Virginia-Highland with Kids: 35 Best Things to Do in Virginia-Highland, GA

Explore Atlanta's beloved intown neighborhood of Virginia-Highland with our helpful guide!
Explore Atlanta's beloved intown neighborhood of Virginia-Highland with our helpful guide!
10/13/23 - By Rebecca Ruffin Leffler

Tucked between Midtown and Druid Hills, the historic Virginia-Highland neighborhood of Atlanta offers families a fun day of exploring tasty restaurants, shady parks, and popular community festivals. And unlike some Atlanta neighborhoods, Virginia-Highland, GA offers tons of sidewalks, making it extremely walkable and stroller-friendly.

Check out our list of 35 top places for families to visit in Virginia-Highland and the adjacent neighborhood of Morningside. Both neighborhoods--over 100 years old--exude a strong sense of community as evidenced by many festivals and events. Families enjoy locally-owned hangouts and independent retailers amidst tree-lined streets brimming with historic bungalow homes. 


For more ideas of things to do this season, check out our Fall Fun Guide for Atlanta Kids as well as these 14 Fabulous Fall Day Trips from Atlanta. (And yes, we are using the VaHi hyphen to write out this beloved neighborhood's name.)

Best Parks for Families in Virginia-Highland

1. Herbert Taylor Park & Daniel Johnson Nature Preserve

Take the kids on the one-mile trail through Herbert Taylor Park and Daniel Johnson Nature Preserve, and you’ll feel miles away from the city. The two adjacent parks, totaling 34 acres, feature an old-growth forest with plenty of shade and opportunities to observe nature.

2. John Howell Memorial Park

The three-acre John Howell Memorial Park offers two sand volleyball courts and the Cunard Memorial Playground. On the eastern side, make use of the Great Lawn for the perfect grassy open space to fly kites, throw a football, and let the kids run around.

Morningside Nature Preserve.
Trek across the wooden suspension bridge at Morningside Nature Preserve. Photo by the author

3. Morningside Nature Preserve

Head to the tranquil Morningside Nature Preserve with several miles of nature trails. Kids especially enjoy the wooden suspension bridge and splashing on the shores of South Fork Peachtree Creek in warmer weather. The trail is also popular with dog owners.

4. Orme Park

This six-acre park nestled on a residential street offers a wooded trail as well as a playground. In addition to the slide, there are toddler swings and big-kid swings.

5. Sidney Marcus Park

Receiving a recent upgrade, this small park boasts a fun playground, swinging benches, and walking path. The park also hosts the popular Morningside/Lenox Park Concerts in the Park series held during the spring and fall months.

6. Sunken Garden Park

Let the kids swing, slide, and climb on the playground at this one-acre park. If you have pickleball players, hit the courts at the adjacent Lenox-Wildwood Park.

Virginia-Highland Events and Fun Things to Do

7. Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education

Enroll your kids in dance classes at the Atlanta Ballet’s Virginia-Highland location. Kids between the ages of 2 to 7 can learn about coordination and rhythm in the creative movement offerings, while kids ages 7 and up can take ballet courses in the Student Division.

8. Atlanta Fire Station #19

Walk the kids past the oldest operating fire station in Atlanta. When opened in 1925, the fire station served residents of the neighborhood, considered to be one of Atlanta’s first suburbs. You can also schedule a car seat safety check.

9. Atlanta Pro Bikes

If you have cyclists in the family, stop by Atlanta Pro Bikes to get your bike serviced or check out the newest bicycles for sale. Opened in 2014, the shop also rents bikes to ride on the nearby Eastside BeltLine Trail.

10. Dakota J’s Clothing

Enjoy quality mother-daughter shopping time (especially if you have teens) at Dakota J’s. Find all the latest trends, from casual to dressy, at this local boutique which has been open for over 25 years.

The Atlanta BeltLine
Rent a bike or just take a walk on the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine for a fun afternoon. Photo by Melanie Preis

11. Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine

Running adjacent to Virginia-Highland lies the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. The flat trail is easy for kids to walk or bike while enjoying the public art displays on what used to be a railroad track.

12. Food Truck Friday

Since you probably don’t feel like cooking on a Friday evening, head to Food Truck Friday for dinner. Located in front of Neighbor’s Pub, the event occurs the third Friday of the month (June through September) from 6-9pm.

13. Halloween Candy Crawl

Dress up the kids and take them to the business district for trick-or-treating. Stores will be passing out candy this year on October 25, 2023 from 4-6pm.  

14. Highland Music Studio

Inspire musical creativity in your young children by enrolling in Highland Music Studio's offerings of Music Together, Preschool Piano, and Mini Rockers classes. Older kids and teens can participate in a rock band or take voice, guitar, piano, drums, or violin lessons.  

15. Highland Pet Supply

Bring your furry friends inside this dog boutique to purchase the latest toys and supplies. You can also clean Fido at the self-serve dog wash.

16. Highland Woodworking

Find the perfect tools and equipment at this store dedicated solely to the art of woodworking. In existence since 1978, Highland Woodworking allows shoppers to try out some tools and sign up for one of the many classes offered.

17. John P. Garner Library Branch

There’s always something going on at the John P. Garner branch of the Atlanta Fulton County Library. Come by during Family Story Time or Lego Club. Kids ages 9-17 can attend the monthly Cubing at Ponce sessions to work on logic puzzles while teens can sign up for the bi-monthly Dungeons and Dragons meetings. 

18. Monster Dash 5K Run/Walk

Dress up in your Halloween costume and head to the Monster Dash at Morningside Presbyterian Church. Benefiting neighborhood parks, the event is open to all ages. Smaller children will want to participate in the free Kids Dash. 

19. Morningside Farmers Market

Located at Morningside Presbyterian Church, the year-round Morningside Farmers Market runs every Saturday from 8-11:30am. The market, established in 1995, requires all fruits and vegetables to be certified organic. Check the weekly schedule for kids' activities and live music. 

20. Ponce City Market

Just a stone’s throw from Virginia-Highland is Ponce City Market. The renovated former Sears Roebuck distribution center offers shopping, restaurants, and a food court on the Atlanta BeltLine. Families can also head to the roof for carnival-style games and miniature golf at Skyline Park.

The annual Porchfest hosts kid-friendly activities including a magic show, bounce house, and face painting.

21. Porchfest

The annual Porchfest features an entire day of bands (over 75!) performing live on residential porches throughout the entire neighborhood. Held in May, there are also food trucks, local merchant booths, and the 1-mile Rock ‘n Run. Kid-friendly activities include a magic show, bounce house, and face painting.

Participants put on a disposable poncho before experimenting with paint to create a masterpiece canvas at Splatter Studio. 

22. Splatter Studio

Let the kids make a big mess while tapping into their creative side. Participants put on a disposable poncho before experimenting with paint to create a masterpiece canvas. Although recommended for anyone ages five and up, the studio requires supervision for kids under 13.

23. Sugarcoat Beauty

Treat yourself and your littles to a pamper session at Sugarcoat. Book the Miss Priss kid manicure (ages 10 and under) for $13 or splurge for the kids' mani/pedi combo for $35.  

24. Summerfest

Held every June, Virginia-Highland Summerfest offers a full day of live music and a market with over 150 artisans. In addition to a 5K run, the festival provides Kidsfest with games and crafts at John Howell Park.

25. Virginia Highland Books

This two-story, independent bookstore boasts over 10,000 books and puzzles catering to adults and kids alike. Stop by for children’s story time every Tuesday morning at 10:30am or RSVP for the next Middle School Book Club meeting.

Besides fresh produce and artisanal breads Virginia Highland Farmers Market's has a variety of kid's activities.

26. Virginia Highland Farmers Market

From mid-March through the end of November, head to the Virginia-Highland Farmers Market held on Thursdays from 4-7pm. Select from a wide choice of fresh-grown produce, as well as local jellies, breads, and other foodstuffs. Kids' activities, including story time, kiddie yoga, and activity sheets, vary each week.

27. Virginia-Highland Mural

Snap pictures in front of the Va-Hi mural at the intersection of Virginia and North Highland avenues. Commissioned by the civic association in 2019, the mural welcomes everyone to the area. Be on the lookout for other murals in the neighborhood, especially along North Highland Ave.  

Celebrate the holidays with a parade and other festivities at Virginia-Highland Winterfest.

28. Virginia-Highland Winterfest

Get in the holiday spirit at Winterfest on December 8 and 9, 2023. The annual event features a family-friendly Jingle Jog, tour of lights, and holiday market. The parade and activities at the Kids Corner also make the event fun for little ones.

Alons Bakery & Market
Alon's Bakery & Market serves gourmet lunches and beautiful desserts. Photo by the author

Best Virginia-Highland Restaurants for Families

29. Alon's Bakery & Market

A neighborhood mainstay since 1992, Alon's Bakery offers pastries, as well as breakfast and lunch options. Favorites include gourmet sandwiches, made with fresh-baked bread, and the French almond macarons. Hint: Pick up food and bring it to a nearby park for a fun picnic!

30. Doughnut Dollies

In addition to chocolate- and vanilla-glazed varieties, Doughnut Dollies provides an assortment of other combinations including the Dollie (filled with crème brulee), Lemon Meringue, and Vegan Ginger Pear Crumble.

31. Farm Burger

Farm Burger partners with local organic farms to provide delicious burgers made from grass-fed cows. Additional options include the vegan burger, seasonal salads, a kids’ menu, and hand-spun milkshakes. The restaurant is super kid-friendly with a stroller parking section outside.

32. Morelli’s Ice Cream

The kids will be screaming for ice cream when you stop at Morelli’s. The award-winning shop rotates flavors including Dark Chocolate Chili, Pumpkin Pie, and the popular Ginger Lavender. Kids will be mesmerized watching the model train running on the tracks near the ceiling.

33. Paolo’s Gelato Italiano

Italian-born Paola Dalla Zorza opened his gelateria in 1999 for Atlanta families to enjoy. You’ll find a bevy of gelato flavors, homemade cannoli, and Italian gourmet products. You can even purchase pet-friendly gelato for your furry friends!

34. Pielands Sub & Slice

Order New York-style pizza (by the slice or whole), subs, or wings at Pielands with both indoor and outdoor seating. Favorites include the square-shaped Noni pizza and the garlic knots. Plus, parents can relax while the kids play old-school video games.

35. San Francisco Coffee Roasting Company

Get your caffeine fix at this local spot roasting its own coffee since 1992. Check out the seasonal drink offerings such as Peppermint Mocha and Pumpkin Spice Latte as well as breakfast burritos, bagels, and sandwiches.

Unless noted, photos courtesy of the Virginia Highland District Association

Places featured in this article:

Herbert Taylor Park and Daniel Johnson Nature Preserve

Atlanta Ballet - Virginia Highland Centre

Neighbor's Pub (location for Food Truck Fridays)

Virginia Highland Farmers Market

Morelli's Ice Cream - Viriginia Highland