Being a mom during the winter months can be rough. Chapped lips, runny noses and an endless supply of lost hats can drive even the most together mama to the brink of insanity. To make matters worse, cold weather means 1000% more indoor time. In my house this usually means no one changes out of pajamas and we somehow end up watching an entire season of Mighty Machines. The day ends with restless kids bouncing off the walls and me, unshowered and annoyed, inevitably losing my cool and feeling guilty afterwards.
The only way to break this shame cycle is getting up and out of the house. Luckily, Chattanooga has a great selection of indoor activities to help your whole family beat the winter blues. (Click on the green link to visit the business sites.) Also be sure to check out our Guide to Chattanooga Enrichment and Activities!
Best Chattanooga Family Indoor Activities
The Free and Inexpensive Stuff
Chattanooga Public Library: The four branches of the Chattanooga Library have activities (singalongs, story times, Lego Clubs) daily for babies, kids and teens. Check the calendar for specific times and age groups. Most of the libraries also have toys and activities for kids to enjoy during open hours.
Barnes & Noble: Story time on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11am. Barnes & Noble also has toys available for kids to use during store hours.
Battles for Chattanooga Museum: Summer hours: 9am-6pm Rest of the year: 10am-5pm. $8 per adult. $6 for kids age 6-12. Free for children under four.
Open Gym at Gymnastics Center of Chattanooga (Hixson and Ootlewah): Preschool Open Gym ($5 per child) Elementary School Open Gym Ages 4-12 ($10 per child) Check schedule for location and time.
SpareTime Bowling (Brainerd and Hixson): Open Mon-Thu 9am-Midnight. Fri and Sat 9am-2am. Sun 9am-11pm. $3.99 per person per game Mon-5pm Fri. $4.99 per person per game 5pm Fri-11pm Sun. $28.99 per lane per hour Fridays and Saturdays after 5pm. $4.25 for shoe rental. $15.56 per person for galactic bowling.
Pin Strikes: Open 11am-11pm Sun-Thu. 11am-1am Fri. 10am-1am Sat. $3.99 per person per game or $17.99 per lane per hour 11am-6pm Mon-Thu. $4.75 per person per game or $22.99 per lane per hour 6pm-close Mon-Thu. $5.25 per person per lane or $28.99 per lane per hour 10am-close Fri. Cosmic Bowling: $5.99 per person per game or $32.99 per lane per hour 9pm-close Fri and Sat. Shoe rental is $4.59 per person.
Winner’s Circle Family Fun Center (Fort Oglethorpe): School year hours: Open 4pm-9pm Thu. 4pm-11pm Fri. 12pm-11pm Sat. 1pm-9pm Sun. Closed Mon-Wed. Laser tag: $4 per person or 4 for $25. Arcade tokens: 4 for $1.00
Hamilton Skate Place: $6.00 per person 1pm-5pm Sun. $5.00 per person 4.30pm-9pm Tue and Thu (Family of four admission $15.00). $8 per person 7pm-11pm Fri. Sat 10am-noon, 8 years and under only, $5. Noon-6pm, 13 and under, $6.00. 6pm-11pm, Hip Hop Night, $8.00. Closed Mon and Wed.
Chuck E. Cheese: Open 11am-9pm Mon-Thur. 11am-10pm Fri. 10am-10pm Sat. Admission is free. Games are one token each. Check website for coupons and deals.
Regal Cinemas Hamilton Place 8: Open 9am-11.30pm Mon-Sun. $2.50 tickets. $1.00 matinee tickets and $2.00 evening tickets every Wednesday. Check website for movies and showtimes.
Home Depot Kids’ Workshop: 1st Saturday of every month, 9am to Noon. Kids can build a craft to take home. Free to all kids but it’s best to register beforehand.
Whole Foods Market Kids’ Club: Monthly craft and snack time.
Modern Play: Open play gym on Wednesdays at 11. $5.
The (Slightly) More Expensive Stuff
Tennessee Aquarium: Open 10am-6pm. $29.95 per adult, $18.95 per child 3-12, Children under 3 free. $145 for an annual family membership.
Creative Discovery Museum: Open 10am-5pm. Closed Wednesdays. Extended open hours and opened on Wednesdays during the summer. $12.95 for adults and children ages 2-12. Annual memberships start at $75.
Hunter Museum of American Art: Plenty of kids’ activities including Pre-K Days, Art After School and Homeschool Workshops. Open 10am-5pm M, Tue, F, Sat. Noon-5pm W and Sun. 10am-8pm Thu. $15 per adult. Free for children 17 and under. Annual memberships start at $50.
Ruby Falls: Open daily, 8am-8pm. $19.95 per adult. $11.95 per children ages 3-12. Free for children under 3.
International Towing and Recovery Museum: Winter Hours: 10am-4.30pm Mon-Sat. 11am-5pm Sun. Summer Hours: 9am-5pm Mon-Sat. 11am-5pm Sun. $10 per adult. $6 for kids 6-14. Free for kids under 6.
Superfly Extreme Air Sports: Mon-Sat KidJump (6 and under) 9am-10am. Open Jump (all ages) 10am-9pm. Closed Sunday. Ages 6 and under jump for $8 for one hour, $15 for two hours. Ages 7 and older jump for $13 for one hour, $20 for two hours.
High Point Climbing and Fitness Kid Zone: Open 10am-8pm Sun. 6am-10pm Mon, Wed, Fri. 10am-10pm Tue, Thu, Sat. $15 per adult. $13 per child under 10.
Tennessee Bouldering Authority: Open 10am-10pm Mon and Wed. 12pm-10pm Tue and Thu. 10am-9pm Fri. 12pm-8pm Sat and Sun. $10 for a one day pass. $5 for shoe rental. $5 for a one day pass for kids 13 and under. $2.50 for shoe rental for kids 13 and under.