cookie for dessert! 125 E. Barrett Pkwy., Marietta, 770-675-3721, twistedkitchen.net

Learn
Get a history lesson at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which was a Civil War battleground for the Atlanta Campaign. Hit the visitor center and museum and, on weekdays, feel free to drive to the top of the mountain. On weekends, hike to the top or take a shuttle bus to snag spectacular sweeping views of Atlanta. 900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr., Kennesaw, 770-427-4686, nps.gov/kemo/index.htm

 

Buckhead l Brookhaven

Sun
Peachtree Heights/Garden Hills Duck Pond is an open-to-the-public oasis tucked inside a historic neighborhood, where duck and geese roam, along with turtles, birds and other wildlife. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted for kids. Stone foot bridges encourage exploration and benches offer relaxation. 70 Lakeview Ave. NE, Buckhead, 404-921-5900, peachtreeheightseast.org

Shade
An eco-friendly indoor playground, HippoHopp offers a three-lane obstacle course, plenty of jumpies, slides and climbing structures, ride-on toys, basketball hoops, free games, and space to just run around. Plus, the café serves up natural, mostly organic foods on a seasonal menu. 1936 Briarwood Ct. NE, Brookhaven, 404-634-4964, hippohopp.com

Taste
The Cookie Studio bakes more than 18 flavors daily, like cherry ginger explosion, hot chocolate, and some gluten free versions of classics. Parents can get their gourmet caffeine fix from the coffee and espresso bar and kids enjoy occasional in-store activities. 30 Pharr Rd., Buckhead, 404-373-8527, thecookiestudio.com

Learn
Soak up some local culture at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) Georgia, where more than 700 works – sculpture, painting, photography and more – by about 250 Georgia artists are on display. Tours are available by reservation Tues.-Fri. and all ages can register for Draw@MOCA workshops, offered on select Sat. afternoons. 75 Bennett St., Suite A2, Buckhead, 404-367-8700, mocaga.org

 

Suwanee l Gainesville l Braselton

Sun
Learn about the placement of planets in relation to the sun and moon on the Solar System Walking Tour that serves as a scale model of the solar system. Created by the North Georgia Astronomers Group, the tour covers 1.8 miles and begins in downtown Gainesville; download the map before heading out. 118 Main St. SW, Gainesville, northgeorgiaastronomers.org/scalemodel

Shade
Hear bluegrass and gospel musicians at Everett’s Music Barn, a heritage concert venue where Saturday night shows have been played for 50 years. Family concerts are free (donations appreciated), and professional touring acts are $15 per adult. Children are welcome; no alcohol is served, but sweets and refreshments are. 4055 Stonecypher Rd., Suwanee, facebook.com/EverettsMusicBarn

Taste
2 Dog, set in a historic 1800s home, offers eclectic dog-lovers’ décor inside and a pretty patio outside (great for wandering little ones.) The restaurant uses local, seasonal ingredients for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, and bakes and makes it all in-house. Don’t miss the peanut butter pie. 317 Spring St. SE, Gainesville, 770-287-8384, 2dogrestaurant.com

Learn
Mayfield Dairy Tours give families a behind-the-scenes look at how milk makes it from cow to grocery store, complete with Jersey cow replicas and scoops of Mayfield ice cream in the parlor at the end. 1160 Broadway Ave., Braselton, 888-298-0396, mayfielddairy.com

 

Conyers l Lithonia l Covington

Sun
Take a self-guided bike tour or explore the terrain of Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area on foot. Two massive granite outcrops and dozens of rare plants provide plenty of views, and more than 40 geocaches can be found along the way. 3787 Klondike Rd., Lithonia, 770-492-5220, arabiaalliance.org
North Georgia Live Steamers miniature outdoor railroad club gives public rides on small live steam locomotives. Adults and children can hop on; future dates include Aug. 9 and Sept. 27. Trains begin at 1 p.m. weather permitting. 1632 Centennial Olympic Pkwy., Conyers, northgeorgialivesteamers.org

Shade
Peek into daily life of the Trappist monks on a tour of Monastery of the Holy Spirit. A beautiful example of Gothic architecture sits on lush grounds where you can stroll, feed the ducks, learn about the art of bonsai, and even pick up some fudge, fruitcake and biscotti at the bakery. 2625 Hwy. 212 SW, Conyers, 770-483-8705, trappist.net

Taste
Square Perk offers a kid-welcoming atmosphere with a small play area by the lunch counter. Inventive coffee drinks are popular picks on the huge menu. 1105 Church St., Covington, 678-712-6464, squareperk.com

Learn
Tour the Old Jail Museum on the first Sat. of each month from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to see where Rockdale County sheriffs’ families lived between 1897 and 1969. Learn about the area’s law-enforcement history and check out the maximum security area and upstairs hanging room. 967 Milstead Ave., Conyers, 770-401-1662, rockdalehistory.org/old-jail-museum

 

Stone Mountain l Tucker l Snellville

Sun
Eighty-seven acres of green space make up T.W. Briscoe Park, an ideal place to spend an outdoor day. Fishing is permitted in the lake, and two playgrounds, a fitness trail, tennis courts, soccer fields, sand volleyball courts, outdoor pool, and basketball courts give endless get-active options. 2500 Sawyer Pkwy SW, Snellville, 770-985-3535, snellville.org

Shade
Can you solve a puzzle to save your life? The danger is pretend, but plan to bring problem-solving skills and a can-do attitude to an outing at Room Escape Adventures. Participants (younger than 14 must be accompanied by an adult) work together to escape a locked room before a zombie can “get” them. 1751 Montreal Circle, Ste. D, Tucker, roomescapeadventures.com

Taste
Savor some fried chicken, grits, sweet tea and a slice of sweet potato pie at We Got Soul.  Kids are welcome, and eat free on Wednesdays from a limited menu. 5210 Stone Mountain Hwy., Stone Mountain, 770-413-4213, facebook.com/WeGotSoulfood

Learn
Take the Stone’s Throw self-guided walking tour of Stone Mountain Village to explore buildings standing since the 1800s, the Freedom Bell, the city’s original train depot, and a 1914 train caboose that now serves as a visitor center. 891 Main St., Stone Mountain, 770-879-4971, stonemountainvillage.com

Scan the code below with your smartphone to access your tour.

Click here for part one of the Neighborhood Gem Series.

Click here for part two of the Neighborhood Gem Series.


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