Playable Art Park

Four Unusual Playgrounds in Atlanta

Playgrounds are the perfect places for kids to let off a little steam, but the swing set is so old fashion. In Atlanta, there are several playgrounds that offer something a bit more, from commissioned

Playgrounds are the perfect places for kids to let off a little steam, but the swing set is so old fashion. In Atlanta, there are several playgrounds that offer something a bit more, from commissioned artwork to history and wildlife. Here are four Atlanta area playgrounds that go above and beyond.

Playable Art Park

Kids can not only touch this art, but they can climb, slide, jump, crawl, swing and play on it, too. The City of Sandy Springs officially opened the Playable Art Park at the Abernathy Greenway in July 2014. This unique playground, located in a mile-long green space, allows kids to explore six fine art sculptures. The pieces include a swing set with no upper crossbars, creating a perfect view of the sky; a dragonfly slide and climbing wall; a colorful mosaic to play in; a climbable spider; a granite relief to explore positive and negative space; and a modern day jungle gym of twisting loops, woops and curves.

Overlook Park at Morgan Falls

Kids love the playground. Parents love the view. Overlook Park is located on a bluff above the Chattahoochee River. The fireplace of a former homestead is the centerpiece for a circle of swings and benches. The playground has a soft turf base and canopy for shade from the hot sun. In addition to traditional equipment, there is a large spider web rope for climbing. Bring some bread to feed the ducks at the dock after the playground or take a short easy hike along the trails. Note, the park can be hard to find. Travel down Morgan Falls Road until you think you’ve gone too far, and then keep going. Around a sharp curve is the park.

Noguchi Playscape
Noguchi Playscape

Noguchi Playground at Piedmont Park

The Noguchi playground at Piedmont Park is located just inside the 12th Street gate and is a wonderful art-inspired playground. Isamu Noguchi was a sculptor and landscape garden designer whose playground designs achieved accolades only after his death. The playground at Piedmont Park was completed in 1976 with involvement from Atlanta’s High Museum of Art and renovated in 2013. It’s the only Noguchi-designed playground completed in his lifetime and the only playground in the United States. To visit other Noguchi playgrounds you’ll have to go to Sapporo or Yokahama, Japan. Noguchi called his playgrounds “the sculpture of spaces,” and it’s easy to see why. Kids can find triangles, circles, squares and rectangles to crawl over, under and even through.

Chastain Park Playground

Although this looks like a lot of other playgrounds today, the Chastain Park Conservancy has plans to create a wonderful new play space that uses the natural terrain as a guide. Plans call for plenty of space for lawn play, as well as a tumble hill. In addition to repurposing the existing playground for young children, the Conservancy has plans for new “play pods” to entice older children to play, with activities such as zip lines and racing slides. The Conservancy expects to break ground on the $2.8 million new playground in Spring 2015 with a dedication set for late summer. There’s still time to donate to the playground by visiting ChastainParkConservancy.org and contributing to the 10th Anniversary Capital Campaign.

Published: May 2015