It’s been quite a mild winter so far, but rest assured, the cold will arrive! With the coming snow and the cooler temperatures you may find yourself limiting outdoor time. Instead of staying inside and binge-watching the latest Netflix series, here are some ideas for staying warm in Athens County during the winter.
Concerts, performing arts and more: The Ohio University Performing Arts Series brings world class musicians, comedians, broadway plays to Athens County. The 2019-2020 series brings The Color Purple, ERTH’s Prehistoric Aquarium (shown above), The Indigo Girls and many, many more. Check out their website for all shows, times, tickets and more. Shows are held at locations throughout the county including Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, Stuart’s Opera House, The Athena Cinema and The Baker Student Center. Find events for date nights, group events and family fun.
See the latest flick: When the temperature is cold, and the weather is dreary, the movie theater is the perfect place to warm up and watch the latest movies. Located in Uptown Athens, the Athena Cinema is perfect for watching independent films and the soon-to-be cult classics. Head to Movies 10 which also houses The Fun Barn in Nelsonville for a full day of family fun. Movie tickets are always $4, and popcorn is only $1. The Fun Barn has plenty of arcade games, miniature bowling and skeeball to pass time before the movie starts. The Athena Grand plays the latest popular movies and often hosts special, seasonal screenings throughout the season.
Grab some friends and head to a coffee shop: There’s nothing quite like sipping a hot cup of tea or a delicious mug of coffee while catching up with good friends. Athens County is home to many unique and tasty coffee shops. If you’re Uptown, Donkey Coffee and Espresso offers a variety of drinks, fair trade coffee, and has plenty of seating options. Relax on a couch, grab a seat by a window or settle down at a table. You can also play some board games with friends. Find some peace and quiet at Catalyst Café, while enjoying picturesque views of Whites Mill. If you’re in Nelsonville, FullBrooks Café is a great spot for reading and grabbing a bite to eat. A new addition to the coffee shop scene is Town’s End Coffee Bar (pictured above). Unique coffee blends, delicious local treats; all that’s missing is YOU!
Get active with some indoor sports: If you still want some exercise but don’t want to be outside, Athens has you covered! Rollerbowl Lanes offers 16 lanes to master your bowling skills. You may even bump into some Ohio University students practicing for their bowling classes. Grab your rollerskates, your friends and make your way to Dow’s Rollarena. The rink first opened in 1952 and remains original and just as fun! If you like skating but want to brave cooler temps, then Bird Arena is the perfect place to practice your ice skating routine.
Hop on a train: The historic Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, located in Nelsonville, offers many unique experiences and rides throughout the season. They’ve been providing family entertainment since 1972. With their newly acquired dining car, new foodie-inspired rides will be added throughout the year. Hop aboard for the Valentine’s Day Dinner ride or the Leap Year Brew & Pizza Express for truly one of a kind rides. Find their full train schedule, pricing and more on their website.
Admire art and history: Looking to get out of the house and learn something new? The Kennedy Museum of Art is completely free for visitors. Exhibitions vary, but the quality of the art does not. It’s spectacular. Art shows are always happening at the Dairy Barn Arts Center. Their gallery shop carries an impressive amount of local art for purchase. Learn about the history of Athens at the Southeast Ohio History Center. This museum of local culture features rotating exhibits, collections and a research/genealogy library.
Wine and dine at a local restaurant, winery or brewery: Comfort food tastes even better when it’s cold out. Athens has plenty of choices when it comes to finding a place to eat. Tis the season to try something new! Whether you’re looking for a bite Uptown or want to try a local brewery or winery while out and about, Athens has plenty of options to choose from. You’ll be warm and full in no time!
Create your own art: Passion Works Studio, home of the Official Flower of the City of Athens, hosts many art-making events throughout the year. Work directly with the artists of Passion Works on pieces to make your world a bit more colorful. The Dairy Barn Arts Center also hosts many hands on art making workshops. Make anything from knitted socks to your own pottery and just about everything in between. The only limit is your creativity!
Make a weekend of it: Don’t let the fun stop with just a day… spend the night and extend the joy! Athens County offers unique and traditional lodging; something for everyone. Find your perfect place and get the fun started.