So you survived the first few weeks of school and are ready to let your hair down for Labor Day? Well, we’ve got a great lineup for you!
Below are our top picks for free/cheap family-friendly fun in and around Madison County in the next FIVE days. If you didn’t have Labor Day plans, I bet you will after reading our list.
Just know that these events aren’t all that are happening this weekend – please, please check out our complete Events Calendar to discover even more. We also have a handy-dandy Farmer’s Market Directory (with a map!) that lists all the places you can find fresh local goodies this weekend.
In case you haven’t heard, Rocket City Mom is giving away a Parent/Child Season Pass to Fantasy Playhouse 2013-2014 shows – it’s a great opportunity to share The Arts with your child and support a local Huntsville treasure. Read all about Fantasy’s upcoming season here and enter to win!
Everybody Loves the Fair!
John Hunt Park (Map)
Let me be clear – the 52nd Annual Northeast Alabama State Fair is NOT free. But it’s a Labor Day tradition around these parts, and to not include it in the Roundup just seemed… wrong. The Midway is full of fair rides, fair food, and fair games. New this year is the Fearless Flores Thrill Show. This high-action show features “death defying” motorcycle acts along with several circus acts. Another new attraction is the Staples Safari Zoo and Animal Magic Show that features a zoo full of exotic animals and a big stage magic show featuring many of the exotic animals. A Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest, kareoke, and a petting zoo are also featured attractions to the fair. You can print out a few coupons on their website that helps with the $20 arm band (unlimited rides) – click here to get them.
Thursday-Monday (Saturday kids are FREE!)
Joe Davis Stadium (Map)
This is the last home weekend of the Huntsville Stars’ season, and they’re playing a five-day series against the Jackson Generals. Saturday is Youth Sports Night, when kids 12 and under will receive free admission if they wear their youth sport uniform, Scout uniform, or dance/gymnastics t-shirt. The Stars have made it easy for you to spend your holiday weekend with them – Sunday’s game is at 4PM and Monday’s Labor Day game throws out the first pitch at 1PM.
Crape Myrtle Festival
Saturday from 8AM-3PM, FREE
John Barnes Ballpark on Ardmore Ridge Road (Map)
The 21st Annual Crape Myrtle Festival in Ardmore is a free festival featuring arts, crafts, food, live music, and antique cars. Crape Myrtles of all colors and sizes are on sale as well as other flowers and plants. The Kid’s Zone will have an obstacle course, giant slide, and inflatables. Also – Ardmore’s infamous Dog Days Flea Market is this weekend too – Friday through Monday. Read all about it here.
Experience the Caribbean!
Sunday from Noon-6PM, FREE
Stoner Field Park, Huntsville (Map)
Definitely a must for Labor Day weekend! The 8th Annual Caribbean Day at the Park is going to be awesome… live steel drums, delicious food, and fun family games like soccer, a sack race, tug-of-war, and dominos. What more could you want? Lots of great stuff for the kids to do and the Army Material Command Band is playing too. Bring your sunscreen & lawn chairs and park it there for Monday afternoon.
Labor Day Festival in Section
Monday from 10AM-9PM, FREE
Section Community Park one block off Hwy 35 (Map)
Up to 5,000 people crowd the streets of Section each Labor Day, where nothing is sold for profit and most things are free (you didn’t expect to get the Methodist Church’s homemade ice creem for nothing, did you?), except for the food you eat and the fundraising items from schools, churches and charitable organizations. The festivities include a coin dig, horseshoe pitching, dominos, free throw, watermelon eating contests, a car show, a greasy-pole-climbing contest, and inflatable fun equipment. All day. All free. And that’s the just daytime part. The show is over for an hour between four and five p.m. when light housekeeping is performed before the town reopens as a street dance from six until nine with live musical entertainment.
It’s important to note this is the kick-off weekend for the Huntsville Botanical Garden’s beloved Scarecrow Trail. Members are free, and non-members are $8-$12.
Burritt On the Mountain is also having a huge weekend – Pinocchio’s Puppets perform Saturday at 11:30AM in the Whimsical Woods.
On Sunday a Comedy Magic Show in the Trillium Room is happening with magician Russell Davis at 2:30PM. There will be balloon animals, face painting and giant bubble making. (UPDATE 9/2: the Comedy Magic Show is September 29th.) Both of these events are free for museum members, and $8-$10 for non-members.
Go forth, and make memories! Be safe, Rocket City Families.