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Road Trip

Robot Zoo at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Take a family-friendly trip before summer ends

By Alethia Russell

If you’re looking for ways to keep the kids active, take this summer as an opportunity to relax, reconnect, unplug, and have fun-filled day trips with them before summer’s end. Here are a few locations across our state that are day trip or weekend-worthy for some quality family time.

North Alabama

Point Mallard Park: Located in Decatur, Point Mallard Park includes a water park, golf course, an ice complex, and batting cages. This place is a jack-of-all-trades for whatever type of experience your family is looking for, including hiking/ walking trails, outdoor pavilions, and baseball fields. For ticket information, hours and more visit

Southern Adventures is a family friendly water amusement park located in Huntsville. It offers year-round entertainment ranging from a go-kart racetrack, rock climbing walls, golf courses and carnival rides. Even better news . . . there is no entrance fee. Take the family for the day and simply pay as you play!

U.S. Space and Rocket Center: This center in Huntsville has a large variety of programs for the science savvy including Rocket Park, a rocket collection, and a Main Exhibit Area filled with information and memorabilia from NASA’s space program. This trip is also one for the senses with its 67-foot IMAX Spacedome Theater.


The Children’s Museum of the Shoals offers hands-on exhibits geared to children at all development stages. Children can play and learn in a safe environment that stimulates the imagination and expands cultural literacy and science. For more information go to

Sci-Quest Hands on Science Center in Huntsville offers a variety of experiences including daily summer camps, Full-Spectrum Science for children on every color of the autism spectrum, and daily activities for general admission fees.

Central Alabama

McWane Science Center: Open daily, the McWane Science Center in Birmingham is known for giving children a place to “see, hear, touch and experience science every day.” The Science Center has four floors of interactive exhibits and an IMAX dome theater that brings images to life.


Desoto Caverns Family Fun Park is a historic show cave located in Childersburg. The cave offers tours that teach the history of the Indians that lived and died in the caverns, Confederate soldiers who mined gunpowder and early Indian traders. Each tour includes a laser light, sound and water show as well as gem panning, crystal find, water golf and paddle boats.

Alabama Splash Adventures in Bessemer is a family trip just minutes away from Birmingham. The venue offers water adventures including a “Misti-cal” water maze, the Splashdown that sends riders on a 50-foot plunge into the water pool, an adventure course and more.

South Alabama

Adventure Land

Adventure Land Theme Park in Dothan offers quite the adrenaline rush with attractions like batting cages, go-karts, bumper boats and mini golf. Fuel the family with treats from the snack bar, and send them back out for some wholesome family interaction. For more information on pricing and hours go to

Adventure Island in Orange Beach caters to … well, the adventurous! This location features a giant volcano, go-karts, laser tag, mini-golf, and more. The Alligator Arcade features rollercoaster simulators and a rock-climbing wall and more than 100 video games.

Sharky’s Family Adventure Park in Orange Beach offers two Sky Trails Adventure Ropes Courses for participants to test their agility and balance. They also have four Skyline Zip line connections and Sky Tykes, a smaller version of Sky Trails for smaller children.

Waterville U.S.A. in Gulf Shores is less than a mile away from the beach. Travellers can enjoy the 20-acre water and amusement park for one entry fee. The amusement park includes a House of Bounce, Cannonball Run roller coaster, and NASCAR go-karts. The water park includes 17 water slides, a lazy pool, Flowrider and more.