The winter months in metro Atlanta mean snow and ice is possible, however, certainly not a given. But that doesn’t mean that plans can’t be made for a variety of fun outdoor activities including sliding, gliding and racing across frozen surfaces.
Whether one stays in DeKalb County or ventures into neighboring territories, one can easily find several places where snow and ice are practically guaranteed to be in place—regardless of the temperature outside.
Here are a few of our favorites that we heartily recommend:
Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park
It’s back for the third consecutive year. Snow Mountain–a hillside of manmade snow produced around the clock despite temperatures that don’t always dip below freezing.
Young and old alike can dash down one of 20 tubing runs, and new this year is a Avalanche Alley, a group tubing experience in which five guests can ride together down the 400-foot tubing hill. Also making its debut this season is Fort Snow, an area for children to crawl through a tunnel of snow. And they haven’t forgotten about the little ones, there’s a special area for children ages 3 and younger called Little Angels. Don’t forget about building a snowman, throwing snowballs at targets, creating an igloo or warming up by a fire and toasting marshmallows for smores—there are places for all of this, too. Those who just want to watch can catch the action from an observation deck.
Snow Mountain will be producing 320 tons of fresh powder daily using treated and recycled lake water until it closes on March 7.
Cost ranges from $17 to $27 for a two-hour session. For more information, visit www.snowmountainpark.com or call (770) 498-5690. Stone Mountain Park is located U.S. Highway 78, exit 8 in Stone Mountain.
The Rink at Park Tavern
A new venue for frigid fun is Atlanta’s The Rink at the Park Tavern restaurant, located adjacent to Piedmont Park.
Ice skating takes place in a heated tent complete with piped-in music and rink-side dining. The rink is 85 feet long by 40 feet wide and can accommodate 200 skaters at a time. Tickets can be purchased for a skating session for $10, with an additional charge of $5 for skate rental.
This venue uses a system of underground piping of glycol, a type of anti-freeze, with layers of water to create the skating surface.
Rink-side treats include a number of special drinks such as French Hot Chocolate for $4, Ellijay Apple Fritters a la Mode for $8 and several hot and cold cocktails such as the $7 Cinnalove, made with Absolut Vanilla, Irishman’s coffee and cinnamon.
The Rink at Park Tavern is located at 500 10th St. in Atlanta and is open through Feb. 14.
For more information, visit www.parktavern.com or call (404) 249-0001.
Ice skating rink at Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park in the heart of Atlanta is the granddaddy of all the local outdoor venues. It was 13 years ago when the park opened its first skating rink and it’s been popular ever since.
Open daily through Jan. 30, the rink allows visitors to take to the ice or hang out in covered observation seating complete with music and theatrical lighting. Admission is $7 per person and $2 for skate rental for a 90-minute session. Lockers are $1. Take note this venue does not accept credit cards. Discounts are available for students with identification and groups of 20 or more.
Centennial Olympic Park is located at 265 Centennial Olympic Park Drive in Atlanta. For more information, visit www.centennialpark.com or call (404) 223-4412.