Now that we’re finally seeing the sun peek out from behind all of the clouds and rain, it’s perfect timing to get out and enjoy some of the best spring activities North Alabama has to offer. We’ve made a list of some of our favorite family-friendly fun things to do this season, so you can start planning!
1. Peruse the farmers market
It’s finally about to be prime weather AND prime time for fruits and veggies. Check out your local farmers market like The Greene Street Market at Nativity in Huntsville which features produce, meat, breads, fresh herbs and flowers, cooking demonstrations, live music and more! This is a great way to teach children where their food comes from and why it’s important to support our local farmers.
2. Take a hike
The Land Trust of North Alabama offers guided hikes each spring and fall to take advantage of the amazing weather. These free hikes offer natural beauty and exercise for the entire family but donations to help preserve green space are accepted. From Madison to Huntsville to Harvest, you can see examples of North Alabama’s beauty on these hikes. Reservations are required for guided hikes—and many of them are already full!—so be sure to jump on it and register soon if you want to go.
3. Go on a geocaching adventure!
Geocaching uses GPS mapping to send treasure hunters to a specific location where a “cache” is hidden. Inside the cache could be anything from maps, books, software or even money. “A Dash of the Unexpected” Geo Tour is North Alabama’s own geocaching route where you can experience rich history, music, civil war sites, small town charm and great geocaching. The rules are simple! If the cache contains a treasure, you may take it. If you take a treasure, you must replace it with something of equal or greater value. Be sure to write about it in the logbook. And return the cache to the EXACT location you found it. Sound fun? Download a map here and get started!
4. Drive through 10,000 years of history on the Natchez Trace Parkway
Spanning 444 miles, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a scenic drive through Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. You can travel along the same corridor used by American Indians, European settlers, slave traders, soldiers and future presidents, and take in some incredible scenery along the way. Obviously we won’t make you do all 444 miles of the journey, but there is a lot to see on the Natchez Trace section in Alabama.
5. Be Mesmerized at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens Chinese Lantern Festival from March 20-May 19
Boasting more than 1,000 illuminated displays, the Chinese Lantern Festival provides a stunning visual exhibition of Chinese art and culture. They may be called lanterns but make no mistake-these are not handheld, candlelit lamps. From humble beginnings of silk and paper, the Chinese lantern has evolved into wondrous shapes and sizes. Enter “The Wild,” a world of life-size illuminated panda bears, lions, flamingos and more fauna from the world’s seven continents. Each of the lanterns is made by masters of the craft in Zigong, China’s center of lantern heritage.
It’s AMAZING and the young and young at heart will enjoy every moment. The lanterns light up the night Wednesday – Sunday from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
6. Experience the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic on May 25-26
We’re giving you a lot of time to play this spring trip because we don’t want you to miss it! The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic is held annually in Decatur on Memorial Day Weekend. Expect to see around 60 local and national hot-air balloons hovering over Point Mallard Park, plus vendors, live entertainment, tractor show, car show and more. Not to mention—admission to this event is free for the whole family. Go ahead and mark your calendars!