Get outdoors: Things to do with grandkids this week

Even with the exhilarating natural beauty in the Atlanta area, you may find it simpler to entertain your grandchildren indoors in a controlled environment – especially the rambunctious ones.

April is a great month to expand your repertoire to include outdoor adventures. When the kids have fun, they’ll encourage you to schedule more time outside and the habit can carry into an active summer in Atlanta.

Here are ideas to start with this week.

Amelia Williams, 4, is in the kids village where she paints a rock Sunday, April 10, 2022 at the 86th annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park. This year’s three-day festival had art of all shapes and sizes, jewelry, fare food and a kids village with arts and crafts, games and rides.  (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Jenni Girtman

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Credit: Jenni Girtman

Kids Village at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Noon-9 p.m. Friday, April 12; 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, April 13; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, April 14. $5 donation. Oak Hill 12th St entrance, Piedmont Park, 1322 Monroe Dr., Atlanta.

While the larger Atlanta Dogwood Festival with its music and art vendors is also a blast, you may want to concentrate on entertaining the young ones at the Dollywood-sponsored Kids Village. That area of the festival offers kids the chance to help paint murals, make masks and paper butterflies, and jump around on inflatables. Toddlers will adore the Atlanta Parent’s play area, especially the age-appropriate crafts and Teddy Bear Hospital.

This is a grand way to introduce young ones to Piedmont Park so be on the lookout for reasons to come back and enjoy the trails all summer.

Every now and then, I feel like I'm channeling Norman Rockwell. May 18, 2015 Cobb County: Left to right - Audrey Bell-9, Kaitlyn Bell-7, Afrika Gorman-9, Konji Gorman-7 and Jaume Gorman-12 enjoy a laugh as they sat on a tree limb on the banks of the Chattahoochee enjoying a snack during their outing on Monday, May 18, 2015. The two home school families enjoyed a warm day for a river outing on the Chattahoochee at the Paces Mill Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Cobb County located two miles south of Cumberland Mall and Cobb Galleria on US Highway 41. The area includes a picnic area, activity field, and access to the Palisades West hiking trails. Channel 2 Meteorologist Brad Nitz is calling for scattered showers and storms on Tuesday with a high of 86 and a low of 69. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: John Spink

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Credit: John Spink

Paces Mill Trail

5 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. $5 parking. Paces Mill Trail, 444 Cobb Pkwy, Atlanta.

Part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, the trail at Paces Mill offers a wide variety of paved paths to bike or walk along the river. For more ambitious families, you can launch canoes from Paces Mill, too. It’s a wonderful place to initiate a healthy lifestyle and it’s not usually overly crowded outside of summer months.

Woofstock Ellijay

11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, April 13. $5 donation for parade and costume contest. Downtown Ellijay, 10 Broad St., Ellijay.

Friends of the Gilmer Animal Shelter sponsor this outdoor “doggone tie-dyed good time.” The pet parade and dog adoption event encourage attendees to wear their hippie attire, and Ultimate Air Dogs will entertain with a dock diving competition. It’s a great chance to get the kids out of the house, bring along your dog if you have one, and dress up in your disco-era garb. The parade is fun even if you don’t own a pet to enter in the ‘70s-themed costume contest. But be prepared to fend off pleas for adoptable animals — they are ridiculously cute.