At last, the rooftop at Ponce City Market is open. We braved the heat and explored Skyline Park this weekend. I scoured the web for the 411 but couldn’t find anything to help families with what to expect, so we hope our bullet list of info gets you excited about taking the kids (or going on a date night!)
Getting to the Roof
- You pay to park at Ponce City Market, and as of late the parking meters all seem to be broken. No worries; you can download the Parkmobile App (PCM is parking area 222.) I like the app because it gives you a 15-minute warning and allows you to increase your time from your phone, so you don’t have to worry about over-paying or getting a ticket. We stayed 4 hours for about $8.
- Head to the right side of PCM to get to Skyline Park. You’ll see a huge neon sign that says ROOF! This is where to pay to enter.
- We paid $10 per adult, $7 for kids under 12, and kids under 3 are FREE.
- You pay for the day and get a wristband that allows you to come and go as you please, so don’t miss the oppty to eat a great lunch in the Food Hall.
- Hours are as follows. They are currently recommending that after 6pm is Only Over-21, and a little birdy told us this might be enforced soon.
- Monday – Wednesday: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
- Thursday – Friday: 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.
- Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
- Sunday: Noon – 9 p.m.
- Once you get your wristband, you’ll ride the elevator to the roof. Don’t forget to look UP as you ride!
On the Roof
- Once you are on the roof, it isn’t necessary to pay for anything else UNLESS you want to play the games. You can walk around and enjoy the view, watch others being silly at putt-putt or riding the tower. There are several great photo ops! If you DO want to play the games or putt-putt then see the fees below.
- We decided to play putt-putt, which was incredibly fun (and a little challenging.) It was $8 for adults, $5 for kids and the 3 yo was FREE. Prices go up after 4pm.
- We purchased a game card that allowed us to play some of the old-school arcade games, ride the slide and ride Heege Tower for an incredible view. Skee ball was $2, the ring toss game was 24 rings for $5, and the (awesome!!) slide was $1 a ride. Cards are re-fillable (cash or credit.)
- There is a bar with several clever drinks, beer and wine. We had a frozen whiskey drink with mint and peaches that was very refreshing; it ran about $12.
- Snacks on the roof include pretzels, frozen bananas, cotton candy, and other old-fashioned favorites.
- A beer garden is opening this fall, so stay tuned for more on that.
- On a Saturday afternoon there were dozens and dozens of kids – tons of fun for families! Go early to beat the heat and the crowds.
- On the place that PCM stands was once an amusement park. Skyline Park pays homage to that festive time.
- In 1923 the amusement park was shut down, and in 1926 the Sears building was built as a distribution center.
- The building is one of the tallest all-brick buildings in the south.
- Ponce de Leon, on which PCM sits, is named for the explorer who was seeking the Fountain of Youth. The spring under the building that he found is still tapped and stored in a water container inside the flagged tower of the building, and it is used by the building today (alas, no youthful powers spring forth.)
Nine Mile Station is officially open at Ponce City Market’s Skyline Park! The rooftop beer garden’s debut marks a milestone in the completion of Ponce City Market, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
The food menu, made up of small, medium and large plates, allows groups of all sizes to enjoy a delicious, sharable experience while seated at a communal table. Noteworthy small plates include crispy stuffed sweet peppers with crab, chevre, chervil and chipotle quince chutney, and smoked trout served with pearled barley, Tuscan kale, tomato, cumin and lime. Guests can also choose from larger options such as pork belly served with Brussels sprouts, a poached egg, sweet pepper and garlic; squash galette topped with Gruyere cheese, spinach, tomato and hazelnut; a meat and cheese board with accompaniments and a schnitzel platter featuring pork and chicken, warm potato salad and beets. In true beer garden spirit, guests can choose frombratwurst, kielbasa and merguez sausages, each available by the inch, as well as pressed sandwiches. For those craving a larger spread, a picnic basket is available for groups and filled with pressed sandwiches, ribs, breads, spreads, salad and snacks with all of the picnic fixings.
Nine Mile Station’s beverage program celebrates beer. The 12 taps will rotate often, allowing guests to sample a variety of styles craft beers from near and far. Additionally, the bar carries a full assortment of liquors and classically prepared cocktails. Guests can also enjoy an assortment of champagnes and sparkling wines from the “sparkling bar.”
Additional Lunch Note: There are dozens of places to eat inside Ponce City Market – and they are all fantastic. Don’t let the crowd get to you…eating here is part of the experience. We ate at Guy Wong’s newest restaurant, Ton Ton featuring Japanese ramen. It was HEAVENLY! I highly recommend it!
Bottom Line: If you are content to head to the roof for the view and a soda, then it won’t break the bank. If you want to experience it all, then for a family of 2 adults and 2 kiddos you are going to spend $100 or more, plus lunch, for a few hours of excitement. It isn’t cheap, but it sure is FUN!
I highly recommend it as a “special occasion” experience that you have to do at least once. I am anxious to go back once more when the beer garden opens, but hubs and I will go on a date night and experience the view at night.
Have you been? Did you like it? What tips did we miss??