Huntsville is known as one of the best places to live in the U.S., but it isn’t just a great place to live—it’s also a great place to visit!

Whether you are just passing through, killing time between stops on a daytrip, or spending the weekend (or longer!), the city offers plenty of food, fun, and adventure for the whole family.

I recently rediscovered this when some friends stopped by on a road trip they were taking out West. They only had a few hours, their kids had to be entertained, and we wanted to catch up too. How could we accomplish it all at once? Well, we “parked it” at Huntsville’s re-launched Kids Space playground!

Kids Space Playground

The City of Huntsville has outdone themselves with the new, redesigned Kids Space Playground and the adjacent Get-A-Way Skatepark, on the outskirts of John Hunt Park. The $6.8 million, five-acre area brings the community’s big dreams to new heights.

A quick trip down Memorial Parkway from the interstate, the park is easy to find and the signage points the way. The kids’ eyes lit up when they ran through the gates of Kids Space to the expansive play area. Mine kind of did too—this park has everything!

Swings are the closest attraction to the main gate, which is close to the public restrooms. Artificial turf keeps kids from running through mud, and the whole place was so clean! I noticed there are several sections of the park, and here are some of those:

Kids Space climbing cubeImage By: Kristen Conner Hill 

I’m choosing to call this a climbing apparatus, like a modern jungle gym. It includes multiple surfaces to sit or stand on, and a myriad of bars to hold onto on the way up to a preferred perch.

All over, you’ll find nods to the city’s history of rocketry. The back end of the park includes a sky bridge, a tunnel, and a climbing area. We adults hung out on some of the many interspersed benches or tables. No matter where we were, we had a great view of the kids to make sure they were playing nicely and staying safe.

kids space slideImage By: Kristen Conner Hill 

The smaller kids were loving playing on this slide. It was great to see these areas had plenty of shade for when the weather warms up.

What’s also well-planned about this park is it’s designed to be accessible. I watched children of many ages and abilities enjoy it while we were there.

 “The new Kids Space is designed for children of all ages and abilities to enjoy,” said Parks & Recreation Director James Gossett. “The open layout and special surfacing allow easy movement from one area to another, the equipment is inclusive and fun, and the fencing adds an additional layer of safety.”

Get-A-Way Skatepark

Getaway skate parkImage By: City of Huntsville 

The neighboring skatepark looks so cool—and it’s drawing talent from around the city. We watched families of beginner skateboarders, and more advanced skateboarders, hanging out. (Even if skateboarding isn’t your thing, it is fun just to watch people having a good time at the complex!

The city of Huntsville says the idea for a new skatepark began with local businessman and was brought to life with a public-private partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville. But the initiative gained interest from other groups (and even skateboard legends) who also contributed to create what is there today: a clover bowl, a snake run, a ¾ pipe, and a large street plaza!

Grab a Bite at Edgar's

edgarsImage By: Edgars Bakery

Once the sun started to go down, we packed up the kids and drove just around the corner to Edgar’s Bakery & Cafe! It’s the perfect place to grab a sweet treat after a great day of play.

Anyone will tell you the strawberry cake is the way to go—and I’ll usually pick up a box of the strawberry cupcakes whenever I stop in. (The cinnamon and the orange rolls are also top-notch. I like to grab some and serve them on holidays.) But on this day, I ordered a candy cookie and we sat at the dine-in tables.

The restaurant thoughtfully has toys and books tucked away off to the side of the dining area for kids—something my friends appreciated to keep them busy while we ate and chatted some more.


Something for the Adults

Back FortyImage By: Kristen Conner Hill 

When our friends and their kids rolled out of town, my husband and I decided to keep the party going with just the two of us. Thankfully, we didn’t have to go far!

Just across the road from John Hunt Park, the expansive Back Forty Beer Company Huntsville location has opened! The brewhouse and large lawn are set up to host a crowd. Long tables in the center of the restaurant can fit any party, but there is other seating in elevated spaces too. Friendly bartenders, manning the generous line of taps, helped us pick our perfect pour.

Back Forty DrinksImage By: Kristen Conner Hill 

I’m a new fan of the Truck Stop Honey Pale Ale, brewed with Alabama wildflower!

Park It at Huntsville’s New Park!

There you go—a great few hours can be spent in Huntsville in and around John Hunt Park. Next time you have some time to kill, or want to tire out the kids, head on over to make the most of your time in town.