Things are buzzing here in Tuscaloosa! Spring has sprung, the flowers are blooming, and the events are poppin’! We have an eclectic lineup for this weekend so follow along so you can be sure to hit the hot spots!
The Buzz About Bees Exhibit
A new exhibit is flying to the Alabama Museum of Natural History! The Buzz about Bees is a collaborative exhibit with the Alabama Museum of Natural History, the West Alabama Beekeepers Association, and the UA Bee Club. The exhibit focuses on the honey bee and features a live beehive that gives visitors an inside look at the honey bees’ honey production and social structure. Head over to view the exhibit that opens Thursday, April 22nd, to get a chance to learn about these incredible creatures!
Stand Up Comedy at Half Shell
Stand Up Tuscaloosa is hosting their very first Comedy in a Half Shell show this Friday, April 23rd starting at 7:30 pm. Acts feature comic “Casio” Matt Mitchell from NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Jay Leno, MTV, and Rick and Bubba as “Casio Kid”. Birmingham’s Peter Davenport who is a cohost of the Goulash Podcast with Chris Ivey will also perform!
Step Into The Rainforest at CHOM
Step into the rainforest this Saturday, April 24th at the Children’s Hands-On Museum! You and your little one can learn how to make a terrarium, learn about venus fly traps, and rain forest animals! All activities are included in admission. For more information on location and hours, visit its website here.
A Rockin’ Radio Show
Love radio rock hits? Like a capella harmony? Then this is the event for you! The hits brought to you in a unique format, live on stage this Saturday, April 24th! The Dixie district chorus champions, present rock radio hits in 4 part harmony with a presentation that will remind you of the great days of radio. To top that off, the classic Bama Theatre is the backdrop for this one-time-only event. Get your tickets fast as seating is limited. You won’t want to miss this!
Piccolo Concert with Kim Scott
Here’s another live concert to get excited about! Amazing piccolo soloist Kim Scott will be attending her live concert this Sunday, April 25th, for a sure-to-be fantastic performance! She is so excited to have the chance to feel the energy of a crowd, and is hoping to see you at Government Plaza from 4 pm! Don’t forget this family-friendly event is also FREE to the public!
After months of anticipation, the first game day of the 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide football season is approaching! Although the weekend will look a bit different this year, there are so many ways to experience the city of Tuscaloosa. Below we have put together the Ultimate 2020 T-Town Tour Guide, full of local dining, enticing entertainment, and spectacular shopping. Be sure to stay safe and wear a mask while you explore the town. Enjoy your weekend adventures and let the good times (and the Crimson Tide) roll!
9:00 am – 9:45 am:
The first stop on our itinerary is Babe’s Donuts, located on Greensboro Avenue in the heart of Downtown Tuscaloosa. Known for its sweet treats and delicious coffee, this on-the-go option is currently open for to-go orders, making it convenient to start your day off on a good note! As you embark on your weekend journey stop by Babe’s for a classic donut – or mix it up with a Fruity Pebbles donut – and some cold brew coffee. Before you know it this local gem just might become your new T-Town favorite!
10:00 am – 11:30 am:
Located just down the street at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is the Sarah Garden Armstrong Exhibit: Threads and Layers. Sarah Garden Armstrong is an Alabama native and alumna of the University of Alabama, returning to Tuscaloosa to share her captivating work through different types of media, from paintings and sculptures to handmade artist books! This Friday is your last chance to visit her incredible exhibit, so be sure to visit the Event page for more information.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm:
Your next stop along the T-Town Tour is Heat Pizza, located on Government Plaza. Choose wisely their wide selection of pizzas, including vegetarian and gluten-free options! Enjoy your lunch safely outside on the patio, with plenty of space for social distancing. As a matter of fact, Heat’s variety of beer, wine, and cocktails pairs perfectly with this perfect fall weather! With 5 years of experience serving pizzas, salads, drinks, and good times to Tuscaloosa, Heat will make your time here unforgettable.
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm:
The Paul R. Jones Museum has reopened its doors just in time for Bama’s season kickoff! Come experience the eclectic art of T-Town and explore their newest exhibit, “When They See Us, What Do They See?: Perspectives on Black Art”, curated by Barbara-Shae Jackson. The purpose of this exhibit is to ask visitors the question: What does the aesthetic experience of a person perceiving a work of art look like when it does not reflect their culture or personal life experience? Jackson, currently a doctoral student in cognitive psychology at The University of Alabama, is curating this collection to identify the responses of different visitors when they view art created by black and white artists. This weekend is your last chance to visit this thought-provoking exhibit, so be sure to visit the event page for more information.
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm:
Return to Downtown Tuscaloosa for a nice sit-down dinner at Chuck’s Fish where you can enjoy delicious appetizers and savory seafood dishes. This restaurant is a wonderful way to kick-off the weekend and celebrate the beginning of Alabama Football Season with family or friends! With a menu complete with classic cocktails and incredible entrees, Chuck’s is sure to be a crowd-pleaser no matter who is in your entourage.
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm:
Friday night LIVE MUSIC is returning to T-Town! Live from the Bama will begin at 7:30 pm, with limited in-person seating to ensure social distancing. Tickets are available to purchase for $10 here. If you are unable to attend the concert, join in on the fun virtually via the live stream on our Facebook page! Featuring local bands GrAystone and Casie & the NoJoes, this show will be sure to kick off your weekend the right way. Not to mention, all proceeds go directly to the Bama Theatre during this difficult time. To show your support for the irreplaceable Bama Theatre you can donate at your convenience here.
9:00 am – 10:30 am:
Start off your 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!
11:00 am – 12:30 pm:
If you need a place to entertain your kids, look no further than the Children’s Hands-On Museum. This educational oasis is a delightful spot where your kids can learn about exciting subjects, like friction and temperature, all while having a blast! CHOM has set several guidelines in place to ensure the safety of all staff and visitors, like temperature screening at the entrance and controlled capacity inside. Ahead of your visit to the museum, check online for more information about exploring this interactive museum safely! If you aren’t comfortable taking your kids to CHOM, you can take CHOM to your kids with CHOM at home! Encouraging interactive learning is now easier than ever before with this resource up your sleeve.
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm:
Now it’s time to walk on over to Avenue Pub for a bit of local flavor to celebrate a football-filled afternoon! This treasure is a wonderful spot for spending quality time with loved ones and indulging in comfort food galore. With tasty sandwiches, fresh salads, and banging burgers, Avenue pub has what it takes to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. If you just so happen to find yourself needing a spot to watch the Crimson Tide, there is a special offer of local beer for $4/pint during the game.
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm:
Between lunch and the start of the night football games, you can take a stroll around Downtown Tuscaloosa and do some necessary game day shopping. Whether you are looking to spruce up the Tide Pride in your repertoire or hoping to find the perfect crimson outfit, there are plenty of local shops to discover. For men, The Locker Room is a great spot for gameday polos and outerwear for later in the season. For women, whatever your style may be, Vintage Cotton Boutique offers a wide selection of unique pieces to help you put together the ideal football season wardrobe for any occasion!
6:00 pm: Alabama Crimson Tide at Missouri Tigers
ROOOLLLLLL TIDE ROLL into the return of college football! Wear your lucky socks and put your game face on because the highly-anticipated time is officially here. Whether you are at the game or cheering on the tide elsewhere, enjoy Tuscaloosa’s inexplicable, electrifying game-day atmosphere. Bama fans and locals alike know exactly what that feels like. Now is the perfect time to experience T-Town’s Bama fan phenomenon with the rare game-day hotel availability and local businesses eager to share their products/services with you.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm:
Start Sunday morning off the right way at Rama Jama’s with a hearty breakfast at this University of Alabama-themed grill on Bryant Drive. Admire Bryant-Denny Stadium in all its glory as you enjoy more incredible local food. With classic options like fresh biscuits, crispy bacon, and unbelievable ham, it’s no surprise this hometown hit has hundreds of rave reviews. After a long, exciting Saturday of exploring Tuscaloosa and cheering on the Crimson Tide, a southern-styled breakfast at the one and only Rama Jama’s is just what the doctor ordered.
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm:
The Paul W. Bryant Museum is back open for this year’s football season! They are so excited to welcome visitors to town and share the gilded history of Bear Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide! After enjoying a Saturday full of football, the Bryant Museum is the perfect place to spend your Sunday afternoon, watching and learning about the history of Alabama Athletics. Walk in the footsteps of Alabama greats with the exhaustive collection of items and memorabilia of past sports history at The University of Alabama. Be sure to visit Bryant Museum’s website ahead of time to purchase admission and check hours of operation.
2:30 pm – 5:00 pm:
Downtown Tuscaloosa is a great place to shop around and discover local businesses that offer clothes, accessories, furniture, and more. Olive Tree Antiques and Twice as Nice are delightful examples of antique shops in Downtown T-Town. Places like these have something for just about everyone with eclectic inventory that is constantly changing. Whether it be kitchenware, jewelry, an antique, or interior decorations you are bound to discover some T-Town treasures that would make the perfect souvenirs.
Friday begins another weekend in Tuscaloosa that offers something for everyone! Halloween season is in full swing so opportunities to visit haunted places abound. Band of Brothers offers up good music and good beer, and Alabama soccer is in action as well. You will also have a chance to experience Disney’s Aladdin Jr, or go to an antique and classic car show!
Tuscaloosa is one of the most haunted cities in the state of Alabama. Locations rumored to be hotspots for paranormal activity include the Jemison-Van de Graff Mansion, Old Bryce Hospital, and Capitol Park. Haunted Tuscaloosa Tours will lead you on a journey of discovery through these haunted locations and more. This includes a tour of the infamous Drish House, known for its ghost that lights candles for her lost love at night. Tickets to this event are available for the 7:00 and 8:30 tours, but they are going fast! Check out our blog for more information about these haunted locations before you go.
The party will be rocking at Band of Brothers Brewings as they host the Frayed Knot Band on Friday night beginning at 7:00 p.m. This local group plays 70’s and 80’s music, but they have some new songs up their sleeve as well. They pair well with a Band of Brothers’ IPA or their “Monk on the Radio,” and what could better than good beer and good music? Band of Brothers is just one of Tuscaloosa’s three breweries that is turning the city into a beer destination, so this event is great for music-lovers and beer-lovers alike.
Downtown at the Bama Theatre, you will be able to see a play based on Disney’s Aladdin. Based on this iconic animated film with an Academy Award-winning score, Disney’s Aladdin Jr. is sure to send audiences soaring on a flying carpet ride filled with romance and adventure. The show begins at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, but also has showings on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday night at 7:00 p.m, so you have all weekend to enjoy this wonderful performance.
Start your Saturday off with an antique and classic car show at The Word Community Church. This show is free to the public and will feature many different old-school cars. Car registration is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and viewing begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. There will also be food and craft vendors and a raffle. All proceeds benefit the East Tuscaloosa Community Soup Bowl, so this event is good fun for a good cause.
The Alabama soccer team is in action on Sunday, October 8 against their arch-rival Auburn. The Tide are currently 8-4-1 on the season including a big win over #6 Florida State, so come out and cheer them on as they try to keep their momentum through the meat of their conference schedule. The Iron Bowl of soccer kicks off at 5 p.m. at the Alabama Soccer Complex with FREE admission to all.
We have a ton going on throughout the fall months and are excited about the upcoming holiday season. Give us a follow on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements and future events. Tell your friends and we can’t wait to see you around the One and Only Tuscaloosa!
Written by: Danny Owen
It’s going to be another great weekend in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! You can kick your weekend off this Friday at The University of Alabama as they host the inaugural Alabama Blues Weekend! Between July 8th and 9th, you can catch both concerts and masterclasses and even participate in sessions. The Live at the Plaza performers, Birmingham Seven, and others will be participating in the weekend event! Proceeds from the weekend will benefit Alabama Blues Project, an awesome non-profit organization preserving Blues music through interactive programs, after-school camps, clubs and advanced ensembles, reaching over 400 students annually from ages 6 to 18!
Also on Friday is the Green Scene Summer Movie Series featuring Finding Dory! This free community event provides an opportunity to educate citizens on the importance of keeping the community clean and litter free and encourages environmental stewardship while enjoying a popular children’s movie on a big screen. Guests will receive a free bag of popcorn and refreshments provided by Coca-Cola Tuscaloosa! This event is geared toward families with children not in school during the summer as it begins at 1 PM!
Saturday night the place to be is the Bama Theatre! Comedian Relly Rell will leave you in stitches as he performs his stand-up act! The show will be hosted by “The Undisputed King of Underground Comedy” Mo Williamz and will also feature Brittany Escobar and Whodi! There will not only be comedy, but music too! Catch Zo, Merk, and CJ Da Don with a bow on top by DJ John Doe. Starting at 7 PM, you won’t want to miss out on the fun!
Saturday is filled with great events. Across downtown at Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy will be the second annual Puppers & Pride! Between 10 am and 5 pm you can get your dog washed at this donation only Dog Wash! All donations will go to Druid City Pride and they guarantee each pup will leave smelling fresh and clean!
Wrap up your weekend with some rock as Rod Stewart performs at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater! The British rocker will bring down the house with songs like Maggie May and Da Ya Think I’m Sexy! Stewart has had six consecutive number one albums in the UK and his tally of 62 UK hit singles includes 31 that reached the top ten, six of which gained the #1 position! Not only is he a good singer, but a knight too! He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.
We have tons more going on so check out our great upcoming events, and follow us on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements and events. Tell your friends and we can’t wait to see you around the One and Only Tuscaloosa!
Construction started in 1937, with the Great Depression in full swing, President Roosevelt enacted the Public Works Administration; a government program that worked to increase employment, and benefit the community. Tuscaloosa took funds out of this program to build a theatre, a municipal auditorium and city hall. The complex would end up costing $200,000 (around 3.3 million today). The new complex was the first in town to have true air conditioning. On its opening day April 12th 1938, the University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band and Disney characters joined along a grand parade. The First movie screened during the opening gala was Million Dollar Baby starring Katherine Hepburn, and Cary Grant.
The Bama Theatre rose in an era of streamline moderne, and atmosphere. David O. Whildin built the exterior of the municipal building in PWA Moderne. With simple lines, and roman inspired detailing with faux tapestries and a carved eagle over the City Hall entrance. The rounded façade was built with limestone and the panels above the windows are granite. Its Solid construction later let it to be designated a bomb shelter in the rise of the red scare in America. Inside, the theatre is designed on the Atmosphere style. Designed by Whildin to look like a Mediterranean plaza during the renaissance. Every element was designed by the architect, from the faux balconies to the ceiling lined with small flashing lights to look like a night sky. Navino Nataloni, a artist hired through the PWA to paint the murals, and took to create unique scenes as most simply painted local landscapes, while Nataloni painted to match the Mediterranean style instead.