By: Chloe Monte
This fall hike was had at Hurricane Creek Park Trail. This area is known for its summer splashes in Hurricane Creek where families and friends alike gather in the peaceful flowing water to beat the heat. The area is also known for its amazing trail system that loops through the cascading hills.
The trails are open to both mountain bikers and hikers; however, the trail system tends to be peaceful and low in traffic. It’s the perfect trail to hike when one wants to feel in touch with nature and to get away from the noise of town.
The trail has both North and South loops. The North loop is 4.3 miles long and the South loop is an extra 1.1 miles. This is the perfect length to feel like you’ve gotten away, yet it is short enough that it can be done without giving up your entire day.
During my hike this past weekend, I found myself enjoying the trickling sun that danced upon the colorful fall leaves and beautiful birds that cascaded between the branches. It was truly a pleasure to experience this.
Hiking during the fall is one of the best times to hike in Alabama because the weather is often dry and temperate. In other words, Alabama is not making it difficult to have an amazingly relaxing day. Football season often competes with the call of the trail, but the die-hard outdoorsy people know that this often works to their advantage. And no worries, though, if game day cannot be missed to enjoy the tranquility of the trails, simply go on another day. It will be win-win! (Pun intended.)
Article sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tourism.
Find them on the web at: http://visittuscaloosa.com
By Chloe Monte
Haunted houses are everywhere in Alabama and we put together a list of ones to visit if you dare!
- 8404 Parkway Drive, Leeds, Alabama
- Parking is free / $20 general admission
- 306 South Main Street, Columbia, AL 36319
- $13 general admission
- Doors open at 7:30 pm
Haunted House of Horrors
- 1205 Tennessee St., Courtland, Al 35618
- Parking is free / $20 general admission
- Generally open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in October
Haunted Lester Hospital
- 30338 Lester Road, Lester, Alabama 35647
- $10 general admission
- The Hospital is open from 7 pm to Midnight
Hollis Haunted Chicken House
- 7522 Hwy 431, Heflin, Alabama 36264
- $15 1 Token / $25 2 Tokens / $40 3 Tokens
- Open every Friday and Saturday from 7pm – 12am.
- 5320 Miles Spring Road, Pinson, AL 35126
- $10 general admission
- Open each Friday and Saturday evening at 7pm until midnight starting September 25
Popes Haunted Farm
- Lee Rd 724, Salem, Alabama 36874
- $13 per event / $30 three event combo
- They are open from 7:30 pm until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights or 10 pm on Thursday
Sloss Fright Furnace
- 20 32nd Street North, Birmingham, AL 35222
- $20 - $24 general admissions
- All ages can take the furnace tour. The trail tour is restricted to age 14 and up unless accompanied by adults
- Open every day of the week
Spook Trail Maze of Monsters & Mayhem
- 17347 Highway 269, Quinton, Alabama
- $15 general admission or $10 with a canned food item
- The trail is open every Friday and Saturday night. It opens at 7pm and closes at 12am.
- 25 West Chocolocco St., Oxford, Alabama
- Enjoy 16 nights of frights on weekends in 2015 starting on September 25th
- Doors open at 7 pm
Twysted Souls Haunted Trail
- 1789 Odom Loop Road, Dozier, Alabama
- They open at 7 pm every Friday and Saturday night.
- 3150 Lee Street, Pelham, Alabama 35124
- VIP pass $49.95
- Gates are open 6:30 pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday and until 11 pm on other nights.
- Free parking is available.
This article is sponsored by Morning Pointe.
Find them on the web at: http://www.morningpointe.com
Art lovers will descend on Kentuck Park this weekend to enjoy one of the premiere art festivals in the country. The 44th annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts will be held this Saturday and Sunday, October 17 and 18. More than 270 diverse artists will present their work and interact with festival-goers at Kentuck this year.
Nationally recognized for its quality and diversity, a stroll through the Kentuck Festival brings visitors eye-to-art with a variety of artistic styles ranging from folk to contemporary art and craft. Traditional and heritage craft artists such as basket weavers, blacksmiths, potters and quilters invite visitors to watch them demonstrate their skills and share the secrets of their craft.
Kentuck will feature a variety of live music and spoken word performances on two stages. This year’s lineup includes Debbie Bond and the Trudats, the Steel City Jug Slammers, The Bear and The Mulligan Brothers.
An interactive art environment in the center of the Festival entertains both young and old with an invitation to befriend a tuba at the musical petting zoo, squish clay, or indulge in fabric fantasies at the tie-dye area.
Free, continuous shuttles provide transportation to the park from downtown Northport. Advance purchase only weekend tickets are available online through Oct. 17 for $15 for ages 12 and up. Children under 12 are admitted free. Daily tickets are $10 per person per day. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. No pets, alcohol or smoking are allowed in the park.
The 44th annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts hours are Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information on the 2015 festival, including the full artist lineup and the schedule for each day, visit www.kentuck.org or call (205) 758-1257.
Article sponsored by Hudson Poole.
Find them on the web at: www.hudsonpoole.com
By: Zani Polk
Pan (releases October 9, 2015): No one wants to grow up, which is why the Peter Pan story never gets old. In this new movie, learn about the origins of Peter Pan and how he became the legend we know him to be today.
Jem and the Holograms (releases October 23, 2015): Four sisters are flung into fame after a video of their music is posted on the internet. But with the fame, the bonds and relationships they hold closest are tested. This movie takes you on a journey that will make you rethink who you are and what you choose to be.
Goosebumps (releases October 16, 2015): Back in the early ‘90s R.L. Stein’sGoosebumps series was the biggest thing at school book fairs and library trips. Maybe you read some, maybe you remember reading them to your siblings, or maybe you helped your kids pick them out. Regardless, this Halloween season, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Jack Black bring the spookiness ofGoosebumps to life. It’s a great alternative to a scarier movie on Halloween night.
The Peanuts Movie (releases November 6, 2015): For Thanksgiving you may be ripping out the old classic, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, but you don’t have to wait that long to see Charlie Brown in action. In this 3D film, a new kid moves to town and Charlie Brown gets another chance to prove he’s a winner. Join in to watch all of your favorites—from Lucy and Snoopy to Peppermint Patty.
My All American (releases November 13, 2015): It may not be the Crimson Tide, but it is football. Catch this heartwarming movie about sportsmanship and determination, as a young athlete—seemingly too small to compete—makes it in college football.
The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay—Part II (releases November 20, 2015): In the fourth and final movie of the series, Katniss Everdeen brings her fight to the Capitol. Finally she must take on President Snow and defend the current and future freedoms of the people of Panem.
The Good Dinosaur (releases November 25, 2015): Pixar has done it again! Imagine a world where humans and dinosaurs existed together. Imagine dinosaurs replacing dogs as man’s best friend. In this heartwarming tale, see a young boy bond in friendship with a good dinosaur and combat the elements of earth’s earliest periods.
Article sponsored by Belle Chambre.
Find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BelleChambreTuscaloosa
Moundville Archaeological Park is celebrating its annual Native American Festival this weekend, and if you’re looking for something exciting and unique to do with the whole family in our area, this is it. The four-day event, which begins on Oct. 8, is one of the premiere tourism events in the state of Alabama, drawing thousands to the Park in Moundville each and every year.
Visitors to this year’s Moundville Native American Festival can enjoy performances, browse wonderful arts and crafts displays and watch great demonstrations designed to entertain and educate everyone about the rich culture and heritage of Southeastern Indians. Children are invited to get hands-on by playing native games and making crafts in the special Children's area.
“Moundville Archaeological Park is undoubtedly the most important prehistoric site in Alabama,” said Betsy Irwin, education outreach coordinator for the park. “The massive amount of labor and skill involved in leveling the plaza and constructing the mounds reflects the sophistication of the ancient people who once lived here. Less than 15 percent of the site has been excavated, making Moundville the best preserved site of its kind.”
One of the highlights of any visit to Moundville Archaeological Park is the University of Alabama’s Jones Museum.
“This is very important to Native Americans, many of whom consider these mounds to be sacred,” Irwin said. “In close consultation with Southeastern Indian tribes, we developed the Jones Museum exhibits to reflect their culture from the past as accurately as possible. Moundville and the Jones Archaeological Museum are both treasures that belong to everyone.”
Festival admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children.
The Festival will take place October 8 and 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and October 10 and 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For more information on the Moundville Archaeological Park, including more information about the 2014 Moundville Native American Festival, visit www.moundville.ua.edu
Photo: Jeff Perrigin
Article sponsored by Trade Partners Exchange.
Find them on the web at: http://tradepartnersexchange.com
By Tori Linville
The best game days are marked by the football and the food. If your last tailgate wasn’t one that your taste buds remember, it’s time for a change. Revamp your table with these classic dip recipes on us.
The Perfect Guac
What you’ll need:
3 ripe avacados
1 minced jalapeno (stem and seeds removed)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
dash of cumin
(optional/: 1 roma tomato, cored and chopped)
What you’ll make:
Mash together ingredients. If you’re adding tomatoes, stir those in at the end. Cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap directly touches the guacamole, and refrigerate.
The Best Bean Dip
What you’ll need:
1 can refried beans
1 cup picante sauce
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 pckg. cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
What you’ll make:
In a bowl, combine first eight ingredients and serve with chips and salsa.
Ways to cook it:
Slow cooker: cover and cook on high for two hours
Oven: bake dip at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes
Microwave: heat in bowl for five to eight minutes
Mississippi Sin Dip
What you’ll need:
1 loaf French bread (Italian loaf)
1 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup chopped smoked ham or prosciutto
1/3 cup green onion, chopped fine
4 oz. can of chopped green chilies, undrained
1/4 cup jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce
What you’ll make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the bread by cutting off the top of the bread 1/2 inch deep. Hollow out the bread, leaving about a one inch shell. Set top aside and cut inside bread into cubes for toasting and dipping later. Mix all ingredients in mixer until blended.
Place a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around the whole loaf onto a baking sheet. Pour cheese mixture into hollowed-out bread. Sprinkle top with meat if desired. Return the top piece of bread to close the bread bowl.
Wrap completely in foil and place baking sheet in oven. Bake for one hour.
Article sponsored by the following: South’s Finest Meat’s, Nationwide, and Fincher & Ozment.
Find South’s Finest Meat’s on the web at: http://southsfinestmeats.com
Find Nationwide on the web at: http://www.nationwide.com
Find Fincher & Ozment on the web at: http://www.fincherandozment.com
By Amber Bara
1.) United States Space and Rocket Center – Huntsville, Alabama
Whether you would like to experience the Mars Climbing Wall or to try out the G-Force Accelerator, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center will be a fun time. The Center is one of Alabama’s most famous museums as science and space-lovers alike travel from around the world to visit. The Center also serves as NASA’s Visitor Center.
It offers day camps where trainees choose from three distinct camp options: Space, Aviation or Robotics. Each camp offers a variety of learning opportunities that children can apply to their future goals and love of science.
On Saturday, March 14, the Center will celebrate Albert Einstein’s Birthday and Pi Day. There will be a lot of festivities, including hula-hoop competitions, a pie toss, and a birthday celebration with Professor Einstein himself! If you are planning to stay over night in the area, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center has partnered with area hotels to provide an exclusive rate for guests who wish to stay overnight in the Huntsville community. Further information about lodging, camps, exhibits, education, and simulations can be found on the Center’s website: http://www.rocketcenter.com
2.) Alabama Sports Hall of Fame – Birmingham, Alabama
The slogan of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame proudly states, “The State of Alabama is Made of Champions!!!” And this amazing museum works to showcase all of Alabama’s many athletic celebrities and it has become a benchmark for other Sports Museums across the country. The museum exhibits over 5,000 sports artifacts elegantly displayed in over 33,000 square feet. Out of ESPN’s list of the Top 100 athletes of the 20th Century, five out of the top 15 greatest ever are in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, these include: Jesse Owens, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, Willie Mays, and Carl Lewis. For more information on Hall of Fame events, please see their website. http://ashof.org
3.) International Motorsports Hall of Fame – Talladega, Alabama
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega is the Canton, Ohio, of motorsports, the website boasts. The inductees enshrined in this facility are the best of the best in motorsports. The museum tour is a walking, self-guided tour that takes approximately an hour to complete. In addition to the three exhibit halls and pavilion area, the Motorsports Hall of Fame also includes the McCaig-Wellborn Motorsports Research Library, a 3,000 square foot space with over 14,000 volumes of books, magazines and other research materials (open weekdays only). It may be the most comprehensive collection of motorsports information on Earth. For more on the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Talladega, please visit the following website: http://www.motorsportshalloffame.com
4.) Mobile Medical Museum – Mobile, Alabama
The Mobile Medical Museum houses a collection of artifacts and documents that were gifted by the daughter of James F. Heustis, M.D. (1828-1891), a native Mobilian with an outstanding medical career. There are approximately 100 artifacts and documents in the initial collection. Some notable exhibits include: Civil War surgical kits, instruments used during the popular phlebotomy, and the vintage 1930’s replica of a physician’s treatment room.
This museum is not only a museum of medical artifacts; it is a showcase piece itself. The historic Vincent/Doan house is listed on the Historic America Buildings Survey of the National Parks and is included on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure was initially used as a residence built by Captain Benjamin Vincent in 1827 and is a brilliant example of period architecture. Come see all that this cool niche museum has to offer!
5.) Alabama Music Hall of Fame – Tuscumbia, Alabama
The South has some great musical artists, and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame looks to celebrate Alabamians who have had a significant impact upon music industry. As you start your tour, you will be greeted by a wax figure of Nat King Cole and continue your journey through Alabama music history. During your tour, you will find recording equipment used in many famous studios and instruments used by infamous artists. In the Rhythm and Blues section you will find stage outfits, gold records, and a trumpet used by Erskine Hawkins, as well as other artifacts. There are various events, as well, that the museum houses including concerts and induction ceremonies. For a list of upcoming events, please see their webpage. http://www.alamhof.org
Article sponsored by the following: TCU, Diamonds Direct, and Touch of Love
Find TCU on the web at: https://www.tuscaloosacu.org
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A summer past time everybody remembers is taking a huge, refreshing swig of water from the water hose while playing outside. Nowadays, there’s more than one way to catch that refreshing swig all over again. We’ve listed some virtually inexpensive water games that don’t even require you leaving the driveway to cure the summertime boredom we all face. Other than slip ‘n slides and water balloon fights, these fast and easy games will offer a quick way to cool off without breaking the bank.
Unlike hot potato, cold potato is considerate of the summer heat. Using a pin to poke a small hole in a water balloon, the ‘cold potato’ is passed around in a circle before it runs out of water. The idea is that every one cools off, but not too much.
Add a twist: The player who catches the balloon as it runs out of water gets an entire leaky water balloon squirted at them.
Marco Polo – without the pool
The idea is the same but instead of treading water, the infamous Marco is blinded and strapped with a water gun to seek out his or her Polos. Mixed with a bit of hide and seek, Marco counts to ten with his or her back turned, and then calls Marco. When a Polo is successfully drenched, switch roles.
Add a twist: Add some water balloons to the Marco’s arsenal.
Maybe one of the easiest water games ever. The goal? To make the biggest splat with water balloons. Just throw them in the air. The higher the throw, the bigger the splat. Winner is the player with the biggest splat.
Add a twist: Challenge players to create a shape from their splats.
Bobbing for Apples
A carnival tradition, bobbing for apples is a perfect way to chill down. Just stick your face in the water and try your best for a fruity prize.
Add a twist: Switch up fruits and turn the edible prizes into smoothies.
Article sponsored by Alabama Power and Tuscaloosa Environmental.
Find Alabama Power on the web at: http://www.alabamapower.com
Find Tuscaloosa Environmental on the web at: http://www.tuscaloosa.com/recycle
By Tori Linville
Headphones are in and the world is blocked temporarily. In your head, you’re dancing all-out to your favorite artist. No one can stop you. Really, you’re probably doing dishes. Or yard work. So why not actually live your dream for one night? Narrowing down the best live music options in your area is always a toughie. So much music, so little time! Now there’s no need to worry because we’ve got you covered right here.
Great music is known to find its way to Tuscaloosa and this August is no different. While there isn’t much floating around now, keep your ear to the ground and more acts will line up soon.
August 20: Alabama Shakes with Drive-By Truckers – 8 p.m.
Birmingham’s centers and arenas always attract big names. Country, alternative and pop have all made a name for themselves in the Birmingham area.
August 10: My Morning Jacket at the Legacy Arena in the BJCC – 7 p.m.
August 14: Tim McGraw, Billy Currington and Chase Bryant at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre – 7 p.m.
With a music scene that’s been growing rapidly over the years, Mobile isn’t short of a variety of acts to hear around the city. New and upcoming acts are spread all around and artists from rap to rock to EDM find different venues to showcase their talent.
August 13: SoMo at Vinyl Music Hall – 7 p.m.
August 29: The Molly Ringwalds at the Soul Kitchen Music Hall – 11 p.m.
Article sponsored by the Pants Store and Lakeside Dental.
Find the Pants Store on the web at: http://www.pantsstore.com
Find Lakeside Dental on the web at: http://www.lakesidedentalsmiles.com
By Tori Linville
While it’s just a car drive away to visit the movie theater and watch the latest blockbuster, there are some serious downsides that have more people staying at home. Sites like Netflix have more and more people dodging the crazy concession prices and forgoing the buckets of popcorn for a more relaxed experience. If you’re one of these people, we’ve got some suggestions for you. Check out these movies that don’t disappoint and don’t come with the couple making out two rows under you (thankfully).
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (PG-13)
Why start with a movie you’ve probably already seen? Because, it’s a classic. And you cannot go wrong with Ferris Bueller played by a young Matthew Broderick. Maybe this time you’ll be able to figure out just what Ferris does to get away with all his stunts. Maybe not.
Django Unchained (R)
This 2012 blockbuster was one that people just wouldn’t stop talking about. Freed from slavery, Django (Jamie Foxx) travels cross country in search of his wife. Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t get an Oscar from this movie either, but he does play an evil plantation owner. Graphic but gripping stuff.
The title should be enough to grab a popcorn bowl, but we’ll elaborate. Two children discover a magic board game, Jumanji. They meet a crazy guy who has been trapped in the game for years. He’s played by Robin Williams. Now go, watch (again, probably)!
In A World… (R)
Carol Soloman (Lake Bell) is a vocal coach, but her dad’s already made a name for himself in the industry, and she’s just getting started. Overshadowed and unappreciated, Carol’s big gig finally comes and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. As an indie rom-com, this movie ain’t half bad.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman (PG)
This cute animated movie features a super smart dog, Mr. Peabody, and Sherman his human companion. The two time travel and find adventure along the way. Inspired by Rocky and Bullwinkle, there’s enough cuteness and happenings going on here for the whole family to enjoy.
Article sponsored by Plus One Tactical.
Find them on the web at: http://www.plusonetactical.com