Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?
Living in Atlanta, it may seem like the only way to see falling snow is by watching a holiday movie or by traveling hundreds of miles north.
And while you may not be able to peer out a window at your home to the surprise and delight of snow, you can still get your winter fix, with a growing number of places across metro Atlanta bringing tons and tons of snow.
From snow angels and snow mountains to ice skating rinks and icy water slides, Atlanta delivers snow and ice. Here’s a look at six places to enjoy wintertime diversions.
If you are itching for snow, you can get your fix at Stone Mountain Park.
The park will generate about 50,000 tons of snow — including up to 360 tons of fresh snow per day — to maintain all the snow tubing lanes for winter outdoor fun. Situated on the lawn well known to viewers of the laser light shows, the snow park features various tubing runs and activities, including the Avalanche Alley family tube ride and the Snow Zone area. Younger kids can tube, make the ultimate snowmen and snow angels and throw snowballs in a snowball shooting gallery. (Consider heading over to Stone Mountain Christmas to check out “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D” and visit the Snow Angel at her Snow Palace to experience a dusting of snow magic.)
Snow Mountain. Nov. 19 through Feb. 26 (open every day except Christmas from Dec. 16 to Jan. 4; on a limited schedule until Dec. 16, and in January and February). Snow Mountain’s hours are often 10 a.m.-7 p.m., especially during the holiday period, but check website for hours on the day you plan to go. Tickets are good for a two-hour tubing session and all-day snow play. Snow Mountain pass, $28; $15 parking per vehicle. Combo ticket for Snow Mountain and Stone Mountain Christmas: From Nov. 19 until Jan. 4, you can get a $44.95 combo ticket that may be used on the same day or two separate days and includes a two-hour snow tubing session, all-day access to the snow play area and all access to Stone Mountain Christmas. (Note: Stone Mountain Christmas hours often differ from Snow Mountain’s.)
Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 800-401-2407, www.stonemountainpark.com.
LanierWorld Winter Adventure
LanierWorld is turning into “Winter Adventure” — with snow machines providing snow for two snow play areas and snow tubing.
Glide through bubbles in a Bubble Skating Rink. For daredevils, slippery water slides of summer will be dry — no water, no snow, no ice — and instead will have a special coating to help sleds go fast. The ever-popular wave pool was drained, and is being transformed into six snow tubing lanes.
LanierWorld’s Winter Adventure will also comprise a cornucopia of carnival rides, fire pits for roasting marshmallows, seasonal shopping and visits with Santa during the holiday season. After working up an appetite, head to some of LanierWorld’s popular eateries (which will be open throughout the season), including Gianni’s Pizzeria, Italian Bistro, Sweetwater Shack, and Nathan’s Hot Dogs. Visit Santa’s workshop with Santa photo opportunities inside and more snacks.
And once the sun goes down, the lights go up as car riders and people on foot take in the dazzling lights show at the resort. In addition to the Winter Adventure, Lanier Islands will once again offer the driving tour of holiday lights back to the Islands with Magical Lights — featuring mile after mile of twinkling, animated holiday light displays.
Prices for Winter Adventure vary depending on the time of day: $20-$36 for adults; $30-$36 for children (over 36 inches tall, under 36 inches free). Magical Lights (Nov. 18-Jan. 3): $45 per car (up to 10 passengers), $36 purchased online. Both are free for active military/law enforcement. Winter Adventure is Nov. 18 through Jan. 8 (open daily through Jan. 4, then the following weekend (Jan. 7-8) closes out the season; check website for exact openings and weather-related closings).
Lanier Islands, 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. 770-945-8787, www.lanierislands.com.
The historic Marietta Square transforms into a winter wonderland this holiday season, offering an ice skating rink for the second year.
Located at the southwest corner of Glover Park, the ice skating rink will be open Nov. 18 through late February.
Enjoy a bubble tea, cappuccino, hot chocolate or full meal at one of the cozy establishments right on the Square.
The Skating Rink hours: 4:30-9 p.m Mondays-Thursdays; 4:30-11 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays; and noon-8 p.m. Sundays. On holidays: 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Thanksgiving; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Christmas Eve; 2-9 p.m. Christmas Day; 10 a.m. to sometime (yet to be determined) after midnight New Year’s Eve; 2-9 p.m. New Year’s Day. When school is out: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; noon-8 p.m. Sundays.
Entrance is $12 and covers the skate rental. Free parking available in covered parking decks adjacent to the Strand Theater after 5 p.m. and on weekends. www.WinterWonderlandMariettaSquare.com.
Atlantic Station snow and ice
Beginning Nov. 19 and well beyond the holidays, enjoy snow and ice at Atlantic Station. Nov. 20 through Jan. 1, enjoy a (free) snowy walk through Atlantic Station’s Central Park. With holiday songs playing in the background, snow will fall at 7 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays. Enjoy even more snow on Fridays and Saturdays with shows on the hour: 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. There’s also a German market, Santa’s Cottage and Snowball Express, a holiday train ride.
If you feel like skating, Nov. 19 through Feb. 14, lace up at Skate Atlantic Station, home to a 10,000-square-foot, open-air ice skating rink. Special themed skate nights will be announced soon. Cost covers skate rental. Adults, $13; $10 for children under 12. seniors 65 and older, and active military. 4-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; noon-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; noon-9 p.m. Sundays; 3-11 p.m. holidays (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day).
Atlantic Station, 1380 Atlantic Drive N.W., Atlanta. atlanticstation.com/2016/10/31/skate-atlantic-station-2016/
Avalon on Ice in Alpharetta
Nov. 20 through Jan. 22, skaters can enjoy the Rockefeller-inspired skating rink at Avalon, a mixed-use development in Alpharetta. Start planning your outfit now for Disco Skate night, when guests are encouraged to don their best disco outfit and boogie skates as they go back in time to the ’70s. The best-dressed skater will win a special prize, and all disco-attired skaters will get into the rink for $2 off. Jan. 14, 5-10 p.m. There's also a skate school, Saturday mornings, 9-9:45 a.m., and Sundays 11-11:45 a.m. Pricier private lessons also available.
Pricing (includes skate rental): $18 per person, $14 kids under 10. Skate School: $34, private lessons: $54 for the first student, $15 each for up to four more. Hours: 3-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; noon-7 p.m. Sundays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. holidays (school holidays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day).
Avalon, 2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta (located off Old Milton Parkway). www.experienceavalon.com.
Centennial Olympic Park Ice Rink
The ice skating rink is back this winter at Centennial Olympic Park. Situated in downtown Atlanta, the skating rink is within walking distance of many attractions including Skyview Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Nov. 18 through Jan. 8. 4:30-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 4:30-11 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays. (Check website for different hours on holidays and school breaks.) Ninety-minute-long sessions: $12 (includes rental).
Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave. W. N.W., Atlanta. 404-222-7275, www.gwcca.org/Ice-Rink.
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