5 Ideas for Cool-Weather Fun Around Tuscaloosa

Temperature dropping? It is time to enjoy all the outdoors has to offer!

By Meagan Hudson, Publisher Macaroni KID Tuscaloosa October 2, 2023

We are welcoming the fall weather around here, y'all! 

As the heat and humidity take a quick break (don't worry, they'll be back in a few weeks for the annual "second summer" of the south), take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy all of the fun outdoor activities that Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas have to offer! Here are five ideas to get you started! 

  Lake Lurleen State Park - Coker, AL 

While swimming season might be at an end, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Lake Lurleen State Park! The park has "beaches" to play on, hiking trails as short as 1/2 a mile, playgrounds scattered throughout the property, and fishing spots (don't forget your license if you are of age!), making it perfect for the entire family from babies to grandparents. The cost to enter Lake Lurleen State Park varies from $2-$4 per person (children ages 3 and under are free), making it a budget-conscious family fun option! If you want to make it a weekend, campgrounds are available to reserve (for an additional fee) through their website.

Parent tip: no matter the time of year, there's a chance that you will see a snake if you are outside in Alabama. Be aware of where you step, especially along the trails!  

  Randall Family Park - Tuscaloosa, AL 

One of the newer parks in Tuscaloosa, Randall Family Park is located along Rice Mine Road in Tuscaloosa. Feel the breeze coming off the Black Warrior River as you set up a hammock on permanent stands, play soccer or throw a baseball in the open field, walk along the paved trails, and watch your kids take advantage of the playground equipment - the play structure, rope course, mini zipline, and various swings. There are picnic tables and grills throughout the park, making it a great spot to meet friends for a playdate and snack. 

  Coaling Park - Coaling, AL 

Live a little farther East, or needing to stretch on your way back from Birmingham? Check out the playground in Coaling! While smaller, this playground is a hidden gem if you want to avoid driving toward T-Town (especially on a Game Day!). This park is owned by the City of Coaling, has a rentable pavilion, and is adjacent to the Charlie Foster Recreation Complex (AKA.. the Coaling Ballpark). 

  The University of Alabama Arboretum - Tuscaloosa, AL 

With trails, gardens, streams, amphitheater, labyrinth, and more to explore for free, you will forget you are only a few minutes from the middle of Tuscaloosa! Check out the Children's Garden for picnic tables and natural play opportunities. The arboretum is open daily from 8:00 AM until sunset, and is only closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. 

Parent tip: remind your children that this is a "take nothing, leave nothing" experience, as you must have express permission to take any living or non-living thing - even that super-cool rock - with you from the arboretum.   

  Mason's Place All Inclusive Playground - Northport, AL 

Mason's Place is a park for people of all ages and abilities. Located along Watermelon Road, this mostly-fenced park owned by the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority has multiple play structures, covered seating, and musical equipment. Your kids will have space to roll, run, jump, climb, spin, and play to their hearts' content.

Which of these 5 will your family try first?