Memorial Day weekend is the time when many of us finally get to take a much needed break from the everyday slog of day-to-day life. And while it’s a great opportunity to take a breather, it can wind up being an expense three-day weekend. But that doesn’t mean you can’t relax and have a great time, even if you’re on a tight budget or paying off debts, like a title pawn or credit card balance. Here are some great, free activities to enjoy in and around Alabama this Memorial Day weekend.
Hot air balloons are one of the all time classics of summertime celebrations, and even in today’s technology-obsessed age, there’s still something awe inspiring about watching these majestic giants slowly rise into the air. At the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Festival you’ll get the chance to see over 60 hot balloons compete in races and various other activities, including vendors, live entertainment, a classic car show and an arts and craft fair. Admission and parking are free, so you can’t go wrong with this family-friendly event.
If history and learning more about your Alabama heritage is more your speed, than Memorial Day at the American Village is perfect for you. You’ll be able to enjoy a variety of historical reenactments, musical tributes, and tours of the authentic village. The venue is also home to the Register of Honor and National Veterans Shrine for those who want to pay their respects on a day that is about all those who have fallen in the line of duty.
On a more general note, if you’re looking for some delicious local additions to your barbecue menu this Memorial Day, then you can’t start at a better place than a farmers’ market. All the produce you’ll find is fresh, and ranges from fruits to meats to greens. Farmers’ markets especially appeal to those of us who have something of a green thumb, as it’s often filled with fellow gardeners or just those with an interest in plants in general. If you don’t have a farmer’s market in your town, a quick online search should help you locate some nearby options in your area.
If a day at the beach is your idea of a good time, then one of the many seaside festivals happening over the Memorial Day weekend is where you should be. While finding parking can present a challenge, many festivals feature a free shuttle service to transport visitors back and forth from the venue. Beach festivals are a great holiday activity to enjoy as a family, as there are a variety of games, contests, food vendors and boat rides to keep everyone busy and entertained. On top of all that, the local seafood can’t be beat, so make it a point to reach the beach this Memorial Day.
Speaking of good, old-fashioned family fun, water parks are a Memorial Day tradition across the state of Alabama. While admission is not free, it’s still usually on the lower end of the scale, especially when compared to the cost of a theme park. Water parks are what they sound like: a place that gives your kids a chance to ride the slides, float the lazy rivers, play games and generally have a blast in the water. Some parks even feature wave pools and toddler zones, so even adults and your youngest family members will enjoy the chance to cool off and chill out this Memorial Day.