Park attraction provides wintry fun

Snow is in the forecast every weekend for the next two months at Stone Mountain Park, and these weather predictions are guaranteed to be accurate.

At least 2 feet of snow will cover the park's Memorial Lawn for kids of all ages to enjoy playtime in a winter wonderland, complete with a 400-foot tubing hill with nine lanes for speed racing and two for beginners, and a moving sidewalk snowlift to bring tubers quickly back up the hill for more fun.

Igloo City, where forts, towers and more will be under construction; Snowman Valley, the place where snow creations come to life in imaginations; and the Snowball Shootin' Gallery, offering targets that spin, flip and turn; make up the SnowZone, with acres of soft, downy precipitation for fun in the making. Tiny tykes can enjoy their own play areas on Snowflake Hill and in Critter Country, the place to meet winter characters throughout the snowy landscape.

For those who may want to warm up after playing in the snow or just want to watch the fun, SnoFire Point and the SnoDeck will offer toasty observation points and refreshments to enjoy.

"Snow Mountain is a first-of-its-kind snow park in Atlanta and the Southeast, delivering guaranteed snow for more than 30 days this winter," said Gerald Rakestraw, vice president and general manager of Stone Mountain Park. "Nearly 40 percent of Atlantans have never experienced snow as a family, and nearly 70 percent of Atlanta kids have never seen significant snow."

The snow at the park is created using water borrowed from Stone Mountain Lake that is filtered and treated. Snow-making machines, like those used at ski resorts, then chill the treated water until it becomes snow. Melted snow is redirected back to Stone Mountain Lake through a custom-designed drainage system.

"Research indicated our guests enthusiastically welcomed Snow Mountain particularly if it's created in an environmentally friendly way," Rakestraw said.

Snow Mountain will be open New Year's Eve and weekends through March 1. Advance reservations are strongly recommended for this attraction.

"This is a great way for families to take a winter vacation without driving far from home," Rakestraw said.

SideBar: If you go

What: Snow Mountain

When: Weekends through March 1

Where: Stone Mountain Park, U.S. Highway 78 E., exit 8, Stone Mountain

Cost: $25 for ages three to adults

For more information: Visit www.snowmountainpark.com or join the Snow Mountain fan page on Facebook by searching for "Snow Mountain"