There’s still a way for Southerners to experience the magic of snow, even if it’s a rare occurrence in real life. License To Chill Snow Island at Margaritaville is your one-stop destination for snow in Atlanta. During the summertime, Margaritaville at Lake Lanier Islands is a premier waterpark, but it transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays!
What is License To Chill Snow Island At Margaritaville?
The summertime waterpark is the perfect landscape for wintertime fun. The biggest attractions at Snow Island are the snow tubing, ice skating, and a giant pile of snow to play in! Snow is constantly produced, so no matter the Atlanta temperature, there’s snow at Margaritaville.
Additionally, there are carnival rides, Christmas-themed bars, a table-service restaurant located directly on the lake, and Margaritaville’s Lakeside Light Spectacular. The park is equally as fun in the winter, and it’s the perfect destination for family fun during school breaks or make it a getaway and spend the night at Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge.
Three Snow Attractions: Snow Tubing, Ice Skating & Snow For Play
Three big attractions are the stars of Snow Island at Margaritaville. These are the snow attractions that your kids will love. Since they’ll be playing in the snow, I recommend bringing a change of clothes if you’re staying for the lights (especially if it’s a chilly night). All of the restrooms and changing areas are open for use. Or wear waterproof clothing. We saw folks wearing snow gear.
Blizzard Mountain: It is the snow tubing hill and our children’s favorite. The 575-foot-long, eight-story-high snow slide is very thrilling. Guests bring a tube up the side of the mountain but don’t stress because there’s a “magic carpet” to help carry you up without much effort. Riders must be 42″, so that excludes toddlers.
Snowball Alley: This is a giant pile of snow where your kids can throw snowballs, climb little snow hills, or even make a snow fort. There’s a giant screen above Snowball Alley that plays holiday tunes. Good news for little ones – there’s no minimum height requirement.
Frosty’s Ice Rink: Check out some skates (included with your admission) and skate around Frosty’s Ice Rink! Kid and adult skate sizes are available. Child skate trainers are available if your kids aren’t experienced. So everyone can enjoy this attraction, even beginners. The skate tent is enclosed, and benches are available for those watching.
Carnival Rides At Snow Island
A handful of carnival rides are included with your Snow Island at Margaritaville admission. The ride heights are very strict, but options are available for toddlers. Even though a toddler can ride, the parents may be unable to accompany the child due to weight restrictions. Riders can pick from carousels, coasters, thrill rides, and Ferris wheels.
Santa & The Gift Shop
There’s a gift shop located inside Snow Island at Margaritaville. During the summer, it’s full of waterpark merchandise. It’s unbelievable that it’s flipped to a Christmas-themed gift shop for the winter months. Purchase ornaments that can be customized; kids can write letters to Santa or see Santa himself! On select days in December, you can find Santa at his workshop inside the gift shop.
Festive Food & Drinks Available In Snow Island At Margaritaville
Throughout the park, there are food and drink stations that transform with festive menus. Plus, there are all of the traditional park foods that they regularly serve.
Glacier Café and Bake Shop: find things like burgers, chicken tenders, hot cocoa, cookies, cake pops, and s’mores kits ($6.99). There’s a colossal firepit where guests gather around and make s’mores.
The Tipsy Snowman: This is a festive bar where you can grab seasonal cocktails. Get your favorite brew or a cocktail, either hot or cold. We ordered the Smokey Mountain Christmas, a spiked hot chocolate that includes Smokey Mountain Salted Caramel Whiskey. These drinks are Instagram-worthy and fun. Cocktails range from $9 – $15, and non-alcoholic drinks are about $5 each.
Jack Frost’s Shark Shack: Grab a quick snack to-go or a meal on the patio, like chicken tenders, curly fries, and pretzels.
LandShark Bar & Grill
Head to LandShark Bar & Grill for delicious bites if you want a relaxing table service meal. It’s a casual, family-friendly restaurant located directly on the banks of Lake Lanier with beautiful views. The restaurant is open year-round, and diners don’t need a park ticket to dine. Even boaters can dock and dine.
For Snow Island At Margaritaville guests, it’s a nice escape, and the food is excellent (much higher quality than the typical quick-service park food). They offer a full cocktail menu with plenty of margaritas. Order classic appetizers, tacos, burgers, and salads. Our favorites are the burgers! A full kids menu is available, too. We dined at LandShark before playing in the snow, so we were dry.
Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular
If you grew up in Atlanta, you know Lake Lanier is synonymous with Christmas lights! The updated version is Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular. It’s a walk-through light show occurring nightly.
This light show set to holiday music features traditional holiday displays, Margaritaville- and beach-themed scenes, and a giant screen that plays holiday music videos. Most lights are in the sandy beach areas, so guests observe them afar.
Then, there are light displays that guests can use for photo ops. Your Instagram-worthy Christmas shots are only a short walk away. The walkway is also stroller-friendly.
At the beginning of the path, you’ll have the chance to grab a drink or snack from Santa’s Tiki Bar and other concessions to take with you as you stroll through the lights.
Right in the middle of the path is the Tipsy Elf, where you can refill your drink and snacks while you sit by the giant fire pit and look out across the lake. These are the same festive Christmas drinks available at The Tipsy Snowman.
Are you wondering about the drive-through light display? Lake Lanier Islands no longer has a drive-through light display. This walk-through version replaced it. However, as you drive into the resort entrance, you’ll still see some light displays – like the carousel horses around the traffic circle.
Snow Island and Lakeside Lights Spectacular Dates
License to Chill Snow Island is open on select dates from November 4, 2023, through February 25, 2024. Hours vary by date. Snow Island is available on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day! Tickets can be purchased online, in advance.
Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular is open nightly from November 22-26, 2023, and December 1, 2023, to January 3, 2024, and then weekends only through January 15, 2023. Check the event calendar online. It opens at 5 p.m. (when it’s dark outside).
Lakeside Light Spectacular is open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
How Much Is Snow Island and Lakeside Lights Spectacular?
Snow Island Day Passes include access to snow tubing, snow play area, the ice rink, and amusement rides. These cost $54.99 for adults, $39.99 for children ages 3-7, active and retired military, and seniors 62+, and free for children ages 2 and younger.
- Remember that children 2 and under are free, but there aren’t as many attractions for them to enjoy due to height restrictions. Snowball Alley and a few carnival rides will be their biggest joy. We felt like our toddler sat out for a fair amount of the day.
All Access Day Passes include everything in the Snow Island Day Pass plus access to Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular. These cost $69.99 for adults and $39.99 for children.
Admission to just the Lakeside Lights Spectacular costs $19.99 for ages 4+, $14.99 for active and retired military and seniors 62+, and free for ages 3 and younger.
You’ll also have to pay the Lanier Islands entrance fee, which costs $20 per vehicle.