12 Things To Do With Family In Montgomery, Alabama

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Montgomery is the capital city of Alabama and has a rich history and culture to offer visitors. From its role in the civil rights movement to its array of museums and outdoor activities, Montgomery provides many memorable and educational experiences for families.

ActivityDescription
Rosa Parks MuseumA museum dedicated to Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, offering exhibits, artifacts, and hands-on elements for younger visitors.
Montgomery ZooA zoo with over 700 animals and a Splash Park for children to enjoy water play.
National Memorial for Peace and JusticeA memorial dedicated to enslaved Black people and lynching victims, offering a sobering educational experience with sculptures and monuments.
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts PlanetariumA planetarium within an art museum offering astronomy-focused films and exhibits.
Montgomery’s Railroad MuseumAn interactive museum with vintage railroad cars and educational exhibits on trains’ history.
Montgomery Zoo Botanical GardensA botanical garden featuring diverse plant habitats and peaceful pathways for exploration.
Old Alabama TownA living history museum with authentically restored buildings and demonstrations of heritage trades.
Davis PlanetariumA planetarium offering public viewings and films on astronomy and space science.
Foshee’s Flora ConservatoryA conservatory with exotic butterflies, flowering vegetation, and interactive experiences for families.
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial ParkA museum featuring the USS Alabama battleship, with tours of the ship and exhibits on naval history.
Montgomery Biscuits Minor BaseballA minor league baseball experience with games, food, and entertainment for families.
Negro Southern League MuseumA museum highlighting the history of African American baseball leagues with exhibits on famous players and memorabilia.

This article highlights 12 of the top things to do with kids and family in Montgomery to help you make the most out of your visit. Whether you’re looking for kid-friendly museums, interactive exhibits, outdoor recreation or delicious family dining, Montgomery has something for travelers of all ages to enjoy.

1. Visit the Rosa Parks Museum

Name and Location: The Rosa Parks Museum is located at 252 Montgomery Street in downtown Montgomery, Alabama.

History and Significance: This museum opened in 2000 to commemorate the life and legacy of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, whose defining act of refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery in 1955 helped ignite the modern civil rights movement.

What to Expect: Visitors follow Parks’ journey through interpretive exhibits that evoke key moments like the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Listen to oral histories, see artifacts like the restored bus itself, and reflect on her great personal courage that advanced equality.

Visitor Information: The Rosa Parks Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sundays-Mondays. Nominal admission fees apply. Guided tours available by arrangement. Located near other downtown museums.

Dedicated to the life and legacy of civil rights activist Rosa Parks, the Rosa Parks Museum chronicles the Montgomery bus boycott movement she sparked in 1955 after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. An important place for families to learn about a pivotal time in America’s history regarding racial inequality and civil rights, the museum brings this history to life through exhibits and artifacts.

You can see the actual bus where Parks made her stand, as well as displays outlining the 381-day boycott that followed and ultimately led to the Supreme Court ruling segregation on buses unconstitutional. There are also behind-the-scenes glimpses into Rosa’s life and plenty of hands-on elements to engage younger visitors.

2. Splash and Play at the Montgomery Zoo

Name and Location: The Montgomery Zoo is located at 2301 Coliseum Parkway in Montgomery, Alabama.

History and Significance: Established in 1920, the 40 acre Montgomery Zoo collection has grown to over 500 animals. State-of-the-art exhibits like the sea lion habitat and touch tank at Mann Wildlife Learning Museum advance animal care while an expansive playground, splash pad and picnic areas cater to family recreation.

What to Expect: Visitors can observe animals from bald eagles to giraffes, toucans to tigers in naturalistic habitats, feed goats or stingrays in hands-on exhibits, and enjoy shaded play spaces. Special events occur seasonally. Care for conservation is emphasized.

Visitor Information: The Montgomery Zoo is open daily year-round. One fee enables access to all attractions. Season passes available. Rules protect animals and guest safety. Walking shoes and water bottles advised.

Home to over 700 animals from five continents, the Montgomery Zoo also houses an expansive wild play area for kids called Splash Park. This splash pad features play structures, fountains, pools, water slides and more than 100 water features for cooling off and burning energy during the hot Alabama summers.

Pack swimsuits, water shoes, towels and spare clothes so the kids can safely enjoy hours of soaking wet fun while parents relax nearby. When everyone is all splashed out, spend time wandering through the zoo to visit exotic creatures like tigers, camels, rhinos, red pandas, gorillas and endangered amphibians from around the globe.

3. Honor History at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Name and Location: The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is located at 400 North Court Street in downtown Montgomery, Alabama.

History and Significance: Opened in 2018, this profoundly moving memorial acknowledges victims of racial lynching in America between 1877-1950. On 6 acres overlooking the Alabama River, it compellingly confronts the nation’s painful past of discrimination.

What to Expect: Confront injustice through the memorial’s over 800 corten steel monuments naming lynching victims by county. Audio stories, sculpture and imagery immortalize those lost while helping facilitate dialogue and reflection critical to social progress today.

Visitor Information: The Memorial is open daily except Tuesdays. Guided tours available via timed, free tickets. Located downtown near museums/attractions. Content may disturb so parental guidance advised. Silence and respect encouraged.

A heavy yet worthwhile family activity while in Montgomery is a visit to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved Black people and victims of lynching. A project of the Equal Justice Initiative, this striking memorial sits on 6 acres and aims to tell the challenging history of slavery, lynching and racial segregation in an impactful way.

Self-guided tours take you through the memorial ground’s artwork, sculpture and monuments noting the counties and victims involved, along with the over 800 Corten steel monuments suspended to honor each county. Prepare children for difficult conversations and impressions during your visit, while emphasizing the importance of acknowledging the past.

4. See Stars at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Planetarium

Name and Location: The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts planetarium is located within the main Museum complex at 1 Museum Drive in Blount Cultural Park.

History and Significance: Added in 2020 as part of MMFA’s educational mission, this 30-foot diameter digital dome brings the cosmos closer through daily public science shows exploring topics like star lifecycles, planets and space phenomena simulated via precision digital universe projections that immerse audiences.

What to Expect: Narrated presentations adapt to various ages and run 30-45 minutes. Visualizations wow as the planetarium “travels” to distant galaxies, dramatizing astrophysics through state-of-the-art surround sound/light installations sure to inspire future scientists.

Visitor Information: Shows usually at 11am and 2pm daily. Tickets just $5 when added onto general Museum admission. Special events may charge extra fees. Limited seating so come early as space fills.

For out-of-this world family fun, make a date with the stars inside the planetarium at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. As the state’s only art museum with an IMAX style dome theater planetarium, this air-conditioned space provides welcome respite from Alabama’s summer heat. The museum screens a variety of astronomy-focused IMAX films perfect for kids intrigued by planets, asteroids, black holes and other lunar topics.

Family favorites on rotation include “Backyard Wilderness” highlighting nature close to home and “A Beautiful Planet,” showcasing Earth from space via IMAX footage shot by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. After your planetarium show, explore the museum’s collections showcasing American fine art.

5. Ride the Rails at Montgomery’s Railroad Museum

Name and Location: The Montgomery Railroad Museum is located downtown at 850 Water Street, Montgomery, Alabama, 36104.

History and Significance: Established 1988 in a 1925 train station and rail yard, this museum celebrates Montgomery’s status as a 19th century railroad hub that connected Alabama internationally through restored locomotives, rail cars and exhibits engagingly interpreting critical infrastructure impacting local commerce, communities and rights movements.

What to Expect: Visitors can climb aboard private railcars of Presidents Roosevelt and Eisenhower while learning their context. Kids can operate model trains while studying full scale counterparts and regional line history. Special events, modeler meetings and more.

Visitor Information: The Montgomery Railroad Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday for self-guided exploration. Nominal admission fees aid conservation. Train ride events scheduled seasonally require separate ticket purchase.

Travel back in time to the golden era of trains with a family visit to the Montgomery Area Railroad Museum. On these museum grounds you can take a leisurely ride along their half-mile railway loop circling the 50-acre site in vintage railroad cars dating between 1913 to 1953.

This interactive transport museum also features an extensive collection of locomotives and rail cars to explore via guided tour, educating families on the critical role trains played in developing Montgomery commercially in the 1800s. Budding conductors will love learning how steam powered engines functioned while they gleefully ring bells and sound whistles under close supervision. Thomas the Tank Engine fans will be in heaven!

6. Explore Alabama Nature at the Montgomery Zoo Botanical Gardens

Name and Location: The Montgomery Zoo Botanical Gardens are located alongside the Zoo at 2301 Coliseum Parkway, Montgomery, Alabama, 36110.

History and Significance: These gardens cultivate representative samples of state native plants alongside cultivated varieties to immerse visitors in the biodiversity of Alabama’s terrestrial ecosystems, from Appalachian forests to Gulf Coast plains, through ornately designedraised planters and landscape installations framed with educational context.

What to Expect: Blooming flowers, shrubs and trees denote seasonal cycles across Alabama as interpreted by helpful signs. Noteworthy specimens include oak leaf hydrangea, azaleas, witch hazel and fragrant native vines. Peaceful paths to wander.

Visitor Information: The Zoo Botanical Gardens are open during standard Zoo hours year-round at no extra charge. Best appreciated April-October when most flora actively growing and flowering. Located just past the entry gates.

Connected to the main zoo but a worthy standalone family outing are the Montgomery Zoo Botanical Gardens. Traversing these tranquil gardens dotted with botanical delights across 52 acres takes you along peaceful pathways through lush native plant habitats recreating Alabama piedmont forest, wetland swamps, vernal pools, pine-oak uplands and coastal environments.

It makes an easy nature retreat right in the city, perfect for leisurely strolls while spotting native birds, turtles, butterflies and foliage. Bring a picnic or dine al fresco at one of the garden restaurants. Don’t miss the unique Chandler Mountain Brook bridge suspended 65-feet across a ravine, the floral scents in the fragrance garden, or the whimsical wizarding wonders in the Alice’s Garden children’s area.

7. Go Back in Time Montgomery’s Old Alabama Town

Name and Location: Old Alabama Town is an open-air architectural museum located in downtown Montgomery, Alabama at 301 Columbus Street, across from the Hank Williams Museum.

History and Significance: Established in 1976, this preserved 19th century village transports visitors back to the sights, sounds and spaces that defined Alabama life through 50 rescued and restored buildings spanning stores, offices, homes and workshops stocked with authentic furnishings and goods.

What to Expect: Costumed interpreters populate spaces like an 1889 mansion, one room schoolhouse, doctor’s office, courthouse, print shop and drug store while demonstrating period practices, crafts and foodways immersed in meticulously recreated settings.

Visitor Information: Old Alabama Town is open Monday-Saturday for self-guided explorations using provided maps. Modest admission fees apply. Guide and activity reservations recommended. Accessibility varies across historic buildings.

Old Alabama Town transports visitors back to the 19th century to experience firsthand what life was like during Montgomery’s early years. Staff dress in period costumes while doing daily tasks and imparting historical knowledge upon inquiry. Families can explore authentically restored shops, homes and buildings constructed from structures saved from demolition dating between 1840 to 1910.

Kids gain loads experiencing heritage trades like blacksmithing, tinsmithing, weaving and baking as they tour the old-fashioned apothecary, printing press, shoe shop, carriage house, cabinetmaker barn, grist mill and more. After watching glassblowing demonstrations learn about pre-Civil War life touring the furnished 1828 Federal style brick cottage.

8. See the Stars at Davis Planetarium

Name and Location: The Davis Planetarium is located within the Carolyn Blount Theatre at 210 Bear Creek Drive, Montgomery Alabama, inside the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

History and Significance: Named for astronaut Fred Drew and established 1992, this 78-seat dome brings galaxies near through 360-degree digital projection displaying accurate celestial mapping technology. Shows dramatize current science across fields like astrophysics for public education and inspiration.

What to Expect: Narrated 30-60 minute presentations adapted for ages traverse topics like black holes, Mars, astronomy’s history and cosmic phenomena impossible to observe firsthand, all visualized via vibrant, immersive dome animations and surround sound.

Visitor Information: Shows generally at 12pm and 2pm daily. Reservations encouraged. $5 when added to Museum admission ticket. Some special events like music pairings may have added cost. Prepared for sensory sensitivities.

The Davis Planetarium at Troy University Montgomery provides another amazing indoor stargazing option for families, where kids can further foster a love for astronomy and space science. Public viewings are offered Fridays year-round showing engaging full-dome films perfect for children enchanted by the mysteries of the Milky Way.

Films vary monthly but often focus on topics like constellations, eclipses, the latest NASA discoveries, Curiosity’s Rover journeys across Mars and more cool cosmic content to inspire future astronauts. Private group screenings can also be booked if visiting with a school group, scout troop or birthday party wanting a focused celestial experience.

9. Sunbathe with Butterflies at Foshee’s Flora Conservatory

Name and Location: Foshee’s Flora Conservatory is located at 2806 Cobbs Ford Road in Prattville, just northwest of Montgomery, Alabama.

History and Significance: Opened 2012 by horticulturalist Gary Foshee, this specialized greenhouse comprises a tropical paradise under glass ideal for up-close appreciation of rare, free flying butterflies from around the globe alongside exotic birds and hundreds of vibrant plant species within heated indoor gardens.

What to Expect: Lush palms, orchids and bromeliads cultivated to sustain delicate living ecosystems make Foshee’s a relaxing oasis. Find leafy alcoves to observe nature, follow the wooden path through trickling water features, spot exotic butterflies, enjoy peaceful sounds.

Visitor Information: Foshee’s Flora Conservatory is open daily year-round with an admission fee. Last entry an hour before posted closing times. Strollers and wheelchairs accommodated. Picnics welcomed in outdoor space when weather permits.

A magical tropical hideaway in the heart of Montgomery, Foshee’s Flora Conservatoryallows families to connect with nature through intimate encounters with exotic butterflies from around the world. Wander freely through soaring atriums filled with lush flowering vegetation, koi ponds, cascading waterfalls and hundreds of freely flying butterflies that may land on you during their midair dances.

With temperatures kept steamy year-round it makes a refreshing indoor playground for kids to release energy while dodging brilliant blue morphos, vibrant orange monarchs and sweeping birdwings searching for nectar. Let the kids bring butterfly nets or just observe life cycles unfolding within.

10. Explore the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

Name and Location: The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is located at 2703 Battleship Parkway in Mobile, Alabama near the Bankhead Tunnel.

History and Significance: Completed 1964, this National Historic Landmark contains the fearsome WWII-era battleship USS Alabama, submarine USS Drum and aircraft pavilion honoring state military veterans across 25 acres of shoreline park commemorating those who defend freedom.

What to Expect: Visitors can thoroughly explore passageways and compartments aboard the battleship, encounter officers’ stories, trace onboard gun systems, and salute Submarine Veterans memorials. Aircraft displays, daily events like flag ceremonies tapping Alabama’s profound naval heritage and heroism.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily year-round except major holidays. Modest entry fee helps fund conservation. Tours are self-guided. Schedules vary seasonally. Transportation between elements available.

Touring the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park makes a patriotic family friendly day, where you can crawl around the enormous 690-foot retired World War II naval battleship docked along Mobile Bay. Once onboard, military buffs and historians will rejoice at the array of exploreable spaces, 40 restored aircraft, weaponry, maritime relics, documenting Alabama’s naval contributions across major 20th century US conflicts.

Adults gain firsthand views into cramped crew living quarters while kids eagerly climb ladders between decks, check engine rooms, examine artillery guns, missile launches and the on-deck airplane launch pad and hanger. Also worth seeing ashore is the submarine USS Drum floating nearby.

11. Cheer at Montgomery Biscuits Minor Baseball

Name and Location: Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium hosts the AA Montgomery Biscuits minor league baseball team along the Alabama River at 200 Coosa St in downtown Montgomery.

History and Significance: Bringing professional baseball back to Alabama’s capital in 2004, the lively Montgomery Biscuits quickly garnered devoted hometown fans while developing major league talent like MLB stars Evan Longoria and Chris Archer across energetic, affordable games spiced by creative theming and fun contests.

What to Expect: Cheer on the Biscuits April-September across 70 home games! Enjoy good-natured entertainment like nightly “Cow Race” pops, try concession stand biscuit sandwiches, catch home runs hit over “The Wall” during playful rivalry facing the Tennessee Smokies and more under bright stadium lights.

Visitor Information: Riverwalk Stadium’s season runs April-September. Promotions and schedule vary yearly. Single game ticket prices start around $15. Free parking nearby, grab concessions before you go. Games last 2-3 hours.

No family trip to Montgomery is complete without taking in one of America’s favorite pastimes at a Montgomery Biscuits minor league baseball game. As Tampa Bay’s AA affiliate team, visiting the Biscuits ballpark is an affordable taste of Major League fun, with specialty food and drinks, lively entertainment, giveaways and chances to meet player mascots Big Mo and Miss Gravy in the stands.

Sit behind home plate or along first baseline for best views as these up and coming player prospects swing for homeruns. Kids can try catching fly balls in the outfield before the game at VIP experiences. Don’t forget foam fingers and face paint to fully embrace the minor league spirit!

12. Experience Negro Southern League Museum

Name and Location: The Negro Southern League Museum is located at 120 Coosa Street in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, near the Hank Williams and civil rights museums.

History and Significance: Founded as a grassroots initiative, this impactful institution celebrates the history of African American baseball leagues, drawing on local community memories and artifacts to spotlight amazing overlooked sports heritage advancing civil rights progress across Alabama.

What to Expect: View engaging exhibits profiling leagues, teams and stand out players often denied big league chances pre-1947 integration alongside uniforms, equipment, photos and more. Interact with oral histories, and sense the strength these courageous competitors and fans drew from America’s favorite pastime.

Visitor Information: Open Tuesday-Saturday year-round for self-guided exploration. Modest admission aids conservation. Also active in educational outreach – check public schedule for related local events. Free nearby parking.

An important final inclusion is the Negro Southern League Museum, sharing the often untold history of African American baseball leagues pre-integration. Their significant yet overlooked stories of struggle, talent and triumphs take center stage through exhibits of authentic uniforms, equipment, artifacts plus photos and film from 1900s segregated leagues starring such greats as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson.

Watching kids compare player stats then and now always impresses upon them the unfairness of the past while highlighting today’s greater diversity in professional sports. Fans of all backgrounds enjoy seeing memorabilia from these influential historic athletes who helped pave the way.

Conclusion

With this mix of cultural, recreational and historical attractions, Montgomery provides dynamic opportunities for unforgettable family fun. From hot air balloon races, food festivals and sporting events filling the calendar year-round, any time visiting Alabama’s capital city makes lasting memories through meaningful sightseeing.

Be sure to experience these top 12 activities for maximizing your Montgomery getaway. From moonwalking through space museums to riding riverboat cruises at sunset, bonding with loved ones exploring this heritage filled river city always uplifts and brings people together.

Leave a Comment