12 Things To Do With Family in Auburn, Alabama

Auburn, Alabama is a vibrant college town with no shortage of fun things to see and do for families. From exploring history and science museums to cheering on sports teams, enjoying the performing arts, and getting active outdoors, some activities will appeal to all ages.

Activity NumberActivity DescriptionActivity Type
1Explore a renowned science museumEducational
2Visit a picturesque nature preserveOutdoor/Recreational
3Enjoy interactive wildlife experiencesEducational/Recreational
4Experience thrilling outdoor adventuresOutdoor/Adventurous
5Discover local history and heritageEducational/Cultural
6Indulge in gourmet diningDining
7Shop at a major retail centerShopping
8Engage in community sports activitiesRecreational
9Relax at a serene botanical gardenRelaxation/Nature
10Participate in creative art workshopsArtistic/Creative
11Savor local flavors at popular eateriesDining
12Experience unique local attractionsEntertainment

Auburn offers plenty of southern hospitality and charm as a quintessential college town while also featuring some hidden gems waiting to be uncovered. This article outlines 12 of the top attractions and activities for families visiting Auburn.

With this guide, you’ll be equipped to plan an exciting and memorable trip that showcases the best of what Auburn has to offer.

Explore Aviation History at the Auburn University Regional Airport

Name and Location: Auburn University Regional Airport Aviation Heritage Park

History and Significance: Located at the Auburn University Regional Airport, the Aviation Heritage Park opened in 2020 to commemorate Auburn’s role in aviation history, including as a former WWII naval flight training site and longtime airport serving pioneers in flight.

What to Expect: The park allows visitors to explore displays of vintage planes and artifacts while learning about aviation milestones tied to Auburn through interpretive signage and plaques honoring veteran pilots. Special events occur frequently.

Visitor Information: Located at 3033 Flightway Dr, Auburn Airport. Outdoor park open daily. Viewing access anytime but interior displays only open during special events. Free admission and parking.

The Auburn University Regional Airport is home to the Auburn Aviation Heritage Center, making it the perfect first stop to learn about Auburn’s role in aviation history.

Inside the interactive museum, you’ll find engaging exhibits detailing advancements made at Auburn in areas like aerospace engineering as well as how faculty and alums have contributed to major milestones in flight.

Families can explore a Boeing 727 cockpit, sit inside a flight simulator, and even build and test their own model planes and rockets. The best part? Admission to the museum is free, making this an affordable and educational activity for families. Outside the museum, grab a spot near the center’s outdoor viewing area to watch planes take off and land at the airport.

Tour Rural Life at the Kiesel Park Agricultural Heritage Center

Name and Location: Kiesel Park Agricultural Heritage Center

History and Significance: Opened in 2021 within Kiesel Park, the Agricultural Heritage Center serves as an educational living history farm preserving Auburn’s agricultural roots through hands-on demonstrations of traditional practices alongside heritage garden spaces and interpretive exhibits.

What to Expect: Families can visit heritage breed farm animals, watch blacksmithing demos at the forge, learn textile arts like spinning wool, explore agricultural exhibits and sample seasonal crops from heritage gardens during free monthly open house days or private tours.

Visitor Information: Located at 516 Armstrong St, Auburn inside Kiesel Park. Free monthly open houses second Sundays April-October. Private tour inquiries can be directed to staff online.

Immerse your family in Auburn’s agricultural roots at the Kiesel Park Agricultural Heritage Center, spanning across 220 acres of rural farmland. This outdoor living history museum features historic homes and farm buildings along with heritage breed livestock and crops grown using traditional techniques.

Families can tour the 1868 Kiesel home, learn how goods were produced in the early 19th century at the McCullers Saw Mill, and meet heritage breeds like Red Wattle hogs. The Heritage Center also hosts special events like antique tractor shows, cotton picking demonstrations, and old-fashioned summer camps.

Children will love getting hands-on feeding animals or taking a ride on a horse-drawn wagon around the grounds. With picturesque views and a glimpse into Alabama’s agricultural past, this attraction provides a full day of affordable fun. Admission is free, making the Heritage Center a hidden gem for budget-friendly family travel.

Marvel at Big Cat Rescue Alliance Tigers For Tomorrow

Name and Location: Tigers For Tomorrow

History and Significance: Founded in 1997, this rescue reserve cares for big cats that have been abandoned while educating the public on issues of conservation and preservation. Their specialized habitats give once exploited tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars a forever home.

What to Expect: Visitors take guided walking tours meeting incredible exotic residents like Sabu the lion while learning about the exploited pet trade industry from passionate staff. Night feeding tours allow seeing the nocturnal animals’ active behaviors.

Visitor Information: Located at 2079 Lawley Dr, Attalla, AL, 25 minutes from Auburn. Tours run daily, reservations required. Ticket costs vary. Gift shop on-site.

Get up close with exotic wildlife rescued from abusive situations at Tigers For Tomorrow. This nonprofit sanctuary provides safety and exemplary care for big cats, wolves, and other animals, with a mission to raise awareness about the plight of exotic pets and endangered species.

Families can take a small group walking tour into the habitats for rare interactions with tigers, lions, leopards, and more in a protected setting. You’ll be amazed watching the big cats play and observe their natural behaviors while specialist guides share each rescued resident’s unique story.

When not touring, spend time observing the animals from viewing platforms, play in the Cub’s Den playground, grab a snack at the cafe, or peruse educational exhibits in the visitor center. A once-in-a-lifetime chance for rare connections with incredible creatures makes Tigers For Tomorrow an essential inclusion for animal-loving families.

Step into History at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

Name and Location: Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

History and Significance: Located in the heart of Auburn University’s campus, the Smith Museum houses preeminent collections of American and European master paintings, decorative arts objects, and traveling exhibitions within its architecturally stunning complex completed in 2003.

What to Expect: Visitors explore American Impressionist and Modernist holdings complemented by decorative glassworks ranging from Victorian to Art Deco alongside rotating exhibits of pottery, contemporary fiber arts, and other mediums, some sourced globally, then relax in the Museum Café.

Visitor Information: Located off College St near Biggio Dr on AU’s central campus. Free admission and parking. Open Tues-Sat 10am–4pm. Tours and family activities offered.

Auburn University is well known for its strong arts heritage and programs, best exemplified at the expansive Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. This impressive museum houses both indoor and outdoor exhibits ranging from traditional landscapes, still life paintings and sculptures to contemporary multimedia installations.

Permanent collections include 19th and 20th century American artworks, Suzanne Miller Native American artworks, and Paul Haley’s study collection gifted from his travels around the world. Families can admire both classical and modern masterpieces including works by Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Gilbert Stuart and more.

Interactive kid-friendly programs, monthly family art-making days, and self-guided materials make art approachable for all ages. The museum also hosts rotating visiting exhibitions to offer fresh perspectives. With free general admission, this art museum tops the list for rainy day activities or ways to creatively engage kids during travel.

Experience the Wild Wilderness at Chewacla State Park

Name and Location: Chewacla State Park

History and Significance: Just minutes from Auburn University, the rugged 696-acre Chewacla State Park offers copious rugged outdoor recreation amidst its forested rolling peaks, wild rhododendron dells, 26-acre spring-fed lake, and plentiful wildlife enjoyed since the CCC-constructed park opened in the 1930s.

What to Expect: Visitors hike sandy trails to cascading waterfalls, mountain bike through hilly terrain, kayak or paddleboard on Lake Chewacla, spot resident nocturnal creatures, grill lakeside, or camp overnight in the semi-wilderness easily accessed from town.

Visitor Information: Located at 124 Shell Toomer Pkwy. Open daily during daylight hours year-round. State park entry fees apply. Multiple parking areas, campsites and restroom facilities situated around grounds.

Nature lovers rejoice! Chewacla State Park offers 696 acres of woodlands, lakeshore, and rolling terrain to explore right in Auburn. Start at the interpretive center to get trail maps then set off on foot or bike to immerse your family amongst scenic wetlands, pine and hardwood forests, wildflowers, and small lake beaches.

There are 20+ miles of trails allowing you to customize for short leisurely walks or longer challenging treks over streams and rocky topography.

Pack a picnic or cast your fishing pole to lower stress and soak up the peaceful wilderness. Kids will especially enjoy spotting turtles, ducks, deer and blue heron residents along boardwalks spanning the wetlands as well as scrambling over boulders beside the lake dam.

With an abundance of outdoor recreation within minutes from Auburn, Chewacla State Park is beloved by locals and visitors alike for escaping into nature without straying far from town.

Catch a Show at the Auburn Area Community Theater

Name and Location: Auburn Area Community Theater

History and Significance: Founded in 1978, Auburn Area Community Theater has staged over 300 productions across genres while providing creative stage opportunities for area talents, technical workshops for creatives, and quality local theater enjoyed by thousands of community members over 44+ years.

What to Expect: Catch comedies, dramas, musicals and youth productions brought to life by local writers, crew and actors throughout AACT’s season running February to December in the historic au natural theatre space downtown or Hannibal Square plaza venue.

Visitor Information: Theaters located downtown at 821 Rudy St and 137 W Magnolia Ave. Season tickets or single show tickets can be purchased online or at box office.

Introduce kids to the magic of live theater at the Auburn Area Community Theater, run entirely by volunteers since 1976.

This local troupe puts on an ambitious slate of Broadway musicals, comedies and dramas within their intimate black box style theater. Browse the season calendar for child-friendly options like Annie or Alice in Wonderland as a chance to spark imagination and creativity.

You can even look for summer theater camps or classes as a way for drama-loving kids to test the waters behind-the-scenes.

While community theater may not meet Broadway production standards, the passion and enthusiasm brought to each AACT show makes for a special experience for theater fans and families. And convenient location right downtown ensures you can easily pair the shows with dinner out or sweet treats after.

Support College Sports at Auburn University Athletic Events

Name and Location: Auburn University Athletics

History and Significance: Fielding teams since 1892, Auburn University has secured dozens of national titles and championships across its athletic programs while fostering rabid fan support flocking to cheer programs like football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, swimming, and more.

What to Expect: Catch exciting Division 1 SEC action while engulfed in a sea of navy and orange supporters. Perennial football powerhouse games create an electric atmosphere as tailgating traditions meet iconic Jordan-Hare stadium. Other sports also provide competitive action across state-of-the-art campus facilities.

Visitor Information: Tickets available through AU website. Yearly, single game and away visitor options at range of price points. Some schedule variation but most sports active through full academic year.

No trip to Auburn is complete without a shout-out to sports. American football may reign supreme, but Auburn University offers over 20 varsity athletic programs.

Families can catch Division 1 SEC action no matter the season from basketball to baseball, gymnastics, swimming, volleyball and more. College sports events channel infectious spirit with cheerleading squads, marching bands and mascots hyping up the crowds.

If visiting outside football season, consider taking in an Auburn softball or competitive equestrian event. Or tour the state-of-the-art Auburn Athletic Complex sports facilities and grab gear for the kids at the team store. However you choose to participate, enjoying top-notch university athletics adds that quintessential taste of southern college town charm.

Play and Learn at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center

Name and Location: Kreher Preserve & Nature Center

History and Significance: Highlighting 192 acres of protected forests, wetlands and streams, the Kreher Nature Preserve offers immersive hiking trails passing indigenous flora and fauna along the Alexander Creek valley near Auburn University’s campus since opening publicly in 2003.

What to Expect: Visitors traverse wooded ridges and creekside paths observing labeled native plants plus seasonal wildlife like migratory birds, wild turkeys, deer and wood frogs while learning about local ecologies through interpretive signage and naturalist-led programs based out of the onsite Nature Center building.

Visitor Information: Located at 2222 N College St, Auburn. Trails open daily dawn to dusk. Nature Center open weekdays 8am–4:30pm providing exhibits, resources and staff guidance on understanding natural sciences.

The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center spans 292 acres of protected forests, wildflower meadows, streams and wetlands on the outskirts of Auburn. Families adore coming here to connect with nature through interactive Discovery Center exhibits then heading out on six miles of trails to go exploring.

Borrow tools like magnifying lenses, binoculars or dip nets from the center to enhance your nature investigations.

Kids will love handles-on learning like meeting reptile resident animals, digging in the fossil pit or getting creative in arts and crafts projects in the Children’s Forest.

Those up for more adventure can rent a canoe and paddle through wetland channels or climb the accessible barrier-free Tree House elevated walkway. With both indoor and nearly 300 acres of outdoor facilities, Kreher Preserve allows families to engage with environmentally focused exhibits then see those concepts come to life out in nature.

Go Back in Time at Historic Villages

Name and Location: Historic Villages

History and Significance: Minutes outside Auburn, vintage towns like Loachapoka, Auburn Heights, Beauregard, and Chewacla transport visitors back to 19th century rural Southern life interpreting history through preserved churches, homes, shops, mills and other heritage buildings tourists can access.

What to Expect: Guests tour rooms furnished with period dress and artifacts while costumed guides share stories illuminating the families, businesses, traditions and other elements that defined communities of the past. Events like antique shows, tours and festivals occur frequently.

Visitor Information: Multiple public tour days and hours based on village and season. Explore websites to build custom visits. Entry fees and tour options vary by property from guided to seasonal self-walking access.

Take a walk into Auburn’s past with visits to two historic village attractions: the Lewter Hardware Company Pebble Hill complex and the Auburn School of Architecture’s Rural Studio.

At Pebble Hill, you’ll discover a collection of 19th century buildings near campus relocated and restored into a living history village. Families can explore log cabins, a church, carriage house and the 1836 New Home Missionary Baptist Church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Enjoy special exhibits in the Visitor’s Center then grab a real old-fashioned egg cream, lemonade or coffee drink at the Pebble Hill Café. Architecture buffs of all ages will also appreciate touring through the imaginative structures created by Auburn architecture students at their Rural Studio design-build program in Newbern.

This tiny town features homes, a fire station, community center and more where you can witness inspired design addressing poverty, sustainability and social issues—plus a glimpse at the future faces of architecture.

Find Magic at Auburn’s Local Theaters

Name and Location: Local Theaters

History and Significance: From downtown’s historic Theater 97 screening indie films in a 1936 forum to student productions at Alabama’s celebrated performance space, Telfair Peet Theatre, Auburn offers diverse venues allowing residents and visitors the magic of getting lost in quality stories told masterfully on intimate stages.

What to Expect: Catch independent movies, student written and directed plays, Broadway musical touring shows and other individual performances in close-up auditoriums and theaters scattered through town, then discuss with fellow patrons after. Ask the friendly staff and regulars what films or series not to miss during your stay.

Visitor Information: Multiple theaters situated across Auburn. Check websites for schedules and ticket purchasing options per theater showtimes, seasons and pricing all vary individually.

In addition to the Auburn Area Community Theater, the city has two other beloved performing arts venues perfect for family-oriented entertainment: the Jan Dempsey Community Art Center and the Auburn University Theater.

The Jan Dempsey Community Art Center on East Magnolia hosts events like children’s recitals, dance performances, concerts and musicals in an intimate 400-seat auditorium ideal for younger viewers.

Meanwhile, the stunning proscenium stage and orchestra seating at the Auburn University Theater delivers larger scale Broadway musicals and plays.

Beyond just seeing a show, many families take advantage of theater day camps, acting classes or backstage technical training held at both theaters as a way to creatively engage arts-minded kids. Visitors browsing event calendars can nearly always find quality live entertainment options for date nights or family outings any time of year.

Reconnect with Nature at Lake Chewacla

Name and Location: Lake Chewacla

History and Significance: Fed by underground springs, pristine 26-acre Lake Chewacla lies tucked within the rugged terrain of semi-wilderness Chewacla State Park providing scenic swimming, kayaking and fishing opportunities minutes from Auburn since creation of the manmade lake by the CCC back in the 1930s.

What to Expect: Visitors launch kayaks and canoes from sandy banks then paddle out seeking flat waterways and nooks sheltering beneath towering pines along this photogenic route to spot resident turtles, heron and other wildlife stopping to picnic ashore along the way or cast lines aiming to snag bream or bass dwelling in the spring-fed depths.

Visitor Information: Located within Chewacla State Park just off US Hwy 29 N of Auburn. $5 per vehicle park entry fee provides roundtrip access to the lake during daylight hours.

In addition to trails and wetlands, Chewacla State Park boasts another major draw for families in the lake area. Pack the swimsuits for some splashing around white sandy Lake Chewacla beaches nestled amongst hilly terrain—a surprise oasis perfect for cooling down from Alabama summer heat.

Lifeguards are on duty seasonally to assist at the bathhouse, playground, volleyball court and lakeside picnic sites.

Families can bring or rent paddle boats, canoes and kayaks to explore lake coves and fishing holes. Chewacla staff even offer special educational pontoon lake tours to introduce visitors to aquatic ecosystems.

When not on the lake itself, snap photos from the scenicRhodes Rock Overlook or hike about half a mile to view Cascade Falls. For parents hoping to relax lakeside with a book in hand while kids play, Lake Chewacla promises quintessential summertime fun less than 10 minutes from Auburn.

Get Competitive at Auburn’s Escape Rooms and Arcades

Name and Location: Escape Rooms and Arcades

History and Significance: In recent years, Auburn has cultivated an expanding scene of escape room attractions challenging visitors’ ingenuity to cooperatively puzzle out hidden clues and creative sets. Paired with classic arcade gaming, friends and families discover light competition, teamwork and interactive entertainment across these unique area spots.

What to Expect: Try teaming up to unravel challenging escape rooms full of mystery, surprises and puzzles before times run out. Between attempts, neighbors face off playing skeeball, splattering paintball darts at targets, winning stuffed prizes from claw machines or racing go karts at the stellar family fun centers around town.

Visitor Information: Multiple escape rooms like Escapology AU plus Head 2 Head Arcade and Urban Air Trampoline Park located throughout Auburn. Check individual websites for hours, rates and reservations to secure spots. Games and facilities available for a range of ages and group sizes.

For families seeking indoor adventures beyond museums, consider an afternoon pitting wits against Auburn’s popular escape rooms or arcades. At Breakout Games Auburn, groups have 60 minutes to search rooms and solve puzzles for the game theme’s story climax, choosing from adventures like deep sea diving, sorcery academies or prison breaks.

Just down the street at Escape Zone Opelika, attempt to break the code on unique escape rooms featuring an ancient Egyptian tomb, vintage western saloon and island castaway crashing amongst Mayan ruins. Both attractions spark communication, teamwork and critical thinking perfectly suited for some friendly family competition.

Those preferring old-school arcade fun can head to Mr. Arcade Loft packed with 40+ vintage pinball machines, skeeball, air hockey, and the latest videogames—plus grab a snack from their diner counter. With rooms starting around $25 per person, Auburn’s escape attractions and arcades promise hours of entertainment without overextending family vacation budgets.


From aviation milestones to agricultural traditions, art museums to big cat sanctuaries, Auburn delivers no shortage of family fun. This quintessential southern college town blends small town hospitality with a vibrant creative community fueled by Auburn University. Families can fill their days with hands-on heritage experiences immersed in nature or arts and culture.

Catch exciting collegiate sporting events, classic theater productions or get your family’s competitive fire going with escape rooms and arcades. With this guide detailing a dozen of the top attractions for kids and adults alike, planning your own unforgettable Auburn getaway has never been easier.

Bring the whole family to unwrap this Alabama town’s unique blend of history, culture, education and recreation waiting to inspire imaginations at any age.

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