Photo courtesy of Atlanta Beltline
Features: Historic Fourth Ward Park encompasses 17 acres of green space, including a creek and lake, and a sprawling playground connected by a few stone steps to a circular splash pad. The layout between the playground and “sprayground” allows children to travel back and forth easily – with walking feet, not running, considering the slippery surfaces. The colorful play area includes some unique equipment, such as swings shaped like large bowls that fit several playmates at once, a spider-like ropes course connected to a small trampoline, and what looks like a reverse slide. Multiple slides, rock walls and other climbing equipment round out the playground.
Up a small hill from the play area is the sprayground. In one part of the splash pad, jets in the ground shoot water straight up at varying intervals, and a towering system of water jets in the center reaches so high that its mist sprays the adults sitting on surrounding benches. A “calmer” splash experience is found among the nearby sprinklers. Though the ground is wet on the splash pad, the dry playground surface gets blazing hot, so kids should keep their shoes on here at all times. In general, there is little relief from the heat at Historic Fourth Ward Park other than the splash pad, since the only a couple years old trees do not produce much shade.
Take note: The sprayground jets do not turn on until 10 a.m. Still, this attractive park and play area is fast becoming a destination for intown families looking to beat the heat.
Amenities: Restrooms and ample off-street parking. Sprayground turned on from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are no food establishments in the park, so many people bring picnics. Ponce City Maket is just a couple of blocks away.
Directions: Historic Fourth Ward Park is bordered by North Ave., Glen Iris and Ralph McGill; its official address is 680 Dallas St., Atlanta, GA 30308.
– Melanie Lasoff Levs