I recently had visitors here in Huntsville due to unfortunate circumstances. Exploring local, family-friendly Huntsville activities definitely helped. Hurricane Michael tore through Florida leaving members of our family without power for over a week. Seeing the stress of dealing with a natural disaster first hand really opened my eyes. There are so many things that I have never thought about people going through, especially for those with small children. I hated seeing loved ones dealing with so much stress, but I loved the opportunity of providing them with some sort of comfort. The weather here was great, so to keep busy during their stay we explored Huntsville!
Huntsville is a wonderful city with lots of attractions and events. I was pleased to find out that many businesses in Huntsville were offering discounts to hurricane evacuees! During their stay, we were specifically looking for places that both small children and adults could enjoy. We visited Big Spring Park, EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum, and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
Big Spring Park
Our first stop of the week was Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville. We found a convenient parking garage with direct access to the park. Big Spring Park is one of the most impressive parks I have ever visited. It has ample amounts of green space available where many people were having picnic lunches and spending the beautiful day with friends. We walked along the 1.25-mile trail taking a break on a bench around one of the park’s fountains to enjoy the water show. Since the entire trail winds around the lake you can see gorgeous Koi fish swimming through the clear water. If you have quarters there are also machines to feed to the fish and ducks! It is requested that you only use the provided food to feed the animals since human foods can be bad for their diet. The beautiful location is a great free activity and the scenery makes for great photo opportunities as well. Since the park is located Downtown, it is within walking distance to lots of restaurants and other attractions.
EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum
The EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum is a little over a quarter-mile walk from Big Spring Park, so it’s easy to visit both on the same day. I was truly impressed by the customer service provided by the museum. Upon entering we were greeted and asked if we were from the area or just visiting. I explained that I am new to the area, and the worker immediately offered information about other activities nearby, ways to save money on local attractions, an entire list of restaurants throughout the city, and a website we could visit to keep up with events in the area specifically events catered toward children (rocketcitymom.com).
The museum itself was geared toward age ranges of about two to ten, but I think anyone can have a good time there. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the history and educational parts of the museum, and my eleven-month-old nephew found some fun things to play with as well. You enter through the giant red doors into the museum that starts with a colorful fabric tree that towers over you. There are specific areas to play to learn about different aspects of Alabama’s history, and a younger children’s playroom called Biscuits Backyard. I especially loved the talking tree and the 46-foot Keelboat. I would definitely recommend this to families visiting the area or anyone looking to entertain little ones on a rainy day.
U.S. Space and Rocket Center
Of course, I couldn’t show my family Rocket City without taking them to see the rockets! I think you could spend an entire day, possibly two looking at everything in the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, depending on if you read everything like me or if you just like to browse over the items and photos. One of the first areas that you enter is the gallery where the center features different exhibits throughout the year. They are currently showing an Alien Worlds and Androids exhibit, where you just might recognize some familiar faces. There are some interactive areas in the center where you can experience 3 G’s of centrifugal force, liftoff, and simulated microgravity! They also have a mars rock climbing wall and a walk through a recreated version of the International Space Station. There’s also a restaurant and rockets of course.
I love living somewhere that our guests actually enjoy visiting and can’t wait to explore more of this city!