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I have been so excited to write this post. While I may know a lot about travel for a lot of different places (and may call myself the Queen of Research in my family), you can’t know anywhere else in the world like you know your hometown. So these things to do with kids in Huntsville, AL are tried and true — from my own childhood here in Huntsville to raising my kiddo now.
Huntsville, Alabama is such a fantastically family-friendly city. We have parks and hiking and splashpads and museums. Every single day holds something fun and new in this ever-growing city, and you could plan a whole year of weekend activities and still not hit all the fun things there are to do in Huntsville.
(Bonus: Some of these activities are also great if you are traveling to Huntsville with your dog!)
We’ve broken this list up into two parts: year rounds fun (as in activities you can do anytime of year) and seasonal fun (think, pumpkin patches in the fall). So let’s get going!
Things To Do with Kids in Huntsville, AL — Year Round Fun
Huntsville Botanical Garden
The Huntsville Botanical Garden is maybe our single most favorite thing in Huntsville. As a mom, I have spent SO MANY hours here, especially when my daughter was a toddler.
The Huntsville Botanical Garden is 112 acres, and it has great walking trails, beautiful flowers and everything else you expect at a Botanical Garden.
But the BEST thing about going to the Garden with kids is the fantastic children’s garden they have. Each section of the children’s garden has interactive elements, from STEM activities to bird watching to splash ponds. Plus the children’s garden hosts the Purdy Butterfly House, the largest open air butterfly house in the nation!
The Garden also has great seasonal activities that kids will love, from the Scarecrow Trail in the fall to the Galaxy of Lights during the holidays. There is always something to do there!
The Huntsville Botanical Garden is open year round. Tickets for adults are $14 and kids are $9. If you are local though, I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a membership.
And now I’ll stop gushing about how much I love the Garden and move on to other fun Huntsville things to do!
Huntsville Botanical Garden is located at 4747 Bob Wallace Ave.
Monte Sano State Park
Monte Sano Mountain is a Huntsville landmark that houses Monte Sano State Park. Here you’ll find hiking, camping, a playground, beautiful views, and so many spaces to explore!
Monte Sano truly has a fantastic playground for kids of all ages, plus a wide open field a nearby pavilions that make a perfect space for a picnic or family day. Monte Sano is a great place to keep in mind for events with kids. We’ve attended birthday parties, class reunions, and so many other functions here. Not to mention weddings at the Monte Sano Lodge!
We also love hiking at Monte Sano. There are so many trails to choose from, and so many that are great for kids. Find a trail map here.
A day pass entrance fee is $5 for adults and $2 for kids 4-11. Kids 3 and under are free. If you are a Huntsville local and think you might spend a lot of time at Monte Sano, you might also consider getting an Annual Park Pass.
Monte Sano State Park is located on Monte Sano Mountain at 5105 Nolen Avenue.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
You really can’t “do” Huntsville without visiting the Space and Rocket Center, and it’s also one of the best things to do with kids in Huntsville!
Huntsville has a long history with NASA, and here you’ll find so much space history on display. There are rockets outside, a museum inside, special exhibits, rides, a planetarium with awesome shows, and so much more. This is also the home to Space Camp!
While a lot of the Space & Rocket Center will appeal to older kids and adults, there are things younger kids will love as well. There are two play areas: outside in Rocket Park and inside the Davidson Center. Plus there are just so many fun places to explore! While the Space & Rocket Center wasn’t our go-to when our kiddo was young, I know several families who bought annual passes just because they loved taking their kids their to explore and play.
Admission is $25 for adults and $17 for children ages 5-12. Children 4 and under are free. There are also additional activities and shows (like the Planetarium shows) that cost extra, so be sure to check everything out on their website.
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is located at 1 Tranquility Base.
EarlyWorks Children’s Museum
EarlyWorks Children’s Museum is a hands-on history museum for children, with a focus on Alabama history. You can explore a keelboat, walk through historical rooms, play, and listen to history stories from the talking tree.
Plus there is a special room just for preschool play that includes all kinds of imaginative elements: a farm, a grocery store, fishing, puppets, and a fun treehouse play area.
Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for kids ages 4-17, and $5 for kids under 4. This is another great one to consider getting an annual pass for. During winter months when it is too cold for all the fun Huntsville outdoor activities (or when it’s too hot in the summer), EarlyWorks is such a fun place for kids.
EarlyWorks Children’s Museum is located in downtown Huntsville, at 404 Madison Street.
Alabama Constitution Hall Park & Museum
Alabama became a state in 1819, and at Constitution Hall you’ll step back to that time and see what life was like. You can see a blacksmith shop, a printing press, the cabinet makers shop where Alabama’s Constitution was signed, and more.
While Constitution Hall used to be an entirely enclosed museum, the surrounding space has recently been converted to a public park, which makes for a great family-friendly outdoor space.
If you have really young kids, Constitution Hall might not be the best visit; it will be more appealing to older kids interested in learning about history.
Constitution Hall Park is located in downtown Huntsville at 109 Gates Avenue.
Historic Huntsville Depot
If you have a train lover in your family, you’ll want to visit the Huntsville Depot! This historic site includes an opportunity to step onto a train, a model train village, and a tour through the depot building (one of the big attractions here is writing left on the walls by captured Civil War soldiers).
While the historic tour is more suited for older children, younger kids can also enjoy a train-themed play area. Plus they’ll love blowing the whistle on the big train.
The Huntsville Depot is located in downtown Huntsville at 320 Church Street.
Burritt on the Mountain
Huntsville really loves its historic sites and museums, and Burritt on the Mountain is another great place. This open air history museum features historic homes in variously styles and at its heart is a 1938 mansion — once the home of Dr. Burritt, a prominent Huntsville citizen.
There is also a barnyard, a schoolhouse, and nature trails for hiking. Museum staff and volunteers dress in period costume and simulate life on a farm in the 19th century and answer all your questions.
Plus Burritt has probably the BEST mountaintop view of the city of Huntsville.
There is always something fun to see at Burritt, and kids will love exploring the outdoor history setting, seeing the animals, and participating in historic activities and demonstrations.
Admission for Burritt on the Mountain is $12 for adults and $8 for children. Children 2 and under are free.
Burritt on the Mountain is located on Monte Sano Mountain at 3101 Burritt Drive.
Cook Museum of Natural Science
One of the newest museums in the Huntsville area is the Cook Museum of Natural Science, a museum that is completely geared toward children and fun for parents as well. The rooms of this museum walk you through different ecosystems and habitats, all with fun interactive elements, areas for kids to explore (like the bat cave!), and live animals. Plus there is a toddler play area and honestly a great gift shop (so maybe skip that if you don’t want your kids begging for stuff?).
This is really such a fun museum, and I loved it just as much as my child did.
Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for kids ages 3-14, and free for kids 2 and under. And like so many other Huntsville attractions that are great for kids, there is a family membership you can buy if you think you’ll visit a lot.
The Cook Museum of Natural Science is located in Decatur, at 133 4th Avenue. It’s about a 25 minute drive from downtown Huntsville.
Bridge Street Town Centre
Bridge Street is one of Huntsville’s most popular shopping areas. It’s an outdoor mall with plenty of stores and restaurants, but it also makes for some great kid entertainment as well!
In the afternoons, there is a carousel and a train you can ride around Bridge Street. And during the summer there is a small splashpad area. My favorite thing about all of this: bribing my kid with a carousel ride in order to run a necessary errand.
There are also plenty of places kids will love to visit, including a bookstore, an ice cream shop, and a movie theater.
Bridge Street is located near Research Park at 365 The Bridge Street, just off Madison Pike.
Stovehouse was once a stove factory that has now become one of Huntsville’s newest entertainment areas featuring restaurants, live music, businesses, and lots of outdoor space for families to enjoy. If you are looking for an evening out with friends while also bringing the kids along, this is the PERFECT place. There are picnic tables, lots of green space for kids to play on, and they even have games and toys like hula hoops and giant Connect Four set out for kids to enjoy.
Plus everyone in the family can get what they want to eat, from tacos to Mediterranean to BBQ.
We recently visited Stovehouse with friends and their kids and it was a perfect evening out for the whole family! The kids had fun playing and the adults had fun eating and chatting!
Stovehouse is located just southwest of downtown, at 3414 Governors Drive.
Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment
Lowe Mill is the South’s largest privately owned art facility. Once a textile mill that manufactured army boots, the space now hosts artist studios, performance spaces, and restaurants.
There is truly so much to do here. Explore the artists spaces and see artists at work, schedule a class at one of the many spaces offering them, or attend an outdoor concert. Kids will love exploring the building and seeing artists working (there is really a stunning variety!). And some studios offer special art classes for kids and teens.
Lowe Mill is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. It’s located just south of downtown at 2211 Seminole Drive.
Big Spring Park
Big Spring International Park has been at the heart of Huntsville since the beginning of the city, and with a recent remodel it’s a great place for families to hang out.
It’s a perfect place for picnics, or if you just need to give your kids to some space to run around. It’s also home to many special events in the city, including Panoply, Concerts in the Park, and the Tinsel Trail.
Big Spring Park is located in downtown Huntsville, with parking on Williams Avenue, Monroe Street, and Church Street.
Downtown Mural Tour
If you’re hanging out in Big Spring Park, another great think to do is to take a walking tour of Huntsville’s downtown murals! It seems like we have new art popping up in the city every week, and walking through downtown can give you a taste of some of the fantastic murals we have.
Plus there is always something going on in downtown Huntsville, so walking around to see the murals will help you discover even more fun!
Learn how to take a fun family day trip from Huntsville to Noccalula Falls!
Madison County Nature Trail
If you are looking for kid-friendly hiking trails, Madison County Nature Trail is my absolute favorite. You have everything families need here: picnic tables, bathrooms, parking, and an easy loop hiking trail. Plus it’s absolutely beautiful here, with a mountaintop lake.
The hiking trail here is an easy 1.5 mile loop around the lake, with several landmarks to explore including a covered bridge, a log cabin, and a cute outdoor chapel.
Since the Nature Trail is free, this is a perfect low-commitment outdoor area for families. Come up for a picnic, a hike, or just to hang out by the lake.
The Madison County Nature Trail is located on Green Mountain in Southeast Huntsville, at 5000 Nature Trail Road.
Hike Land Trust Trails
There is so much hiking near Huntsville, and a big part of this is thanks to the Land Trust of North Alabama. While some of the trails may more be challenging for kids, there are still trails that are very family-friendly.
There are kid-friendly activities to do on the trails, and the Land Trust also offers frequent guided hikes, some of which are specifically aimed at children. They also offer educational opportunities for kids.
Hays Nature Preserve
Hays Nature Preserve is another great outdoor space for families, and this one is unique in that it houses a playground built from natural materials! (Also, it’s a playground in the woods, so it has LOTS of shade!)
Hays Nature Preserve also has hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and easily walkable greenway trails. Parts of it run along the Flint River, and there’s actually a kayak take out here (if you have your own kayak).
Hays Nature Preserve is located in Owens Cross Roads, at 7153 Hwy 431.
Kid’s Space or Kid’s Kingdom
Huntsville has some great playgrounds, but two of the most popular are Kid’s Space in Huntsville and Kid’s Kingdom in Madison. These creatively built playgrounds feature plenty of slides, swings, and climbing areas.
Kid’s Space is located in John Hunt Park at 2010 Airport Road. Kid’s Kingdom is located at Dublin Park in Madison, at 8324 Madison Pike.
Everybody Can Play Playground & Splashpad
For a handicap accessible playground in Huntsville, check out the Everybody Can Play Playground. This space features play equipment to make sure, well, everybody can play. Of course, this isn’t limited to kids who need the accessibility — it’s open to everyone!
There is also a splash pad right next to it, which, combined with the playground, can make for a fun summer morning in Huntsville with kids. One warning about this splash pad: there is no shade! So definitely lather up the sunscreen and maybe bring your own umbrella for some shade.
The Everybody Can Play Playground and Splashpad is located in Brahan Spring Park at 3771 Ivy Avenue, just off of Drake Avenue. It is free and open to the public.
The Insanity Complex has tons to do with kids in Huntsville (well, actually Madison, which, if you’re unfamiliar, is a city directly connected to Huntsville). Here you’ll find both indoor and outdoor activities to make the whole family happy. There’s mini golf, laser tag, rock climbing, an arcade, a skate park, batting cages, and a roller rink.
If you have an adventurous family who wants a variety of activities, Insanity might be the place for you. We especially love coming here for mini golf!
The Insanity Complex is located in Madison, at 10 Skate Park Drive just off of Hughes Road.
Stars and Strikes
Similar to Insanity, the Stars and Strikes complex includes a variety of activities the whole family will love. Centered around a bowling alley, Stars and Strikes also includes laser tag, bumper cars, escape rooms, and an arcade.
Different activities have different costs, so check their website for cost and hours before you go.
Stars and Strikes is located off of Hwy 72 at 930 Old Monrovia Road, near the Mid City district.
For young kids and elementary schoolers, Let’s Play is the place to go! This indoor playground features soft padded play areas, with plenty to climb up, slide down, and more. Plus there is a special area specifically for children under 4.
Admission to Let’s Play is $5 for kids under 1 year, $11 for kids 1-2 years, and $15 for kids 3 and up. One adult gets in free per kid.
Let’s Play is located in the Target shopping center on University Drive (Hwy 72) at 6275 University Drive.
Altitude Trampoline Park
Right next to Let’s Play is Altitude Trampoline Park. This indoor trampoline arena is a hit with kids of all ages. And if you’re worried about bigger kids trampling your younger ones, there is a special area specifically for younger children. Altitude has tons of trampolines and foam pits, a zip line, a rock wall, and more.
Admission to Altitude varies on how long you would like to jump for, but as an example 1 hour of jumping is $15.95 for everyone over 6, and $8.95 for kids 6 and under.
Altitude Trampoline Park is located in the Target shopping center on University Drive (Hwy 72) at 6275 University Drive.
High Point Climbing
For some indoor rock climbing, head to High Point Climbing. While older kids will of course enjoy this, younger kids (over 3) can also enjoy the Kids Zone. High Point also offers school break camps and climbing classes.
A day pass to High Point Climbing including gear is $26.70 for adults and $24.50 for kids 10 and under.
High Point Climbing is located in the new Mid City district on University Drive, at 1020 Nunnahsae Park Drive.
The Huntsville Ice Sports Center (aka the Iceplex) is the place to go for ice skating in Huntsville. While a lot of the Iceplex is used for ice sports, they are open for public skating at certain times of the day. Be sure to check the schedule on their website before you go.
Public skating is $9 per person with skates provided, and they do have skate helpers available to rent for younger children.
The Huntsville Iceplex is located at 3185 Leeman Ferry Road.
Visit the Library
I can’t talk about the best things to do with kids in Huntsville without mentioning our public libraries. We have a fantastic public library system with great spaces for kids. When my kiddo was little, we were at the library for storytime EVERY week. And even now we are there often more than once a week to pick up more books.
All the different branches have different children’s programming, so check out what’s happening at the branch closest to you, or visit any branch you want. (Some weeks when my kid was little we would go to storytime at our closest branch and later in the week ALSO go to storytime at the Main Library.)
Spending time at the library is one of our favorite things to do, of course, and our libraries in Huntsville are awesome!
Things To Do with Kids in Huntsville, AL — Seasonal Fun
While Huntsville has so many great things to do with kids year round, there are also some fun activities that are best enjoyed (or only enjoyed) during specific seasons. We’re talking splashpads, pumpkin patches, and more!
Showers Center Splashpad
During the summer months, this is our favorite Splashpad! It’s great for parents and kids alike. There are fun water features (including a small slide) for kids, and plenty of picnic tables and shade for parents.
The Showers Center splashpad and free and open to the public. It’s located in North Huntsville, at 4600 Blue Spring Road.
Attend a Trash Pandas Baseball Game
Huntsville’s new minor league baseball team, the Rocket City Trash Pandas, is already beloved by the community. And an evening at a game makes for a perfect family night.
Besides a minor league baseball games just being lots of fun, this stadium has really thought it through for families — if you’re kids get tired of sitting in their seats, there is a playground (Kids Zone) located by left-field where kids can play and grown-ups can still watch the game. And if you’re worried about your kids in regular stadium seats, you can also opt for lawn seating (which is also cheaper) where kids have a bit more freedom to move around.
Be sure to check the Trash Pandas baseball schedule and buy tickets ahead of time.
The Trash Pandas play at Toyota Field, which is located in Madison at 500 Trash Panda way, just off Interstate 565.
Visit a Water Park
Huntsville has two pretty big water parks within easy driving distance. Taking a day trip to one of them will guarantee a fun summer day for kids.
Spring Valley Beach is located in Blountsville, AL — about an hour from downtown Huntsville. There is a HUGE pool, kid and adult friendly slides, and a toddler splash area. We recently spent a day here and had TONS of fun. We can’t wait to go back! Admission is $26 for adults and kids over 4 feet and $21 for kids under 4 feet (and ages 3 and up).
Point Mallard is a classic from my childhood. This waterpark is located in Decatur, AL — about a 30 minute drive from downtown Huntsville. They have slides, a pool, a wave pool, a kids area, and a lazy river. Admission to Point Mallard is $20 for adults, and $15 for children ages -11.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
In the fall, visiting a pumpkin patch with your kids is a great way to spend a weekend day! There are two main pumpkin patches that most North Alabama families go to.
Tate Farms is open to families in October. They have a pick-your-own-pumpkin hay ride, a large play facility for kids, and tons of other fun activities. Tate Farms is located in Meridianville, and is about a 20 minute drive from downtown Huntsville. Admission is $15 per person, and be sure to check their hours before you go.
Lyon Family Farm is another popular pumpkin patch. They are open to families in September and October, and in addition to a pumpkin patch they have tons of slides and swings, a petting zoo, and a corn maze. Lyon Family Farm is located just over the Tennessee line in Taft, TN; it’s about a 40 minute drive from downtown Huntsville. Check hours and pricing on their site.
During the holiday season, one of our favorite things to do is visit the Tinsel Trail downtown in Big Spring Park. Here you’ll find the paths of the park lined with trees decorated by local businesses. Plus there are other fun events in the park during this time — food vendors, ice skating in the park, and occasional live music.
The Tinsel Trail is open throughout the whole holiday season, and it’s free and open to the public.
Our favorite tip is to visit in the early evening, when the lights are just starting to come on and it isn’t too crowded yet!