A Southerner’s guide to winter sports

Don’t hibernate just because it’s chilly outside. Try a few of these cold-weather activities instead

Everyone knows Atlantans aren’t used to snow and ice, and we’re not too versed in winter sports either. But just because the temperature drops outside—don’t worry, it will be warm in a few weeks!—doesn’t mean we have to stay inactive or endure a sweaty gym. The city offers plenty of opportunities for trying cold-weather sports, including ice-skating, ice hockey, snowboarding, snow tubing, and even curling. Here is our guide for where to go and how much each activity costs. We’ve also included a few tips for novices.

Photograph courtesy of Stone Mountain Park
Photograph courtesy of Stone Mountain Park

Photograph courtesy of Stone Mountain Park

The IceForum (Duluth and Kennesaw), the Cooler at the Alpharetta Family Skate Center, and the Marietta Ice Center are permanent rinks. Seasonal facilities include the St. Regis Atlanta, Skate Atlantic Station, Centennial Olympic Park, Southwest Rink at Park Tavern, and Avalon at Alpharetta. Cost is about $8 to $10; $3 for skate rentals. The St. Regis is $30 per hour, including skate rental.
Tip: Most venues offer both figure and hockey skate rentals. Even though figure skates have pesky toe picks, their blade shape makes it easier for beginners to balance.

Ice hockey
Most local rinks offer fall and spring adult hockey leagues, and the Cooler has a league for female players called the Lady Thrashers. The IceForum, the Cooler, and the Marietta Ice Center also offer adult sticktimes as pickup games. Adult sticktime at the Cooler and the IceForum is $10. To just watch hockey, check out the minor league Gwinnett Gladiators.

The Atlanta Curling Club practices at the Marietta Ice Center, and the club offers lessons to the public. Beginners can borrow equipment. Intro classes cost $20 and are offered every few weeks.

Snow tubing
Stone Mountain Park turns Memorial Lawn into Snow Mountain for tubing from November to February 22. No experience is required, so just arrive and have fun! Everyone must be at least 42 inches tall to ride a tube, and children under 16 require adult supervision. Don’t bring your own tubing gear; only park-provided equipment is allowed. General admission is $28 and includes two hours of tubing.
Tips: Wear warm, water-resistant clothes, including gloves and boots. Consider muffs or hats to cover your ears, and wear layers in case you get sweaty or wet. The park sells some basic gear like hats and gloves.

This article originally appeared in our 2015 Health issue.