Kids can receive engaging history lessons while exploring Montgomery, Alabama, a Southern city dotted with antebellum architecture. Set along the banks of the Alabama River and home to more than 50 parks, the city is also a proverbial playground for children in search of unspoiled natural settings.
Covering 40 acres, the Montgomery Zoo is home to more than 500 animals from five different continents. Kids can enjoy interactive exhibits, such as feeding stations for giraffes, river otters and koi fish, and a walk-through aviary filled with South American birds. The zoo also has rides, including a miniature train and pedal boats. The Mann Wildlife Learning Museum is attached to the zoo and has taxidermy animals that children can touch. In 1995, the Alabama Cattlemen's Association opened the MOOseum, where kids can learn about different aspects of the beef industry. Little ones can don cowboy and cowgirl duds in the dress-up room, learn educational facts about cows and play in a pretend kitchen.
Sports and Recreation
Tucked away inside the Eastdale Mall, the Ice Palace is an indoor ice skating rink that has open skate sessions available to the public daily. Rates include admission and skate rentals. One night a week, the rink also offers private lessons for skaters of all ages. Take in an afternoon or evening of spectator sports at Riverwalk Stadium. The ballpark is home to the Montgomery Biscuits, the Tampa Bay Rays’ AA affiliate. Families can sit on the lawn behind right field and kids can find additional entertainment on the playground. Children can also sign up for the chance to be an honorary bat kid and meet Big Mo, the team’s mascot who walks around the stadium during games.
Step Back in Time
Help your kids get in touch with Montgomery’s history with a trip to Old Alabama Town. The six-block region is a living museum lined with more than 50 19th and early 20th century buildings, including cotton gins, log cabins, schoolhouses and slave quarters. Costumed guides walk around the premises in period clothing, prepared to answer questions. Children can also enjoy a journey upon Harriott II Riverboat, a 19th century paddleboat that travels up and down the Alabama River. The ride includes lunch or dinner service and family-friendly, live entertainment. The boat offers a birthday package with balloons, cake, party favors and the chance to drive the boat.
Troy University is home to an array of attractions that appeal to kids, such as the Rosa Parks Museum. The educational museum has exhibits detailing Parks’ historic role in the civil rights movement, particularly the Montgomery bus boycott. In the museum’s children’s wing, you can board a bus that doubles as a time machine that transports visitors through the storied struggles of African Americans via special effects and video projectors. Kids can explore the universe at the university’s W.A. Gayle Planetarium. The planetarium’s recreate stars, planets, lightening, rain and snow using digital 3-D projections.
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