When October rolls around, the Halloween fun begins. But there’s a lot more to Halloween than donning a costume and trick-or-treating. Try some of these outdoor ideas in the Birmingham area and see for yourself why Halloween is so much fun in the Magic City.
1. Alabama Wildlife Center’s Owl-O-Ween, Oct. 24
At Oak Mountain State Park , Alabama Wildlife Center’s annual Owl-O-Ween is a family-friendly day that includes games, crafts, and Alabama’s owls. Meet them up close and personal and participate in the release of a rehabilitated bird back into the wild. Decorate a cookie to add to your Halloween stash, enjoy story time, and a bird of prey show featuring live owls, including the world’s largest owl species.
2. Haunted Cave Tour, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31
If you’re looking for a scare, Cathedral Caverns State Park is offering a haunted tour of the through the deep caverns that isn’t for the faint of heart. This isn’t an event for kids. As if exploring the depths of caves and caverns isn’t eerie enough, adding haunted elements will make this visit a thrill. Cathedral Caverns, originally called the Bat Cave, was open to the public in the 1950s and taken over by the state of Alabama in 1987. The cave’s massive 126 foot wide by 25 foot high reminded some of a cathedral, leading to its renaming. Other memorable features inside the cave include Goliath, a stalagmite that measures 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference, making it one of the largest in the world. You'll also find a stalagmite that is 27 feet tall but only three inches wide. But if you want to explore the beauty of the cave, you may want to come another night. This event will scare the pants off of you.
3. Field of Screams, Oct. 31
With the inaugural Field of Screams gala, BAM Entertainment will convert the Parkside District into a giant Halloween extravaganza, complete with carnival rides, food trucks, games, live entertainment, music, costume contests and much more. On 14th Street, Regions Field and the surrounding area will be full of families, couples and friends enjoying Halloween in full costume with both family-friendly fun and adult attractions. Starting at 8 a.m., the Zombie 5K run will overtake the streets. At 11 a.m., the festival and parade begins. At 7:30 p.m., the grown-up fun begins at the party and gala (tickets available on the website), where you’ll be able to show off this year's Halloween costumes.
4. Tannehill Halloween Fairyland, Oct. 31
For another kid-focused fall celebration, visit Tannehill and check out their non-scary event focused on the campgrounds. With an annual 6,000-plus visitors, the event has been an annual celebration since 1992. Special programs are featured in the afternoon, then the kids can trick-or-treat at the campsites in the evening. Also available will be moonwalks, face painting, balloon animals, a bungee jump, and train rides (for a small additional charge).
5. Buck Creek Park Fall Festival, Oct. 31
Buck Creek Park celebrates Halloween early in the day with a fall festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and includes live music by 2BLU and the Lucky Stiffs, yummy food, inflatables, hay rides, and many arts and craft vendors as well as farmer’s market vendors. Bring the treat bag ready to fill at the trick-or-treat trail for kids.
6. Spookapalooza, Oct. 30-Nov. 1
DeSoto State Park is a fun place to visit year-round, but especially on Halloween. You can spend Halloween weekend camping at this annual event that includes storytelling about Alabama’s spookiest legends at the campfire ring in the Improved Campground. Check out the program about night creatures, complete with live bats. Come for the fun and games portion that includes pumpkin decorating, Halloween Bingo, moonwalks, slides and much more. Come in costume and trick-or-treat at candy stations located all around the campground.