By Chloe P. Ballard
If you are looking for some family friendly things to do in Alabama this summer, here are a few really great options that your whole family will enjoy!
Children's Hands-On Museum
Learning through play is great fun, and it's particularly fun at Tuscaloosa's Children's Hands-On Museum (CHOM). CHOM also stands for "Children Explore, Create and Discover" - because that's exactly what they do, each time they visit this downtown wonderland. This three-story museum features two dozen different exhibits designed to appeal to children of all ages, from newborns to 13-year-olds. And, unlike many museums, CHOM encourages kids to touch things, allowing their curiosity to blossom.
Alabama Cave System
Do you know the difference between stalactites and stalagmites? Well, you will surely learn the difference after visiting any of Alabama’s caves. The caves have a rich history of being used for various activities, and there have been over 4,200 caves discovered across Alabama. Many of these natural wonders are open to the public and are used to precipitate education about subterranean structures and life forms. Great for families, cave exploration is fascinating and will surely enrich both children and parents.
Helen Keller’s Birthplace
Great for families and school groups, Helen Keller’s birthplace at Ivy Green is an educational opportunity for all ages. The home, built in 1820, is available for tours. Tuscumbia’s historic Spring Park is the location of the annual Helen Keller Festival, where children can learn about the early life of Helen Keller. While visiting Tuscumbia, check out the Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House, Indian Mound & Museum, and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Rosa Parks Museum Children’s Wing
Children learn about how one amazing woman made a difference in this world in 1955. And on the Rosa Parks Museum Children’s Wing tour, children learn that they too can make a difference by standing up for what they believe to be right. While visiting Montgomery, stop by the State Capitol, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, the Montgomery Zoo, and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
Gulf Coast Science Center
Design your own roller coaster, play a laser harp, and hold a holographic heart in your hand at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center! The current visiting exhibit is the “Great Dinosaur Egg Hunt” which is an exceptional collection of dinosaur nests and eggs many of which have been featured in National Geographic magazine. The exhibit features, life-like models of dinosaur embryos, Tyrannosaurid bone replicas for touching, and a leg bone puzzle, to name a few things. Afterward, consider walking in Bellingrath Gardens to enjoy its 65-acres of beauty. Kids will enjoy the butterfly garden and parents will enjoy the beautiful scenery. Also visit Alabama’s Pecan Festival, Hank Aaron’s Childhood Home and Museum, and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.