Some things are just cool—alfresco dining, live music, adventurous chefs and James Franco. Luckily for us, we can find all of these things at the Atlanta Food Truck Park and Market (except Franco, unless he’s in town filming a movie, in which case we just know he’d hang out here). And, we can take our kids! Here’s what you should know before you go with your little ones in tow.

The Dish
The line up changes daily, but you can count on anywhere from six to ten food trucks on any given day except Mondays, when the park is closed. Go to their Facebook page daily to find out who’s serving up lunch and dinner, or follow them on Twitter. The lineup changes, but the most likely trucks to be found at the AFTPM on any given day include: Masala Fresh, Mighty Meatballs, Dogs on Wheels, Yum Yum Cupcakes, The Filipino, Atlanta Burger Truck, Tex’s Taco, and Chay J’s.

Run, don’t walk, to the Masala Fresh truck to try the chicken pita. Your toddlers will love it with the tangy tamarin sauce, made with raisins, dates, and brown sugar. It’s good enough to wake the baby up from her nap early just to beat the crowd. Other kiddo crowd-pleasers to consider are the collard green quesadillas at the Blaxican, the chicken parmesan meatball sliders at Mighty Meatballs, f.i.a.h.’s macaroni hot dog and the sweet plantains at Yoli’s.

The Deal
On Saturdays and Sundays, the food trucks share the stage with The Market at Howell Mill, a dynamic roundup of farm fresh, local, gourmet, and artisanal products from around north Georgia. Let your little ones peruse the offerings of handmade pound cakes, soap, meat, and produce as their King of Pops drips it’s way to their elbows.

You’ll find live music from various crowd-pleasing performers on the stage near the picnic tables most weekends during the summer, Cornhole game boards (a beanbag toss game, for the uninitiated), and a green space which is home to a small but satisfactory swing set, picnic tables, and bocce ball court. Bring your own cooler, chairs, and picnic blanket to make the most of the grassy area behind the stage, and you’ll get the music without the crowd. Be sure to check the website to find out if any events are planned for when you’re going.

The Dirt
So we’re cool, but we’re still moms. The down side of an afternoon or evening spent at the AFTPM is that there is no good solution for washing hands and going to the potty when you’re basically having a picnic with the city. Yes, there is a port a potty, and yes, there is a mobile hand washing station, but neither are really up to snuff. Don’t panic, just be sure the kids take care of business before you head to the park, take hand sanitizer, and make sure you’ve got wipes. Worst case scenario? You can walk next door to the gas station, buy a bottle of water, and use their restrooms.

The Details
Atlanta Food Truck Park, located at the intersection of I-75 and Howell Mill (1850 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, Ga), Tuesday-Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Sundays 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Most trucks accept cash only, The Market at Howell Mill, located adjacent to the food trucks inside the park, Saturdays 3:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Sundays 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Parking is free and is best accessed from Emery Street (turn left on Beck Street between Willy’s and the Shell station).

What if your family’s favorite Atlanta-area food truck? Tell us below!

–Shelley Massey

Photos courtesy of the author and Atlanta Food Truck Park via Facebook

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