Three Indoor Activities for Winter
Winter is the perfect time to head inside and enjoy these unique Georgia attractions.
Go to the theatre
Georgia has some beautiful historic theatres and some very talented theatre companies. The Fox Theatre in Atlanta was inspired by the mosques of the Middle East. In the mid-1970s, the Fox was in danger of being razed, but a grassroots campaign simply known as “Save the Fox” was started, and because of the community efforts, we can still enjoy this beautiful theatre today. To truly see this classic theatre, take a 60-minute daytime guided tour of the ornate building. In the evenings and weekends, take in a Broadway show or concert.
Learn a little about rural Georgia history at Swamp Gravy, a folk life play that takes the real life stories of local figures in Colquitt, Ga., and mixes them into a professionally written and directed play. Performed in Cotton Hall, a unique 284-seat theatre that was once a cotton warehouse, the play features local residents. Inside Cotton Hall, you’ll find the mural “Saturday Morning in Colquitt.” This is one of 16 murals around town that were created as part of the Millennium Mural Project with a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. The 15 other murals are spread out around town within an easy walk, but if you prefer, take the tram tour.
Visit a museum
Georgia has lots of wonderful mainstream museums, but it also has some quirky ones, too. See the evolution of the telephone at the Rural Telephone Museum in Leslie, Ga. You’ve never seen so many telephones, or telephone equipment. This is a great multi-generational outing. Ask grandparents about party lines, dial phones and those horrible days when everyone shared ONE phone.
Follow the career of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in Harlem, Ga., where Oliver Hardy was born. The duo became famous slapstick comedians in the 1930s and 1940s, and the town built the Laurel & Hardy Museum of Harlem. For the true fan, visit in October for the Oliver Hardy Festival, when the town of about 2,000 residents welcomes visitors from all over the world.
The Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton pays tribute to Joel Candler Harris, who wrote the Uncle Remus tales of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox. The author was born in Eatonton. While you are in the area, check out the Old School History Museum, which is located in the original 1916 Eatonton School. A favorite exhibit there is the vintage drugstore with marble-topped soda fountain and 1940’s jukebox.
Take a train ride
Seeing Georgia by rail is a perfect relaxing wintertime activity. The SAM Shortline trains originate out of a depot in Cordele or Georgia Veterans State Park. Several different tours make stops in Leslie (the Rural Telephone Museum), Americus, Archery and Plains, where you can explore Jimmy Carter’s hometown, as well as his boyhood farm.
The Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad in Blue Ridge, Ga., has several different excursions depending on the time of year. All trips depart from the historic depot built in 1905. Stay warm in winter by riding in the climate controlled rail cars rather than the open-air cars.
For the true train aficionado, visit the Georgia State Railroad Museum in Savannah, where you can get close up with a fully operational turntable. Time your visit to ride either the No. 30 steam locomotive built in 1913, or the “modern” No. 119 diesel locomotive built in 1947. If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, go under your own power with the handcar. You’ll build up a sweat to keep you warm in the winter.
Sue Rodman is Georgia's official Smart Travel Explorer. Find more of her budget-friendly trip ideas on ExploreGeorgia.org, and visit "Field Trips with Sue" for a list of 12 indoor activities for the whole family.