Alabama's Best Winter Activities to Check Out in 2019-2020
Winter in Alabama
The official start of winter is almost here! Alabama still experiences cooler temperatures, but has a much milder winter than most states. This makes winter a great time to get outside and explore all the fun activities this state has to offer! Listed below are some of our favorite "must do's" this season.
Obviously, camping is one of our favorite activities! We especially love camping during the winter season, though. There is just nothing better than be bundled up by the campfire, making s'mores and drinking hot chocolate! Some of our favorite camping recipes are also best made for a chilly winter evening.
Alabama has many great camping spots, including Bankhead National Forest, Cathedral Caverns State Park, Cheaha State Park, DeSoto State Park, Oak Mountain, Deerlick Creek Park, and Gulf State Park.
@n0rdan on Instagram
Again, the cooler temperatures makes fall and winter our favorite time to go hiking in Alabama! You can explore for longer periods of time without getting too sweaty or worrying about overheating. There are also less bugs and we love all the fall colors!
Our top hiking spots include: Cherokee Rock Village, Monte Sano State Park, Moss Rock Reserve, Bankhead National Forest, and Cheaha State Park! You can learn more about each one here!
Photo by Open Minded in Alabama, Flickr - Taken in Cheaha Wilderness
3. Climbing and Bouldering
Alabama might not be the first place you think about when you want to go climbing or bouldering, but this state actually has several great spots for trad and sport climbers alike! Most climbing spots here are sandstone, but a few offer a mix of sandstone and conglomerate.
Some of the best climbing spots include: Jamestown, Sand Rock, Griffin Falls, Moss Rock Preserve, and Horse Pens 40. Fall and winter are the absolute best times to visit these places! To learn more, click here!
Photo by Steven Sloan, Flickr - taken at Horse Pens 40
4. Skiing and Snowboarding
Believe it or not, Alabama has a place to go skiing and snowboarding! Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort is located atop Lookout Mountain near the Georgia border. This resort offers several slopes that are sure to give beginner and advanced skiers/snowboarders a thrilling winter experience! Skis, boots, poles, and snow boards are available for rent in the Ski Lodge, so there is no need to own any gear. Click here for the details! For the most up to date information on whether the slope conditions, check out their Facebook page.
Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort Facebook Page
5. Eagle Awareness Weekends
2020 will be the 35th Annual Eagle Awareness at Lake Guntersville State Park! Eagle Awarenss weekends will take place starting on January 24th and will go on until February 15th! There will be amazing guest speakers this year, birds of prey presentations, guided tours with experienced park personnel, photography opportunities, and many more activities for all ages. This is a great way to get the whole family outdoors and it allows you to see and learn more about eagles! Click here to learn more!
Marshall County Alabama Facebook Page
1. Ice Skating
What is more festive than ice skating during the holiday season? Luckily, there are several outdoor ice skating rinks in Alabama. Our favorite is the Railroad Park Ice Rink in Birmingham, AL. They are set to open the Friday before Thanksgiving until January 5, 2020. Also, be sure to check out the Big Spring Park Ice Rink in Huntsville, AL which is open from November 15, 2019 – January 12, 2020.
Both offer a fun and active outdoor experience for adults and children alike! There are also plenty of indoor ice skating rinks all across Alabama!
2. Holiday Markets, Craft Shows, and Festivals
Another great way to spend the winter months in Alabama is to walk around all the holiday markets, craft shows, and winter festivals! Luckily, there are plenty to choose from, but here are just a few of our favorites!
Tinsel Trail is a can't miss this holiday season! Starting on November 29th, take a walk through a trail lined with hundreds of locally decorated live Christmas trees. Every evening the trees will be lit up from dusk until midnight in downtown Huntsville's Big Spring International Park. It’s a magical sight for sure!
Festival of Trees
Sunday, December 1st from 12-5 PM is Birmingham's first annual Festival of Trees!
This free event will feature local markers and artists for holiday shopping, live music, photos with Santa, and the debut of the Enchanted Forest art exhibit. There will also be two different workshops to join:
- Taste Your Way Through History | 12 PM & 3 PM
- Old Fashioned Workshop | 1:30 PM & 4:30 PM
This event is hosted by The Pizitz. Click here for more details!
Mobile Night Markets
The Mobile Museum of Art hosts monthly night markets and they are a great way to enjoy a winter evening this season! Their Holiday Night Market will be held on December 5, and it will be their biggest night market yet! There will be everything from craft beer, jewelry, soaps, to fine art and décor. This is also a great way to support local businesses.
The Santuck Winter Flea Market
The Santuck Flea Market will be held on December 7, 2019 in Wetumpka, AL. Walk around on this chilly morning and try delicious food and drinks and get some holiday shopping done! There will be arts and crafts, jewelry, woodwork, and many more unique vendors!
Mark your calendars now! Alabama's number 1 German-inspired Christmas Market has been extended to be a weekend-long family event, from Friday, Dec. 6th to Sunday, Dec. 8th! Highlights include a live German band, handcrafted Christmas gifts and German street food! That means gluhwein, local brews and beloved Christmas sweets. It will be held at its new new location in the historic Downtown square. Click here for more information!
North Alabama Winter Flea MarketThe North Alabama Winter Flea Market will be held on December 21-22, 2019. Explore and shop a wide variety of antiques, clothing, arts and crafts, furniture, vintage, sporting items, cosmetics, jewelry, yard sale items, and much more. There will also be devious food booths to check out! Click here for details!
Beaks and Barks Winter Festival
From January 18th to February 29th the Botanical Gardens in Huntsville invites you and your furry friends to celebrate in their Beaks and Barks Winter Festival! Enjoy a stroll along the dedicated pet-friendly paths or run free with your pup and other pet parents in the "leash free zone." This festival is also a great time for birding enthusiasts to visit the Gardens because the annual Great Backyard Bird Count will be going on from February 14-17! Click here for the details!
If you have done any of these activities, or plan to this winter, let us know how you liked them!
The cover photo, retrieved from Huntsville.org, is a glimpse of Tinsel Town!