Clearing out every bread and milk aisle at Atlanta’s grocery stores might have been mission No. 1 for Atlantans preparing for the potential 4 inches of snow this weekend, but there’s a much more thrilling agenda item coming for Saturday: playing in the snow!
It’s been a while since we’ve been able to flap our arms and make a snow angel or take a slide down some of Atlanta’s best hills for sledding.
If you only remember the pain and suffering of Snowmageddon 2014, we’ve got you covered on how to enjoy the rare art form of sledding in Atlanta.
Here’s an Atlanta tip sheet on everything you need to know about sledding:
Before hitting the hills, make sure you and the kiddos are safe.
Don’t let the excitement of sliding down your driveway or a nearby hill take precedent over safety. Sledding improperly can lead to some pretty gnarly bruising and lacerations, according to Dr. Purva Grover, MD, of Cleveland Clinic Children’s.
“We see a lot of chin lacerations; we see some facial injuries. Every now and then we’ll see some ankle breaks or some long bone fractures,” Grover said.
Take a look at what the experts say is the best way to sled safely. Proper sledding includes determining stable positions on your sled and ensuring you know how to turn and brake.
Even if your tween says “mom, I’ve got this,” make sure that safety comes first.
“Even the ‘tweens,’ you know, the ones who are infallible, ‘nothing can happen to them,’ and they’ve never tried out a specific sport before, they just might need watching,” Grover said.
Take your sledding to the next level by using an actual sled versus a cafeteria tray.
It may have been legit to slide down Atlanta’s hill on whatever random things you had at home last time, but there’s nothing like sledding with an actual sled.
Since we rarely get snow, big box stores such as Wal-Mart will not have sleds in stock this weekend, though they do sell them online, according to associates contacted at local stores. Local managers at retailers REI and Dicks Sporting Goods told the AJC that they did not have sleds in stock and that neither chain typically carried them in the South.
Several Ace Hardware stores around metro Atlanta do carry sleds; however, they reported selling out of their stock as early as Friday morning.
Derrick Richardson, owner of Holcomb Bridge Ace Hardware in Norcross, said his store was flooded with families shopping for sleds Thursday night. So much so, that he had sold out of sleds by 9 a.m. Friday morning, but he was expecting a shipment of 200 more by the afternoon.
“It’s been really busy,” Richardson said. “They were just thrilled we had them.”
Joe Izganics, store manager at Smith Ace Hardware in Sandy Springs, said his location and two others under the same ownership on Delk Road in Marrietta and Northside Parkway would be stocked with sleds this weekend. His store was packed Thursday with folks “excited about playing in the snow for a couple days.”
Location, location - pick the best places to sled.
Piedmont Park has been the go-to spot for sledding in past Atlanta snowpocalypes as it has several slopes relatively clear of trees and other obstructions. Might take a few practice runs on more tame hills before trying this one.
Another perfect spot to try out your sledding skills is an area that may only come to mind for tourists and history buffs − the Carter Center. The center’s rolling hills on Freedom Parkway will give sledders some twists and turns pulled straight out of a fairy tale snow day. The area is also safely tucked away from the roadways and traffic.
Murphy Candler Park in in Brookhaven also boasts an ideal sloping terrain for a sledding adventure. Near the park entrance on West Nancy Creek, there’s an elevated area that offers an exceptional view and a short roll for the sledding novices.
If you’re seeking out more rolling hills in Atlanta, check out this roundup of potential sledding spots.
Most importantly, have fun and share the joy before snow melts.
Unless you plan to become a Northerner, the chances of snowy fun like what we expect this weekend will be few and far between. So, the only way to hold on to the snow spectacle is by snapping, Instagramming and Facebooking away each and every wet and frozen moment.
While you’re at it − and as long as it’s safe, you should share some of those moments with us, so we can gather Atlanta’s first (and possibly only) snow of 2017. Just use the hashtag #ATLweather, so we can see all the action.