SB NOTE: In light of COVID-19, please see the latest CDC guidelines for the most current information on how to remain safe during the pandemic. Additionally, you may want to call ahead before checking out these experiences to ensure that details haven’t changed due to the pandemic.
When it comes to unique activities to warm up your winter, the South does not disappoint. From rooftop skating in Atlanta to drive-thru music and light experiences in Music City, there’s something for everyone to soak in the season and find fun and safe ways to end 2020 on a joyful note. Here are six Southern winter experiences you don’t want to miss!
6 Southern Winter Experiences to Explore
Take an Underground Light Tour
Lights Under Louisville
1841 Taylor Ave Louisville, KY 40213
Louisville’s MEGA Cavern is all dressed up for the holidays again this year with Lights Under Louisville. Load up the family in the car, and drive through 17 miles of underground passages that are decked out in millions of lights and more than 850 lit-up characters. Known as the only underground light show in the world, Lights Under Louisville invites visitors to enjoy a contact-free experience from the comfort of their own car. Lights Under Louisville runs through January 3, 2021, and tickets start at $29.99. Note that due to COVID-19, cash is not accepted. Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time. Learn more HERE.
Skate the Sky & Dine In an Igloo
The Roof at Ponce City Market
675 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30308 • (770) 999-1530
The Roof at Ponce City Market has transformed into a winter wonderland until January 3, 2021. For six weeks, the top of the South’s tallest brick building features a 3,500-square-foot ice skating rink, six private igloos, mini-golf and more. On Saturdays and Sundays, skaters 12 and older — or 5 and older when accompanied by an adult — can enjoy family hours from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., skating the afternoon away with The Roof’s resident Ice Queen. The 21-and-older crowd can appreciate skating along to tunes from a live DJ, who plays sets on The Roof every Friday and Saturday, starting at 8 p.m. All ages are welcome to participate in faux fur coat mini-golf, too, which is included with an unlimited gameplay wristband for Skyline Park and skating reservation. Skate the Sky admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children.
The Roof also offers an igloo experience, where up to six guests can enjoy a cozy, private space with a view, starting at $175. Rally your pod crew to enjoy food and beverage service, including specialty hot cocktails, champagne and more. Family-friendly igloos can be reserved for Saturday and Sunday mornings only. Ponce City Market’s rooftop bar and kitchen, 9 Mile Station, also offers igloo options so guests can enjoy views of Atlanta from their own space during dinner service. 9 Mile Station igloos are $125 Sunday through Thursday and $175 Friday through Saturday.
Drive-Thru Light & Music Show
Jingle Beat at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
625 Smith Ave, Nashville, TN 37203
For a fun, socially distant holiday experience, snag tickets to “Jingle Beat,” a drive-thru holiday light experience taking place at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. The two-mile drive takes place on the actual speedway and offers a smorgasbord of lights dancing to the beats of beautifully mixed Christmas tunes. “Jingle Beat” is the second such creation by Eamotion (“Tempo” was the first, which launched in September), a group comprised of some of the music business’s most talented designers and tech folks. When the pandemic rendered them out of work for the time being, they put their skills, equipment and creativity to work by entertaining people at a time when they needed it most.
All ages will marvel at the lights and sounds, and they’ll wonder how in the world did they do that?! “Jingle Beat” runs through December 31 and tickets are $45-$55. Learn more HERE.
Light the Night & Ring in the New Year
Callaway Resort & Gardens
17800 US Hwy 27, Pine Mountain, GA 31822 • (844) 512-3826
The holiday season at Callaway Resort & Gardens‘ nearly 30-year-old Fantasy in Lights display has returned in 2020 with a brand new addition. Named one of the top 10 light displays in the world by National Geographic, this year’s exhibit includes a scene that spans the length of nearly two football fields and boasts a 10-story-tall Christmas tree — otherwise known as the tallest Christmas tree in the South. The exhibit runs through January 4, 2021, and tickets start at $19.95 for adults and $14.95 for children ages 3 to 11. Little ones 2 and younger do not require a ticket. Purchases include a trip through Fantasy in Lights with the option to ride the Jolly Trolley or drive through in a personal vehicle; access to the Christmas Village for shopping, dining, visits with Santa and more; and a complimentary day admission ticket to visit Callaway Gardens.
Callaway also offers Fantasy & Fireworks, a special event for New Year’s Eve. The family-friendly festivities take place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on December 31 at Robin Lake Beach. Available as an add-on package to overnight accommodations, the New Year’s Eve event is full of food, fun and fireworks and includes admission to Fantasy in Lights. Tickets for both events should be purchased online ahead of time.
Witness a Miracle
Miracle Holiday Pop-up
Various locations in multiple states
What began in 2014 as a single pop-up bar in an unfinished space in New York’s East Village has evolved and expanded to include more than 80 locations around the world — including more than a dozen in the South. The holiday cocktail pop-up bar features whimsical decor, themed music and holiday-inspired drinks. This over-the-top holiday experience, dubbed Miracle, is open until Christmas Day. The menu varies by location, but each place features several festive cocktails, like “Sleigh Fuel” (Old Grand-Dad BIB bourbon, cinnamon, eggnog and coffee) and “The Toddy Who Stole Christmas” (Belvedere vodka, lemon, mint, ginger, Angostura and orange). Visit miraclepopup.com for locations, reservation information, delivery options and more.
Dine-in Style in Your Own Private Yurt
109 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 662-5999
Yurt Villages is a new, covered and heated outdoor experience from Resy and American Express. Available exclusively for Amex cardholders, the custom-designed tents serve as miniature private dining rooms for four to six people at 13 restaurants throughout the U.S. — one of which is at The Grey in Savannah, GA. Guests can enjoy various specialty menu items, including oysters with mignonette, winter citrus crudo, crab Louie, sweetgrass fondue, pork schnitzel, ribeye, whole fish and more. While enjoying the mid-century modern vibes of their private yurt, diners also receive access to special on-site perks, such as housemade granola and pecan milk for brunch. Reservations can be made online and are available from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. for dinner and from 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for brunch. Dinner is $125, and Sunday brunch is $75.
Cheers to a safe and fun-filled holiday season!
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