It’s hard to believe that it’s almost the end of the year. Wow, has 2010 really flown by! The kids and I have been discussing some of our field trips and compiled a list of the best of the best here in Alabama. So, if you’re planning a family trip or need a few field trip ideas, here are a few, well- ten, to get you started.
Known as the oldest continuously operating hardware store in the state of Alabama, this blast from the past is located directly across the road from the Madison County Courthouse. You can browse the store for unique trinkets or retro candies or begin a tour of the building at the 103 year old cash register that continues to ring up purchases today. FREE
This little gem is nestled in the historic Twickenham District of Huntsville, an easy stroll from Harrison Brothers Hardware Store. Once home to esteemed artist Miss Howard Weeden, the Weeden House is the oldest home in the state that is still open for tours. Call ahead to confirm hours for admission so you won’t be disappointed. ADMISSION
As former full-time RVer’s this incredible factory tour was a must for my family! Highly recommended for those planning to purchase or considering one of the Tiffin Motor Home beauties whose line includes the Allegro and Phaeton series. FREE
You’re welcome to stop in and visit this beekeeper but if you want to know what all the buzz is about, you’ll have to arrange for a field trip ahead of time. Great place to buy honey, bees wax candles and our favorite, the sweet honey candy. ADMISSION
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ave Maria Grotto is truly a prime example of what it means to turn trash into treasure. Each of the handcrafted miniatures was fashioned by Brother Joseph Zoettl, essentially from trash and discarded building supplies. From the tiny replica of the city of Jerusalem to the whimsical dragon you’ll discover lurking beneath Hansel and Gretel’s Temple of the Fairies, today you’ll find over 125 masterpieces, including the focal point of the park, a grotto which contains the Virgin Mary and other statues. Before leaving the property of St. Bernard Monastery,you may consider a peaceful stroll through the cemetery and a quick peek inside the church. ADMISSION
Beautiful and serene, you’ll love the visiting Russell Cave National Monument any season of the year. Don’t leave home without your camera, you’ll be disappointed if you miss your chance at snapping a picture of the mouth of the cave, shrouded in mist. The cave entrance looks as though it could have been the setting for the Lord of the Rings movie. The visitor’s center has a small museum and movie available for viewing but the real gem of this attraction is the nature trail that winds through the hillside behind the cave, but be prepared. The hike may be short, but it is steep. FREE, DONATIONS WELCOME
Housed within the walls of a 100 year old freight depot, you’ll find artifacts from the Revolutionary War to the present day. Everywhere you turn you’ll discover uniforms, guns, medals, and photographs offering a hint of the cost of our freedom. Visit often if you can, new objects are frequently added to the displays. Guided tours by Veteran’s are available. FREE, DONATIONS WELCOME
A nationally known folk potter, you’ll find a fine example of his ugly pot on display at the Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Jerry Brown is a 9th generation potter that uses material that is found locally and processed by his mule, Blue, to create his sturdy stoneware cookware, jugs and ugly pots. If you’re unable to stop by during the Jerry Brown Festival in early March and you find yourself along I-78 near Hamilton don’t pass by without browsing in his shop. FREE
This is one show that will keep you perched on the edge of your seat, as the master story tellers share tales that are guaranteed to make you express emotion, whether that would be laughter or tears. This annual show is held each year on the square in historic downtown Athens. You won’t want to miss it! ADMISSION
From homes constructed of bamboo, to rock houses accessible from rope bridges, you’ll be amazed at the thought and planning that has gone into recreating this global village. Today you can arrange a tour and learn how SIFAT, Servants in Faith and Technology, is partnering with leaders in Bolivia, Haiti, the Philippines, Nigeria, and many other countries to teach the residents how to improve their living conditions by using simple, proven technologies. If you’ve never given a thought to the basic luxuries that we have in here in the US, prepare to be humbled. ADMISSION
This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday.