Family-Friendly Activities in Tuscaloosa

family enjoying activities in Tuscaloosa park

Playing in the backyard or doing sports activities is already fun, no question. Now, how about something more special for your kids to spend their precious free time? Tuscaloosa provides tons of amazing places and activities that are children-friendly!

Key Takeaways

  • Tuscaloosa offers a variety of family-friendly activities that cater to children’s interests and needs.
  • The Children’s Hands-On Museum provides interactive exhibits, special events, and educational programs.
  • Lake Tuscaloosa is perfect for boating, fishing, picnics, and various water activities.
  • The Tuscaloosa Barnyard offers a petting zoo, wagon rides, and summer camps for children.
  • The Bama Theatre features family-friendly shows, art exhibits, and historical tours.

Explore the Children’s Hands-On Museum

family enjoying activities at a children's museum in Tuscaloosa

The Children’s Hands-On Museum (CHOM) is a dynamic learning experience that stimulates curiosity, creativity, and shared discovery in all ages. Learning through play is what our exhibits are all about, with S.T.E.A.M. fun and exciting experiences waiting for families with newborns through 13 years. This unique museum in downtown is tailor-made for the little ones, to introduce them to arts, crafts, and exciting exhibits in an interactive and exploring way! It provides fun for kids of all ages and they will never ever get the idea of calling a museum boring afterward!

Enjoy a Day at Lake Tuscaloosa

family enjoying a day at Lake Tuscaloosa

Lake Tuscaloosa is a perfect destination for families looking to enjoy a day filled with fun and relaxation. At over nine square miles, the lake offers ample space for various activities, making it a favorite spot for both locals and visitors.

Boating and Fishing

Whether you’re an experienced angler or just looking to spend a peaceful day on the water, Lake Tuscaloosa has something for everyone. The lake is well-stocked with a variety of fish, making it a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. Boating is also a great way to explore the lake’s scenic beauty.

Picnic Spots

There are numerous picnic spots around Lake Tuscaloosa where families can relax and enjoy a meal together. These spots offer stunning views of the lake and are perfect for a family outing. Don’t forget to pack a picnic basket filled with your favorite snacks!

Water Activities

From swimming to paddleboarding, Lake Tuscaloosa offers a range of water activities that are sure to keep the whole family entertained. The lake’s clean and clear waters make it an ideal spot for a refreshing swim on a hot day. For those looking for a bit more adventure, paddleboarding and kayaking are also popular options.

Explore Tuscaloosa’s diverse dining scene with family-friendly breakfasts, healthy morning options, quick bites, scenic lunch spots, budget-friendly eats, dinner destinations, fine dining experiences, wine and dine, family-friendly dining, kid-approved menus, dining with entertainment, outdoor family spots, romantic restaurants for date night, international cuisine, and more.

Visit the Tuscaloosa Barnyard

family enjoying activities at a barnyard in Tuscaloosa

It should be pretty safe to say that all children love animals. Maybe yours are lucky and have a dog or a cat around the home, but when do they have the opportunity to experience all kinds of other animals, too? There is a unique and amazing place in Tuscaloosa that makes it possible: The Tuscaloosa Barnyard! At this petting and fun farm 30 minutes outside of town, you can get in touch with bunnies, ducks, lambs, ponies, pigs and many other cute animals! It also provides a pool, a splash pad, wagon rides and more. During the summers, the Barnyard even turns into a summer camp!

Discover the Bama Theatre

family enjoying activities at Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa

Family-Friendly Shows

The Bama Theatre, established in 1938, offers a variety of family-friendly shows throughout the year. From children’s plays to musical performances, there’s always something to entertain the whole family. The theatre’s twinkling lights and historic charm create a magical atmosphere that captivates audiences of all ages.

Art Exhibits

In addition to live performances, the Bama Theatre hosts rotating art exhibits that showcase local and regional artists. These exhibits provide a wonderful opportunity for families to explore and appreciate diverse artistic expressions together.

Historical Tours

For those interested in history, the Bama Theatre offers guided tours that delve into its rich past. Learn about the theatre’s origins, its role in the community, and the architectural details that make it a Tuscaloosa landmark. These tours are both educational and engaging, making them perfect for a family outing.

The Bama Theatre is more than just a venue; it’s a cornerstone of cultural activity and community events in Tuscaloosa and West Alabama.

Spend Time at the Tuscaloosa River Market

family enjoying time at Tuscaloosa River Market

The Tuscaloosa River Market is a vibrant hub for families looking to enjoy a day out. Located along the scenic Black Warrior River, it offers a variety of activities that cater to all ages. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the River Market is a must-visit destination.

Have Fun at the University of Alabama Arboretum

family enjoying nature at University of Alabama Arboretum

The University of Alabama Arboretum is a fantastic place for families to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors. Spanning sixty acres, this arboretum offers a variety of activities that cater to all ages.

Nature Trails

Explore the scenic hiking trails that wind through the arboretum. These trails are perfect for a leisurely walk or a more adventurous hike. Don’t forget to check out the dog park if you’re a dog lover!

Educational Programs

The arboretum hosts a range of educational programs designed to engage both children and adults. From guided tours to hands-on workshops, there’s always something new to learn about the local flora and fauna.

Family Picnics

Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal surrounded by nature. The arboretum provides several picnic spots where families can relax and unwind. It’s a great way to spend quality time together in a beautiful setting.

The best part is that it is completely free! So, gather your family and head to the University of Alabama Arboretum for a day of fun and learning.

Relax at Snow Hinton Park

family enjoying picnic at Snow Hinton Park in Tuscaloosa


Snow Hinton Park offers a fantastic playground that is perfect for children of all ages. The playground is equipped with modern play structures, swings, and slides, ensuring hours of fun for the little ones. Parents can relax on nearby benches while keeping an eye on their kids.

Walking Trails

For those who enjoy a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, the park features well-maintained walking trails. These trails are ideal for a morning jog or an evening walk, providing a serene environment to unwind. The trails are also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friends along.

Picnic Areas

Snow Hinton Park boasts several picnic areas complete with tables and grills. These spots are perfect for a family picnic or a small gathering with friends. The lush green surroundings make it an ideal place to enjoy a meal outdoors.

Dive into the city’s best offerings. From delectable dining to artistic wonders, find the perfect places to eat, play, relax, and explore. Your curated guide to Snow Hinton Park awaits!

Experience the Gateway Innovation and Discovery Center

family enjoying activities at Gateway Innovation and Discovery Center in Tuscaloosa

Interactive Exhibits

The Gateway Innovation and Discovery Center is a central hub designed to connect the City to the latest technology. As the starting point for Tuscaloosa’s City Walk, this unique building is a treasure trove of technology and a wellspring of limitless content and opportunity. In addition to free access to laptops, tablets, and a massive digital library, the Gateway also offers unique opportunities for collaboration, education, and economic development.


The center hosts a variety of workshops that cater to all age groups. These workshops cover a range of topics from basic computer skills to advanced tech programs. Whether you’re a beginner or a tech enthusiast, there’s something for everyone to learn and enjoy.

Tech Programs

The Gateway Innovation and Discovery Center is committed to fostering a vibrant tech community in Tuscaloosa. They offer numerous tech programs aimed at both children and adults, ensuring that everyone has the chance to explore and grow their technological skills. Don’t miss out on these exciting opportunities to expand your knowledge and connect with like-minded individuals.

Catch a Show at the Mercedes-Benz Amphitheater


The Mercedes-Benz Amphitheater, with a capacity for 8,400, offers a unique and affordable opportunity to see your favorite concerts. Located on 15 acres along the banks of the Black Warrior River, it is the largest outdoor theater in West Alabama. Family-friendly activities are often part of the events, making it a great spot for everyone.

Family Events

Throughout the year, the Amphitheater hosts a variety of family events. From seasonal festivals to special performances, there’s always something happening. The beautifully landscaped venue ensures a pleasant experience for all attendees.

Outdoor Movies

During the warmer months, the Amphitheater screens outdoor movies, providing a perfect evening out for families. Bring a blanket, some snacks, and enjoy a movie under the stars. The safe locations and well-organized events make it an ideal choice for a fun night out with the kids.

Located minutes away from The University of Alabama campus and blocks from the lively downtown district, the Amphitheater is a premier location for arts and entertainment.

Visit the Tuscaloosa Public Library

family reading books in a public library in Tuscaloosa

The Tuscaloosa Public Library serves the 192,000 residents of Tuscaloosa County, as well as students attending The University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College, and Stillman College. TPL offers a full array of library services and materials from books in all formats, including downloadable e-books, to online learning programs designed to meet the needs of our community. The library currently has four service outlets: the Main Library, Brown Branch, Weaver Bolden Branch, and the Bookmobiles.

Explore the Paul W. Bryant Museum

family enjoying activities at Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa

Sports History

The Paul W. Bryant Museum is a treasure trove of over a hundred years of Crimson Tide memorabilia and football history. Discover what it takes to be “nothing but a winner” as you explore exhibits dedicated to the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and the University of Alabama’s storied football program.

Interactive Exhibits

Engage with interactive exhibits that bring the rich history of Alabama football to life. From vintage uniforms to historic game footage, there’s something for every fan to enjoy. The museum offers a hands-on experience that is both educational and entertaining for visitors of all ages.

Family Tours

Take a family tour to get the most out of your visit. Knowledgeable guides provide fascinating insights and behind-the-scenes stories that make the history come alive. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just curious, the Paul W. Bryant Museum offers a memorable experience for the whole family.

Admission is affordable, with tickets priced at $2 for adults and $1 for children, making it a budget-friendly outing for families.

Enjoy Outdoor Fun at Hurricane Creek Park

family enjoying outdoor activities at Hurricane Creek Park in Tuscaloosa

Hiking Trails

Hurricane Creek Park offers a variety of scenic trails perfect for hiking enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk or a more challenging hike, there’s something for everyone. The trails are well-maintained and provide a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area.

Nature Programs

The park hosts several nature programs that are both educational and fun. These programs are designed to help families learn more about the local flora and fauna. Enjoy swimming, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, park green spaces, and trails. Activities will consist of hands-on including discovery, arts & culture, sports, and more.

Picnic Spots

There are numerous picnic spots throughout Hurricane Creek Park, making it an ideal location for a family outing. Bring a blanket and a basket of food, and enjoy a relaxing day in the great outdoors. The park’s serene environment provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable picnic experience.


Tuscaloosa is a treasure trove of family-friendly activities that cater to children of all ages. With nearly 20% of the population being children, the city offers a plethora of options to keep the little ones entertained, from educational museums and outdoor adventures to fun-filled events and local attractions. Whether it’s exploring the Children’s Hands-On Museum, enjoying a day at Lake Tuscaloosa, or visiting the Tuscaloosa Barnyard, there’s something special for every family to enjoy. So, next time you’re planning a day out with your kids, remember that Tuscaloosa has countless opportunities for fun and memorable experiences!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some family-friendly activities in Tuscaloosa?

Tuscaloosa offers a variety of family-friendly activities including exploring the Children’s Hands-On Museum, enjoying a day at Lake Tuscaloosa, visiting the Tuscaloosa Barnyard, and discovering the Bama Theatre.

Are there any educational programs for kids in Tuscaloosa?

Yes, several places in Tuscaloosa offer educational programs for kids such as the Children’s Hands-On Museum, the University of Alabama Arboretum, and the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

Can we have a picnic in Tuscaloosa?

Absolutely! There are many great picnic spots in Tuscaloosa including Lake Tuscaloosa, Snow Hinton Park, and Hurricane Creek Park.

Are there any petting zoos in Tuscaloosa?

Yes, the Tuscaloosa Barnyard offers a petting zoo where kids can interact with various animals like bunnies, ducks, lambs, ponies, and pigs.

What outdoor activities are available at Lake Tuscaloosa?

Lake Tuscaloosa offers a range of outdoor activities including boating, fishing, and various water activities. There are also picnic spots available.

Does the Bama Theatre offer family-friendly shows?

Yes, the Bama Theatre offers a variety of family-friendly shows, along with art exhibits and historical tours.

Where can we find local produce and crafts in Tuscaloosa?

The Tuscaloosa River Market is a great place to find local produce, crafts, and art. They also host family events.

Are there any technology programs for kids in Tuscaloosa?

Yes, the Gateway Innovation and Discovery Center offers interactive exhibits, workshops, and tech programs that are suitable for kids.

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