No doubt about it, every part of Skyline Park, Ponce City Market’s carnival-themed rooftop, is an Instagramer’s paradise. The space, designed to resemble a seaside boardwalk, is brimming with campy nostalgia—the bar is named “The Sideshow,” and features a giant portrait of a bearded lady; a uniformed standee on the mini golf course warns you to “please drive slowly.” It’s easy to have a lot of fun (and spend a lot of cash if you aren’t paying attention). Here’s our guide to what you shouldn’t miss—and what you can skip.
Ride up at 5 p.m. on a Saturday.
The park now converts to a 21+ venue after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, and arriving early will help you avoid crowds. Make sure you stick around for sunset—the park takes on a completely different look after dark, with carnival lights lining every surface.
Skip the games, but not the “thrills.”
While fun, the skee ball and ring toss are no different from games you can find at plenty of other spots. But we’d never encountered a heege tower before. The simple ride is utterly charming. Strap yourself into a two person seat, then use a thick rope to hoist yourself up (and let yourself fall) as the ride slowly twirls high above the park. Skyline’s large aluminum slide is also well worth the dollar fee. Pro tip: For an excellent view, climb the stairs on the slide tower even if you don’t partake in the ride.
Ditch the snacks for an extra drink at the bar.
While the food available on the Roof sounds tempting (barbacoa walking tacos, hot dogs with tomatillo chow-chow), it doesn’t hold a candle to the offerings down below in Ponce City Market’s Food Hall. Instead, order up one of the frozen concoctions—which resemble convenience store slushies—spinning inside a tank behind the bar. Choose between a sweet, strawberry margarita and a “GA julep,” made with mint-infused bourbon, peach, and Coke. The bar also offers a decent craft beer selection.
Putt putt like a pro.
You’d never think it possible looking up from street level, but somehow Ponce City Market managed to pack an 18-hole mini-golf course into the narrow, compact roof space. The green can get a little crowded if you’re playing behind a larger group, but you’ll be too busy trying to decipher how the orange trap boxes work to mind the wait. (If you want to save a bit of cash, start your game before 4 p.m.)
Stop and admire each skyline.
It’s rare in Atlanta to find a spot that offers a view of Buckhead, downtown, and Midtown. Walk completely around the park to see all three skylines—downtown, for example, is best viewed from behind the slide, peering between the colossal “Ponce City Market” letters. You can also watch the dogs and cyclists on the Eastside Trail, and the count the number of red cars sitting in the Home Depot parking lot.