Features: While driving my 12-year-old daughter to her old elementary school so she could burn off energy on its playground, we stumbled upon another playground – a hidden gem – tucked within our own Ben Hill neighborhood in Southwest Atlanta. We have visited Ben Hill Park several times since then, and we’ll be back a lot. Ben Hill is great, because it has something for every age. My older son can play basketball while my daughter and I can have a little quality time together on the swings. Open seven days a week, the park is adjacent to the Ben Hill Recreation Center. My daughter, who has no siblings in her age group, can quickly find herself in a sea of other youngsters at Ben Hill. The playground area in this 13.6-acre community park is partially shaded. I can stay on a (shaded) swing while still keeping an eye on my daughter as she gleefully runs on the soft-surface playground from the climbing structures (a jungle gym), to the winding slides to the merry-go-round. The swing set has infant seats as well.
The park also boasts full basketball and tennis courts, as well as football and baseball fields, plus a grassy practice field. In my imagination, I can see a game of kickball, soccer or horseshoes taking place when the field is open.
Amenities: Restrooms are located inside the Ben Hill Recreation Center. A concession stand is usually open if sports games are taking place. Picnic tables, a pavilion and a grill are available. The park is open from dawn until 11 p.m. (but restrooms are only available during rec center hours).
Directions: The park is at 2405 Fairburn Road SW, Atlanta. Entry can be gained on Fairburn Road across from Fire Station 31.
– Erica McDonald