Surely you’ve heard the buzz by now. It’s coming from the direction of the Huntsville Art Museum and Big Spring Park, and promises to create the biggest holiday destination point in Madison County this year. Between the Downtown Forty-Seven second annual Tinsel Trail and the Huntsville Museum of Art’s Skating In the Park we now have our own little Rocket City winter wonderland!
A Twinkling Trail of Tinsel
If you didn’t make it downtown last year to see the Tinsel Trail now’s your chance. Over 200 trees decked out to the nines by local organizations and businesses flank the trail, and it’s a genuine show of community collaboration. Many non-profit groups were able to get corporate sponsors to underwrite the cost of their trees, and volunteers took care of arranging all the trimmings. New to the trail this year are local music and dance performers every Friday and Saturday evening in December. The best part? It’s all free and open to the public!
The Tinsel Trail is having their grand opening this Saturday, December 1st, and the festivities begin right after the Huntsville Christmas Parade. At 2PM, local singer-songwriter Cristina Lynn, accompanied by Russ Holder, will perform original songs and holiday favorites following the parade. At 4PM Santa and Mayor Battle officially light the Tinsel Trail and announce selections for the most creatively decorated trees. At 4:30PM the Army Material Command Band performs, and Santa will be taking photos with the children at 5PM.
When: December 1st – January 5th; trees are lit from dusk to 2:30AM every night
Where: Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville; entrance is located outside the gazebo in Big Spring Park. It is close to the intersection of Williams and Lowe.
How much: Free and open to the public!
Skating In the Park
Located directly adjacent to the Tinsel Trail is the Huntsville Museum of Art’s new outdoor ice rink. An amazing addition to the holiday ambiance, now you can experience ice skating the way New Yorkers do – at a beloved city landmark, surrounded by twinkling lights and festive music!
My family tried it out on opening day (anything for RCM readers!) and, while a little pricey, I feel it’s definitely worth the experience. The rink itself isn’t as large as a hockey rink, but there’s ample space to skate with a large crowd. Skates are available to rent, as well as “ice walkers” for beginner skaters. My boys were first time skaters and used a walker for the first half hour and then felt brave enough to skate without it – we shared one between them. There is also a kiosk that serves hot chocolate, coffee, and snacks next to the rink.
When: November 21st – January 5th;
Monday – Thursday: noon to 10 p.m.
Friday: noon to 12 a.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday: noon to 8 p.m.
Where: Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville; behind the Art Museum
How much: $10 per person skating fee; $8 per person for groups of 15 or more; $3 skate rental fee; $5 ice walker rental fee