GET ACTIVE DURING TENNESSEE WINTERS
Jack Frost has us in his cold grip and, while it seems comfortable to be like the Tennessee black bears and hibernate during the winter, there’s more fun to be had doing and watching winter sports in Tennessee. From snowboarding, skiing, ice skating and catching a professional game of hockey or basketball, Tennessee urges to don our winter gear and get outside. Here are some places to stay active and entertained during the cold months:
The year-round attraction, Ober-Gatlinburg in Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski resort, opened its slopes before Christmas for skiers, snowboarders and tubers to enjoy. No snow in the weatherman’s forecast? Don’t worry because Ober-Gatlinburg has the recipe to makes its own snow for guests. The mountain has more activities like the alpine slide, the aerial tramway, ice skating and a chance for you to have a Wildlife Encounter by seeing a couple of cuddly black bears.
Ice Chalet in Knoxville welcomes you with a crystal clear ice rink where you can practice your best Michelle Kwan impression. You can bring your own skates or rent them for $3.50. General admission is $5.50. The Chalet also hosts curling competitions and performs an annual “Nutcracker” at the end of the year where skaters of all ages and skill levels may participate. If you want to take lessons, the Ice Chalet is home to the Robert Unger School of Ice Skating. Group lessons range from $20 to $220 and you can purchase 10 private lessons for $185.
Lace up your skates for a day on the ice at Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville. Tickets are $7 and skate rentals are $2. The Sportsplex hosts private skating lessons and open hockey sessions for adults ages 18 and older. A weekday session is $10 and a weekend session is $12. After you get your fill of ice skating or playing hockey, catch a Predators game at the Bridgestone Arena. The season kicks off Jan. 19 where they will square off against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Get your heart rate slightly elevated by taking a 1.5-mile hike to see Burgess Falls in Sparta. The hike is moderately strenuous so comfortable shoes are highly recommended. The water of Burgess Falls flows 250 feet which makes for numerous waterfalls. While on the trail, you will pass four beautiful waterfalls of varying height. You may even encounter some of the abundant wildlife that surrounds the area when you spend time at one of the overlooks.
Escape the cold by catching a game of hoops played by the great Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. Cheer for your favorite NBA team as they play teams from around the US. The fast-paced speed of these incredible professional athletes will keep you on edge until the buzzer blasts at game’s end. Most tickets range from $150 – $245. After the game, take a stroll in the crisp air down Beale Street and enjoy great music and some celebratory Memphis BBQ.
Enjoy some sports of your own by going to Mid-South Ice House in Memphis for ice skating, hockey and broomball, a crossover sport between hockey and soccer where you don’t wear skates. Admission is $10 and occurs 9:15 – 10:15 p.m. every Friday. It’s great exercise and a fun way to spend time with friends. Tickets are $10 to play a game of hard-hitting hockey and $15 if you drop-in. Take a turn around the ice skating rink for $8.50 with skate rentals at $2.50. Private hockey lessons or ice skating lessons are also available.
What are some of your favorite Tennessee winter sports?