Living Here

5 Weekend Activities for Families in the Shoals

Looking for something (anything) to get out of the house with your kids? These local attractions are all fun choices for spending QT together, sans screens.

The Children’s Museum


Watch your child’s imagination come alive and learn about the world around them at this museum made just for kids. Here, your child can be a veterinarian and treat sick stuffed animals, hammer and drill away in the construction zone, or mine for gems in the outdoor mine camp. With more 20 immersive experiences, your child is sure to find something that sparks their interest. General admission is $10 per family member, and the recommended ages for children are 10 and under.


Cane Creek Nature Preserve


If you are looking to veer off the beaten path, look no further than Cane Creek Nature Preserve. Less than 20 minutes outside of Tuscumbia, you and your family can hike, explore, and take in the scenic beauty of the Little Mountain region straying far from the comforts of home. On 700 acres with about 15 maintained hiking trails that range from beginner to intermediate, the nature preserve has a route that suits your family’s ability level. For a special treat, pack a picnic lunch and eat by the waterfall.


River Heritage Park Splash Pad


Summers in the Shoals can be sweltering, and the splash pad at River Heritage Park is the perfect antidote to escape the Alabama heat. Kick back as your kids run in and out of the soaring water jets, or even join in on the fun. A playground is located directly next to the splash pad and includes a rock climbing wall and a smaller jungle gym for toddlers. Plan an evening visit to watch the light and water show set to music with roots in the Shoals area.


Helen Keller Birthplace 


Introduce your kids to a piece of local history and learn about where it all began for disability rights advocate and political activist Helen Keller. See Keller’s complete library of Braille books and her original Braille typewriter, step inside the cottage where she and her teacher Anne Sullivan lived throughout most of her adolescence, and touch the famous water pump that allowed Sullivan to break into Keller’s dark world. Museum hours are Monday-Saturday 8:30 AM - 4 PM, and Sunday 1 -4 PM.


First Fridays


In the evening on the first Friday of every month from March through December, Florence’s historical downtown hosts a festival where arts and culture come alive. Begin your night with dinner at any one of downtown’s delicious eateries, then walk the streets (closed to traffic) to shop local vendor’s booths. You can find everything from baked goods to handmade knives and jewelry at this local outdoor market. Before you leave, walk through Mobile Street to listen to live music from local musicians.