Whether your kids are interested in animals, science, history, or something else entirely, Alabama offers plenty of things to see and do for the entire family. The DeSoto Caverns and Cathedral Caverns State Park are great spots if you want an outdoor adventure, while the Alabama Safari Park, the Birmingham Zoo, and the Anniston Museum of Natural History are must-see attractions for animal lovers of all ages. If you want your kids to learn about Alabama's fascinating history, you can also head to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the EarlyWorks Children's Museum, or the Rosa Parks Museum. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
© Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
One of the world's first and largest museums about the history of motorcycles, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum boasts an incredible collection of more than 1,600 vintage and modern motorcycles. More than 900 of these bikes are on display at any given time, and approximately 200 manufacturers from 20 countries are represented, with the oldest bikes dating as far back as 1904. There is also an extensive collection of Lotus race cars. Guided tours are available for an additional fee Friday through Sunday, and special museum talks are held on a regular basis throughout the year.
6030 Barber Motorsports Pkwy, Leeds, AL 35094, Phone: 205-699-7275
2.Tigers for Tomorrow at Untamed Mountain
Occupying 140 acres in the north of Alabama, Tigers for Tomorrow at Untamed Mountain is a wild animal preserve that was created to provide a forever home for unwanted predatory animals. Although the preserve is best known for its tigers, it serves as a refuge for many other kinds of animals as well, including black leopards, mountain lions, and wolves. Visitors are welcome to explore the park on their own and take photos of the animals at their leisure, and private tours are available for groups of four or more people if reservations are made in advance.
708 Co Rd 345, Attalla, AL 35954, Phone: 256-524-4150
3.Alabama Safari Park
If your kids love animals, there are few better places to visit than the Alabama Safari Park. The highlight is the 350-acre safari park full of animals like zebras, camels, deer and more, which visitors are welcome to explore in their own vehicles. Buckets of animal feed can be purchased at the admission desk if you'd like to feed the animals as you go through the park. Other attractions include a petting zoo where visitors can interact with small farm animals, a giraffe feeding area, and a spacious aviary filled with a colorful variety of free flying birds.
1664 Venable Rd, Hope Hull, AL 36043, Phone: 334-288-2105
4.Cathedral Caverns State Park
Formerly known as Bat Cave, Cathedral Caverns State Park is a spectacular natural attraction that welcomes visitors of all ages. The cave's massive grand entrance is one of the largest commercial cave entrances in the world, and once you're inside, you'll find all sorts of beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone formations. Guided tours of the cave are offered several times a day, and younger visitors can also try mining for gemstones. The cave is the undisputed highlight of the park, but if you have some spare time after your tour, there is also a wonderful network of hiking trails to explore.
637 Cave Rd, Woodville, AL 35776, Phone: 256-728-8193
5.Cheaha State Park
© Jim Vallee/stock.adobe.com
Located on top of the 2,407-foot Cheaha Mountain, the highest point in the state, Cheaha State Park is a wonderful place to go for outdoor recreation. Encompassing just under 2,800 acres of rugged forest, tumbling waterfalls, and granite boulders, the park is particularly well-suited to hiking, and several of the trails lead up to scenic overlooks of the surrounding area. There are several convenient day-use areas by the lake for visitors who want to picnic, fish, or swim, and if you'd rather not pack a lunch, there's a beautiful cliffside restaurant in the park as well.
19644 AL-281, Delta, AL 36258, Phone: 256-488-5111
6.Anniston Museum of Natural History
© Anniston Museum of Natural History
Located in Lagarde Park, the Anniston Museum of Natural History has been educating visitors about various aspect of the natural world since it was first established in 1930. There are seven permanent exhibit halls to choose from, each of which covers a different aspect of natural history, with topics ranging from the animals that live in the African savanna to the dinosaurs that used to inhabit Alabama and the surrounding area. Depending on when you visit, you might also be able to catch one of the museum's special events, which include everything from trivia programs to guided nature walks.
800 Museum Dr, Anniston, AL 36206, Phone: 256-237-6766
7.Army Aviation Museum
© Army Aviation Museum
Part of the Fort Rucker Army Base, the Army Aviation Museum is the perfect place for the whole family to learn about the history of American military aviation. The museum collection boasts more than 160 historic aircraft, approximately 50 of which are on display, including a replica Wright Model B, aircraft from World War I, and one of the biggest collections of military helicopters in the world. Other exhibits are full of photos and memorabilia that tell the story of the human side of aviation history. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, and admission is by donation.
6000 Novosel St, Fort Rucker, AL 36362, Phone: 334-598-2508
8.Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
© Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was one of the most significant periods in American history, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is one of the best possible places for you and your kids to learn about this chapter in the country’s story. The interactive exhibits trace the history of the civil rights movement through displays like a replica Freedom Riders bus, examples of segregated water fountains, and the door from the Birmingham jail cell where Martin Luther King Jr. was held. King's famous 'I Have a Dream' speech is also projected onto a big screen.
520 16th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203, Phone: 205-328-9696
Established in 1955, the Birmingham Zoo is home to an incredible variety of animals from six of the world's seven continents. Spread out over more than 120 acres, it's the largest zoo in the state, and visitors will have the chance to see more than 700 animals representing approximately 230 species. Highlights include the African Savanna, the Sea Lion Show, and the Predator Zone, but there are rhinos, flamingos, and many more animals as well. Behind the scenes tours of the animal enclosures are available for an additional fee, and there are also several restaurants and children's rides.
2630 Cahaba Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223, Phone: 205-879-0409
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10.Children's Museum of the Shoals
© Children's Museum of the Shoals
Conveniently located right in Florence's Deibert Park, the Children's Museum of the Shoals is a unique museum designed to foster childhood development and creativity through exciting interactive exhibits. Many of the exhibits are proudly inspired by the region's heritage, and kids can try navigating the Tennessee River, imagine themselves exploring the Tribal Trails, or show off on the Shoals Sound stage. There are also two themed areas reserved specially for the youngest visitors: “Wee Explore” and "The Piggy Market". The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, and a special outdoor gem mine is open on Saturdays as well.
2810 Darby Dr, Florence, AL 35630, Phone: 256-284-7107
11.Imagination Place Children's Museum
© Imagination Place Children's Museum
Found inside the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts complex, the Imagination Place Children's Museum is a delightful museum designed for children between the ages of 2 and 10. The museum's central permanent exhibit is a child-sized city known as KidsTown USA, where kids can learn how a city works while exploring exhibits like the train station, construction site, medical clinic, and grocery store. There is also a spacious exhibit hall, which features temporary displays that are changed several times a year. The museum is open seven days a week, and children under the age of 2 receive free admission.
501 Broad St, Gadsden, AL 35901, Phone: 256-543-2787
© DeSoto Caverns
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the DeSoto Caverns are a series of caves with an incredibly rich history. While taking a guided tour, visitors will learn all about the many purposes the caves have served over the years, which include sheltering the area's prehistoric indigenous peoples, providing gunpowder for Confederate soldiers, and offering a safe place to make and store moonshine during Prohibition. However, the fun doesn't stop as soon as you exit the caverns; the site offers plenty of other things to keep visitors entertained as well, including a butterfly house, a water golf course, and a maze.
5181 Desoto Caverns Pkwy, Childersburg, AL 35044, Phone: 256-378-7252
© Guy Bryant/stock.adobe.com
Tucked away in Northwest Alabama, Dismals Canyon is a privately-owned natural wonder that was declared a "National Natural Landmark" in 1975. A 1.5-mile hiking trail meanders through the canyon floor, leading visitors past thundering waterfalls, massive boulders, and a lush display of biological diversity. However, the canyon's main claim to fame is being one of the only places on Earth where tiny bioluminescent insects known as dismalites can be found, although visitors should be aware that the creatures can only be seen after dark. Guided Saturday night tours are offered on a seasonal basis, and advance reservations are strongly recommended.
901 County Rd 8, Phil Campbell, AL 35581, Phone: 205-993-4559
14.EarlyWorks Children's Museum
© Anton Gvozdikov/stock.adobe.com
If you're looking for an educational destination that will keep your kids entertained for hours, you should certainly consider paying a visit to the EarlyWorks Children's Museum. As the biggest hands-on history museum in the entire South, it boasts a wonderful selection of interactive exhibits, and kids can listen to the "Talking Tree" tell historic folktales, hop aboard a floating 46-foot keelboat to get a taste of Alabama river life, and play dress-up with 19th-century costumes. There's also a special area designed for kids under the age of 6, which features karaoke and an interactive grocery store.
404 Madison St SE, Huntsville, AL 35801, Phone: 256-564-8100
15.Gulf Coast Ducks
© Gulf Coast Ducks
Whether you've never heard of a duck boat before or have always wanted to go for a ride on one, one of the most exciting things you can do with your kids in Alabama is book a tour with Gulf Coast Ducks. The unique land/water tours start downtown at the Fort of Colonial Mobile, and visitors will ride through the streets learning about the city's fascinating history before splashing into the Mobile River for an amphibious ride. Tours last approximately 60 minutes in total, and private tours can sometimes be arranged for larger groups.
150 S Royal St, Mobile, AL 36602, Phone: 251-525-6933
16.Moundville Archaeological Park
© Moundville Archaeological Park
Encompassing over 300 acres, the Moundville Archaeological Park was established to protect the biggest complex of indigenous mounds in the Southeast. The mounds are believed to have been constructed in the 14th century, and twenty-nine enormous flat-topped earthen mounds are still standing in a careful arrangement around a central plaza. The people who built the mounds were also skilled craft-makers, and many beautiful religious and cultural objects have been discovered around the mounds and are now displayed in the on-site museum. Other amenities in the park include a short nature trail and a handful of picnic areas.
634 Mound State Parkway, Moundville, AL 35474, Phone: 205-371-2234
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17.Old Alabama Town
© Old Alabama Town
With its wonderful assortment of authentic buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries, Old Alabama Town offers the unique opportunity to take a step back in time and see what life in Alabama used to look like. Some of the buildings visitors can explore on their own include a historic tavern, a blacksmith's shop, a doctor's office, and a schoolhouse, and a guided tour of an elegant townhouse is included in the price of admission as well. Visitors are also advised to wear walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing to ensure they stay comfortable while walking from building to building.
301 Columbus St, Montgomery, AL 36104, Phone: 334-240-4500
18.Southern Museum of Flight
© Southern Museum of Flight
Home to a collection of more than 100 historic aircraft, the Southern Museum of Flight presents a fascinating history of aviation from the earliest days of powered flight to modern times. Many of the aircraft are displayed outdoors, but there are also several excellent indoor exhibits, including a display of Vietnam War Helicopters, a diorama honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, and a B-25 that was recovered from the bottom of Lake Murray. Another highlight of the facility is the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame, which features collective biographical information about some of the most significant figures in the history of Alabama aviation.
4343 73rd St N, Birmingham, AL 35206, Phone: 205-833-8226
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19.Rosa Parks Museum
© Rosa Parks Museum
Dedicated to Rosa Parks, one of the most iconic figures of the civil rights movement, the Rosa Parks Museum can be found in downtown Montgomery right on the spot where Ms. Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat. The museum's interactive exhibits will keep visitors of all ages entertained, and highlights include a reenactment of what happened on the bus, several videos, and a "time travel" experience that children tend to particularly enjoy. There is also an exhibition hall, which features a series of temporary exhibits covering various related aspects of history.
252 Montgomery St, Montgomery, AL 36104, Phone: 334-241-8615
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20.Vulcan Park and Museum
© Ritu Jethani/stock.adobe.com
Perched on top of Red Mountain, the Vulcan Park and Museum is the home of Birmingham's iconic Vulcan Statue, the largest cast iron statue in the entire world. The park surrounding the statue is a beautiful place to walk and relax, but an even better thing to do is head up to the top of the observation tower for some excellent views. Don't forget to make some time to explore the museum as well; it offers some fascinating displays about Birmingham's history and the important role the iron industry has played in the development of the city.
1701 Valley View Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209, Phone: 205-933-1409
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21.Children's Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa
Known as CHOM for short, the Children's Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa offers endless opportunities for children up to 12 years old to learn about the world through play. There are more than a dozen interactive exhibits for children to explore, with highlights including the Choctaw Indian Village, the Arts Studio, and the Space Station, and there is also a play area with an air ball booth and plenty of kaleidoscopes. Special events and exciting interactive workshops are held on a regular basis, and there's a party space that can be rented out for birthday parties and other private events.
2213 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, Phone: 205-349-4235
22.Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center
© Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center
Widely regarded as one of the best family-friendly attractions in Alabama, the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center is operated by a non-profit organization that believes in promoting education in science, technology, engineering and math. The center boasts more than 150 interactive exhibits housed inside three inviting galleries: one dedicated to the human body, one with a focus on interactive learning about physics, and one designed especially for children between the ages of 0 and 5. There is also a massive IMAX theater with 177 seats and a 60-foot domed screen, which regularly plays interesting educational films.
65 Government St, Mobile, AL 36602, Phone: 251-208-6893
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23.Alabama Constitution Village
Part of the EarlyWorks family of museums, the Alabama Constitution Village shows visitors what life was like in Huntsville in 1819. There are eight buildings for visitors to explore, including a post office, a historic residence, and a print shop, and visitors are welcome to relax and enjoy the beautiful green spaces and picnic areas around the building as well. If you'd like a more in-depth look at the village, you can also take a 90-minute guided tour of the building, although it should be noted that tours are best suited to visitors 12 years and older.
109 Gates Ave SE, Huntsville, AL 35801, Phone: 256-564-8100
24.Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Tour
© Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Tour
The Alabama Hyundai factory is one of the most advanced automotive plants in the world, and the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Tour gives visitors the unique opportunity to get a glimpse at how modern vehicles are made. The tour starts in the showroom, where some of the newest Hyundai vehicles are on display. Guests will also be shown a short video before being taken into the factory itself, where you'll get to see vehicles being assembled by a team of humans and robots. Tours are held several times a day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and reservations are required.
700 Hyundai Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36105, Phone: 334-387-8000
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Dating back to 1820, Ivy Green is a charming white clapboard house that happens to be the birthplace and childhood home of the famous Helen Keller. The home is still decorated with much of its original furnishings, and there are also plenty of exhibits displaying personal items and artifacts from Miss Keller's life, with highlights including her Braille typewriter and her extensive collection of Braille books. Tours of the home are offered Monday through Saturday, and visitors are also welcome to explore the grounds, which feature a gift shop, a fountain, and some herb gardens.
300 N Commons St W, Tuscumbia, AL 35674, Phone: 256-383-4066
25 Fun Things to Do in Alabama with Kids of All Ages
- Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Photo: Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
- Tigers for Tomorrow at Untamed Mountain, Photo: hyena1515/stock.adobe.com
- Alabama Safari Park, Photo: kevinbeasley/stock.adobe.com
- Cathedral Caverns State Park, Photo: ChuckS/stock.adobe.com
- Cheaha State Park, Photo: Jim Vallee/stock.adobe.com
- Anniston Museum of Natural History, Photo: Anniston Museum of Natural History
- Army Aviation Museum, Photo: Army Aviation Museum
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Photo: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- Birmingham Zoo, Photo: bonniemarie/stock.adobe.com
- Children's Museum of the Shoals, Photo: Children's Museum of the Shoals
- Imagination Place Children's Museum, Photo: Imagination Place Children's Museum
- DeSoto Caverns, Photo: DeSoto Caverns
- Dismals Canyon, Photo: Guy Bryant/stock.adobe.com
- EarlyWorks Children's Museum, Photo: Anton Gvozdikov/stock.adobe.com
- Gulf Coast Ducks, Photo: Gulf Coast Ducks
- Moundville Archaeological Park, Photo: Moundville Archaeological Park
- Old Alabama Town, Photo: Old Alabama Town
- Southern Museum of Flight, Photo: Southern Museum of Flight
- Rosa Parks Museum, Photo: Rosa Parks Museum
- Vulcan Park and Museum, Photo: Ritu Jethani/stock.adobe.com
- Children's Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa, Photo: DariaChich/stock.adobe.com
- Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, Photo: Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center
- Alabama Constitution Village, Photo: surasaki/stock.adobe.com
- Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Tour, Photo: Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Tour
- Ivy Green, Photo: Rattanachat/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Robbie/stock.adobe.com