Family-Friendly Winter Activities in Athens


Kids and their families showing winter who’s boss at Rollerbowl Lanes in Athens. Photograph by Joel Prince.

Athens County is filled with great places to keep your family busy during the cold winter months. When the temperature drops outside, grab the kids and head to these six inside destinations to help fight the winter blues and make warm memories together.

Movies 10/Family Fun Barn, 14333 US-33, Nelsonville

Not your average movie theater, the Fun Barn (as it’s known locally) is also home to a huge arcade. Teach your kids classic arcade games, like whack-a-mole and skee ball, then let them school you on modern favorites like Dance Dance Revolution. When everyone is ready for a break, grab some popcorn or even pizza, cheeseburgers and hotdogs from the concession area and then head into the movie theater.

Rollerbowl Lanes, 28 Palmer Street, Athens

Located right in the heart of Athens, Rollerbowl Lanes has been hosting family fun since 1958 (pun intended). Stop by Friday and Saturday evenings for cosmic bowling. If your game isn’t quite what it should be, head over to their bumper lanes. Check out their specials page for daily deals on shoes, rentals and snacks.

Swimming in an Athens-Area Hotel

There’s something about staying at a hotel that feels like vacation, even if you haven’t left the county. Book an evening or weekend at one of Athens County’s convenient hotels, and pack swimsuits for an impromptu family pool party—in the middle of winter. The Fairfield Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and Baymont Inn each offer indoor pools.

Ice Skating at Bird Arena, 102 Oxbow Trail, Athens

Skate the same ice as the Ohio University Hockey team. They’ve won the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s national title four times, so you know Bird Arena brings out the best in skaters. Recreational skating is available Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Athens Community Center, 701 E. State Street, Athens

While there’s a wealth of programming available at the Community Center to keep the entire family going all year long, the center also offers day passes to try out classes or to use the gymnasium. Be sure to contact the center for availability and age restrictions.

Dow’s Rollarena, 15329 Elm Rock Road, Nelsonville

An Athens County classic, Dow’s Rollarena is the perfect place to burn off some cabin fever. The arena’s classic vintage vibe keeps with its 50+ year history. Certify your skating prowess by besting one of their skating games like the Tootise Roll Scramble or the always-classic limbo game. Dow’s Rollarena is open for public skating on Sundays 1:30pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm, Thursdays 7pm-9pm, and Saturdays 7pm-10:30pm.