Tuscaloosa, Alabama offers plenty of free fun and activities for all ages. Many know Alabama for being a football state, but there’s more to this great place than that. Tuscaloosa has great collections of rich history to be discovered by wanderers and parks for the explorers. You can also take a fresh and relaxing walk around the Tuscaloosa River Walk. Even if you’re in the mood for something different, we want you to experience a different side of Tuscaloosa and see what this city is truly about.

Check out the Parker 301’s list of the best free things to do in Tuscaloosa, AL:

Explore the Tuscaloosa River Walk

Location: 2710 Jack Warner Pkwy NE, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

The Tuscaloosa River Walk is located near the Black Warrior River in the downtown area. Unlike most river walks, the Tuscaloosa River Walk provides a more natural view. There are plenty of benches, gazebos, trees, and picnic areas along the trail, making it a  great spot for outdoor fun. Once you start making your way through the river walk, you’ll soon find plenty of runner, bikers, and kids enjoying the splash pad at Bama Bell dock.

Visit the UA Arboretum

Location: 4801 Arboretum Way, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

The state of Alabama is full of beauty all around. The UA Arboretum does an excellent job of teaching, researching, and preserving the beauty behind the state. The facility features some of the best walking trails, gardens, and plant collections in the area. The Arboretum works closely with a great network of researchers to provide the public with all the natural beauty and information about the plants in hopes of sparking awareness.

Visit the Alabama Museum of Natural History

Location: Box 870340, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

UA students, staff, and faculty gain free admission into the Alabama Museum of Natural History, while adults and grade school students get in for two and one dollars. The museum is full of rich historic exhibits that might even date back up to 500 million years ago! From ancient life to the natural beauty of Alabama, this museum is the perfect spot for history junkies. There are also huge dinosaur exhibits you and your family will want to check out.

Tour the Campuses in Tuscaloosa

Our town is home to a handful of great colleges with amazing campuses. It is important to find out what goes on around each of the institutions. Visiting the local colleges is also a great way to get involved with the community and grow some school spirit.

Here is a list of the local college campuses around town:

Visit the Mercedes-Benz Visitor Center

Location: 11 Mercedes Dr, Vance, AL 35490

Tuscaloosa has its very own Mercedes Benz Visitor Center where you can learn more about this automobile brand history. There are plenty of classic and modern cars for fanatics. You’ll find amazing classics, race cars, concept cars, and other exhibits. You can also receive a tour of the factory for a small fee.

Explore Capitol Park

Location: 2828 6th St, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

For those of you that haven’t been there, Capitol Park has some gorgeous attractions. The Old Capitol Building Ruins are the most popular scenes at the park. There you will find pieces of the old capitol building that once stood tall in Tuscaloosa until it caught on fire in 1923. Luckily, you can still catch a glimpse of the beauty this building was. You can also find plenty of shade for you to enjoy a nice walk around the capitol area.

Visit the Veterans Memorial Park

Location: McFarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403

Veterans Memorial Park in Tuscaloosa is a tribute to all the veterans who once served in the U.S. Armed Forces. This one-acre site has plenty of neat exhibits to check out and admire. Veterans Memorial Park is also filled with bits of the history that helped shape both the United States and Tuscaloosa into what they are today.

Explore the Government Plaza

Location: 2106 6th St, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

The Government Plaza is located in the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa. The site is known to be host to some of the community concerts and festivals. You won’t miss it because of the beautiful buildings surrounding the plaza. And who can forget the signature water fountain that is located next to the gazebo at the center of the plaza?

Visit Snow Hinton Park

Location: 1000 Hargrove Road East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405

This community park is known for the exciting jungle gym system at the playground. Snow Hinton Park also includes some lighted athletic fields and picnic areas for a day out with the family. The environment is usually relaxed and is great for a nice run or walk around the facility.

Visit Palmore Park

Location: 3701 Fosters Ferry Road Tuscaloosa, AL 3540

Palmore Park offers a diverse set of activities for the Tuscaloosa community to enjoy. There is a great disc golf course where you can compete against your friends or practice for fun. Palmore Park also has a fun skate park and splash pad where you can enjoy some fun activities to stay active under the sun.

Visit the Jemison Van De Graaff Mansion

Location: 1305 Greensboro Ave, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

This beautiful home was the first house in the area to have plumbing. This place has been completely restored to preserve the history of the home that dates back before the civil war. Today, it serves as a beautiful event center for weddings and other special events.

Take Your Dog Out to the Will May Dog Park

Location: 5901 Watermelon Rd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406

Tuscaloosa has something for everyone! The Will May Dog Park is the perfect spot to take your dog out for a walk. Apart from being a dog-friendly park, the facility features some nice trails to go for a walk with your beloved pet.

The Tuscaloosa Gateway Center

Location: 2614 University Blvd East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

The Gateway Center in town will give you access to the latest in innovations. Every member has access to the latest in technology in order to study, experiment, but most importantly learn! There is nothing better than knowing that the future of our nation is being constructed by the great efforts of the community.

Free Events During the Holidays

The Holidays always tend to bring out the best in people. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants, and city events that allow you to celebrate the holidays with the community. You don’t have to stay at your place and watch the celebrations on your television. The town is always getting together and enjoying the free lights and specials.

Walk Around University Mall

Location: 1701 McFarland Blvd E #100, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

You don’t need to spend a dime to have a good time at the mall. University Mall is the largest shopping center in the Western side of Alabama. There’s plenty of halls and stores for you to walk around and pass the time.

Visit the Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park

Location: 12632 Confederate Pkwy, McCalla, AL 35111

The Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is just a little over 30 minutes from Tuscaloosa. It is the perfect place for nature lovers to enjoy hiking, camping, and outdoor recreation. This rich valley was once home to some iron making operations for early settlers. Today, you can enjoy from what’s left of the iron and steel house at the museum in the park.