The Fourth of July is (almost) here! Time to enjoy the long weekend of burgers and hot dogs on the grill, sunshine, music, boats, fireworks, bonfires, friends, and family! While this year may look a little different, this holiday can provide some much-needed relaxation from the mental stresses of daily, routine life, especially in 2020. Not sure how to spend your weekend in the one and only Tuscaloosa? No worries, we have gathered some ideas below to help you make the most of Independence Day weekend.


Sparks Fly

It wouldn’t be a Fourth of July celebration without fireworks, and the City of Tuscaloosa is putting on a show that is viewable from downtown at 9 p.m. this Saturday! Free parking is available for all viewers at the Tuscaloosa amphitheater and the Intermodal Facility parking deck. Be sure to tune in to local Tuscaloosa radio stations to listen to live music accompanying the spectacular show. The Tuscaloosa fire department urges leaving the performances to professionals.


Wide Open Spaces

Another major component of celebrating the Fourth is basking in the glorious summer sun. Tuscaloosa is the perfect place to relax in the great outdoors with so many beautiful lakes, rivers, and parks. Lake Tuscaloosa has everything you need for a traditional family lake day, whether you boat, fish, or swim. You and the entire family are bound to have an unforgettable Fourth celebration at this local hangout. Another option is Lake Nicol, a man-made lake with a slew of trails that meander to captivating Cliffside views. These ledges make for a perfect spot to get away from it all in under a 15-min drive. Take in the picturesque waters on a paddleboard or admire the serene views while hiking in one of the most secluded and naturally beautiful places in the city.


Picnic Like a Pro

If you aren’t up for this adventure, pack a bag and enjoy a picnic on the captivating campus of The University of Alabama! Waitr also has offered a 50% off delivery special this weekend! Take advantage of this phenomenal deal and order from your favorite local restaurants! Whether you choose a juicy burger from Rama Jama’s, the game-changing wings from Catfish Heaven, or an unforgettable Chipotle Marinated Pork Tenderloin from Southern Ale House! For dessert, check out The Whimsey Cookie’s adorable and delicious Fourth of July Cookie Set.


Cool Down

If you need a cool down from the Alabama heat, stop by Las Piñas on McFarland Blvd for some homemade ice cream, chili powder popsicles, or fresh street corn! This family-owned business brings a modern twist to the classic ice cream shops. They serve 100% homemade frozen treats and snacks with the combination of Mexican and American flavors! If snow cones are more your style, Summer Snow is the perfect spot for you! With over sixty flavors to try, this shaved ice shop has proven itself as a staple within this community.

The Alabama football team may be headed to New Orleans, but there is a lot going on in Tuscaloosa this New Year’s weekend. Both Alabama basketball teams begin conference play in Coleman Coliseum against ranked foes, and Holidays on the River gives you a chance to experience Tuscaloosa’s winter wonderland with ice skating and more. Don’t forget to tag @VisitTuscaloosa on Instagram when you post your holiday adventures around Tuscaloosa. We may use your photo and give you a shoutout!

It’s going to be another perfect winter weekend for ice skating and fun at Holidays on the River. If you haven’t tried ice skating before then now is your chance to experience something new and different. The rink will be open from 2 pm -10 pm on Friday and 11 am – 9 pm on Saturday. There will also be a New Year’s Eve celebration on Sunday. Buy your tickets at now at

After an 8-4 start against non-conference opponents, the Alabama men’s basketball team begins SEC play Saturday with a visit from the #5 Texas A&M. The Aggies come into Tuscaloosa with an 11-1 record and looking like the team to beat in the SEC. An Alabama win would be huge for the program and the season, as the Tide have struggled toward the end of their non-conference schedule. This is one of the biggest games in Coleman in a long time. The atmosphere will be electric with the Tide’s 5-star talent trying to knock off a top 5 opponent. You won’t want to miss this one! Get tickets now at for this 5 pm tipoff.

New Year’s Eve is all about fun, and the Children’s Hands-On Museum wants to make sure kids get the full, festive experience. From 10 am – 12 pm on Saturday the 30th CHOM will host the New Year’s Eve for Kids and will pull out all the stops to make sure kids ring in the new year right. This includes hats, horns, tiaras, a balloon drop at 11 am, and a New Year’s toast. Go to for more information, and Happy New Year!

The men’s basketball squad isn’t the only team entering SEC play this weekend. The women’s team will continue their special season against #16 Missouri on Sunday at 2 pm. Alabama is on a five-game winning streak and has posted a 9-3 record on the season thus far. They are a perfect 7-0 at home, so maybe that home cooking will help knock off the 12-1 Tigers. Come be a part of what could be a statement win of the 2017 season. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at

We have tons more going on so check out our great upcoming events at, and follow us on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements.

The big snow last weekend has really gotten into the holiday spirit. There are classic wintery plays being shown, ice skating and more to celebrate this special time of year with your friend and family. Don’t forget to tag @VisitTuscaloosa on Instagram when you post your holiday adventures around Tuscaloosa. We may use your photo and give you a shoutout!

The Actor’s Charitable Theatre presents the classic tale of adventure and magic with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe all weekend long. Come to the Bama Theatre and take a walk through the old wardrobe into the magical world of Narnia this Friday-Sunday. Times are as follows:
Friday- 7:30
Saturday- 2:00
Saturday- 7:30
Sunday- 2:00
Sunday- 7:30
Visit the for tickets and enjoy the show!

Alabama’s Women’s Basketball team is back in action this Sunday against out-of-conference foe SMU. The Tide is 4-0 at home this season so come be a part of what could be a special season for this team, who is building something special after wins over Lipscomb and Utah. The game tips at 2:00 in Coleman Coliseum and tickets are only $5.

There is nothing more perfect on wintery weekends than holiday events. Tuscaloosa’s Holidays on the River will be open this weekend with special events like a visit from Santa on Friday and Carriage Rides on Saturday. Plus you will have a blast skating at the outdoor ice rink. The rink schedule this weekend is as follows:
Thursday- 5-9
Friday- 5-10 with Visit from Santa
Sat- 11 am – 9 p.m. with Carriage Rides
Sun- 1-5
Go to for more information and a complete schedule of events for the season.

Looking to get your kids in on the holiday action this weekend? Look no further than the Children’s Hands-On Museum. This Saturday from 10-4 will be a Holiday Hoopla! Kids of all ages will be able to go through gift creating stations to make something unique and special for a sibling, friend, parent, or other loved one. Don’t let them miss out on this fun holiday event.

The holiday season would be complete without experiencing the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol.” Theatre Tuscaloosa will be presenting the Romulus Linney version of this incredible story of a man who learns what Christmas is all about. Shows will run all weekend at the Bean-Brown Theatre at Shelton State:
Thursday- 7:30
Friday- 7:30
Saturday- 2:00
Sunday- 2:00
Visit for tickets!

We have tons more going on so check out our great upcoming events below, and follow us on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements

The holidays are finally here, cooler weather is rolling in, and the days are shorter. It can seem like there’s so much to do that we miss wonderful events and activities to help us slow down, relax, and take in some much-needed time with our loved ones. The city of Tuscaloosa has a wonderful holiday season planned with plenty of festivities to get you in the spirit. We have everything from a trail of decorated trees to wonderful light shows and parades! And don’t forget to check out some of our great local shops and artists that can be found around town, or to give those reindeer a break, stop by some of our local breweries for a frosty seasonal brew.

Starting Nov 21st
Tuscaloosa Tinsel Trail
Down by the River market, you’ll find over 125 trees decorated by their sponsors. From local businesses, organizations, and people around town, the trail is a part of Tuscaloosa’s One Place org. Dedicated to making a difference in local families lives. Proceeds from the trail are going to support these programs and our community.

December 2nd
Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre Presents “Elf The Musical Jr.”
Come out and see a classic holiday film come alive in a musical adaption. Join Buddy as he journeys from his adopted life in the North Pole back to find his birth father in New York! The hilarious adventure will run from 7-9 pm at the Bama Theatre.

December 3rd
Candyland Breakfast and Brunch with Santa & Mrs. Claus at CHOM
Join the Claus family and other residents of the North Pole for a festive dance party, Breakfast, and brunch! You can even stay and play in the exhibits and make ornaments!
 Breakfasts: 8-9:30 am or 10-11:30 am
 Brunch: 12-1:30 pm $15 person
 Museum members: $14 person
 4 or more: $14 person

December 5th
Christmas Tree Lighting and 41st Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade
This season, the theme for the parade is “Home for the Holidays”. Join the city as the evening begins with the tree lighting at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse at 5:15 pm, followed by the parade at 6:30 pm. The Parade will go from downtown along Greensboro Ave. to University Blvd. Our Grand Marshals will be Sandra Baker and David E. Gay, Jr.

December 6th
Holidays on the River
One of the biggest Holiday traditions in town, we celebrate the season with a wonderfully decorated 60 by 100 ft. outdoor rink. With holiday characters and hourly snow flurries in a Tuscaloosa winter wonderland. Skate along with the young and young at heart alike. Tickets can be purchased online, or at the box office on site. Viewing admission is free. The rink will open on December 6th at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.

It’s Ornamental
In the historic University Club, “It’s Ornamental” will feature ornaments designed by local artists and University of Alabama sports celebrities. There will be holiday songs by the UA Opera Theatre, and a small silent auction with some surprising items that benefit Turning Point. Join the Club from 7-9 pm!

Dickens Downtown

An annual Victorian holiday celebration known as Dickens Downtown takes place on the first Tuesday night in December in Downtown Northport. Dickens is a community supported gathering to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas involving Theatre Tuscaloosa performing scenes from “A Christmas Carol”, local choirs, the 5th Alabama Regimental Band, a real English Town Crier, father Christmas, and business and neighborhood open houses. Join the activities from 5-8 p.m.

December 8th
Bama Theatre “Nutcracker” Ballet
Featuring local dancers, the Tuscaloosa Community Singers will present the ballet holiday classic, the Nutcracker. The show will run from December 8th to the 11th.

December 9th
Theatre Tuscaloosa presents: A Christmas Carol
There is hardly a play more classically festive for the holiday season that Charles Dickens Christmas Carol. Come enjoy this stage adaptation from December 9th through the 18th at Theatre Tuscaloosa.

December 10th
Jolly Jingles Art Market
The American Christian Academy is hosting the Jolly Jingles Art Market with local artists, handmade gifts, gift-wrapping, food, treats, and musical performances. Santa will also be there to take photos. The market runs from 9am to 4 pm and admission is free!

Tuscaloosa Christmas Afloat
Come down to the banks of the Black Warrior or watch perched high above from the bridges as the river lights up with a light parade and fireworks! The Pirates of the Warrior Recreational Boat Club presents a festive light and fireworks show that can be seen along the river from 5 pm to 8 pm.

December 17th
Glen Templeton at the Drish House  

Head to The Drish House and hear Tuscaloosa native Glen Templeton in his intimate “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” tour on Dec. 17 and 18. A limited number of VIP ticket are available for Dec. 17. During the Saturday show, Glen will perform music from his latest album and on Sunday he will perform gospel and holiday tunes.

December 23rd
Milk and Cookies with Moosie at CHOM
Treat yourself to some milk n cookies with Moosie at 2:30 pm at CHOM! There will be special picnic style milk n cookies while they read Santa COWS!