In the summer, if you ask me if I like living in Chattanooga, I will say yes and will tell you all about the great places to visit and fun activities to do in town. If you ask me in late autumn and winter however, I will simply respond that I hate it. I hate winter. I hate the cold, I hate the dark, I hate gloominess.
Therefore, in winter, I hate Chattanooga too.
I wrote a post three years ago about my struggles with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I absolutely still struggle with SAD, but since then, I have taught myself different techniques which help me enjoy the season with my family as best as I can, while still hating winter.
Below are some of my tips that have helped me to enjoy the season, even when I hate it:
One of my favorite places to go in Chattanooga when the weather is not great in the Tennessee Aquarium. In this indoor water paradise, it is easy to forget how things are outside while you enjoy the fish and other creatures.
Another good option is walking around Hamilton Place Mall (as long as retail therapy isn’t your love language as it is mine). If you want the indoor mall walking experience without the temptation to spend money, Eastgate Mall is your place! It is our indoor walking place whenever it is too cold or rainy outside.
Indoor Water Parks
We just happened to go to Great Wolf Lodge for the first-time last January when my oldest son had a competition for school there. It was exactly what I needed and didn’t know I was missing! The water park transported us away for a couple of days from the cold and bleak winter! The best part: it was only a couple of hours away from Chattanooga. Check out this post to see what other indoor water parks are nearby!
Immerse Yourself In The Holidays
Along with winter, Christmas can be quite stressful. However, I cannot dispute the joy it gives my kids and the cozy memories the season makes for the family. So, I embrace all of the Christmas activities. I will reluctantly put on the layers (I greatly dislike wearing layers, jackets, and closed-toe shoes), and go out and enjoy lights at the zoo, drive to see the Christmas lights at Rock City, or take the North Pole Limited at the Tennessee Valley Railroad. I get over being cold for these amazing memories with my kids.
Embrace The Warm Days
One of the advantages of being in Tennessee in winter is that, though it may be cold 86 days of the winter, there are occasional days with beautiful weather. I remember New Year’s Eve a few years ago taking an amazing walk with my then babies because we had the most amazing weather that day. When you have one of those days, enjoy it every chance that you can.
Ok, not literally, but plan a vacation to a warm destination. This has been my absolute biggest lifesaver in getting through the winter. Knowing I have a tropical vacation planned has made me relate the vacation with it getting colder here, so I actually get that warm and fuzzy I am going to be at the beach in the near future feeling when the brisk air starts blowing in. Another good thing about our location is that we are not terribly far from several beaches, though I would recommend the Florida beaches in the winter. As much as I love Jekyll Island, GA, it is about as cold as it is here in the winter, but at least it has a beach!