Huntsville is a fantastic place to raise a family, but settling into any new town is tricky and sometimes you just want some insider info on where the hotspots are! Especially when there are stir crazy kids in your house just itching to get out and explore their new territory.
Here are some tried & true spots that anyone new to the Rocket City should put on their to-do list. If you live in this part of town and have suggestions to add, we would love for you to leave us a comment with your tips!
First things first, the kids need a great playground to call home. Fortunately, South Huntsville is full of them!
McGucken Park: Lots of playground equipment for all ages, a covered pavilion with picnic tables and restrooms, and as home to Huntsville’s National League, it features tons of sports fields for every athlete in you home.
- Fern Bell: The American League counterpart to McGucken, it features nearly all the same equipment and facilities. Difficult to find since it’s back behind the Whitesburg P-8 school. Turn in on Sanders off of Whitesburg and wind your way back until you see baseball diamonds. Note: the parking lot is a bit of a hike from the playground.
- Kent Robertson Park: The wedge of land between the Parkway and Arsenal is home to this great playground which also features a covered pavilion, picnic tables, restrooms, and tennis/soccer/baseball facilities. Mom-tip: It is never crowded, so SHHH! don’t tell anyone else about it.
- Kids’ Space: Located on the northwest corner of Airport Rd & the Parkway, there is a huge wooden playground built like a castle. Great amenities, unique structures, restrooms, shade. Mom-tip: when I say huge, what I really mean is: I haven’t been there without another adult since my second child was born. It’s so big that it is frighteningly easy to lose track of your kids if they outnumber you.
- Jones Farm Park: This paved greenway is the perfect place to bring scooters, skates, big wheels, and excess energy! There are ponds with ducks and turtles and two small pavilions with picnic tables for a rest in the shade. The parking area is on Four Mile Post, but you can walk on over to Yogurt Mountain or Nothing Bundt Cakes on Carl T. Jones for a treat after you play. Mom-tip: Hit the potty before you hit the road, there are no restrooms at this park.
- Aldridge Creek Greenway: Miles of paved greenway extend from the parking area on Mt. Gap (just west of Publix) all the way down to the Tennessee River and Ditto Landing Marina. This is the perfect place for cycling, running and walking all year. Mom-tip: Be courteous of others when frequenting this greenway, it is heavily traveled and there is nothing more terrifying as a cyclist than a little tot on a big wheel darting into your lane. There are restrooms and a small playground and pavilion at the parking area.
- Green Mountain: Beautiful 72-acre park with miles of hiking trails, a covered bridge, and pond with wildlife. There are tons of picnic tables, a large covered pavilion, and well-maintained restrooms. Mom-tip: A breathtaking spot all year – but second to none for a family picture location with fall color!
Whether you have nailed down a sitter and are ready for a date night, or you are just escaping the kitchen to feed your family, South Huntsville has tons of dining options.
Date Night Dining
- Brix – Everything is delicious & they offer weeknight specials.
- Nick’s Ristorante – Casual elegance, great steaks.
- D&L Bistro – Gourmet cuisine with a charming outdoor seating area under a pergola. Also great for lunch dates with its close proximity to the arsenal.
- Mezza Luna – Mediteranean/Italian trattoria-style dining with indoor/outdoor seating.
- Rosie’s Cantina – Loud enough that your rowdy kids won’t embarrass you.
- Rolo’s – American diner fare with a train track along the ceiling that will delight the kids.
- Flyboy’s – Inexpensive American fare with a giant chalkboard for the kids.
- Drake’s – The extensive menu has something for everyone. I didn’t think sushi and burgers could both be good at the same place – but Drake’s has nailed it!
- The Boot Pizzeria – Don’t let the exterior scare you off, the atmosphere inside is quite nice & the pizza is good. Try one of the inventive combinations on the menu, or pick your own favorite toppings.
- Ichiban -Hibachi style Japanese steakhouse and fantastic sushi. Your kids will love the table-side food preparation on the hibachi grills.
ICE CREAM/ FRO-YO: Yogurt Mountain on Carl T. Jones.
GIRLS NIGHT OUT: Drake’s has choices to meet everyone’s different tastes. Brix is little more upscale option. Spirited Art is a great option if you want an activity instead of dinner/drinks.
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The mom of two rambunctious redheads, Meg Nester is a Chicago area native and wannabe crafter extraordinaire. When she’s not tending to her boys or training for triathlons, you can find her in the garage wielding her beloved power tools or firing up a kiln full of enamel jewelry.