Top 8 Nooga Parks for Small Children

One of the most wonderful things about Chattanooga is that it has lots of public green space. There are all kinds of parks and public areas for people to get out, enjoy the spectacular scenery (it is the Scenic City!), and be part of a thriving community.

While all of the parks are nice, there are six that stand out as especially fun for small children. If your family is visiting the city, or you live here and haven’t been to these parks, check them out! You, and any little ones you take, are sure to have some fun!

1. Coolidge Park

This one has to top the list because there is so much for kids to love. During the summer, kids – and adults – can splash and play in the fountain. All year, the gorgeous, fully restored, 100-year-old carousel runs for at least a

Coolidge Park

A view of Coolidge from under the bridge

few hours each day. The open, beautiful lawn is ideal for a picnic, the sidewalks are great for strollers, and there are even interactive sculptures scattered along the walkways.

Learn more about the hours of operation for the fountain and the carousel, as well as the rules and regulations at the Chattanooga Parks and Recreation web site.

2. The Warner Park Zoo

All small children like to look at animals, right? There are plenty to see at the Warner Park Zoo. This small zoo has been in existence for 75 years, and is a perfect place to visit on a sunny afternoon. It is not overwhelming in the way bigger zoos can be, but there are some really cute animals to see.

3. The Chattanooga Chew-Chew Dog Park

If you have the pleasure(?) of caring for both a small child and a canine friend, you will enjoy one of Chattanooga’s off-leash dog parks. There are three: The Chew-Chew Park, which is adjacent to the Tennessee Pavilion, and two newer installations, one at Heritage Park and one at Greenway Farms.

Find out more about the city’s policies before heading out with your furry friend!

4. The Tennessee Aquarium Plaza

With wading pools, interesting bridges, sculptures, and walkways, this plaza is an excellent spot for little ones to explore! It is located downtown, and is part of the aquarium complex, but you don’t need a ticket to enjoy it. It’s a great spot to take a break if you are downtown shopping or eating or attending an event, as well as a good picnicking area.

5. The Permanent Outdoor Art Collection

You may be thinking, “My toddler doesn’t care about art!” but most of the sculptures in this collection can be climbed on, touched and otherwise enjoyed by small children. The vast majority of the installations are downtown,

Happy Swinging Baby

Swinging makes us HAPPY!

so if you feel like taking a walking tour of the city, grab a map and check out some of this kid-friendly artwork!

6. The Tennessee Riverwalk

No list of parks in Chattanooga would be complete without including this gorgeous, sprawling, 10 mile walking track. Adults and kids alike enjoy the views of the river, the surrounding mountains, the geese, the green spaces, not to mention the picnic tables, built in BBQ grills, and fishing piers. Whether you are looking for a spot to spend an hour, an afternoon, or a day, the Riverwalk has something to offer.

7. Vandergriff Park in Hixson

Baby swings, a walking trail around the perimeter, and a pavilion make Vandergriff Park a great place to spend some time with toddlers and babies. It’s also a fantastic place for a birthday party!

Babies in Swings

Swinging is fun for everyone!

8. The Pumpkin Patch

The Pumpkin Patch was built by community volunteers, and is maintained by volunteers. It is arguably one of the best parks in the area for very small children. There are baby swings, a sandbox, bells to ring, a baby slide, and it’s all nice and shady. Bigger kids can have fun, too – especially on the big slide. There is a pavilion that can be reserved for parties, and a short walking trail around the park.