UPDATED: With Schools Out, City Hopes Parks Plan Will Keep Kids Out Of Trouble

Grant Park, Bessie Branham Park And Thomasville Park all part of planned activities to keep youth occupied

When Mayor Kasim Reed ran for office, a key pledge was ensuring and expanding young children and teens' access to the parks and recreation centers.

Now that school's out, there are several activities at different neighborhood parks to keep your kids occupied.

Camp Best Friends

A 30-year staple of the city's recreation department, Camp Best Friends is expected to serve 2,500 children and teens this summer. The camp, which stated May 31, and is open to all children between 5 and 16, is divided into 8 specialty camps, 12 day camps, 2 traditional teen camps and a music camp. All Camp Best Friends locations will offer arts & crafts, creative writing, drama, dance, swim lessons, Big Thinkers Science Exploration, and golf lessons.

Here's what will be offered at specific parks in East Atlanta Patch:

  • (Kirkwood) 404‐371‐5010 - Day camp.
  • (Kirkwood) 404‐371‐5008; Therapeutics ages 6 ‐ 21. All campers will be interviewed to participate.
  • (Grant Park) 404‐624‐0697; Athletic Camp ages 7 ‐ 12.
  • M.L. King Jr. (Sweet Auburn) 404‐658‐1149 - Day camp.

The 2011 camp season starts May 31st through July 22nd, but the city will offer an extended camp from July 25 to Aug. 5 at three locations. Camp Hours are Monday ‐ Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. every weekday and camps will be closed July 4 to observe Independence Day.

Outdoor Pools

This weekend marked the opening of pool season in Atlanta's parks. Hours and days of operation vary, but daily rates are $4 adults and $2 for children and senior citizens. Children up to 5 years old are $1.

Here are the parks with pools in East Atlanta Patch:

Thomasville Park

Other Events of Note

2011 marks the 150 anniversary of the War Between The States and the weekend of July 15 and 16, the city is hosting someevents in Grant Park. On July 15, the Movies in the Park program is slated to show "Glory" with Denzel Washington. The showing is free.

On the 16th of July, the city hosts the "Back to the Civil War” youth festival from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on July 16th near the .

ArtSCool, which gives Atlanta children training in film, drawing, painting/print making and music, also is coming back this year. The program, which is overseen by local professional artists, will be offered in three locations in the city, incuding the in the Old Fourth Ward.

David Ringstrom June 02, 2011 at 02:11 PM
Correction to the pool admission fees: children under 5 and under are $1. I can't attest to the other pools, but Grant Park offers free admission weekdays from 1:00 to 4:00. Children under 5 were free until last year when all pool admission fees were increased. Swim diapers are required for kids under 3 per the Fulton County Health Department.
Péralte Paul June 02, 2011 at 04:09 PM
It was a mistake on the city's part. The pools are now $1 for kiddies 5 and under. Thanks, David!


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