Tuscaloosa is located in the heart of West Alabama, and in the South, which means our warm weather season is around for a bit longer!  Although this community has an abundance of adventurous outdoor attractions, sometimes, you just need indoor options to beat the heat.  Whether it’s an ice cream shop or a trip to the bowling alley, we’ve got just what you need to enjoy Tuscaloosa… a bit on the cooler side.

Las Piñas is a family-owned business that is excited to bring a new modern concept of ice cream shops. Serving 100% homemade frozen treats and snacks with the combination of Mexican and American flavors makes Las Piñas a great spot to cool you off and cure your cravings.
They are located at 2003 McFarland Blvd. E Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday: 12 (noon) – 8 pm
Friday – Sunday: 12 (noon) – 9 pm

Another way to escape the humidity is taking a trip to Bowlero.  This reinvented bowling alley includes dining, sports, entertainment, and recreational games. They also have incredible food and drinks, as well as an electric atmosphere and service. What are you waiting for? Grab your best friends and join the (air-conditioned) party at Bowlero!
They are located at 2001 McFarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

Hours of Operation:
 Monday – Thursday: 5 pm – 12 am
Friday: 5 pm – 1 am
 Saturday: 12 (noon) – 1 am
Sunday: 12 (noon) – 10 pm

If you’re a fan of the arts, you’ll love the Paul R. Jones Gallery. The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama includes one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of 20th-century African American art in the world, grown over decades by the one and only Paul Raymond Jones.
 They are located at 2308 6th St. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Situated in a quaint and cozy historic home, Ernest & Hadley Bookis Tuscaloosa’s Indie Bookstore that’s located in the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa. This store strives to provide a unique selection of new, used and rare books, and other creative materials from local, regional, and international sources. If you have a deep love of books and wish to share that passion with others, this store is perfect for you. With a village approach, they provide space for book clubs to meet, authors to hold book signings, and even artists to exhibit their craft!
They are located at 1928 7th St. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Closed Sunday

With summer at its peak, you might be looking for a quick family getaway with the kiddos before school starts again, and we think Tuscaloosa is the perfect spot!  That’s why we have pulled together some family-friendly activities that will leave everyone smiling, and make the planning much easier.  Tuscaloosa has so much to offer for any age and it’s our goal to share those stories! While some of the items listed are taking place this weekend, our email is packed with things to do at any time! Be sure to tag @VisitTuscaloosa in any photos you take when you’re having fun at these local gems.

 

Paul W. Bryant Museum

The Paul W. Bryant Museum opened its doors to the public on October 8, 1988. The museum exhibits artifacts and memorabilia that trace the long history of University of Alabama football. State-of-the-art displays enhanced by videos highlighting great players, plays, and games are produced from the museum’s archives. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Members and children under 5 are free, Adults: $5, Children (K-12): $3. Free admission to UA faculty, staff, and students! The Bryant Museum has moved to an online ticketing system.  To make a reservation please click below.

This shelter has a program called Happy Hour where you can take a dog out for a day. This benefits the dog by getting some fresh air and exercise, but it is also guaranteed to brighten up your day. Check an approved dog out between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday or Tuesday or Thursday through Saturday. There are only a couple rules you must follow while participating in this program.  You must be over 18 to participate, do not allow the animal off-leash, stay with the dog at all times, only one dog per car, and return the furry friend by 5:00 p.m.

 

Metro Animal Shelter

This shelter has a program called Happy Hour where you can take a dog out for a day. This benefits the dog by getting some fresh air and exercise, but it is also guaranteed to brighten up your day. Check an approved dog out between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday or Tuesday or Thursday through Saturday. There are only a couple rules you must follow while participating in this program.  You must be over 18 to participate, do not allow the animal off-leash, stay with the dog at all times, only one dog per car, and return the furry friend by 5:00 p.m.

 

Explore the Galapagos at CHOM

Explore the Galapagos at Children’s Hands-on Museum! Sail down to The Galapagos Islands and learn about this amazing ecosystem through crafts, activities, and games! All guests over two (2+) years must wear museum-approved masks from entry to exit. This event is a safe distancing event. Visitors are limited. Before you embark on this journey, learn more information below.

 

Taco Casa

It is difficult to capture all of the incredible foods available in Tuscaloosa, but there is one, in particular, that is a staple of our community: Taco Casa! Young and old adore this local treasure not only because of its delicious food but also for the laid-back environment and exceptional customer service. Whether you are craving a taco salad, a burrito, or the delicious taco burger, Taco Casa guarantees a positive experience for all.

 

Ladyelines Art Garage

This garage is just what this community needed, new and really exciting. The need for a place for children, babies, and adults alike to explore art through unstructured opportunities in an inspiring environment. Whether you want to go to a Parents Night Out event or bring your child to one of their painting classes, this place is perfect for encouraging learning and experiencing safe, new things. They even host birthday parties and have an Open Play to make sure every child is exhausted by the end of the day. Parents? You’re welcome.

 

Bowlero Tuscaloosa

Bowlero has reinvented bowling with inventive dining, sports, entertainment, and recreational games. Grab your family and join the party! They have great food, a fun atmosphere, arcade, lounge seating, epic eats, and stellar design. No matter how old your kiddos are fun can be found around every corner.

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the time has finally come. The Druid City Arts Festival, presented by Cadence Bank, is returning tomorrow from 5 – 10 pm and Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm!

 

This 12th annual community event allows guests to explore and shop one-of-a-kind art from over 70 visual artists while enjoying the outdoors on a Tuscaloosa spring day at our lovely Government Plaza! While there, you can enjoy lunch, a snack, or a cold treat from one of your favorite local food trucks, too. Our friends from Buffalo Rock will be there with Pepsi products, too.

 

Showcasing some of Tuscaloosa’s musicians, guests will be able to watch performances from artists including Drum Nation and Alabama Blues Project!  Click here to take a look at the full Stage Schedule, presented by Mercedes-Benz.

 

And, last but not least, one of the great things about this festival is that there are so many engaging activities for adults and children alike. Below we have compiled some of the fun kid-friendly activities that will be available at DCAF this year! We must give a special thanks to our friends at McAbee Construction for their sponsorship of the DCAF Kids Zone.

 

      1. Tuscaloosa’s Museums

Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum is one of the great museum options that we have in T-town. Located at Tuscaloosa’s historic Queen City Park along the Black Warrior River, this museum is filled with knowledge and appreciation of our local and regional history and natural resources through exhibits, museum educational programs, and educational outreach efforts. For those interested in extinct models, the Alabama Museum of Natural History is a perfect place to visit with its ancient fossils and many other exciting things to discover!

      2.  Art Galleries

We have some incredible and diverse art galleries in town that are definitely worth a visit. The Kentuck Art Center in Northport is an all-in-one museum, gallery, and event location that is now featuring Good Trouble: Civil Rights Past and Present. In the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa lies another local gem: Paul R. Jones Gallery. Currently, the exhibition Mario Andres Robinson- A Brush with Time is on display. The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is another great place to explore on a rainy day. Their gallery hours are 1-3 pm Monday – Friday and this week, they show the Tuscaloosa County Schools Art Exhibit!

      3. Coffee Shops

What cozier place could there be to hide from a rainy day than a traditional coffee shop? The smell of coffee and pastries in the air, people reading the newspaper, studying or chatting steadily alongside a laid-back playlist…. sounds perfect to us! Tuscaloosa offers many such magical places. For example, the local chain Turbo Coffee,  Monarch Espresso Bar downtown, or the new kid on the block  Just Love Coffee. Choose any of these and you won’t be disappointed!

      4. Brewery

Local breweries in Tuscaloosa are the perfect place to spend a gray afternoon among friends and one of America’s favorite drinks: Beer. Druid City Brewing Company, Black Warrior Brewing Company, and Loosa offer great brews and relaxed space to lean back and enjoy an ice-cold one on this dreary day. These local treasures have the coolest merchandise to brighten up your wardrobe today!

      5. Shindig

Shindig Family Entertainment Center is another excellent option for rainy days like today. This is your one-stop entertainment center with bowling, laser tag, arcade games, mini-golf, and a restaurant with a lounge! Forget about your worries and completely immerse yourself in all of the family fun that this awesome place has to offer!

 

We’ve got big plans this weekend here in Tuscaloosa! With our city’s winning basketball streak being over for this year, we have to look forward to something new and exciting to keep our spirits up! There’s something for everyone to enjoy this weekend, so stay tuned to hear all about this weekend’s events!

 

Laine Hardy at Druid City

We cannot explain how thankful we are that concerts are back in town! You and your friends can head to Druid City Music Hall this Friday, April 9th, to watch Laine Hardy put on an energizing show. You can buy your tickets online at Druid City’s website for the 9 pm show. Masks are still required when entering the venue and must be worn when drinks are not in hand! Remember to be responsible and have a great time!

 

Bird Fest at Moundville

Spring is in the air and so are Alabama’s beautiful native bird species! Nestled along the banks of the Black Warrior River, UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park (MAP) hosts its annual Birdfest Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, 2021. Birdfest guests can take a bird walk with local experts, including Dwight Lammon (Tuscaloosa, AL). Information on wildlife conservation, bird watching checklists, birdhouse plans and much more will be available and free of charge to everyone. To register for your attendance click here

 

Over the Edge

Ready for a thrill-seeking experience? The only urban rappelling experience is here in Tuscaloosa this Friday, April 10th! Over The Edge is a benefit event for the great work of Youth For Christ. All participants will rappel 140 feet from the top of The Tower in downtown Tuscaloosa. Bring a go-getter attitude and leave all your fears at home! For more information visit Over the Edge’s website

 

Tuscaloosa Story Walk

This Sunday, April 11th at 11 a.m., PARA, and the Tuscaloosa Public Library present the grand opening of the Tuscaloosa StoryWalk®! Enjoy a beautiful Saturday morning on the Riverwalk while strolling down the trail and reading a fun story! StoryWalk® is an innovative and interactive way for readers of all ages to enjoy a story and the outdoors at the same time. Laminated pages from a children’s picture book will be displayed along the RiverWalk trail. As you stroll down the trail, you are directed to the next page in the story. A StoryWalk® engages young readers and is a great way to practice Active Reading skills!

The weather is a bit dreary in Tuscaloosa, but that doesn’t mean your week has to be! While this city does have plenty of outdoor fun for you and your family, let’s not forget the great indoors! Here are a couple of great ways to dodge the rain and have a great time doing it.

 

  1. Axe Throwing
Looking to awake the sleeping lumberjack within? Civil Axe Throwing can help you do just that! This thrilling activity is super simple to learn, and everything has been designed with your fun and safety in mind. Axe throwing is a perfect way to blow off some steam and have fun with some friendly competition with friends and family! Not sure if this is for you? Think of this activity as throwing a dart, except you might need two hands! Walk-ins are always welcome but you can save your spot ahead of time by visiting Civil Axe’s website.
  1. Catch a Movie
Have we forgotten about movie theaters in 2021? The Golden Globe Awards were last month and there were some hot movies nominated! We have been inside for much of the last year, most likely binging every Netflix movie known to man. CMX Cinemas Hollywood 16 Theater (formerly Cobb Theater) is open and showing new movies daily! Sanitation precautions are in place and masks are required upon entry until you seat yourself. We all have a movie junkie personality, and get real- we missed that movie theater popcorn! 
  1. Educate Yourself!

The museum scene in Tuscaloosa is evergrowing. While it’s rainy outside, you can visit exhibits from art to natural history! The Alabama Museum of Natural History has shown its beauty through exhibitions, collections, and quality programs of teaching, research, and service for over 150 years. The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center has served as a hub for the arts in Tuscaloosa. You can currently observe the newest exhibition, “Eye Music” by Elizabeth Rand Photography. New exhibitions are opening every month so there is no absence of great talent to enjoy!

  1. Coffee Shops
Something about rainy weather makes us want to curl up somewhere cozy with a warm drink. Thankfully, Tuscaloosa is home to many homey coffee shops! Grab yourself a cup of your favorite coffee or tea and listen to a podcast or even catch up on some overdue work! Five Java, Heritage House, and Just Love Coffee Cafe all offer free wifi and tons of indoor and outdoor seating so you can bring a friend along! Have a cup, or two, and let this weather pass by! (There are many other coffee shops in our area, so tag us on one of your favorites!)
  1. Breweries
Maybe rainy weather makes you want to get your buzz on. The beer scene in Tuscaloosa is definitely on full blast 24/7! Black Warrior Brewing Company, Loosa Brews, and Druid City Brewing Company allow you to get an early start on your happy hour while sheltering from the rain. The best beer we drink is the ones with friends, so get your crew and get on! Loosa also has an arcade in the backroom so don’t be shy with your quarters!



If you partake in any of these activities this week, tag us on Instagram, @visittuscaloosa! 

The weekend is steadily approaching and we cannot wait to see what is in store! Tuscaloosa is far from lacking in fun festivities for the weekend and those that participate are bound to have a blast. Let’s ditch the week-day blues and put on our party hats! Here are some exciting events that will create incredible memories to last a lifetime.

 

Live Music Thursdays 

Picture this: the sun is out, temperatures are warm and you have a cocktail in your hand. Oh, AND there is music playing! Live Music Thursday’s at The Lookout Rooftop Bar are kicking right into gear and just got better thanks to the spring season! Check out Soapy & Andrew hit it off this Thursday, March 11th, and take advantage of The Lookout’s happy hour cocktail and food deals! Just remember, the Lookout Rooftop is smoke-free and pet friendly, and practicing all social distancing protocols to offer you a fun night out!

 

Alabama Baseball 

Warmer weather and blue skies call for a fun outdoor event! Catch the Crimson Tide challenge Stetson this Friday, March 12th, at Sewell Thomas Stadium. Grab yourself and your buddies a ticket and head over to campus for the 6 pm game. Can’t attend in person? You can watch the Tide roll from home by watching SEC Network +.

 

Shamrock Saturday

St. Patrick’s Day is approaching and the Children’s Hands-On Museum is making sure you and your little ones have the best time yet! Shamrock Saturday at CHOM is this Saturday, March 13th. Make a shamrock guitar, rock out to Irish folk music, and hunt for shamrocks! All activities are included with admission and guests must wear a mask. Don’t forget to wear green!

 

Comedy Night

In need of a good laugh? Nocturnal is back with another installment of one of the best stand-up acts in the region! The show is Saturday, March 13th, with headliner Scott Eason, a featured comedian on Comedy Centrals’ Roast Battle at Stand-Up Live in Huntsville and Sirius XM! Admission is $10 and doors at 7:00 pm for the 8 pm show. For more information click here!

The best time of year is steadily approaching and it seems that the gift list is growing longer by the second. That’s where we come in to save the day. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some stellar local shops that will make this year’s Christmas shopping a breeze. Not only will this guide save you loads of time, but it’s also a way to show your love and support for the many phenomenal local businesses in Tuscaloosa! Want your favorite shop featured? Send us a direct message and let us know!

For your Brewery Buds…

There is always one kind of gift that gets put to good use with just about every recipient: alcohol. Whether you’re searching for your favorite IPA or a unique kind of wine, we have what you’re looking for in Tuscaloosa! Loosa is a spectacular local bar that offers 63-Taps that you can drink on-premise, or fill up in a growler and take home. They always keep 30 of the freshest draft beers from Alabama breweries plus rare beers from all over on tap. If alcohol isn’t the direction you were thinking, check out their T-shirts, hats, and glassware! Whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor a souvenir is always a great little reminder of your experience here in T-Town. 

For the Evermoving Explorers…

Although the temperatures are getting lower and lower, it is still important to stay active outside whether it is to exercise or for other sporting purposes! Staying outside and distanced is a safe and healthy way to enjoy activities with friends and family, so for all those outdoorsy companions, check out Woods and Water or Wagner’s. Woods and Water is a store that fills every outdoorsy person’s fantasies, whether for hunting, fishing, or other assorted outdoor activities! A local shoe store, Wagner’s, has another seasonal gift guide for everyone to put a holiday spring in their loved ones’ step this season! Browse through the wide selection of shoes and active outerwear divided into for him, for her, for girls, or for boys sections. 

For your Foodie Friends…

Wheww… Where do we even start? To gift a delightful dining experience and incredible Italian cuisine check out the local favorite Depalmas! If a brunch date is more your style, gift your friend with mimosas and a view at River, or with a Southern-styled breakfast at The Waysider. For that unpredictable foodie friend, a Cravings gift card can go a long way. The city’s one-stop-shop for specialty candy, craft beer, wine, dessert, and so much more is located downtown for your convenience.

For the Auspicious Artists…

Bring the artistic wonder of Kentuck Arts Center to family and friends with the power of the Kentuck Festival of the Arts 2020 Virtual Marketplace. This virtual dream come true is available now until December 31st to safely celebrate local artists. With a wide variety of pieces and creations, the Virtual Marketplace is a fabulous way to browse and discover new tastes and trends within the art community all from the safety of your home. Not only is this a safe way to shop, but it also an incredible way to support local artists from around Tuscaloosa and all of West Alabama.

All Fired Up Ceramic Studio offers gift cards for visitors to purchase for their friends and family this upcoming holiday season or year-round for other celebrations! Gifts can come in the shape of gift cards for use at the All Fired Up studio or even take-home kits to move the ceramic fun to enjoy in the safety of your own home! All Fired Up is a delightful spot where you, along with friends or family, can stop by to create and paint your very own pottery creations together. This activity is a relaxing way to both blow off steam and express creativity through shape, color, and design! Visit All Fired Up’s website to learn more about the store and their different gift offerings.

For the Reserved Relaxers…

In the chaos that has been 2020, many people are looking for ways to healthily unwind and enjoy time to themselves or just time in peace and quiet. Tuscaloosa is home to several spots where you can find the gift of “solace” to give to one of your closest companions. Ernest and Hadley offers gift cards, branded gifts, and even store memberships as part of their gift gallery and is sure to provide a thoughtful and easy gift to give a book lover or someone looking to read more heading into the new year. Monarch Espresso Bar is another way to give the gift of peace and quiet by offering gift cards to give to friends and family this holiday season.

Arts and Entertainment

Thursday Concerts on the Rooftop is featuring One Horrible Family this week! Originally a larger band formed two years ago, this group preferred a more intimate trio. All music students at the University of Alabama (one a former student), the group is capable of really any genre but performs mostly R&B, 80s music, and jazz. With most of their experience being in larger bars in Tuscaloosa, they are excited to relax at the Lookout for a night of rhythm and soul. The fun starts at 6 pm, and you do not want to miss this! 

 

Jump into the holiday spirit with the arts at the exclusive Christmas Open House at Kentuck’s Gallery Shop! Enjoy 10% OFF IN-STORE AND ONLINE! Join the holiday fun at Kentuck’s Christmas Kickoff Open House from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, November 7, and from 12 to 4 pm on Sunday, November 8. Support local artists this holiday season and find unique gifts for all of your loved ones! Use code CHRISTMASOPEN2020 for 10% off our online shop!

 

Fun for the Youngsters

On Friday Para will be hosting Kids Night Out at 5:30 pm at the McDonald Hughes Community Center! The Kids Night Out event will keep the kiddos busy for 3 hours of educational and recreational fun! Pizza, juice, and dessert will be available for all participants to enjoy throughout the event. There will be swimming so make sure to pack swimwear, dry clothes, and a towel. Life jackets will be provided when needed. Registration for this fall fling is available here.

 

The Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa is hosting Sweater Weather on Saturday from 9:30 am- 4 pm. CHOM is a beloved local gem where children explore, create, and discover every time they visit. When they say “hands-on” they really mean it! Learning through play is what our exhibits are all about. This special seasonal extravaganza will include autumn weather science, leaf color experiments, and fantastic fall wreaths! All of these engaging activities are included in admission.

 

Uniquely Local

At 7 am this Saturday the farmers market will be open and ready to safely serve you! Handmade treasures galore awaits at the Rivermarket until 12 pm. From scented bath bombs to handmade woodwork you are bound to find something that piques your interest at the farmers market. Face coverings are required for all who wish to go inside and shop and social distancing will be in effect. 

 

Also available on Saturday is an Intro to Vinyasa Workshop at the Yoga Bliss Studio. Vinyasa is a form of active yoga that involves different postures in consecutive succession to offer a more balanced bodily effect. Yoga is an activity that is diverse in its styles and Vinyasa yoga is considered to be one of the most dynamic styles you can enjoy! Yoga Bliss is located on Queen City Avenue and hosts several classes a week, including many similar introduction classes for all yoga beginners! For more information about the Vinyasa Workshop, visit the Yoga Bliss Facebook event page.

 

The House Plant Collective bus will be making a special appearance at Druid City Brewing on Sunday from 2- 5 pm. At House Plant Collective the mission is to create Birmingham’s first mobile plant store while providing the community education needed for the plants to thrive. Shop plants, grab a beer, and enjoy your serene Sunday supporting local!

 

Written By:

Will Baggett & Jamie Hoven

Fall has arrived, and with it came that familiar crisp autumn air, which means the outdoors are calling our names! See for yourself  Tuscaloosa’s breathtaking back yard…and it doesn’t stop there, either. This city’s stunning landscape paired with phenomenal local businesses elevates an already beautiful destination into a MUST-DO Road Trip. Whether you are looking to wind down with an outdoor picnic, take an adventure hiking through the fall foliage, or shop like there’s no tomorrow, let these 10 reasons why Tuscaloosa should be your next weekend getaway guide your planning process. After all, you don’t want the legendary Tuscaloosa Experience to pass you by!

1.jDowntown Tuscaloosa:

A recent addition to the city’s outstanding coffee shop scene is about to open and we couldn’t be more excited! Just Love Coffee prioritizes that sense of community as a business. The laid-back & relaxed atmosphere that makes Just Love Coffee Cafe so special was created to be different than the stuffy reputation of most specialty coffee shops. Downtown Tuscaloosa is a prime place to shop until you drop. Whether you are looking for your next gameday attire at The Pants Store, or searching for an antique accessory at Twice as Nice, this area is ideal for shopping at a vast variety of places that are all conveniently located!

2. Riverwalk

Offering a serene view of the Black Warrior River, the Riverwalk is also the place to hammock, picnic, or relax! There are numerous picnic tables, benches, and gazebos to provide a comfortable environment, allowing you to get the most out of your experience with the great outdoors of T-Town. Let your mind take a rest from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you are looking to work up a sweat and take advantage of the cooler temperatures, there is also a running path along the Riverwalk to enjoy in the morning or throughout the day. In addition to these activities, the Riverwalk is located close to a number of restaurants to enjoy either at the start or at the end of a delightful Autumn day, like Market House Boutique, Another Broken Egg, and River. Be sure to carry a mask with you for safety if you intend to visit any of the restaurants or businesses on the Riverwalk!

3. Lake Harris

Lake Harris is one of the many nearby lakes that offers an incredible setting for a number of different outdoor activities. There are plenty of picnic areas and a beach, where one might spread out a blanket to enjoy their lunch or simply take in the scene. In addition to these spots, there are a number of trees gathered close by the bank, perfect for setting up a cozy hammock! For those who are looking to stay active, there is a 1.76-mile hike around the lake through the trees. As the weather cools down, this area will become a peaceful gathering place for all who wish to experience some of Tuscaloosa’s many hidden gems.

4. Farmer’s Market

The Tuscaloosa Farmers Market is a spectacular shopping spot where you can find anything from a hand-cut Maple & Walnut Cutting Board to a hand-poured Yellowhammer candle scented Alabama Shores, all within walking distance. Each Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. local vendors of all specialties gather at the Tuscaloosa River Market to show off their wares to the community. If you plan on discovering the market’s incredible vendors this Saturday, wear a mask and be prepared to follow all social distancing guidelines!

5. Children’s Hands-on Museum

CHOM is a wonderful place in town where children explore, create, and discover something new every time they visit.  When we say “hands-on” we really mean it!  Learning through play is what CHOM’S exhibits are all about, where kids are encouraged to touch, feel, and play in fantastic exhibits.  Three floors of fun await with 24 exhibits, offering newborns and 13 year-olds alike an opportunity to completely immerse yourself in fun learning processes.

6. Kentuck Art Center

This local favorite offers a unique view into the minds of the endlessly talented local artists all around Tuscaloosa. From handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry to kitchen pitchers, this gold mine is ideal for a one-stop-shop for all of your holiday gifts. The Kentuck Gallery Shop offers an incredible shopping experience unlike any other online and/or in-person! Also, the 49th Kentuck Festival of the Arts is open NOW until December 31, 2020. With over 180 artist shops specializing in categories like clay, glass, jewelry, mixed media, sculpture, and wood you are bound to find the perfect Christmas present for everyone on your list!

7. Bower’s Park

Bower’s Park is a nearby public park that offers quite a few activity opportunities, like a disc golf course or several fields for rent. Not much different from regular golf, disc golf is an active way to stay busy on a delightful weekend outside! Those looking to get into this sport need to be sure and purchase discs ahead of time, however. As far as a field for rent, Bower’s Park has a number of different fields, baseball/softball or multipurpose, that can be rented out for a small gathering of friends to safely play a pickup game of baseball, softball, and more! Before visiting Bower’s Park, be sure to bring along a mask in case of other visitors.

8. Civil Rights Trail

As temperatures slowly start to drop, it is prime time to spend the day walking around outside and exploring new places. Among the many adventures that await you in town is the Civil Rights Trail, where anyone has the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history and learn about how the Civil Rights Movement shaped the City of Tuscaloosa. Located primarily in Downtown Tuscaloosa, this trail is perfect for staying active and demonstrates a profound learning opportunity for those who are not aware of the history of Tuscaloosa. Thanks to its proximity to Downtown Tuscaloosa, the Civil Rights Trail is also a good opportunity to discover local dining options, such as Reggae Flava and Brummi’s Yummies. For more T-Town treasures along the trail check out the official guide here.

9. Government Plaza

If you are looking for a versatile area that offers wide-open spaces to safely enjoy this city, then the Government Plaza is the spot for you. Located in the heart of downtown, this 5-acre park makes social distancing a breeze. Soak in all of the cozy fall vibes while diving into a good book from Ernest and Hadley, grubbing on delicious Heat pizza, sipping on some Monarch coffee, or maybe even unwinding with your favorite yoga flow. After months on end of being trapped inside now is the time to relax and appreciate nature in all its wonder. If you want your furry friend to tag along, the sidewalks surrounding the park makes for the perfect path for walking with your furry friend.

10. Lake Tuscaloosa

This local hangout has everything you need for an unforgettable lake day with friends and family. Lake Tuscaloosa has earned its reputation as the perfect fishing spot with bass, sunfish, crappie, and more. If fishing isn’t for you, stand on the shore, hike the lake’s cliffs, or simply take in the captivating views! Only a short drive from the city, this lake makes pairing a morning out in nature and Rama Jama’s iconic Southern breakfast unbelievably easy as well. You are bound to have a blast at this local treasure, especially in this beautiful fall weather.

 

When you’re ready to plan your next road trip to T-Town check out all of the exceptional hotels this city has to offer!

 

Written by: Jamie Hoven

Great Grub

 

1. If savory Lamb Chops topped with Blackberry Reduction and a side of Garlic Mashed Potatoes and sautéed Kale sounds like your dream dinner, then you should definitely include Evangeline’s in your T-Town itinerary. As one of the area’s premier restaurants, this divine treasure provides exceptional service for private intimate dinners, social events, and corporate parties. From a small rehearsal dinner to a lavish party for friends and family, Evangeline’s has the atmosphere to create the ideal experience.

2. Do you consider seafood, steak, & sushi three of your main food groups? If so, then Chuck’s is most definitely calling you. Offering a diverse menu in trendy surrounds with a loft & full bar, this local favorite has a well-earned reputation as a T-Town staple. It is also perfect for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. Crowd favorites include the crab cakes, sushi, scallops, and pizza. With attentive service and an unforgettable dining experience, you’ll always leave this happy and stuffed – and ready to come back again.

 

3. It would be a disservice to Tuscaloosa cuisine to discuss our incredible local dining without including Central Mesa. Established in 2017 by owner Craig Williams, this local treasure offers a Southern twist on traditional Latin-American dishes. The story of the restaurant is built upon a passion for providing fresh, great-tasting food and cocktails. Every dish is prepared in-house from scratch to ensure quality taste. The heart of the restaurant beats to provide a relaxed atmosphere and sense of community, where people can come and enjoy exceptional food and drink.

 

Awesome Arts

 

4. Ignite the creative in you and experience the Dinah Cultural Arts Center’s current exhibit, Stephanie Kirkland: “Windswept: Abstract Landscapes”. This moving collection of acrylic paintings was inspired during a road trip out West, which included hiking through Glacier, Zion, and Grand Canyon national parks. This week’s gallery hours of 1:00 p.m.to 3:00 p.m. offers the last chance to witness this captivating creation firsthand. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it!

 

5. Kentuck Art Center offers a unique view into the minds of the endlessly talented local artists all around Tuscaloosa. From handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry to kitchen pitchers, this gold mine is ideal for a one-stop-shop for holiday gifts. The Kentuck Gallery Shop offers an incredible shopping experience either online or in-person!

 

Scenic Views 

 

6. Fall foliage peak is on the horizon and one of the best places to take in the changing season is the Riverwalk. This first-rate paved trail sits along the southern bank of the Black Warrior River near downtown Tuscaloosa and is suited for both walkers and bikers. Along the 4.5-mile trail, there are a variety of (dog-friendly) park areas, benches, gazebos, and trees for hammocks and picnics. The pathway also provides a playground near the Public Library and a splash pad at the Bama Bell dock for the kids. For nighttime walkers, it is well-lit with street lamps along the way.

 

7. Get a taste of the (tamer) Tide. Take in the jaw-dropping beauty of UA’s campus in its most unique form: somewhat still and tranquil. Casually absorb the captivating architecture and elaborate landscaping that is so easy to take for granted during the football fan frenzy that accompanies one of the greatest dynasties in college football history. It offers another great place to enjoy the fall colors while viewing landmarks such as the President’s Mansion, Denny Chimes, Bryant-Denny Stadium, and historic Foster Auditorium – where Malone-Hood Plaza and the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower celebrate the spot where the University of Alabama was first integrated.

Now is the prime time to make the most out of your experience in Tuscaloosa! With the leaves beginning to transition into their Autumn attire, we are so excited to showcase just how beautiful this city is, especially this time of year. We have all kinds of different activities to enjoy this special season in T-Town, from monster celebrations at the Children’s Hands-On Museum to local pumpkin patch explorations. Need a little guidance? We’ve got you covered. The only job left to do is bask in the autumn feels as you get inspired by this week’s T-Town Weekend Itinerary!

 

SATURDAY:

Start off your gameday Saturday with a traditional T-Town breakfast at The Waysider, Tuscaloosa’s oldest restaurant in town! Once a regular stop for the great Bear Bryant, this classic local joint is located on Greensboro Avenue. Experience a bit of T-Town’s southern-style cooking with homemade biscuits, complimentary beignets (per request), or ham cooked to perfection. Not much of a breakfast person? No worries, The Waysider has delicious lunch items on the menu as well! Keep in mind that seating is limited, so be sure to budget for time as you may have to wait for a table! 

 

Alright, let’s address the elephant in the room. You more than likely have a good idea of how you’ll be spending your Saturday afternoon. No matter where you are or who you’re with, celebrate your Bama pride by rolling with the tide as they face the Tennessee Vols at 2:30 p.m. If showing off your SAFE Saturday setup is your style, feel free to tag us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

 

It is no secret how we hope to be spending our Saturday evenings, so make sure you and your Crimson Tide Crew are stocked up on cigars! Tuscaloosa is home to several stellar cigar stores that are fully stocked and more than ready to celebrate with their patrons. Vitola Fine Cigars and R&R Cigars are some premier local spots to pick up exactly what you’ll need for this weekend: cigars galore for beginners and seasoned professionals alike! As always, be mindful of health considerations and implications to enjoy smoking tobacco safely.

 

Celebrate Record Store Day this weekend by visiting one of our local favorites: Oz Music. This gem is home to all kinds of vinyl, CDs, and accessories to enjoy your music, your way! Whether you are a beginner looking to buy your first record or an experienced disc jockey looking for the next album to add to your collection, Oz can help you out. With an incredible, throwback atmosphere this place is a phenomenal way to find your new favorite record and celebrate this timeless holiday!

 

Do YOU have what it takes to be a monster? This Saturday, the Children’s Hands-On Museum is hosting their very own Monster Mischief event for all admissions to the museum! Prepare for the Halloween holiday fun by discovering your inner monster and exploring the exciting exhibits of the Children’s Hands-On Museum. For more information about the museum itself and all the exciting events coming in the future, visit the museum’s website. Additionally, be sure to secure admission prior to arrival, and don’t forget your masks before you safely enjoy all the exhibits within the museum!

 

SUNDAY:

With gameday behind you and Halloween less than a week away, it is imperative to secure a pumpkin for proper spooky festivities. There are a few wonderful pumpkin patches around Tuscaloosa County where you can enjoy the crisp fall air while picking out your new pumpkin pal! Griffin Farms and Tuscaloosa Barnyard are both home to dozens of perfectly prepared pumpkins! Whether this fall activity is for you, your friends, or your kids, everyone is bound to enjoy celebrating this year’s spooky season the local way. Before arriving, check each pumpkin patch’s listed hours of operation to make sure you arrive in time – and don’t forget to pack your mask to safely browse through the pumpkin patches!

 

The City of Tuscaloosa has a history deeply-intertwined with the Civil Rights movement, and that presence remains all around Downtown Tuscaloosa. Traveling through history along the Civil Rights Trail is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and discover the history and importance of the Civil Rights Movement to our community. Visit (website) to locate the markers located around Downtown Tuscaloosa and learn more about the lasting impact that the Civil Rights Movement has made on the history and people of the City of Tuscaloosa. Visit here to learn more about the Civil Rights Trail of Tuscaloosa and how you can find more and more resources regarding the Civil Rights Movement in Tuscaloosa.

 

#InternationalArtistDay is on Sunday AND Kentuck Virtual Market Place is open. You do the math. Shopping local artisans’ creations and learning more about their art are both great ways to show your support and celebrate this holiday! If you feel comfortable, check out The Kentuck Center, the home of the local art in Tuscaloosa. Visit their website and/or safely in person to not miss a beat on a one-of-a-kind Christmas shopping experience. Now is the time to show your support for all the incredible local artists that give such vibrant color to this beloved and unique community!

 

Written by:

Will Baggett

Jamie Hoven