Brookhaven, Ga: Insider Advice On This Favorite Atlanta Neighborhood

When you have a big city like Atlanta it can be hard to find the perfect area that is also the best fit for your family, especially if you are a new resident, and you are still learning the Atlanta lingo, like ITP vs OTP, and which Peachtree St is the one you actually want! So I’m here to share about my favorite neighborhood, and home for 11 years, Brookhaven, GA!

brookhaven ga

When your neighbor to the South is Buckhead it takes a lot to make yourself stand out, but Brookhaven does it! We are going to share it all (along with a few places just outside our city limits). So whether you want to live, work, play, or just visit the city of Brookhaven, we have info for you.

The town of Brookhaven is not only family friendly, with amazing public and private schools, it is a city rich with history and a feeling of being in the city with all the conveniences of the burbs, along with easy access to the rest of Atlanta. It boasts a plethora of housing options, from luxury apartments to townhouses to many neighborhoods filled with single family homes (the median home price over the last year was around $585,000).

Parks and Playgrounds

If there is one thing that Brookhaven does well it is parks! With 14 parks spread out over the cities 12 miles there is a park that has something for everyone, from airplanes to trains to lakes.

Ashford Park, located off Redding Road, was recently renovated to incorporate bigger play structures to play host to kids of all ages. Sunshades now cover the large sandbox, swings are all over (including an ‘expression swing’ that can hold two people at once) and tall slides thrill even the older kids who lend themselves to say things like ‘But mom, I’m bored!’.

Families donate well loved toys and kids can ride bikes, play in toy houses, or peruse the Little Free Library that is in the corner. A covered pavilion is perfect for a picnic, and as you play both Marta train and freight trains frequently come by, with a fun honk for all the little train enthusiasts!

Murphy Candler Park, in North Brookhaven, is a 135 acre multi-use park which includes a lake, swimming pool, tennis courts, trails and playground. Bring a fishing pole, a picnic, and be on the lookout for Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks and Beavers. The 2 mile loop that circles the lake is a great way to shape up while taking in nature, and the lake is filled with bass, bluegill sunfish and catfish waiting to be caught.

Briarwood Park, off of Buford Highway, is another multi-use park, with a swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, community room and playground. Their forest-patio area includes a community garden, picnic tables and grills. The playground has separate areas for younger and older kids, and a pavilion area where you can often find birthday parties happening!

Lynwood Park, located in the historical Lynwood neighborhood, is home to many of the cities recreational programs, including gymnastics classes, basketball leagues, a Junior Miss pageant and talent show, a father-daughter dance, and even parents night out! You can swim, play tennis or enjoy the playground all at this park.

If you are willing to venture outside the Brookhaven borders you will find Little Nancy Creek Park , which boasts a one of a kind playground in Atlanta, connecting with a walking trail and a creek which kids who are brave enough can explore (but no bathrooms, so plan accordingly!).

In Chamblee, our neighbor to the North, kids who love all things aviation can play at the playground at Dekalb Peachtree Airport (PDK), which is located right next to the runways of this small airport, and gives you a front row view of the planes and helicopters that take off and land here all day!

If duck parks are more your scene than airplanes, Lenox Park is a hidden park which has a huge duck pond (and look close for the turtles!), a large lawn, walking trails and a small, fenced in dog park. See if your kids can find the old British phone booth located on the grounds, very apropos given the parks proximity to AT&T!

Classes For Kids

If you don’t want to leave what so many of us affectionately call the ‘Brookhaven Bubble’, then there are a few spots that offer classes or activities for kids, especially those who aren’t yet in school!

Peach Pit Gymnastics, the newly opened boutique cheerleading and gymnastics studio, offers mothers morning out classes, open gym time as well as camps during non-school times, and traditional gymnastics and cheerleading classes and birthday parties. Their trampolines and their date night drop off are just the icing on the cake!

When music is what you are looking for, Miss Sarah at Music Together is where to go! These classes are held at Brookhaven Baptist Church and incorporate singing, instruments, and the participation of both child and parent, and you will learn songs that will stick with you forever (trust us on this!).

Did I mention free classes? Well, now I have! The Brookhaven Library offers story time for kids from 0 to 2 years old, and includes songs, rhymes, stories and games. When you want to give that wallet a rest this is just the place to visit.

The city of Brookhaven offers a variety of classes throughout their recreation centers that include art classes, lego workshops, a variety of sports, from soccer to t-ball to basketball to lacrosse, gymnastics, dance and more.

Indoor Play Fun

When it rains it pours, and when it is cold and rainy who wants to be outdoors? Luckily for us, there are a few options for indoor rainy day fun, all nearby.  HippoHopp, with it’s numerous bounce houses, separate toddler areas, climbing wall, organic cafe and obstacle courses, is destination numero uno when you are looking for an indoor option.

The Little House of Art, once a Brookhaven staple and now located just up the road in Chamblee, has everything from Diva and Doll Day to Drive in Movie Night to Open Studio, and is the ideal spot for you to let your child explore their inner Picasso – without worrying about them Picasso-ing all over your furniture!

Sports, Sports, Sports

There’s no doubt that Atlanta is a sporty city, and the city of Brookhaven is no exception. So where in Brookhaven can you go to find the best sports leagues for your family?

If you want to live, breathe and be all things baseball then Murphy Candler Baseball is perfect for you! This league, operating under Dizzy Dean baseball, and located within Murphy Candler Park, offers a spring league, all star teams and Fall ball. Kids from 4 years old and just starting out can participate in their t-ball league, and continue to play all the way through the Majors. Batter up!

Venture across the lake and you will find the home of the Atlanta Colt Youth Association, which includes flag football, tackle football and cheerleading. The main season is in the Fall, with a smaller passing spring-league as well.

Brookhaven FC is the newest kid on the block, bringing soccer to the town of Brookhaven and, given that Atlanta is now home to our very own MLS team, Atlanta United, we are all excited to bring soccer to town. Whether your kids are just learning the rules of the game, or ready for academy level, this local club will have a team for you.

Up4Tennis offers classes for all levels of tennis players, from mommy and me options to private lessons. This is a great way to get introduced to a sport that dominates this city, or, if you already play, to perfect your game.

i9 sports, provides basketball, baseball and intro to soccer leagues within the city of Brookhaven, and with their weekend only schedule this is a great way to introduce a sport to your family, or for working parents who want to limit activities to weekends only.

Sometimes you would rather watch sports than play them, and we are fortunate to have the Brookhaven Bucks, a wooden-bat collegiate summer baseball team, part of the Sunbelt League, at Oglethorpe University. This Summer league is fun to watch, and easy to get to!

Annual Events

Brookhaven knows how to put on a show, and their many annual events prove it. If you are looking to find out where in Brookhaven the fun is, read on!

The Cherry Blossom Festival, now in its 3rd year, celebrates the city and all that is special about it at Blackburn Park. The official tree of Brookhaven is the cherry tree, and with over 240 cherry trees growing throughout the park this festival is a beautiful way to welcome in Spring to the city!

When Fall rolls around and we are all hankering for cooler weather Brookhaven has the answer – the Brookhaven Chili Cookoff. Local restaurants and groups partake in an explosion of chili goodness at Brookhaven Park, with events including live music, bounce houses and more to make this a family-friendly celebration. Buy a wristband, get a spoon, and sample away!

For those looking for more art and less chili, the annual Brookhaven Arts Festival, located behind the Brookhaven Marta Station, is host to more than 100 artists who display their talents up and down Apple Valley Road, along with food vendors and local businesses. This event is held the 3rd weekend in October.

It isn’t just families who love to live here, it appeals to people of all ages, so sometimes you just need a festival that is more for grown-ups than kids, and the Brookhaven Beer Fest is just that. Your ticket gets you the opportunity to sample more than 200 beers, listen to live music, mingle with neighbors and friends, and confirm why Brookhaven is where even young adults want to live and play!

From Spring through Fall you can find locally sourced food, produce, products and more at the Brookhaven Farmers Market. A destination for neighbors from all corners of the city, this neighborhood run market is worth the drive, or, for those close enough, the walk.

Listen closely and you will hear the squeals of delight as the city hosts it annual Easter Egg Hunt at Blackburn Park. Light refreshments, face painting, bounce houses, separate hunting areas divided by age and, of course, the Easter bunny round out this popular event.

While bigger shopping areas are nearby Brookhaven has its own pedestrian friendly shopping area at Town Brookhaven, which is more than just retail and restaurants – it is home to several events throughout the year! From a Taste of Town Brookhaven to Movies On The Town, from their Christmas Tree Lighting to their St. Patrick’s Day Block Party, it’s a destination you won’t want to miss.

And, if you are one who is more at home running races than drinking beer or shopping, make sure to sign up for one of Brookhaven’s annual road races, including the Brookhaven Bolt 5K, which supports the local Ashford Park Elementary School, and the Duck Duck Goose 5k, supporting the Murphy Candler Park Conservancy.

Culturally Speaking

The city of Brookhaven may be a small part of Atlanta, but it is also home to a large portion of Buford Highway, one of Atlanta’s best kept secrets. According to WeLoveBuHi, Atlanta is ‘the cultural capital of the South, with a vibrant heart. That heart is Buford Highway’. We agree! Buford Highway is home to a large number of immigrant-owned business, from Korean to Mexican to Indian to Ethiopian. Discover new foods, learn about new cultures, and it’s all close to home.

Make art your next visit, with a stop at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, a University museum that shows local, national and international exhibitions!

The Cuisine of Brookhaven

From family-friendly restaurants to dining establishments that are better for date nights, to restaurants that are geared for the 20-something set, we have it all.

The best patios in town are definitely Verde Taqueria, Mellow Mushroom, Terra Terroir, Jefe’s Taco and Tequilas, Avellinos Pizza, Haven, Vero Pizza, Valenza and Kaleidoscope.

Want a drink but want the kids to feel welcome? Stop by Marlowes Tavern, There Bar and Eatery, Olde Blind Dog, or Pure Taqueria.

If you feel like doing something outside the normal pizza or hot dogs, the Brookhaven Food Trucks are every Wednesday at Blackburn Park.

And, if you feel like reliving your college days, you can even swing by the dining hall at Oglethorpe University!

Satiate your sweet tooth with Marble Slab, Yogurtland, Southern Custard, Rita’s, or Sugar Shack. Our favorite is just outside Brookhaven in Chamblee, at Frosty Caboose. Who wouldn’t love getting local Greenwood Ice Cream from an old train caboose, while watching planes land at PDK Airport and the Marta trains speed by? It’s every kids dream (and let’s be honest, some adults too!).

Moms Night Out

With so many fun, family-oriented activities, let’s be honest – sometimes a mom needs to grab some girlfriends, and have a night out. And right here, in Brookhaven, are some options that mean you can grab a cheap Uber, have an awesome night out, and still be home at the strike of midnight.

Start off at Pour, a wine bistro that is intimate yet welcoming. Walk across the street to Time To Escape, where you can choose from 3 different escape rooms, and you can see if you have what it takes to make it out in time.

Finally, put on your dancing shoes, and get yourself over to 57th Fighter Group, a restaurant at the end of the runway at PDK Airport, which reinvents itself into a dance club on Friday and Saturday nights. Trust us, this is an experience you won’t soon forget, from the patrons to the Winston Churchill speeches piped into the bathroom, to the entire overall experience. And when you leave you will be asking your friends when you can do it all over again!

So find a time to visit Brookhaven – come stay awhile! It’s an amazing city and you won’t be disappointed!

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Brookhaven, GA is not only family friendly, it is also a city rich with history with all the conveniences of the burbs, and easy access to Atlanta.

 

 

Andrea Botham recently started Passports and Pushchairs, a blog extolling the ability to travel with kids without losing your cool. She was born with a passion for many things, some of them realized, like traveling and writing, some still a work in progress, like photography. Her goal is to not only encourage other parents to travel but to inspire them to show their kids the World, one city at a time. She lives in Atlanta with her British husband and her half British, half American son and daughter, both of whom use more British words than Peppa Pig.

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