Scenic Spots to Picnic & Play on Summer Evenings

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There are so many ways to take advantage of Atlanta’s long summer days. Hitting the local splash pad with the kids, heading out on a bike odyssey around the city, lounging in one of the many nearby lakes. That’s pretty much what summer in the city is all about. But nothing is more quintessentially summer than packing up a picnic and heading to a park. That’s why we’ve found six scenic spots where you and the kids can picnic and play into the evening. All that’s missing is great friends to join you. Here’s where to plan a perfect picnic and park playdate before summer ends.

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Piedmont Park

Just because it’s well known doesn’t mean there aren’t perfect picnic spots just begging for your blanket and basket to pay them a visit at Piedmont Park. We like the Promenade for its easy proximity to the parking deck and Gardens, but if you want to wander, head towards 10th Street and the Eastern-most side of the lake.

10th & Monroe Ave.
Midtown
Online: piedmontpark.org

Sope Creek Park

This peaceful picnic spot is located part of the scenic Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Its three miles of trails lead to the ruin of a Civil War-era paper mill, surrounded by a forest. The many streams and ponds you’ll find along the way provide stopping points for kids to play. After your picnic, set your kiddos loose on the boulders and waterfalls that you can find along the trails.

Insider tip: Plan your picnic to coincide with the weekly ranger walks on Wednesdays and you’ve got a picture-perfect lunch plan.

3760 Paper Mill Rd.
Marietta, GA
Online: nps.gov

Related stories: Play All Day: Discover Atlanta’s Top Playgrounds

a family enjoys a picnic on a sunny day
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Sweetwater Creek State Park

You won’t believe the beautiful rapids and duck ponds at Sweetwater Creek State Park. Located just west of Atlanta this picnic spot steeped in history is just a short drive away. Take a hike to Civil War-era ruins, and during spring and summer, rent canoes, stand-up paddleboards and boats—after you pack up your picnic, of course.

1750 Mt. Vernon Rd.
Lithia Springs, GA
Online: gastateparks.com

Rogers Bridge Park

Adjacent to the Chattahoochee, Gwinnett County’s Rogers Bridge Park in Duluth has running trails, an historic steel bridge and ample greenspace where you can enjoy your picnic spread. A small playground nearby and a dog park make this a place where you can eat and play with your whole family (fur babies welcome). And although the nearby tubing launch point is currently closed, you should still bring your water shoes along so everyone can wade in (not too far) and cool off before heading home.

4291 Rogers Bridge Rd.
Duluth, GA
Online: duluthga.net

Related stories: National Parks That Atlanta Families Love (& Awesome Cabins Nearby)

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Centennial Olympic Park

While the entertainment district may not fall into the secluded picnic spot category, families will find both plenty of green space and things to do at this popular gathering spot. During the early evening hours, it’s easier to find a spot on the sprawling, grassy lawns. Plus the play factors are pretty much unlimited here. Head to the children’s playground, splash in the Rings Fountain or take a quick stroll to a nearby kid favorite, like the Georgia Aquarium, Children’s Museum of Atlanta or World of Coca-Cola

265 Park Ave. W N.W.
Atlanta, GA
Online: gwcca.org/centennial-olympic-park

Vickery Creek

Another one in nearby Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, you’ll find lots of charming elements that’ll entertain the kids on this picnic outing. With a wooden covered bridge, historic remnants of the Roswell Mill and over five miles of trails through a forest and past waterfalls, Vickery Creek promises plenty to do beyond the basket. 

85 Mill St.
Roswell, GA
Online: atlantatrails.com

Related stories: Atlanta’s Best Free (& Cheap) Events for Families in August

—Allison Sutcliffe & Shelley Massey

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