How to Spend a Winter Afternoon in Athens


Avon Lake at Sells Park is an invigorating afternoon diversion and is right in the City of Athens.
Photograph by Joel Prince

One of the questions visitors ask us most often is “How should I spend my afternoon in Athens?” You’ve asked, so we’ve answered with our new ongoing blog series to help you decide just that.

First up: There’s no reason to stay cooped up inside when you could be out exploring, even in the winter. Whether you enjoy the chilly temps or prefer to stay warm and toasty, there are many ways to spend a frosty afternoon in Athens.

Take a winter hike

Don’t mind bundling up when there’s a chill in the air? Athens’ many local hiking trails are for you. Don’t miss these five gorgeous winter hikes. Take a short drive to Stroud’s Run State Park, Sells ParkLake Hope or Lake Snowden to hike along one of the beautiful frozen lakes. Check out The Ridges Nature Trail if you’re staying closer to Ohio University, or take a long stroll down the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, which runs parallel to the Hocking River.

Shop ‘til you drop in Uptown Athens

Face the cold in short spurts while walking to and from the shops of Uptown Athens. The locally-owned shops are the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind treasures. From framed artwork to vintage clothing and jewelry to books and music, everything you never knew you needed is waiting for you on Court Street.

Ice skate at Bird Arena


Donkey Coffee in Uptown Athens.
Photograph by Joel Prince

There’s no better way to spend a wintry day than on the ice! Bird Arena, located on Ohio University’s campus, is an indoor ice skating rink that provides hours of fun. The arena offers skate rentals and open recreational skate four days a week. Since it’s so close to Court Street, you can warm up after your skate with a mug of something steamy.

Discover Athens’ art

Channel your inner Van Gogh and immerse yourself in our small town’s art and culture at one of the local museums or galleries. The Kennedy Museum of Art, located at The Ridges and the site of the former Athens Lunatic Asylum, displays beautiful works of art. Stop by the Dairy Barn Arts Center to browse one-of-a-kind art pieces in the 6,500 square-foot, ever-changing gallery. The barn itself is a work of art; it’s listed on the National Register of Historical Places and sits on 36 acres of pastures. Plus, it’s is currently home to the OH+5 exhibit.

Catch a film at a local theatre

Get out of the house and catch a flick at a warm theatre. The Athena Cinema is an Athens icon on Court Street, showing many independent and international films. Or, settle in with a bag of popcorn at the Athena Grand, which plays all the must-see films and offers the classic movie theatre experience. Head to Movies 10, only seven minutes from Athens, to catch the latest movies at an affordable price. Movies 10 is also attached the Fun Barn, filled with arcade games, bumper cars, bowling and more for kids of all ages.