12 Things To Do With Family In Phenix City, Alabama

Last Updated on March 1, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Nestled along the Chattahoochee River, Phenix City offers visitors scenic views and family-friendly entertainment. Just across the river from Columbus, Georgia, this small city in Alabama holds surprises around every corner.

Chattahoochee River AdventuresEnjoy river rafting, kayaking, and paddleboarding on the Chattahoochee River.
East Alabama Motor SpeedwayExperience thrilling live car races and family-friendly events.
Idle Hour ParkA serene park with playgrounds, walking paths, and sports facilities.
Phenix City AmphitheaterOutdoor venue hosting concerts, movies, and special events.
Lakewood Golf CoursePlay golf or enjoy the clubhouse amenities in a scenic setting.
Phenix City RiverwalkScenic walkway along the river, ideal for strolling, jogging, or cycling.
Moon Lake ParkA tranquil spot for fishing, picnicking, and outdoor relaxation.
Roy Martin CenterCommunity center offering various recreational and educational programs.
Phenix City Art CenterExplore local art exhibits, workshops, and cultural events.
14th Street Pedestrian BridgeHistoric bridge offering picturesque views, perfect for a family walk.
Garrett-Harrison StadiumCatch a local baseball game or other sports events.
Cultural & Heritage ToursDiscover the city’s history and heritage through guided tours.

From exploring history and architecture to splashing around water parks, families will find an array of activities to enjoy together. When planning your next weekend getaway or summer vacation, consider these top 12 things to do with family in Phenix City, Alabama.

Learn History at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

Name and Location: The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia

History and Significance: Founded in 1972, this museum preserves local Civil War history and antique locomotives. It houses an extensive collection of artifacts and trains including the General locomotive from the Great Locomotive Chase. The museum brings regional history to life through exhibits and educational programs.

What to Expect: Indoor and outdoor exhibits displaying Civil War weapons, medical equipment, documents and the famous General steam engine. Train car rides, kids activities, museum store and seasonal events like reenactments and guest speakers that provide an interactive historical experience for visitors.

Visitor Information: Open 7 days a week. Reasonable admission fee. Group rates available. Picnic area on grounds.

Immerse your family in America’s past at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. This museum tells the story of Phenix City’s involvement in wartime efforts alongside rotating exhibits on locomotives throughout history. Watch your children’s eyes light up as they climb aboard and explore vintage train cars.

Family-friendly displays and games make learning history exciting for young visitors while parents appreciate the expansive collection. Make a full day adventure by pairing your trip with a ride on the 1912 Colonial Car along the tracks of the Chattahoochee Valley Railroad.

Roam the Brick Beauty of Russell County Courthouse

Name and Location: Russell County Courthouse located in downtown Phenix City, Alabama

History and Significance: Stately historic courthouse building constructed in 1939 featuring antique architectural details and one of the few remaining original operating manually controlled elevators. Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as active county courthouse.

What to Expect: Visitors can tour the historic three story courthouse featuring original marble walls, antique light fixtures and large murals depicting local history. Guides share stories of past trials and information on restoration projects to preserve the integrity of this iconic building.

Visitor Information: Free guided tours available weekdays. Closed on major holidays and legal observances.

Transport your family back in time with a tour of the Russell County Courthouse and surrounds. This historic brick building with white stone accents opened in 1935, replacing the former 1878 courthouse. Gaze up at the domed clock tower as you walk through Corinthian columns into an architectural beauty.

Inside, ask attendants about the symbolic engravings, paintings, and statues commissioned by the Works Progress Administration to embody themes like wisdom, mercy, and justice. For more stories of the past, take a short stroll to the Phenix City Post Office with its original art deco details from the 1930s.

See a Show at the Cultural Arts Center

Name and Location: The Cultural Arts Center in Columbus, Georgia

History and Significance: Opened in 1962, this was the first multipurpose arts facility in Georgia. Home of the theatre, ballet, opera and symphony as well as host to popular touring shows. State-of-the-art facilities with superior acoustics, lighting and staging serve the community with affordable arts programming.

What to Expect: Frequent resident and traveling Broadway plays, musicals, concerts, standup comedy, ballet and opera productions in three unique theatre spaces. Enjoy pre-show dining in adjacent bistros.

Visitor Information: Box Office hours Mon to Fri 10am to 5:30 pm. Tours available.

Treat your family to an inspiring performance at the Cultural Arts Center along the riverwalk. This active arts venue hosts musical performances, theatrical shows, dance recitals, and more in its intimate setting.

Peruse the schedule for kid-friendly options like imaginative puppet shows or introduce older children to classics like award-winning dramas and skilled jazz quartets. Many shows aim to celebrate Phenix City’s diverse community, bringing families together through song, dance, and laughter.

Make a Splash at Idle Hour Park

Name and Location: Idle Hour Park in Phenix City, Alabama

History and Significance: Historic city park created in 1898 featuring vintage 1901 Dentzel Carousel, holiday light displays and summer concert series. Hosts community holiday celebrations and events in a picturesque setting with Victorian era bandstand gazebo on park grounds.

What to Expect: Old fashioned amusement park with carousel rides, miniature golf course, paddle boats, playground and picnic areas situated around a large lake. Concerts, movie nights and festivals held regularly. Beautiful spot for walks, family picnics and recreational activities.

Visitor Information: Open daily 8am to 10pm. Some attraction fees apply. Swimming prohibited in lake.

When Phenix City heats up, cool off with water play at Idle Hour Park. This community park centers around an impressive 20-acre lake with a swimming beach, paddle boating rentals, fishing piers, and more. Children can splash on the sandy beach or race paddle boats around the lake while parents relax on benches along the water’s edge.

Bring your own fishing poles or borrow some from the park office and try your luck catching bass, bream, and catfish as families around you picnic on the lakefront. With playgrounds, a footbridge, and walking trails circling the lake, Idle Hour Park promises a full day of family fun.

Step Back in Time at Historic Girard

City, AL

History and Significance: Late 19th century rustic Victorian farmstead tucked away on three acres of property. Once a working farm, now restored with antique furnishings reflecting 1880s life in rural Alabama. Operated by Historic Chattahoochee Commission to preserve local heritage.

What to Expect: Guided tours through main farmhouse, smoke house, barn, well house and working blacksmith shop. Costumed interpreters demonstrate crafts and skills of earlier eras. Special events include reenactments, holiday programs and hands-on activities that engage visitors in living history.

Visitor Information: Open Wed thru Sat 10am – 4pm. Guided tours at 10:30am and 1:30pm. Group tours by appointment. Modest admission fee.

In the mood for old-fashioned family fun? Make the quick drive over to Historic Girard, a recreated 1890s town just minutes from downtown. Let your kids discover simple pleasures like playing checkers inside an authentic general store and old-time toys like yoyos and wooden tops.

Together you can pan for gemstones, watch blacksmith demonstrations, or learn to churn butter the pioneer way. Costumed interpreters enhance the experience with educational talks about Girard’s history as a prosperous mill town in the 19th century. Before you leave, stop for sweet kettle corn or hand-dipped ice cream cones to power you through more small-town adventures.

Picnic at Lakebottom Park

Name and Location: Lakebottom Park in Columbus, Georgia

**History and Significance:**Picturesque historic park created in 1828, originally used as campground for civil war cavalry unit, operation boot camp in WWI and German POW camp in WWII. Evolved into popular city recreational area with pool, trails, fields and picnic spaces. Scenic location to enjoy nature and seasonal flowering displays.

What to Expect: Nature trails encircle two small lakes, fun playgrounds for kids, picnic pavilions, disc golf course and access to the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center located on grounds. Baseball fields and outdoor pool available in summer months. Relaxing spot for walking, fishing and picnicking.

Visitor Information: Park open daily sunrise to sunset. Some fees apply for pool and attraction usage.

Spread out your picnic blanket at Lakebottom Park, a peaceful place for families to enjoy the outdoors. Just north of town, this park features walking trails encircling a small lake filled with ducks, turtles, and even the occasional alligator sighting. Let the little ones run around the playground and splash pad while you barbecue lunch on one of the many grills.

Play a game of beach volleyball or basketball with lake views before renting pedal boats for venturing out on the water. With large grassy areas perfect for flying kites, frisbees, or simply relaxing, Lakebottom Park makes for an effortless family outing.

Get Competitive at The Alley Bowling Center

Name and Location: The Alley Bowling Center in Columbus, Georgia

History and Significance: Columbus’ premier bowling destination for over 50 years featuring 60 traditional lanes in retro styled facility with state-of-the-art scoring. Hosts league play and tournaments including nationally televised PBA events. On-site Galaxy Lanes video arcade and Galaxy Lounge with full bar and menu.

What to Expect: Lively evening of casual fun bowling with friends and family. Features neon lit lanes, bumping music, simple bar fare and quality bowling equipment for leisurely games or more competitive tournament play on special oil lane patterns.

Visitor Information: Open daily from early afternoon into late night hours for extreme bowling enjoyment. Call ahead for availability and reservations especially on weekends.

For some family bonding time, gather your brood at The Alley Bowling Center downtown. With 40 lanes accommodating up to six players each, you’ll find plenty of room for friendly competition. Help small children hold bowling balls with two hands and guide them as they build confidence rolling balls straight towards pins.

Older kids can challenge parents to battles for bragging rights while teens hang with friends at surrounding tables. Take a break for hot pizza fresh from the kitchen or frozen yogurt from the dessert counter to fuel up for more strikes and spares. The Alley’s arcade also promises fun for all ages when you need a break from lanes.

Tour the National Infantry Museum

Name and Location: National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia

History and Significance: World’s largest and most comprehensive museum dedicated to the history of the US Army Infantry soldier. Created in 2009 adjacent to Fort Benning Army Base to honor all American infantrymen past, present and future with amazing exhibits displayed in a stunning architectural setting.

What to Expect: Massive 190,000 sq foot museum with artifacts, weapons, documents, diaries and WWII vehicles including a landing craft and WWI fighting tank. Seven expansive galleries tracing infantry history from 1775 through current global war on terror. Superb educational experience.

Visitor Information: Open daily 9am to 5pm except major holidays. Modest admission fee. Free onsite parking provided.

Immerse your family in the life of American soldiers at the National Infantry Museum just over five miles away in Columbus, Georgia. Regarded as one of the nation’s top military museums, interactive exhibits tell the dramatic story of infantrymen on the battlefield and at home throughout history.

Children engage with hands-on activities like trying on helmets to understand gear that weighs soldiers down while parents absorb the realities of war through detailed dioramas. Don’t miss the GI Film Festival or large-scale memorials honoring sacrifices infantrymen have made in every US war. After exploring the museum, stretch your legs wandering through memorial plaza.

Cheer at a Phenix City Redskins Game

Name and Location: Phenix City Redskins Football at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, AL

History and Significance: Local high-school football team with storied rivalry going back over 100 years. Consistent powerhouse in Alabama HS athletics. Games at newly renovated Garrett-Harrison stadium Treat yourself to an autumn Friday Night Lights experience with these spirited hometown heroes.

What to Expect: Vibrant atmosphere with cheering crowds, pep band tunes, entertaining halftime shows and hard hitting varsity football action under the lights in crisp fall air. Enjoy traditional stadium fare like hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and hot chocolate. Visitors welcome and apparel available.

Visitor Information: Varsity game season runs August through November. Ticket prices reasonable. Stadium seats 10,000

Catch some Friday night lights with the family at a Phenix City Redskins high school football game. Held at Garrett-Harrison Stadium downtown, home games electrify the local community with cheering crowds. Pull on red and white gear as you choose seats near the 50-yard line to watch players race up and down the field.

Halftime shows with the Redskin marching band amp energy even higher. Win or lose, expect rowdy students and devoted fans to make evenings memorable. Arrive early to tailgate or hit the concessions stand for hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and more game time snacks.

Ride Rapids at Wild Waters Water Park

Name and Location: Wild Waters Water Park in Columbus, Georgia

History and Significance: Popular 15-acre water park that originally opened in 1982 featuring speed slides, tube rides, wave pool, lazy river and toddler water play areas. Underwent multimillion dollar renovation in 2018 to update attractions and facilities. Great way to cool off in the summer heat.

What to Expect: Day of water ride adventures including classics like King Cobra raft slide, Cliffhanger tube plunge, Barefootin’ Beach wave pool with over 800,000 gallons of water and relaxing Congo River Lazy River float ride encircling park.

Visitor Information: Season runs May to September. Hours vary. Single and multi-day ticket options. Private cabanas available.

For a surefire way to thrill kids of any age, spend a day riding rapids at Wild Waters Water Park. Located just over the border in nearby Columbus, Georgia, this beloved water park features splash zones, raging rivers, speedy slides, and more wet and wild attractions. Race down steep slides like Cliffhanger looping six exhilarating stories high or take a plunge down Python Plummet’s nearly vertical free-fall.

Let thrill-seekers tackle heart-pounding rides like Dark Hole while little ones play on kiddie slides and splash pads. Cool off lazily drifting down the man-made river or simply relax poolside with views of the park’s magnificent waterfall.

Explore History at Brookstone School

Name and Location: Brookstone School Campus in Columbus, Georgia

History and Significance: Prestigious private college preparatory school located on 100 acre campus since 1938. Historically significant campus architecture includes the 1939 School House Museum listed on National Register of Historic Places.

What to Expect: Stately campus with historic and modern buildings nestled amidst beautiful landscape and nature trails. Architecture ranges from 1939 School House to innovative steel and glass Wade Academic Center. Seasonal events open to public like Homecoming Fall Festival and holiday concerts.

Visitor Information: Guided tours by appointment. Trail access daily dawn to dusk. Check website for public event schedule.

Journey back in time with a tour of the historic Brookstone School campus. Nestled on 14 acres, this private college prep school centers around the 1843 Thornton-Brookstone-LaGrange House, an elegant white-columned mansion that now serves as the administration building.

Wander through manicured gardens originally designed in 1897 by the Olmsted Brothers famed for creating Central Park while keeping watch for the resident ghost rumored to haunt the grounds. Inside the mansion, ask about antiques from past prominent owners like the 19th-century textile mill owner who modernized operations. Marvel at how this beautiful property has been shaping young minds for over 175 years.

Spend a Day in Uptown Columbus

Name and Location: Uptown Columbus, Georgia

History and Significance: Charming downtown district centered around Broadway Avenue featuring shopping, arts, dining and entertainment. Landmarked Historic District filled with 19th century architecture, boutiques, cafes, music venues and riverfront park space hosting community events year-round.

What to Expect: Lively pedestrian area to stroll along Broad Street and adjacent side streets lined with indie shops, art galleries, patios and intimate music halls and eateries. Green space, fountains and bike share station located nearby as well. The district comes alive at night and weekends.

Visitor Information: Free parking garages available. Family and dog friendly. Hop on Hop off shuttle serves district.

Just over the river, families can easily spend a full day exploring Uptown Columbus, Georgia. Grab breakfast on Broad Street at original diners and bakeries before browsing trendy shops and art galleries. Check the calendar for special events like outdoor concerts and block parties that often transform city streets into lively public venues.

Visit the National Civil War Naval Museum to uncover lesser-known waterway battles or get inspired at the Spratling Museum displaying gorgeous silver and gold artworks. Not far away, the Columbus Riverwalk trails satisfy afternoon adventures complete with splash fountains and riverside restaurants when you’re ready for a bite.


Offering history and culture alongside outdoor attractions, Phenix City entices families seeking enriching adventures they can enjoy together. From museums and historic sites to a waterpark and bowling, parents and children create meaningful memories while exploring this Alabama town.

Picnic by the lake, cheer under Friday night stadium lights, ride river rapids, or simply go back in time at interactive exhibits telling America’s story. Whether you live nearby or need a weekend away, Phenix City promises fun the whole family will appreciate.

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