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.
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.
6th Cavalry Museum: Current & Former 6th U.S. Cavalry – Free, Adults – $5, Students – $3, Children 5 and under – Free; Regular Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m, Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Everlasting Nation Museum: Free to the public, self-guided & guided tours available. Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Bessie Smith Cultural Center: Adults: $10, Senior Citizens & Students: $7.00, Members & Children (5 & under): Free; Tuesday – Friday: 10am-5pm
Open Gym at Gymnastics Center of Chattanooga (Hixson and Ootlewah): Preschool Open Gym ($5 per child) Elementary School Open Gym Ages 4-12 ($15 per child) Check schedule for location and time.
Spare Time Bowling: Open Bowling: $5.79 per person/per game, Friday & Saturday after 6PM: $35.99 per lane/per hour, Shoe Rental $4.99, Laser Tag $8.00 per person/per game; Sunday 9AM – 11PM, Monday – Thursday 10AM – 11PM, Friday 10AM – 1AM, Saturday 9AM – 1AM
Hamilton Skate Place: $7.00 per person 1pm-5pm Sun. $6.00 per person 6pm-9pm Tue and Thu, $9 per person 6pm-10pm Fri. Sat 10am-4pm $7.00. 6pm-10pm, Hip Hop Night, $9.00. 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.
Modern Play: Open play gym on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11:30am. $5.
The (Slightly) More Expensive Stuff
Tennessee Aquarium and IMAX Theater: Adults: $34.95, Children: $21.95, Sunday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm, Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm, Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day; Family memberships start at $175
Creative Discovery Museum: Adults and children over 2 years old are $15.95; Hours: Thursday – Tuesday 10am – 5pm; Memberships start at $85
Hunter Art Museum: Children and teens are always free! Adults are $20; Hours: Monday, 10am-5pm, Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday: 10am-5pm, Thursday: 10am-5pm, Friday: 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday: Noon-5pm; Memberships start at $50
Downtown YMCA: Prices vary on memberships; Monday – Friday: 4:45am – 9pm, Saturday: 6am – 6pm, Sunday: 1pm – 6pm
Ruby Falls: Adult $24.95, Child (ages 3-12) $13.95, Age 2 and under – FREE; Open Daily 8am – 8pm
Red Bank Bounce: Rates are for 2 hours of jump time; Children 2-11: $10.00 +tax, Children 2 and under are free with an older paying sibling(one free child to one paid child), Red Bank Bounce is for children 11 and under only. Wednesday – Sunday: 10am-6pm
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.
Xtreme Air: Ticket prices and rates vary; Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 9pm, Friday: 12pm – 11pm, Saturday: 10am – 11pm, Sunday: 1pm – 8pm.
Highpoint Climbing: Day Passes Adults: $19, Children $17, Daily 6am-10pm