Fun Families Can Still Have in Madison this Summer
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives the past few months. Families are looking for ways to get out of the house and enjoy the gorgeous summer weather. Luckily, there’s lots of ways for you to get out of the house and explore Madison while still following current safety protocols!
Things are changing fast, so we’ll update this list of fun things to do throughout the summer.
Summer Family Fun In Madison, Alabama
1. Dublin Park
Dublin Park is located in the heart of Madison, and is the go-to spot for many families year-round. The indoor pool is open now, with specific social distancing rules that they are not kidding around about. The outside pool will open after Memorial Day, pending CDC recommendations.
The scenic walking & biking track that circles the park is great for a stroll, skating, or practicing with those training wheels off! Families can also fish from the two stocked ponds or play a round of disc golf together. Kid’s Kingdom is the beloved public playground located inside Dublin Park, and is slated to reopen this summer after renovations are complete.
2. Parks and Playgrounds
Besides Dublin Park, there’s several other options for parks and playgrounds in Madison (slated to open May 27 at time of publication). The Palmer Park playground (574 Palmer Rd.) is great for younger kids as well as being an ADA accessible playground. The Creekwood Park playground (360 Harvestwood Ct.) is a great park for kids of all ages. It tends to flood, so avoid it a few days after a hard rain.
Not a fan of big parks? You can find a list of all neighborhood parks open to the public here on the City of Madison’s website or in the free ExploreHSV app.
3. Rocket City Trash Pandas
Take them out to the ballgame! The Trash Pandas have had to delay their opening season, but we are itching for the day when we can safely visit the new ballpark. In the meantime, you can buy tickets to games, purchase Trash Pandas gear, participate in fun events, and keep up with the latest news – like when they start to play – for the team on their website. According to VP of Marketing, Lindsey Knupp, there are plans to begin holding non-baseball community events at the stadium just as soon as they get the go ahead from Governor Ivey and they’ll be following all CDC protocols for such events.
4. Trains on Main Scavenger Hunt
Take a stroll and explore downtown while you take part in the Trains on Main Scavenger Hunt! Learn about the history of downtown Madison while you search for eight hidden trains. Download the free clue card here. This fun and free activity is great for all ages. Don’t forget the sunscreen and plan on stopping in at one of the downtown restaurants or shops for a snack or drink on the patio.
5. Play Madison BINGO
Visit the Madison Chamber of Commerce’s website to view the BINGO card and decide what items your family will do to get BINGO. Take pictures, videos, or screenshots of yourself participating in the listed activities for BINGO and post them on your Facebook page. Tag the Madison Chamber of Commerce (@madisonchamber) with the hashtag #madisonALstrong. Don’t forget to tag the local business you supported! This contest is ongoing and a winner is chosen once a month to receive a $50 gift card to LawLer’s Barbecue. Winners are announced on the 5th of each month via Facebook.
6. Hiking Trails & Greenways
Tired of walking around your neighborhood? Madison has several walking and hiking options for you. All are bike & trike friendly!
The Mill Creek Greenway is accessed via Mill Road between the Millstone subdivision and Mill Creek Elementary. This 0.6 mile greenway is a great option for little legs. Don’t forget to stop by the dog park to watch the pups play!
The Indian Creek Greenway is on the border of Madison and Huntsville and can be accessed from either Old Madison Pike near Slaughter Road or behind the Creekwood subdivision just north of the Farrow Rd./Slaughter Rd. intersection. The greenway runs for nearly 3 miles through woods and farmland. Bring water clothes to splash around in the creek!
The Bradford Creek Greenway is accessed via Palmer Rd., where the trail begins. The greenway runs 2.3 miles through the forest along Bradford Creek and ends at Heritage Elementary School. With scenic views and assorted wildlife and plants, this is a great option for older kids.
The Rainbow Mountain Preserve can be accessed from 230 Stoneway Trail with additional parking up the hill next to the water tower. This 1.5 mile long Loop Trail is a rocky path that follows along the cliff ridge and east side of Rainbow Mountain. Featuring rock formations, fossils, caves, a waterfall, and views of Madison, this is a great hike for nature lovers. Other trails along the loop trail include Wild Trail (0.4 miles), JaMooKo Loop Trail (0.9 miles) and Spring Trail.
The Beaverdam Swamp Boardwalk is a hidden gem in the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. This 1.1 mile trail can be accessed from a frontage road just off exit 5 on I-565 and leads visitors through the largest Tupelo Swamp in Alabama.
7. Go Fishing!
Fishing is a great way to get kids unplugged and in the outdoors for a few hours. There’s several public spots within Madison to take the kids for a fun, quick fishing trip. Check out the ponds near Madison Hospital and Cabella’s. Looking for a scenic fishing spot best suited for older kids? Walk a short way on the Indian Creek Greenway and fish in Indian Creek. Mill Creek and Bradford Creek can both be accessed through their respective greenways. If you want to branch out, there’s more fishing holes just a short drive from Madison.
Unless you want to dig in your yard, be sure to grab some bait from Wal-Mart or Academy Sports. If you need to purchase a fishing license you can do that online here. Remember, Alabama residents can fish from the bank in their county of residence with hook and line (live bait only) without purchasing a license. You must be able to prove your residency, so make sure you have your drivers’ license with you. Kids under 16 do not need a freshwater fishing license, but their accompanying adult does if they do not meet the above requirements. If you need to purchase a license, you can complete the process online and print your license before you head out.
8. Madison Library Goes Curbside
The library is closed until further notice, but they’re still offering plenty to the citizens of Madison!
No-contact pickup of holds and grab bags (selections of books by genre chosen by librarians) are currently being offered. When you call the library to let them know you’ve arrived, don’t forget to ask for a kids craft kit! They are offered one per child as long as supplies last.
Do your kids miss weekly storytime? The youth services librarians at Madison have a full schedule of storytimes and other programs on their YouTube channel! The schedule is below. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss any!
- Tuesdays, 9:00 am: Online Storytime
- Wednesdays, 10:00 am: STEM Wednesdays
- Thursdays, 9:00 am: Online Storytime
- Fridays, 10:00 am: Crafting with Haley
The library has also added more digital materials to serve patrons. Make sure you check out Hoopla, which offers ebooks, comic books, audiobooks, music, television shows, and movies without having to place a hold and wait! Patrons can check out 5 items per month, so make sure you check out this awesome resource as well.
The Madison Library’s Summer Reading Program will look a little different this summer. The library will not be hosting programs this summer, but you can pick up your Summer Reading bag curbside starting June 1, and start tracking your books for prizes and reading awards!
9. SPACES Sculpture Trail
This series of large-scale public art installations aims to bring culture, color and inspiration in various locations in the greater Huntsville area. This is a collaborative project developed by Arts Huntsville, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville Museum of Art, Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, the Huntsville Madison County CVB, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Boasting 39 total sculptures, viewers can explore the trail guided the SPACES HSV mobile app. Several of the sculptures are located in and around Madison and make a great activity when your family just needs to get out of the house while staying socially distant.
10. Play Some Disc Golf
Get some exercise while having fun playing disc golf at one of Madison’s disc golf courses! Never played disc golf? It’s like regular golf except you throw a disc into a basket instead of hitting a ball with a club. All you need is walking shoes and frisbees (you can purchase special discs at a sporting goods store for about $10 but they aren’t necessary).
Madison boasts four different courses: Greenbriar Woods (6 Green Creek Rd.), Asbury UMC (980 Hughes Rd.), Dublin Park (8324 Old Madison Pike), and Indian Creek Disc Golf Park (accessed by the Indian Creek Greenway). Make sure you check out this article on Rocket City Mom for more tips.
11. Madison City Farmers Market
A visit to the Farmers Market is a Saturday morning tradition here in Madison. Located at Trinity Baptist Church on Hughes Road and open every Saturday this summer from 8:00 am until noon, the market looks a little different than in years past. Only food vendors will be selling products, and booths will be spaced 10 feet apart. Only one person per household is currently allowed to shop at the market at a time. However, many vendors are accepting preorders of goods. A visit to the Madison City Farmers Market is a great way to support local businesses while enjoying some delicious food.
What did we miss? Tell us your ideas about ways to celebrate the summer months in the city of Madison in the comments. Again, we will be updating this list as things change throughout the summer, so check back often!
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- RCM’s 2020 Summer Camp Guide
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Melissa Davison is a former Youth Services Librarian turned Stay-at-Home-Mom of 2 boys and 1 girl. Married to her high school sweetheart since 2001, she moved with her family to Madison in 2013 from North Carolina and loves exploring her adopted home. When she's not volunteering with Cub Scouts or the PTA, you can find Melissa drinking caffeinated beverages, knitting, or trying to work her way through her massive To-Read list.