A running list with the first 21.

Borrowing from the lovely blog post at TuscMoms on free fun with kids, I thought I’d add a few more fun summer freebies in the Tuscaloosa area. Here is my running list. If I can find 50, I’ll be pleased. Aim high, right? Oh, and when I say “free”, I mean that there should be no ticket or entry cost. Gas and food might still cost you something.

1. Free summer movies at Cobb 16 Theatres from June 15th to August 6th at 10 am.

2. Free storytime at Barnes and Noble on Saturday mornings at 11:00 am throughout the summer.

3. Make a Splash reading program at the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

4. Going for a hike and picnic at Hurricane Creek Park. (Here is E. O. Wilson waxing poetic about our own Hurricane Creek.)

5. Playing in the water fountain near the Black Warrior River Landing (near the Black Warrior River Marker). If you come at the right time, you can watch the Bama Belle set off or return from a voyage. Bring swimsuits, towels, and water.

6. Planning a day hike on the Rocky Branch Trail.

7. Learning about American novelist Richard Yates and then visiting the place where he lived out his last years in Tuscaloosa.

8. Exploring Forever Wild’s Sipsey River Swamp Preserve to learn more about swamp ecosystems.

9. Going on a historical adventure in search of the mysterious Black Warrior Town. Bring some Davy Crockett legends to read along the way (probably a 45-minute drive).

10. Playing in the fountain at Annette Shelby Park.

11. Hunt for signs of the endangered flattened musk turtle at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. Bring a swimsuit for the lovely swimming hole.

12. Printing a copy of Alabama Gardener’s Calendar and getting to work.

13. Visiting the dog park and all the fun, fancy dogs at the old University golf course (next to the Tuscaloosa Arboretum).

14. Swimming and searching for Cahaba lilies in West Blocton.

15. Volunteer with the Interfaith Environmental Initiative of Alabama and “live out E.O. Wilson’s dream”. Or just teach your children how to love and respect their world starting with Alabama Rivers.

16. Play frisbee golf at Bowers Park. Or just hike the gnarly frisbee golf trails.

17. Make a day of Lake Harris. Bring water-friendly hiking shoes.

18. Pick some blueberries and make a cobbler or pie at Leavelle’s Berries. Restrooms and picnic area available. For details, call 339-7723. Open: Monday Wednesday and Saturday 7:00am until dark. 17952 Foxfire Road, Buhl, AL 35446 Directions: From Tuscaloosa: west on I20-59 take Fosters Exit 62, go straight through the flashing red light and follow Gainsville Road until it ends. Take a left onto Romulus Road for about 4.5 miles and turn right onto Foxfire Road. Go 2 miles & on the right will be a ‘Leavelle Farms’ sign. Early June through late July. Payment: Cash, Check.

19. Go on a William Christenberry photo hunt. Check out his book from the library or buy a copy and try to find the locations and then take your own versions. Let your little ones have a hand at it as well.

20. Visit the Veteran’s Administration Hospital and find a veteran pen-pal or friend to sponsor.

21. Bring a shovel and some sand materials to build sandcastles at Snow Hinton Park.

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