Avoid the summer blues: 68 fun things to do with your kids in Baldwin County this summer

Gulf Coast Media Contributor
Posted 6/2/23

The doors of schools across Baldwin County have been shut tight for a week. How many times have you already heard the mournful howl, "I'm bored"? You now have 68 long days before the school bell …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Subscribe to continue reading. Already a subscriber? Sign in

Get the gift of local news. All subscriptions 50% off for a limited time!

You can cancel anytime.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Avoid the summer blues: 68 fun things to do with your kids in Baldwin County this summer


The doors of schools across Baldwin County have been shut tight for a week.

How many times have you already heard the mournful howl, "I'm bored"?

You now have 68 long days before the school bell rings again.

Take a deep breath.

Now, check out our list below of 68 fabulous, fun and fairly inexpensive, and often free, things to do with your kids. We've searched high and low, scanned websites and taken notes to help you fill every single day of summer break.

Hike, create, explore and learn. Pack a picnic lunch and hit the road. You may be surprised how much fun you have, too.

  1. Sign up for the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office Shining Star Camp. At $40 a child, this is the least-expensive camp with the most awesome activities that you will ever attend. Camps are held at three locations throughout the summer. Visit sheriff.baldwincountyal.gov to register.
  2. Dive into a giant puddle of mud at the wildly popular International Mud Day event at Graham Creek Nature Preserve in Foley. Park staff will turn piles of dirt into mud that you can slip, slide and bury yourself in. This popular event has two dates this year, Wednesday, June 14, and Saturday, June 17.
  3. Get buggy at Friendly Insects in the Garden, Nature Day Camp on June 16 with 4-H in Fairhope. Cost is $5 per family for the one-day event. Call (251) 937-7176 to register. Perfect for ages 8-14.
  4. Celebrate Shark Week at Gulf State Park. The naturalists here host an entire week of entertainment, learning and fun. For a full schedule, visit alapark.com/parks/gulf-state-park/shark-week.
  5. Play Bingo at the Courthouse on the Square Gazebo in Bay Minette during the summer installment of Burgers & Bingo on the Square July 13.
  6. Bring your favorite stuffed friend for a teddy bear picnic on July 10 at 10:30 a.m. at Oscar Johnson Park in Silverhill.
  7. Pick blueberries at Lyrene's Farm on Alabama 104 in Fairhope. The farm, which opened in 1983, has acres of blooming, blue bushes ready for picking. There are also fields of sunflowers available to pick. Berries can generally be picked throughout June.
  8. Dress as your favorite storybook character and take photos in front of Mosher Castle in Fairhope. The huddle of hand-built, stone buildings includes towers, a bridge and even a dragon. The castle is at 457 Oak Ave. in Fairhope.
  9. Go fishing and win a prize. Alabama 4-H is hosting the 4-H Biggest Catch, a virtual fishing contest for ages 9-18. To enter, go fishing in Alabama freshwater any time before June 5. Once you make your big catch, measure the fish, take a photo with it, and submit an online contest entry form at aub.ie/4HBiggestCatch.
  10. Summer Movie Nights at the Chamber return to Bay Minette on June 23 and July 21 on the lawn of the North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce on McMeans Avenue.
  11. Check out Baldwin County's newest museum, the Museum of Loxley, at 4100 Second Ave., open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  12. Gulf State Park naturalists lead a program nearly every day. Learn about animals, astronomy, pirates and more. Cost is $2 per vehicle to enter the park. Find their weekly schedule at www.alapark.com/parks/gulf-state-park/activities-calendar.
  13. Take a leisurely stroll through Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge on Fort Morgan. This beautiful hidden gem is a great place for a short, shady walk along the recently refurbished Jeff Friend Trail.
  14. Go back in time at Historic Bicentennial Park. The 367-acre park in North Baldwin County features a hiking and biking trail and several historic buildings moved to the property from across Baldwin County. Visit https://baldwincountyal.gov/departments/parks/bicentennial for information.
  15. Get up close and personal with more than 600 alligators at Alligator Alley in Summerdale. Live feedings happen at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
  16. Explore the new playground built especially for special-needs children at the Miracle League of Coastal Alabama's ballpark near downtown Summerdale. The ball field is still in the works, but the playground is open and ready for fun.
  17. The City of Silverhill will present Movie Under the Oak on Friday, June 16.
  18. Enjoy fireworks every week at the Sparks after Dark show at The Wharf in Orange Beach. The skies light up at 8:45 each Monday from May 29 through July 31.
  19. Explore the night sky at the Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion. Meet on the deck of the Interpretive Center for a guided exploration of the sky, stars, planets and constellations June 6 and June 20, depending on weather.
  20. Try one of the best meals Alabama has to offer. The Alabama Tourism Department has designated a list of "100 Dishes to Eat Before You Die." Topping that list is a Key Lime Milkshake from Stacey's Drugs & Olde Tyme Soda Fountain in Foley. Stop in and try a sip.
  21. Catch a bird's-eye view of the beach from 112 feet above the sand. The Ferris wheel at The Wharf in Orange Beach is one of the tallest in the Southeast. At $8 a person, it remains one of the least expensive joy rides around. The gondolas are also wheelchair accessible.
  22. Do you love corn? Come to the seventh-annual Corn Festival at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermen's Market on June 18. The event features vendors, a corn-eating contest and tons of activities for the kids. This year there will also be a boat show and fishing expo.
  23. Eat a meal in a train car at the newly reopened Derailed Dinner on U.S. I-10 in Robertsdale. The immersive experience features décor on wheels throughout the restaurant as well as a toy and fudge shop. The restaurant is inside the Oasis Travel Center at Exit 53.
  24. Learn how animals camouflage themselves with the rangers at Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort. The adventure includes a short hike and a craft. Cost is $3 for guests over age 12.
  25. After nearly four years, Naval Air Station Pensacola has reopened its west gate to the public, which means visitors can once again enjoy the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola Lighthouse and Fort Barrancas. To enter, civilians must show a REAL ID-compliant identification or a copy of their birth certificate, Social Security card and driver's license. For information, visit navalaviationmuseum.org.
  26. Visit Oscar Johnson Park in Silverhill. This playground on Highway 104 is a hidden gem. Play on the equipment, picnic under the shelter or take beautiful summer photos in the covered bridge.
  27. On June 21, learn to make music at the Gulf Shores Museum, where local musician Jo Billups will give a live performance and then attendees will make their own guitar.
  28. Get lost in the big city. The Glenn Sebastian Nature Trail at the University of South Alabama has more than three miles of trails winding through 95 acres of native pine and oak woodlands on the campus. Find the trail off Aubrey Green Drive between Health Services Drive and the main traffic circle. It is close to buildings #73 and #74. Parking is available at the trailhead. There are also 12 miles of bike trails on the campus.
  29. Learn about the most northern reaches of Baldwin County at the Stockton Heritage Museum. While there, stop in at the Stage Coach Café, whose Southern home-cooked food also made the list of 100 places to eat in Alabama.
  30. Go back-to-school shopping! The Back to School Tax Free Weekend in Alabama is July 21 -23 and includes clothing, computers and school supplies. In Florida, tax-free weekend will be two weeks this year, stretching from July 24 to Aug. 6.
  31. Enjoy Mardi Gras in the summer too by visiting the Mobile Carnival Museum, where you can see the gorgeous queens' gowns and giant floats up close. It is at 355 Government St., Mobile. Call (251) 432-3324 for hours.
  32. Experience living history at Mobile's Colonial Fort Condé, just across the I-10 bridge. There, costumed historical interpreters will teach you about the French, British and Spanish who controlled the fort in the 18th century and helped found Mobile.
  33. Go on a giant scavenger hunt! There are geocaches hidden in several locations across Baldwin County. A great place to start is Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort, where there are two to find. For instructions and tips, visit alapark.com/geocaching.
  34. Find all the Turtle Tracks statues in Gulf Shores. This public art program creates and posts sea turtles throughout the city as designed by local artists. Explore the city and find them all!
  35. Have a proper spot of tea on a glorious summer afternoon at the Copper Kettle Tea Bar in Foley. The shop hosts costumed weekend events and live music.
  36. Get up close and personal with visiting animals at Silverhill's Petting Zoo Day on June 22 from 9 to 11 a.m. next to the kids' park. Shaved ice will be available for sale.
  37. Climb your way through the rope course at Lulu's in Gulf Shores. At $14 a person, mom and dad can sit and rest while the kids spend a good hour making their way through the maze.
  38. Giddyap with Cowboy Bruce Brannen, who looks like he stepped straight out of a Roy Rogers film. Brannen will visit Bay Minette Public Library on July 11 and Orange Beach Public Library on July 13 as part of the summer reading and event series.
  39. Go bowling for free. The kids bowl free program gives every child under 15 two free games of bowling every week of the summer at a participating bowling alley. Visit kidsbowlfree.com.
  40. Go bird watching on any one of six loops of trails in Baldwin and Mobile counties that are each part of the Coastal Birding Trail. Those six hikes cover a total of 200 miles, and each explores a different ecological region of the northern Gulf Coast. For complete maps, visit alabamabirdingtrails.com.
  41. Other people wait years to see the Blue Angels perform. Here on the Gulf Coast you can catch them practicing all summer long. The pilots will be in Pensacola through October and have a number of days set that the public can watch them practice. There are at least six days that the pilots will greet the crowd and sign autographs. Visit navalaviationmuseum.org for info.
  42. Visit the model train exhibit in downtown Foley, open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Visit foleyrailroadmuseum.com for details.
  43. Visit the Baldwin County Heritage Museum, the largest of the county's museums. This giant step back in time takes visitors through the entire county and out to a reconstructed village on the grounds.
  44. Enjoy some of the best amateur photography from across Alabama. Winning photos from the 2023 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest will be on display at the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort from July 14 to Sept. 1. Entrance to the display is free. If you miss it during the summer, the exhibition moves to The Lodge at Gulf State Park from Sept. 1 through Nov. 1.
  45. Try your hand at photography. Once you are inspired by the photos you see in the exhibit above, spend some time capturing nature on film and then enter your best shots in the 2024 Outdoor Alabama photo contest. For categories and rules, visit outdooralabama.com/photocontest.
  46. Spend Father's Day, June 17 and18, at OWA with fun, free activities such as lawn games, inflatable axe throwing and water balloon wars.
  47. The USS Alabama comes to life this summer during two living history crew drills, the first on June 3 and again on Aug. 12. Interact with costumed sailors who can tell you about life on board during World War II.
  48. Celebrate Juneteenth at the Douglasville School of Arts & Recreation in Bay Minette on June 17. The family oriented event will include live entertainment, storytellers, vendors, games, door prizes and more. DSAR is at 1000 Shedrick Hardy Parkway in Bay Minette.
  49. Grab your bathing suit for a summer reading kick-off party like no other at the Orange Beach Public Library on June 3. There will be splash pads, water slides, snow cones and more.
  50. Visit the Holmes Medical Museum in Foley. This former hospital is now a fascinating place to learn how they tended to patients in the early part of the 1900s. And, it's said to be one of the most haunted places in the county.
  51. Walk the Eastern Shore Trail. The trail extends 23 miles from Spanish Fort to Weeks Bay and is an easy walk over boardwalks, sidewalks and asphalt. Split the trail over several days and explore the entire Eastern Shore.
  52. Visit the exhibition "Spirits of the Passage: The Story of the Transatlantic Slave Trade," which explores the power of the human spirit through a display of nearly 150 historical objects covering more than 350 years. The exhibit is on display at the Gulf Quest-National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico in Mobile until June 21.
  53. Gulf State Park Pier. For $2 a person, you can stroll along this 1,540-foot-long pier, the second-longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico. Take in the view, watch anglers bring in their catch, and enjoy the day.
  54. See movies on the big screen for cheap. Premiere cinemas in Spanish Fort will present family friendly films for free on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning June 7. Cobb Theatres in Gulf Shores will offer free films on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning June 14.
  55. Celebrate National Seashell Day July 5. Bring items you find on the beach to the Gulf State Park Nature Center, where they will help you identify your finds.
  56. Drop into Page & Palette on June 10 for a scavenger hunt inspired by the characters of the popular Agents of S.U.I.T. book series.
  57. Be entertained by Wink the juggler during the summer reading program's kickoff at Robertsdale Public Library on June 2.
  58. Explore the new kids' park in Foley on West Verbena Avenue that opened in May after $1.2 million in renovations.
  59. Want to know what Fort Morgan looked and sounded like during the Civil War? On Aug. 6, you can hear the cannons' thunder and see the troops rise to the occasion during a living history commemoration of the Battle of Mobile Bay.
  60. June 3 marks the Eastern Shore's third-annual Color Fairhope with Pride Festival. From 1 to 5 p.m. performers, a fashion showcase and silent auction will be held just south of the Fairhope Pier.
  61. Be among the first to visit one of the most highly anticipated exhibitions of the year. The newly constructed Africatown Heritage House tells the story of the 110 men, women and children brought to Mobile aboard the Clotilda. July 8 marks 163 years since their arrival and is the day the museum opens to the public. Visit clotilda.com for information.
  62. Enjoy a free concert by the Mobile Pops on the Fourth of July at the USS Alabama Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion. Admission is free.
  63. Ride the ferry across Mobile Bay between Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island. All-day tickets for pedestrians and bike riders are $6 each. The view is beautiful, and you can take a bike ride around Dauphin Island and head home to Baldwin County via ferry at dinner.
  64. Visit Stonehenge. Seriously. The road leading to Barber Marina in Elberta is also home to a life-size replica of the ancient monument as well as dinosaurs hidden in the tree line.
  65. Tacky Jack's Summer of Fun begins Tuesday, June 6, with a whole calendar of activities to keep kids busy. Visit tackyjacks.com for details.
  66. Totally bored teens can take hundreds of selfies at the Cool Shots Selfie Museum at The Wharf. The experience includes more than 30 selfie scenes, and for an extra price, you can enter the paint splatter room. It is exactly as messy as it sounds. Visit myselfiemuseum.com.
  67. Fish for free! On June 10, no fishing license is required for both salt and freshwater areas for residents and visitors alike. Learn more at outdooralabama.com/fishing.
  68. Adults, try to contain your excitement. Kids, sleep in one more time because school starts tomorrow!