Last week here in Atlanta we made history and set new record-breaking numbers as “Snow Storm 2011” plowed into the city with full force. The entire city was on advised and forced lockdown, due to the massive nine and 10 inches that blanketed Atlanta streets, highways, homes and the like. In short, we received enough snow over the past week to know how to spend a snow day and where the best places and activities are to ensure that you bring out your inner kid and play in the snow with reckless abandon. Seeing that it is highly likely that Atlanta will see more snow before Old Man Winter decides to pack up and leave, I have compiled a timely list of the best ways to enjoy the snow in Atlanta and make memories for years to come!
1 Stone Mountain
This historic and hugely popular Atlanta attraction is home to many activities throughout the year, many of which correspond with the current season. Currently, as Atlantans are in the dead of winter, Stone Mountain has created something called “Snow Mountain” where the entire park is transformed into a virtual winter wonderland. Through a little magic and a few well-kept secrets, Stone Mountain offers up tons of fresh snow daily to ensure that you can enjoy all of the snow-related activities to the fullest. There are so many things to do at “Snow Mountain” that it’s hard to list them all, but here are a few of the most popular and most fun: Fort Snow (turrets, tunnels and mid-sized slides perfect for viewing the snow from above or below), Snowman Valley (make your very own snowy friend and accessorize with help from the Snow Closet), Igloo City (construct a fort, make a tower, dig a tunnel or build your very own city), Little Angels (designed for little ones ages three and under to experience all the fun in a safe environment), SnoDeck (this central spot on the mountain is perfect when you want to take a break and sip something warm) and SnoFire Point (enjoy a warm, rustling bonfire while roasting marshmallows and sipping hot coco.) With so many great things to do, I suggest making “Snow Mountain” a weekly adventure all throughout the winter season.
US Hwy 78 East
2 The Rink at Park Tavern
With great anticipation and fanfare, a new family friendly ice skating rink opened in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park during this past holiday season. I’m speaking of The Rink at Park Tavern which has become a huge success since it was unveiled to Atlanta residents. We here in Atlanta may not be used to the severely cold temperatures that dominate other cities this time of year, but that doesn’t stop us from indulging in fun activities to be had in the cold. In this case, I’m referring to ice skating, that lovely past time involving cute hats, gloves and scarves and the occasional bruised knees and elbows courtesy of falling all over the frigid ice. But, that’s the great thing about ice skating, regardless if you fall; you still have an amazing time. The Rink at Park Tavern is 85 feet long and 40 feet wide with heated tent, surround sound system and a rink that is created with harvested rainwater. There is also rink-side dining, hot chocolate, specialty cocktails, and nightly wine and sushi specials.
500 10th St. NE
3 Urban Grind
I know the temptation of playing in the snow is a great one, but there comes a time when you must come in from the cold, ice and snow and warm up your fingers, toes and insides with something warm and delicious. Urban Grind is a coffeehouse that has so much to offer in the form of product, entertainment, atmosphere, décor and service that you will want to spend hours on end at this hotspot. Located just off of Marietta Street, this is a multi-purpose haven for the city’s artistic set. Urban Grind is a lot more than just a place to grab a cup of coffee. It evokes a throwback sense of indie artist spirit and appreciation that Atlanta certainly needs and seems to be greatly responding to. The interior is set up like a cozy living room and there is definitely a sense of comfort as soon as you step inside. But let’s get back to the coffee and other warm liquid treats, which are sinfully delicious. Be sure to try the Turtle mocha, white raspberry truffle, mint condition and the American cappuccino. Yummy!
962 Marietta St. NW
4 Centennial Olympic Park Ice Skating Rink
This past fall marked the 13th anniversary of the popular ice rink located right in the heart of Atlanta. For visitors and natives of Atlanta, the Centennial Olympic Park Ice Skating Rink has become a tradition for the cold winter months when a little fun is in order. Whether you want to practice your triple-axle or just hold on to a loved one to prevent falling on the ice, everyone and every skill level is welcomed to partake in the icy fun. Visitors also enjoy covered observation seating, theatrical lighting on real ice and festive music befitting of the chilly atmosphere. This is undoubtedly one of the best times you will have experiencing Atlanta in winter.
265 Park Ave. West NW
5 Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
Winter can be terribly rough on the skin and on the muscles, resulting in a much-needed place where you can get away from all of the snow and ice and properly pamper yourself at one of the city’s most luxurious spots. For the complete upscale luxury experience, there is no better place to visit than the Four Seasons Atlanta for all of your spa treatment needs. With a reputation of elegance and exemplary customer service, you will feel relaxed, refreshed and radiant. Although they have varying treatments for whatever ails you, their spa packages are absolutely fantastic. From facials and mani-pedis, to massages and body wraps, you’ll definitely be back for year-round pampering that spoils you silly.
75 14th St.