Winter has only recently begun, yet if you’re like me you feel as if it stretches on forever. What’s a busy mom to do? One of my favorite tools for fighting these winter blues it to plan a weekend getaway! Now, the getaway may be happening next week, next month, or even next summer, but the point is to give yourself and your kids something awesome to look forward to. These types of holidays can be extravagant, or not. It all depends on your travel style, budget, and personal preferences.
For us, the best weekend getaways are those to which we can drive, though we’ve done flights on occasion. One of our favorite weekend getaways was a quick trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee. We were able to find a nice hotel on the outskirts of the city. It had a great indoor swimming pool for the kids, and we were close to shopping and dining. This allowed us to make great use of our limited time away.
Chattanooga has so much to see and do with kids! There are options for big kids and little kids, rainy weather or sunny, and active families as well as quieter ones. Finding the best places to visit with kids can be a challenge but fear not! Our KidFriendlyVenue app can help you narrow down the best spots for your family—no matter which type you are. Let’s talk about Chattanooga!
The Tennessee Aquarium
If you’re looking for indoor entertainment, you’ll definitely want to consider the Tennessee Aquarium. On our visit, this was where we spent our first full day. This enormous aquarium has something for everyone, from young children to the young at heart. They have dozens of species, floor to ceiling tanks, and hands on activities. There is also an IMAX theater for even more entertainment options. These films are educational and inspirational, and there are lots of topic options ranging from undersea adventures to African savannah exploration.
The aquarium entertained us for hours as we saw all we could including penguins, reptiles, and sharks. School groups were visiting on field trips while we were there, but the aquarium had lots of space and it wasn’t a problem to share the place with the other groups.
We also made sure to visit the butterfly house because our daughter was going through a major butterfly phase. The butterflies were plentiful, and they flew all around us, landing on our bodies without fear. This delighted our daughter, and us as well.
If your family would be delighted by this type of activity, we definitely give it 5-stars and encourage you to try it.
For our second full day in Chattanooga, we chose to cross the nearby state line and head into Georgia to a small, family-owned amusement park called Lake Winnepesaukah, or Lake Winnie for short.
This park is the perfect size for a family. It has lots to do but not too much—if you have ever taken kids to an amusement park you know exactly what I mean! There are roller coasters as well as family friendly activities. One of our favorite rides turned out to be a swan-shaped paddleboat ride on the small lake from which the park gets its name.
We focused on the family friendly rides on this trip, and we all had a great time. There were food options to choose from, and we were even able to leave and come back later in the day while on the same ticket. This is great if you have little ones who need a nap halfway through the day.
Lake Winnie is open during the summer months, so if this is a spot you’d like to visit, you’ll want to plan accordingly. This is a great option whether you’ve got small kids or teens.
If you like hiking and nature, start your research with Lookout Mountain, where you’ll find Rock City and Ruby Falls. These attractions have been delighting visitors for a hundred years or more. You’ll find breathtaking mountain views, underground cathedrals, and stunning waterfalls that will really get your kids to stop and take notice.
While visiting Lookout Mountain you can also check out the Incline Railway, which is one of the steepest passenger railways in the world! Adventure seekers will love it.
Other popular Chattanooga attractions include options like dinner theaters, riverboat rides, and indoor activity parks.
Planning a weekend getaway—whether you’re planning it for the near or far future—is a great way to forget the dreary winter doldrums. It will get yourself and your kids excited about things to come. Our family gives a weekend getaway in Chattanooga 5 stars, and I’m sure that if you visit, you’ll find lots to fill your weekend with amazing memories, too.