Dog Day Afternoons: Perfect Parks and Patios for Pooches

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For most of us, Fido was our first baby. And now that you’ve got kids of the two-legged variety, why not delight all of your kiddos with a trip to one of Atlanta’s best pooch parks or patios? Read on to find our favorite spots to enjoy with the entire family (furry friends included).


Best Pet & Kid-Friendly Parks

Tanyard Creek
Located just off the BeltLine in Buckhead, this park connects to Ardmore Park by a large, open green space. Both Tanyard Creek Park and Ardmore Park have playgrounds, and with a paved path between the two (and an elevated and active train track above one section of the path), this is a sure bet for making everyone happy. The playground itself comes complete with two different areas for younger and older tots, a huge spider web climbing structure, as well as slides, monkey bars, swings and a rock wall. Make note that there are no restrooms, so those that can’t just life their leg need to go before you go.
Tanyard Creek Park, Collier Road at Walthall Drive, Atlanta, GA 30309


Winn Park
Located in the heart of Ansley Park, this shady park combines sweeping green spaces, beautiful ponds, and a wooden playground (with areas for older and younger tots). With footpaths that resemble secret passageways between the giant azaleas, you won’t have any trouble prying the kids away from the playground to take the pooch on a stroll. Parents will rest easy with their kids playing here away from the city streets as the park forms an elongated bowl that offers natural protection from surrounding areas where cars are zipping by.
Winn Park, 32 Lafayette Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30309


Best Off-Leash Parks

Piedmont Dog Park
Piedmont Park is the perfect place to play with your pooch and wee ones.  From stopping for a swing at the Noguchi playscape or Mayor’s Grove playgrounds to taking a splash in the Legacy Fountain on your way to the expansive dog park, click here for your complete guide to exploring Piedmont Park with kids.
Piedmont Dog Park, 400 Park Drive NE, Atlanta, GA, 30306, 404.875.7275

Mason Mill Park
One of Decatur’s most polar playgrounds is also just a few streets away from a large, new (unfenced) dog park. Unfortunately, you can’t park at the playground and walk to the dog park, but you sure can enjoy the playground and trails with Fido on the leash, and then swing by the dog park as a special treat on your way home. The playground offers the trifecta of clean bathrooms, ample parking, and awesome equipment. It is split into two separate areas—one for smaller kids and one for older children. The larger playground has a three-story tall climber and a pirate ship-themed area. The nearby nature trails offer plenty of opportunities for (on-leash) exploration as well.
Mason Mill Dog Park, 1400 McConnell Drive, Atlanta, GA 30033

Loring Heights
Located where Buckhead turns into Midtown off Deering Road, Loring Heights is a beautiful neighborhood with two playgrounds for kids (one sits adjacent to a recently renovated pond area), and a large green space with two fenced-in dog runs. Perfect for kids and dogs to wear out that last spurt of energy of the day, the parks in Loring Heights make you want to start talking real estate.
Loring Heights, Loring Drive and South Garden, Atlanta, GA 30309

Brook Run 
The dog park is 3.5 fenced-in acres located in the back of 100+ acres of recreational space, which includes a playground, skate park, and plenty of trails. Heavily wooded, this is the spot to find some shade during our dog days of summer, but know in advance that there is no area separating small dogs from the big ones.
Brook Run, 4770 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA, 30338, 678.234.4428

Newtown Dream Dog Park
The name pretty much says it all. This dog park, located in John’s Creek, has everything from Astroturf to a fire-hydrant shaped water sprinkler for the pups to frolic in. If you’re up for a drive, then point your car northeast and prepare to blow your doggie’s mind.
Newtown Dream Dog Park, 3150 Old Alabama Road, Johns Creek, GA 30022


Pouch-Perfect Patios
Let’s face it, there have been nights out at restaurants with our kids when we would have preferred our well-mannered dogs to the mayhem of a tantruming tot. While these hot spots are historically pet friendly, it’s never a bad idea to call ahead, just in case there’s been a change in policy.

Lucky’s Burger & Brew
This family-friendly neighborhood spot is named for the owner’s Golden Retriever, and Lucky hasn’t forgotten the little people in her fame. She’s still just Lucky from the block. Head here for the relaxed patio and killer burgers.
Lucky’s Burger & Brew, 305 Brookhaven Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30319, 678.705.1713, and 1144 Alpharetta Street, Roswell, GA 30075, 770.518.5695

They serve coffee. They love dogs. Kids, well, they’re welcome too.
ParkGrounds, 142 Flat Shoals Ave SE Atlanta GA 30316, 678.528.9901

Hidden in Peachtree Hills, this Buckhead institution is a haven for families and furballs alike. Go early to nab a spot on the patio, or you’ll be hanging out in the parking lot with the pup with the rest of Buckhead, waiting on a table.
Treehouse Restaurant and Pub, 7 Kings Circle, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404.266.2732

Park Tavern
Could there be anything better than heading to Piedmont Park with bikes, riding over to the dog park, then cruising on to the Park Tavern for lunch or an early dinner with the entire family? Probably, but we don’t know what it is.
Park Tavern, 500 10th Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404.249.0001

Avellino’s Pizzeria
Yum. Italian food makes grown ups and kids happy alike, and Avellino’s has water and a warm welcome for the pups at both their Decatur and Brookhaven locations.
Avellino’s Pizzeria, 902 West College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030, 404.228.3285, and 1328 Windsor Parkway NE, Atlanta, GA 30319, 404.500.3841  

Paolo’s Gelato Italiano & Desserts
This could be the happiest place in Atlanta. From the luscious gelato to the dog bowl and dog treats outside the front door, you’d be hard pressed to pass up a stop at Paolo’s with kids and pups in tow.
Paolo’s, 1025 Virginia Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA, 30306, 404.607.0055.


Where do you like to party with your pooch in Atlanta? Tell us in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey

Photos courtesy of  Play Atlanta, Rich V. via Yelp, Cynthia K. via Yelp, Sheri M. via Yelp, Bryan R. via Yelp, Laura L. via Yelp, Amy A. via Yelp, Kisten E. via Yelp, Bullseye Rescue, with permission, and  wallyg, Christian Collins, HAL9000@yoidore, donnierayjones on Creative Commons via Flickr and the author

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