U.S. Space and Rocket Center Museum, One Tranquility Base, Huntsville (I-565 Exit 15), +1 256-837-3400 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Daily 9AM-5PM except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Years Eve and Day. A number of attractions, especially of interest to space-amazed kids and kids at heart, are available at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Museum. Although the museum is aging a bit, there is still something for everyone, and a good mix of education and entertainment. Additional details available at the web link. $18.95 for both IMAX and the museum (Kids 3-12 $12.95). Museum only or movie only tickets available.
Huntsville Museum of Art, 300 Church Street, 1-800-786-9095, Open daily until 5PM (except Thursday). The Museum of Art is located in Big Spring Park. It features seven exhibit halls which host many regional and national art exhibits every year and the museum's own 2,500 piece collection. There is a large gift shop and a coffee shop with a patio that overlooks the park. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, military, and students, $3 for children 6-11, and free for members and children under 6.
The EarlyWorks Museum Complex,
Alabama Constitution Village, 109 Gates Avenue, +1 256-564-8100. See where the state of Alabama was born in 1819. Village includes a cabinet shop, law office, and a post office. During the Holidays, "Santa's Village" is held here. Open Wednesday through Saturday, March through October, and special hours in November and December. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for children and seniors.
Historic Huntsville Depot, 320 Church Street, +1 256-564-8100. Mid-1800's era railroad depot used as a prison for Civil War soldiers. Various festivals are held here throughout the year, including the Rocket City BBQ Festival in May. Open Wednesday through Saturday, March through October. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for children and seniors.
EarlyWorks Children's History Museum, 404 Madison Street, +1 256-564-8100. Tu-Sa 9AM-4PM. The South's largest hands-on children's history museum. See a 46-foot keelboat, play on giant instruments, and listen to stories told by the "Talking Tree." Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children, and $4 for toddlers.
Burritt on the Mountain, 3101 Burritt Drive, +1 256-536-2882, Located on Round Top Mountain off of US 431 and Monte Sano Boulevard. Features a large early 20th Century mansion, a late 19th Century farm and a petting zoo. There are also nature trails, including one that is handicapped-accessible. Open Tues-Sun year-round, though hours vary between winter and summer months.
Clay House Museum, 16 Main Street, Madison, +1 256-325-1018, We-Sa. A 1850s Antebellum home and art museum in downtown Madison.
Harrison Brothers Hardware, 124 South Side Square, 1-866-533-3631, M-Sa. Founded in 1879, it is the oldest continuously-running hardware store in Alabama. Located on the Courthouse Square downtown.
North Alabama Railroad Museum, 694 Chase Road, +1 256-851-6276, Located in the Chase community in Northeast Huntsville. Features the smallest union station in the country and 90-minute train rides on select Saturdays. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays, April to December. Ticket prices for the train excursion are $12 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under. Prices may vary for special events.
State Black Archives and Museum, Wilson Bldg, Alabama A&M University, +1 256-851-5846. M-F. Located on the campus of Alabama A&M University in North Huntsville/Normal. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children, and free for toddlers and A&M faculty and students.
Sci-Quest, 102-D Wynn Drive, +1 256-837-0606, . Tu-Su. North Alabama's only hands-on science museum. Features more than 125 exhibits and an Immersive Theater. To get there, take I-565 Exit 15 to Old Madison Pike. Take a right on Wynn Drive. Sci-Quest is on the left, behind Calhoun Community College. $9 adults, $8.50 seniors, $8 children.
Veterans Memorial Museum, 2060-A Airport Road, +1 256-883-3737, . Open W-Sa 10AM-4PM. Features military exhibits, memorabilia, and vehicles dating back to the Revolutionary War. To get there, take Memorial Parkway South to Airport Road. Take a right; museum is on the right. $5 adult, $4 seniors, $3 students under 18.
Weeden House Museum, 300 Gates Avenue, +1 256-536-7718, . M-F 11AM-4PM. A house built in 1819, the same year Alabama became a state. Located in the Twickenham Historic District. $5 adults, $2.50 children.
Big Spring International Park - Huntsville's signature park, located downtown. This is where Huntsville was founded more than 200 years ago. Features various gifts given to the city by countries like Japan (the Red Bridge) and Norway (the lighthouse). Restaurants, hotels, and the Von Braun Center are nearby. Recently underwent an expansion near the Embassy Suites hotel.
Huntsville Land Trust Trails, 907 Franklin Street, +1 256-534-5263, A 3,400 acre network of nature preserves around the city. One of the most popular attractions is the Three Caves quarry on Monte Sano.
Huntsville Greenways, A network of bikeways, trails, and bike-friendly roads across the metro area. Currently only 18 miles have been completed, but will eventually grow to over 200 miles. Aldridge Creek Greenway in Southeast Huntsville is the most popular bikeway, but it becomes impassable after heavy rains.
Ditto Landing, 1-800-552-8769, M-F 8AM-10PM, Sa-Su 6AM-10PM. Public park along the Tennessee River, with boathouses, greenways, and a campground.
Green Mountain Nature Trail, South Shawdee Road, +1 256-883-9501. Open daily. A mile-long nature trail that wraps around a 16-acre lake. Features a covered bridge, picnic area, and a "Braille trail." Located off Green Mountain Road in Southeast Huntsville.
Monte Sano State Park, 5105 Nolen Avenue, +1 256-534-3757, Large state park located on Monte Sano. Features 14 miles of hiking and biking trails, a large picnic area, cabins, a Japanese garden, and a campground. Take US 431 to Monte Sano Boulevard and follow the signs.
Huntsville Botanical Garden, 4747 Bob Wallace Avenue, +1 256-830-4447, A 110-acre garden with woodlands, meadows and ponds. Features the nation's largest Butterfly House, which is open from May to September. In 2006, a Nature Center and Children's Garden opened. In November and December, the Botanical Garden is home to the Galaxy of Lights. Open 7 days a week except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. $10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 children under 18. Hours and admission vary between summer and fall/winter/spring months.
Hays Nature Preserve and Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary, The largest city-owned park and preserve, with ten miles of trails through swamps and wooded areas. Horses and bikes are allowed on some trails. Located off US 431 south of Hampton Cove.
Madison Square Mall, An enclosed mall with 140 shops and restaurants. Tenants include Sears, JC Penney, Dillard's, Belk, and Parisian. Located on University Drive (US 72) near Research Park.
Parkway Place, An enclosed mall with 70 upscale shops and restaurants. Tenants include Parisian, Dillard's, Abercrombie, Banana Republic, and Carrabba's Italian Grill. Located off of Memorial Parkway at the Drake Avenue exit.
Bridge Street Town Centre, An open-air upscale lifestyle center with 60 shops and restaurants and a 12-story Westin hotel. Tenants include Barnes and Noble, Old Navy, DSW, and PF Chang's. Located at the Research Park Boulevard (AL 255)/Old Madison Pike interchange.