Be sure to check out the Carnival of Cities which is taking place at the Talking Trekaroo. My article about Five Things to Do in Mobile, Alabama is on the list. My article about our trip to Ft. Pickens at Pensacola Beach, Florida (which I posted at Pensacola with Kids) is also on the list. There are some great articles about some fascinating cities. Check out the beautiful pictures of the Lotus Flowers in bloom at The DC Traveler and the top 10 destination playgrounds in the San Francisco Bay area. I also liked the article about visiting Rome in a day (as we are trying to get there next summer!) over at Globe Cheap Travel.
Mobile, Alabama is a city that is rich with history and culture. When you think of Mardi Gras, you automatically think of New Orleans. However, according to the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, Mobile is actually where the first Mardi Gras party originated. Mobile has plantations, forts, museums, and battleships. It is a great place to take the kids for both extended and day trips. Today, we took a day trip to Mobile and this is what we did!
1. The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center – The Exploreum helps to promote science literacy with its many exhibits and IMAX show. One of the current exhibits is My Body Works. When you enter the exhibit, you are given a card that you carry around with you to each of the activities. You participate in activities such as blood pressure checks, how much blood is in your body, how high can you jump, and how far can you stretch and the card stores your data. Once you have worked your way through all of the activities, you plug your card into a computer and it prints out a personal health profile.
The Hands on Hall has over 50 interactive activities. Kids can participate in a news cast, pull their own body weight with pulleys, play DJ, play a harp, and so much more.
The Wharf of Wonder is for children ages 0-5. They can climb on a ship, play in the ocean, or catch fish! Be sure to check the website for scheduled events. The Exploreum has camps throughout the summer and preschool programs throughout the school year.
The next exhibit is going to Bob the Builder and will be at the Exploreum from October to January! Tickets are a little pricey, but there are great membership prices and right now, on Sundays, adults get in for the child prices!
My children’s favorite part of the Exploreum: Playing the laser harp, the shadow wall, and pulling themselves up in the air!
2. Fort Conde – If you are headed to the Exploreum, you should add the fort to your list. Fort Conde is located right across the street from one of the public parking lots you use for the Exploreum. Fort Conde is such an interesting place to visit because it is smack in the middle of the city. You are looking at cannons that are aimed right at a skyscraper! While you are on the second level of the fort, you can see that Interstate 10 goes right under it!
The rooms of the fort are set up much as they would be in previous times. We saw bedrooms, ammunition rooms, and storage. Checking out Fort Conde is FREE!
My children’s favorite part of Fort Conde: Checking out the cannons and the little hidey holes around the fort!
3. Battleship USS Alabama – During WWII, the USS Alabama participated in war action for 37 months. It now rests in Mobile Bay. When you are going west into Mobile, you can see this majestic battleship looming in the distance. Tours of the battleship are self-guided. You must pay $2.00 to park. Adult tickets are $12 and they go down from there.
4. Bass Pro Shops – Okay, I know this is not a travel destination but if you do not have one of these near you, it is worth a stop. My kids love to wander through the store back to the humongous aquarium that holds very large fish. If you are a family of hunters, check out the second floor where you can participate in an arcade-like game of hunting. Check the schedule of events before you go because they often have great children’s activities. For example, during the holidays we made crafts and saw Santa!
5. Eastern Shore Center – Just over the bridge, the Eastern Shore Center is a great shopping spot. The kids will love to cool off in the splash fountains. Be sure to throw their swimsuits, a towel, and a change of clothes. It will be too much work to keep them out of the fountains. There are always kids running around in their swim suits!