Non-touristy ways for kids and adults to beat Atlanta’s cold weather

There are ways to beat the cold in Atlanta.
There are ways to beat the cold in Atlanta.

The roughest thing about fall and winter in Atlanta, arguably, is that the weather isn't consistent. One day it's chilly, the next you could go comfortably all day without a jacket.

That’s why the really frigid days — the ones that bring to mind cliches about polar bears and toenails — seem to come smack dab out of nowhere. You wake up one morning, check the weather and see a degree that sends you reeling.

But fear not. On those days, you and your family will just have to find a way to beat the cold. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Play the kind of games that can’t fit inside your den

The joy that comes from playing big, classic games transcends age. The Painted Pin has indoor games such as bocce, shuffleboard and ping pong — all of which are sideshows to the main attraction of bowling. The slight caveat is that those younger than 21 are only allowed on Saturday and Sunday before 5 p.m. Ormsby's, another game-playing place popular with adults, is a bit more lenient; it's open to pre-21ers until 6 p.m. daily.

Re-explore Ponce City Market

The popular mixed-use development never gets old, because its constantly welcoming new things — especially, it seems, during winter months. You could kill a few days there and still not experience everything. Young ones already love the old-fashioned candy shop and children-friendly bookstore, but the market has recently added an independent toy store and a pop-up gallery with a very unique mural. Plus, a 3,500-square-foot ice skating rink opens on the roof on Nov. 20. (The rink is 21 and up access only after 5 p.m.)

Stay active, athletes

Sports don't need to be discounted just because there's a nip in the air. The soccer field on top of the Five Points MARTA station offers youth winter programs with open play for ages eight to 16 on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. In Buckhead, D-Bat has indoor batting cages, pitching machines and other services available.

For the golfers, TopGolf Atlanta includes more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays and a rooftop terrace with a fire pit; anyone under 16 just needs to always be supervised by someone older than 21. And Stone Summit's new bouldering gym in Midtown welcomes ages 12 to 15 who have received the under-16 bouldering orientation; climbers under the age of 12 may boulder if they're approved members of an authorized climbing team or current members of USA Climbing.

Plan a change of scenery that involves a hot tub

Thinking more bigger picture, you could plan a vacation to escape the cold. But that doesn't mean you have to get out of dodge. There are plenty of staycation-suitable places in the city limits, ones that are perfect for getting that extra warm and cozy feeling. Pack the family up and head for an Airbnb with indoor fireplaces and hot tubs in desirable Atlanta neighborhoods such as Cabbagetown, Midtown and Ormewood Park.

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Atlanta is No. 11 for best winter destinations, based on these rankings Travel costs and hassles: 2 Local costs: 20 Weather: 8 Cold-weather: 2 Safety: 8