License to Chill

If the snow this past weekend wasn’t enough to fill your dreams of a grand snow day, there’s more snow — along with winter activities like ice skating and snow tubing — to be found at Lake Lanier Islands.

Margaritaville at Lanier Islands offers patrons winter fun with License to Chill Snow Island and the Lakeside Lights Spectacular.

The Lanier Islands property, which operates as a lakeside water park in the summer, has been transformed into an extravagant winter scene. License to Chill Snow Island offers everything from carnival games and rides to the aforementioned ice skating and snow tubing.

Walking around the grounds, patrons will find a number of photo opportunities with the myriad lights and lamp posts powdering the ground with mounted snow machines. In addition to the standard Lanier Islands eateries — like the Tiki Bar and LandShark Bar and Grill — the carnival section also offers multiple food stands with traditional fair food, including corn dogs and funnel cakes.

“We pride ourselves on the s’mores pits,” said Bucky Perry, vice president of Margaritaville. 

A number of fire pits around the grounds offer fresh, hand-skewered marshmallows for toasting. Perry also mentioned that even though Margaritaville cultivates a very family-friendly environment at the park, alcoholic beverages are available for adults.

According to Margaritaville assistant manager Tanner Derloshon, the most popular attraction is Blizzard Mountain, a 575-foot-long snow tubing slope. Snow machines placed along the hill ensure it’s ready to send giddy tubers sliding down in any weather. Patrons who want to enjoy it pick their tubes up at the bottom of the hill, but there’s no need to worry about lugging a heavy tube all the way to the top because a moving sidewalk makes the trip nearly effortless.

The park also includes the Snowball Alley snow play area where patrons can do all of their favorite snow day activities without having to wait for the Georgia weather to change.

At the far end of the park, just past the beach, guests will find the Lakeside Lights Spectacular, a walking trail illuminated with various holiday light scenes. Cheery music plays as patrons make their way through the lights show at their own speed. 

“We’ve always been known for riding through the lights in the cars, but … people want to be in,” Perry said. “They want to be part of the lights. They want to be able to take their selfies and their Snapchats.”

Derloshon estimates the path through all the lights is somewhere between one-half and three-quarters of a mile long and that it usually takes guests between 25 and 45 minutes depending on their pace.

The Lakeside Lights Spectacular is open nightly at 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Feb. 27, while License to Chill Snow Island is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through the end of February. Both will be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17. 

Most rides and activities can be accessed in exchange for tickets, which cost $2.50 each or $44.99 for a sheet of 20. There are also a number of day pass options for License to Chill Snow Island and the Lakeside Lights Spectacular. More information on pricing can be found at 

FEATURED PHOTO: Margaritaville at Lanier Islands welcomes guests to License to Chill Snow Island through Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. The winter attraction features carnival games and rides to ice skating and snow tubing. Photo courtesy of Margaritaville at Lanier Islands. 

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