Best Places to Dine for Valentine’s Day

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Delicious food, tasty drinks, savory dessert, romantic atmosphere: tell your Valentine you’ve got dinner all planned out with one of these top spots for dining out for Valentine’s Day!

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is always an elegant choice for a romantic meal for two. They offer the best cuts of meat that make for a meal you’ll be talking about for weeks to come.

Nick’s Ristorante

Another perfect Valentine’s Day spot is Nick’s Ristorante because it is an upscale restaurant with elegant surroundings, but you remain casual and relaxed as the staff takes care of all the details. Nick’s Ristorante offers the best in 100% Certified Angus Beef as well as premium seafood and some fantastic Northern Italian meals. You will enjoy the atmosphere, service and wonderful food. Nick considers his restaurant an extension of his home and he loves to entertain.

Simp McGhee’s

Nestled into a corner of historic Bank Street, just a stone’s throw from the Tennessee River, lies the heart of fine dining in Decatur. Simp McGhee’s exudes old-fashioned charm while offering fresh Cajun seafood and beef selections sure to please all palates. Enjoy live music and their rustic historical atmosphere while you dine or relax. You may also dine under the stars on their pet-friendly sidewalk café.


Josie’s on Second Avenue in Decatur is a romantic little spot that is a bit more casual. You’ll find delicious Mediterranean dishes and a great wine selection.

Rosie’s Cantina

If you’re looking for a little spice to your Valentine’s Day dinner, then Rosie’s Cantina is the place to go. Rosie’s has the most amazing Mexican dishes and equally amazing drinks to complement your meal.

Purveyor Huntsville

Purveyor Huntsville offers world-class cooking paired perfectly with your favorite wine, beer, or bourbon, making it a wonderful place to dine for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy the comfortable setting and friendly atmosphere located in downtown’s newest addition, The Avenue.

Phuket Thai Restaurant

If Thai cuisine is your thing, Phuket Thai Restaurant serves the best Thai cuisine in town and has made a name for itself with its tremendous menu that ranges from sushi, curry entrees, rice dishes and noodle bowls to pad Thai, satays, steaks, seafood and more. Stop by for Valentine’s Day and indulge in an affordable and irresistible dinner at Phuket.

Carnegie Carnival

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Mobile might be the birthplace of Mardis Gras, and New Orleans might be known for its amazing Mardis Gras celebrations on Bourbon Street, but the Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur puts on one heck of a Mardis Gras party called Carnegie Carnival! There are events going on all through February to revel in this fun holiday.

Carnegie Carnival Parade

The main event is the Carnegie Carnival Parade, which is Saturday, February 18 at 6pm. There are lots of exciting, brightly-colored floats that entertain guests lined up and down Second Avenue in downtown Decatur looking to catch beads, Moon Pies, and other treats! You’ll see a full-size replica pirate ship and all the crews: Pirate Crewe O’Ye Crooked Goat, the Sirens of Achelous and Skeleton Crewe, Joe Cain’s Merry Widows, that wild and crazy Crewe of Chaos, the Majesties of Marmac, and the other-side-of-towners from the Southwest of the Border Crewe, plus many, many more for an unforgettable night of fabulous floats, music, dancing, and most importantly family fun!

The parade begins at Gordon Drive/Second Avenue and ends at Bank Street/Church Street. Make sure to get your spot on Second Avenue secured early because people line up early to see this fun event!

Real Queens of Carnival

Crewe of Chaos sponsors the annual Real Queens of Carnival at the Princess Theatre on Saturday, February 4. All your favorite “queens” come together to determine the next Real Queen of Carnival! 

Paint Your Pet

Don’t miss the Paint Your Pet at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center on February 5 from 5-8pm and February 11 at 9am-12pm. All you have to do is message the Carnegie with a headshot picture of your pet, they will trace it on a canvas, and you paint it. All classes are at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center ~ 207 Church Street. Proceeds benefit local animal rescue group Paws 52 and Carnegie Art Center.

Classes are $40 and payment is required to hold your spot. You can call Judy at 512-771-4982 or message us on Facebook with questions or to make your reservation.

Carnival Strut Your Paws Pet Fashion Show

Don’t miss the Carnival dogs as they show off their best on the cat walk on February 9 at 6:30pm at the Magnolia Room. $20 to enter your dog and $5 for entry with no pet entry. Registration starts at 6pm.

Cake Shake

Free cake for everyone at the Cake Shake on Friday, February 17 at 7pm at the Princess Theatre! Join Queen Lindsey, Queen Holly, King Doug, and King Wade in celebrating the Carnival Season. There will be cakes galore, dancing to tunes by Lydia Britton and the Royal Family, libations, and fun! Free.

Carnival Frolic 13.1

Grab your running shoes and meet at Founders Park at 7am on Saturday, February 18 to join in the Carnival Frolic 13.1. You can win cash, prizes, and a medal. If a 5K is more your speed, they’ve got you covered. $45-75 entry fees.

Prince & Princess Parade

Join CASA of North Alabama for a morning of free kids’ events and games, family entertainment, and art for everyone on Saturday, February 18 at 12:30pm. Stay for a parade fit for a prince and princess. Watch local children and teens parade via foot, bike, and float starting at Founders Park at the corner of Bank Street and Church Street and ending at the Farmers Market where the Carnival Prince and Princess are crowned.

Carnival Canines on Parade

Dogs of all sizes and breeds, dressed in their Mardi Gras best, will take to the streets of historic downtown Decatur for the most colorful pooch parade and dog walk you will ever witness on Saturday, February 18 at 2:30pm. Before the canine parade, the Carnegie Carnival 2023 Sir Bow Wow and Lady Barks-a-Lot will be crowned!

The Princess & the Frog

FREE Movie Presented by the Carnegie Visual Arts Center at the Princess Theatre at 3pm on February 18.
A young lady befriends a royal amphibian and a delightful adventure ensues.

Follow the Carnegie Carnival Facebook page for all the Spirit Nights to benefit the campaigns of the Kings, Queens, Princes, and Princesses.

Then after the fun is over, the AIM Program of Decatur City Schools collects used beads and then cleans and packages them to resell as a fundraiser. You can drop off your used beads to the Carnegie Visual Arts Center.

Charlie Foster’s

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Before you even walk through the door, you know you’re going to be transported to a wonderful place. The smell of the coffee and the kind people working at Charlie Foster’s enchants you.

Charlie Foster’s is a unique coffee shop, whose mission is to raise awareness around hiring people with special needs and gifts. They strive to be a model on inclusiveness.

They also brew a very fine cup of coffee! You can choose from your favorites: latte, cappucino, Americano, mocha, espresso, or cold brew. If tea is your thing, they offer different tea drinks, including Piper & Leaf Tea.

As for food, you’ll leave feeling full and ready for the day! Grab a burrito, bagel, avocado toast, flat bread, muffins, bowls, and so much more.

All of what you’ll experience at Charlie Foster’s leaves you feeling a little bit better about the world.

 Located at Stovehouse – 3414 Governors Drive Southwest, Huntsville, Alabama.

Top 5 Places to Visit Regardless of the Weather

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Don’t let a rainy day or a cold weather day keep you stuck inside all day! We have put together a list of places to visit that are perfect on those days when the weather is less than desirable! Let us know which one is your favorite.

Carnegie Visual Arts Center

The Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur, Alabama opened in 2003 and has provided educational and cultural opportunities to the community. The Carnegie was built in 1904 as the Carnegie Library of Decatur and was one of the 2,509 libraries built by millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, so the Carnegie has a rich, unique history.

Not only does the Carnegie have beautiful collections and exhibits that are on display throughout the center, but they also have numerous programs for adults and kids to encourage and inspire through the arts.

Visit the Carnegie to see beautiful, unique, and inspiring art. Their exhibits change periodically, so it’s a new place every time you visit.

Cook Museum of Natural Science

If you love learning about plants, animals, space, and so much more, you need to visit the Cook Museum of Natural Science in downtown Decatur! This state of the art museum was opened in 2019, and it has quickly become a favorite attraction in the state and beyond.

One of the most popular features of the Museum is the 15,000 gallon aquarium that is home to several different types of fish. There’s also a Coral Tank with beautiful corals, fish, and some small crabs. You’ll be mesmerized by the Jelly Fish Tank, too.

In addition to the fish in the aquarium, there are baby alligators, a variety of turtles, snakes, a chuckwalla, an endangered hellbender, and an eastern collared lizard on display. You can go inside a replica cave just like the ones you’ll find in north Alabama and see stalactites, stalagmites, bats, and other things you’re likely to find in a cave. There are also exhibits dedicated to space, weather, rocks & minerals, and a Holo Sands Table that is incredibly popular with kids and adults!

Another cool exhibit at the Museum is the “Big Tree” that is modeled after Alabama’s State Champion tulip poplar tree of the same name that you can find in the Sipsey Wilderness of Bankhead National Forest. You can even climb up in the tree to the second floor. There’s another replica tree there that has a cool bridge to cross to get the treehouse!

After your trip to the Museum, visit the awesome Museum Store for the perfect souvenir. The Museum Store is also a great place to go pick up a gift for friends and family or for yourself! And don’t forget to visit Nature’s Table for lunch, a delicious smoothie, or an acai bowl. The best part is that you don’t have to have a ticket to the Museum to enjoy the Museum Store or Nature’s Table; you can visit any time you want!

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Since opening its doors in 1970, nearly 16 million people have toured the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The vast majority of those visitors have been from out of state or from foreign nations. Many of the more than 550,000 annual visitors are school students on field trips to their future. Dozens of interactive exhibits encourage visitor participation, prompting one official to note: “Here, everyone can be an astronaut for the day!”

Home to Space Camp® and Aviation Challenge® Camp, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is the most comprehensive U.S. manned spaceflight hardware museum in the world. Its large rocket and space hardware collection is valued in the tens of millions of dollars. From America’s first satellite, Explorer I, to next generation space vehicles like Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser, the museum showcases the past, present and future of human spaceflight.

The USSRC is more than just artifacts! Experience the physics of astronaut training like never before in simulators like Space Shot and G-Force. Our Spacedome IMAX® Theater transports you to different worlds with amazing documentary films like Hubble, and live demonstrations in the Discovery Theater will have you seeing space science in a whole new light. There’s always something happening at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center!

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Motorcycle Heaven exists, and you’ll find it in Birmingham, Alabama. Upon entering the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, you’ll understand why motorcycles and cars are considered art. The stunning five-story Barber Museum is home to the largest collection of motorcycles in the world according to Guinness World Records. With more than 1,600 motorcycles, 59 vintage Lotus cars, eclectic art, and a 2.38-mile racetrack, the Barber Museum is truly a motorsports paradise.

Located at the 880-acre Barber Motorsports Park, the 228,650-square-foot Barber Museum has motorcycle and car exhibits on each of its five floors. Floor-to-ceiling windows surround the building, which is anchored by an active restoration area that is visible to guests from each level.

The museum’s motorcycle collection spans more than a century’s worth of production, offering interesting views into the evolution of engineering. You’ll see examples of some of the oldest motorcycles in the world, such as a model of an 1867 Roper Steam Velocipede, as well as the museum’s oldest running motorcycle, the 1902 Steffey.

There are Harley-Davidsons, Hondas and Indians on exhibit alongside less familiar makes, like Cannondale, Jawa and Laverda. The museum has rare motorcycles like the 1996 Britten V1000, which is one of only 10 ever built. There is an exhibit of motorcycles built by Eric Buell, a collection of scooters and a dirt bike exhibit that will make you feel moved. With such a diverse collection, you may see an example of the very first motorcycle you ever rode.

Read more: (by: Kelly Stewart)

Vulcan Park & Museum

A trip to Vulcan Park and Museum is a must for every visitor to the Birmingham region – in fact, it’s the best place to get started. In addition to seeing the iconic colossal statue, visitors gain an understanding of the region’s history and culture, and can learn more about other cultural, recreational and entertainment offerings at an onsite Visitor Information Center managed by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Vulcan is the world’s largest cast iron statue and is considered one of the most memorable works of civic art in the United States. Created by Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti, Vulcan was cast from local iron to represent the state of Alabama at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Vulcan has overlooked Alabama’s largest city from atop Red Mountain since a 1930s WPA project created his permanent home and namesake park.

After decades of exposure to the elements, by the 90s, the 50-ton statue was in desperate need of repair. Recognizing Vulcan’s importance to the region’s history and persona, community leaders formed Vulcan Park Foundation, a nonprofit organization which oversaw a $16 million project that returned the statue to his 1904 grandeur. The meticulous restoration of Vulcan and his 124′ sandstone pedestal, completed in 2004, received numerous awards including the highest honor awarded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Embracing the personality of the community Vulcan symbolizes, the park grounds and museum offer a dynamic edu-taining experience. Standing for Birmingham Alabama’s rich industrial history, the diverse cultures that settled and built the community, and the story of Vulcan are recounted in both indoor and outdoor exhibits.


Best Places to Ring in the New Year in North Alabama

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2022 is coming to a close, and we’ve got the best places to ring in 2023 in north Alabama! Happy New Year!

Hopper’s Bar & Grill

Don’t miss the exciting New Year’s Eve party at Hopper’s Bar & Grill in the Holiday Inn in Huntsville! There will be three bands, a DJ, and a dinner buffet to ring in the new year.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Huntsville

Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Huntsville invites you to make plans to join them at their new “Home of Serious Steaks” at Twickenham Place. After 10 years of distinctive Huntsville dining, they’ve moved to a brand new location and designed a restaurant space where you can enjoy Happy Hour daily from 4-6:30 pm in our bar and lounge and dinner nightly from 5 PM on in our dining rooms. New Year’s Eve – 3-11 pm.

Photo: Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Stella’s Elixir Lounge

Stella’s Roaring Rooftop NYE Bash is Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022 | 6 pm – 2 am with live music with In the Mood Jazz Band: 6 – 9 pm and DJs Caleb and Dustin: 9 pm until 2 am.


Stovehouse’s annual NYE party will be in The Electric Belle and The Royal on Saturday, December 31 from 9 pm – 1 am and will feature DJ Steve Metz of Metropolitan Disc Jockey Service! 21+ only. For more info/to reserve your tickets:


Don’t miss SideBar’s New Year’s Eve Bar Crawl! Click SideBar for more info and passes!

Oasis Bar

Spend New Year’s Eve at Oasis Bar watching the CFP games! Opens at 2pm on Saturday, December 31.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse – Birmingham

Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Birmingham will be open from 3 pm-11 pm in order to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style! Ruth’s Chris is situated in the lobby of the Embassy Suites Hotel, conveniently located just off the Red Mountain Expressway between the Homewood and Mountain Brook neighborhoods.

Photo: Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Mom’s Basement 

Spend New Year’s Eve at Mom’s Basement in Avondale! Open from 7 pm-2 am.

Rosie’s Mexican Cantina

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Named the “Best Mexican Restaurant in Huntsville,” Rosie’s Mexican Cantina is a fun and festive atmosphere for casual family dining. Serving honest, handmade Tex-Mex favorites, as well as innovative house specialties, Rosie’s atmosphere, is filled with unique works of art, antiques from Old Mexico, and upbeat music. Relax by our beautiful fountain surrounded by Mexican architecture.

A full-service bar features Rosie’s famous Margarita Menu, an extensive collection of Mexican beers, tequilas, select wines, and martinis. Our Mambo Taxi is legendary!

Locally owned and operated since 1995, Rosie’s is a Huntsville tradition. Join us and experience “Flavors Fantasticos!”

Chef Sergio Artiga

Sergio Artiga’s love for food began in his mother’s kitchen in El Salvador. There he learned the simplicity of letting “food be food”. Freshness and proper preparation;
allowing the flavor of the simplest ingredients to be the star of each dish.
Because of his love for simple fresh ingredients, Chef Sergio considers Rosie’s combination fajitas one of his favorites. “Rosie’s fajitas are made from the finest ingredients, incredibly fresh,” Chef Sergio says. “We cut our own meats every
morning, produce arrives daily and our tortillas are handmade and prepared to order. The flavors are extraordinary!”
Never choosing to eat alone, Artiga enjoys dining with friends and family. “Meal time is the time for a cocktail, relaxing with great company and anticipating
wonderful food,” says Chef Sergio. “Buen provencho!”
Rosie’s Mexican Cantina serves honest handmade Tex Mex cuisine, prepared from scratch each day. Guests can experience traditional favorites such as Chile rellenos,
handmade tamales and Texas style enchiladas along with House Specialties unique to Rosie’s.

Lunch Specials daily until 4 pm
Curbside Service

Mon – Thurs 11 am – 9 pm

‘Tis the Season to be Merry!

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‘Tis the season for Christmas lights and fun! Nothing can get you in the Christmas spirit like checking out beautiful Christmas lights and attending fun holiday events! Check out these fun places and let us know what your favorite is.

Cruising with Santa – Rocket City Rover

Join Santa for a grown up Christmas crawl with Rocket City Rover in downtown Huntsville. Everyone becomes Santa’s bad little elves in December. Christmas trivia games, naughty Holiday jokes and of course “Christmas Spirits” to keep you in a festive mood.

FAMILY FRIENDLY RIDE on Sundays in December
Santa will put away his bad Santa alter-ego for this family friendly ride. He’ll be back to his jolly old elf self to delight children and their adults with carols, stops for sweet treats, Tinsel Trail photo ops, and kid’s trivia with prizes. No alcohol is allowed on this ride.

Galaxy of Lights at Huntsville Botanical Garden

The Huntsville Botanical Garden is a magical place during the holidays! Drive the Garden and see thousands of bright lights going on now through January 1.

Tinsel Trail

The Tinsel Trail is a display of live Christmas trees in Downtown Huntsville’s Big Spring Park. Over 300 trees will decorate the park for the holiday season. Join us in this festive Downtown tradition going on now through January 2!

Skating in the Park at Huntsville Museum of Art

Did you know you can ice skate in Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville? Located behind the Huntsville Museum of Art, you can lace up a pair of ice skates and glide across the ice.

Photo courtesy of Skating in the Park.

Vulcan Park’s Magical Nights

Vulcan Park and Museum is transforming the park into a magical holiday experience. Go enjoy the holiday light experience along with food trucks, music, Santa, and so much more.

Bridge Street Town Centre

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Ready to shop til you drop? Bridge Street Town Centre is the premier mixed-use lifestyle center in Huntsville, Alabama. Featuring over 80 upscale shops and restaurants, the 232-room Westin Huntsville Hotel, a 150-room Element by Westin hotel, a 14-screen Cinemark movie theater, and a six-story office tower. The property also features a customer service center, carousel, fountains and lots of green open spaces.

Bridge Street offers a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Among them are Altar’d State, Anthropologie, Apple, Bar Louie, Barnes and Noble, Bath and Body Works, Bed Bath and Beyond, Belk, Cantina Laredo, Connors Steak & Seafood, DSW Shoes, Francesca’s, Gap, H&M, Mountain High Outfitters, P.F. Chang’s, Sephora, The Melting Pot, Victoria’s Secret, Cheesecake Factory, and other boutique shops.

There is also a lot of fun things for kids to do at Bridge Street! Take a ride on the carousel, ride the miniature train, or play in the splash pad in the summer time.

The center is located in Cummings Research Park at the intersection of Old Madison Pike, Interstate 565, and Research Park Boulevard (Alabama State Route 255).


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Do you love doing fun things but don’t like planning the fun things? Then Touronimo is your go-to! Touronimo is a Huntsville-based company that curates private tours and exclusive experiences provided by and supporting local small businesses all over the Huntsville area.

Photo courtesy of Touronimo.

Touronimo has tours like the downtown Huntsville Mural Tour that guides you along to find Huntsville’s most vibrant and meaningful murals.

If you have a love for cooking, but don’t know where to begin or if you want to learn a new technique, Touronimo hosts private pasta-making classes.

Want to try Huntsville’s tastiest cocktails? There’s an Underground Cocktail Trail that leads to all the best concoctions in the Rocket City.

Let Touronimo take you on a Civil Rights History Walking Tour of downtown Huntsville. An experienced guide will tell you and your group about the important history that shaped the city and the state.

You can go on day trips to Arrington Vineyards in Tennessee, a helicopter tour, make a candle out of a Huntsville craft beer can, and so much more, so let Touronimo plan your next excursion.

Visit North Alabama

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North Alabama is a beautiful place with so many exciting things to do, and Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association is an organization whose mission is to promote the region to everyone from locals to international visitors. AMLA, known on social media as Visit North Alabama, has created many trails to help visitors find their favorite thing (or things) to do!

North Alabama Waterfall Trail

North Alabama is called the “land of a thousand waterfalls,” and when you visit, you’ll know why. Because of the Tennessee River and its tributaries, waterfalls can be found all over the region, and Bankhead National Forest is home to the majority of these majestic falls throughout the forest. The Singin’ River Trio of waterfalls in the Shoals area can be found nestled deep in Cane Creek Canyon, Spring Park, and at TVA’s Wilson Dam. On the northeast side of the region, you’ll find two of the most visited waterfalls in our region: DeSoto Falls and Little River Falls. Both of these waterfalls are quite breathtaking when they’re at full flow. Noccalula Falls in Gadsden is gorgeous and steeped in rich Native American history. There’s also a trail you can hike that takes you behind this iconic waterfall.

North Alabama Craft Beer Trail

Go on a spirited adventure to visit the craft breweries in north Alabama! Craft breweries began popping up all over several years ago, and north Alabama is home to many award-winning family owned and operated breweries that are perfecting their craft. From Florence to Gadsden, these Alabama makers offer dozens of beers and wines unique to north Alabama. When you download or request a hard copy of the Craft Beer Trail and Wine Trail brochures and complete the passport in each, you’ll receive a free gift from AMLA. 

North Alabama Wine Trail

When you think Alabama, chances are wine isn’t the first thing to come to mind, but North Alabama is home to a wide variety of wineries. North Alabama’s wineries are close enough to each other that you can visit several in a day and experience them all over a long weekend. They include Jules J. Berta in Albertville, Wills Creek Vineyards in Attalla, Maraella Winery in Hokes Bluff, White Oak Vineyards in Anniston, Fruithurst Winery in Fruithurst, and High Country Cellars in Heflin.

Every vineyard hosts wine tastings and has bottles available for purchase. Whether you’re packing a picnic and spending the day with that special someone, kicking back with good friends and even better wine, or developing your palate to impress your friends back home with new wine knowledge, there’s a world of adventure around every vine in North Alabama.

North Alabama Mural Trail

Discover North Alabama’s heritage, beauty, and love of the arts through more than 125 murals across 16 counties. Read about the artist and stories behind the murals and be sure to keep your cameras ready as every mural boasts a completely unique design and creative vision. Be sure to also tag #NorthALMurals in your selfies and pictures! Plus if you check-in at 25 sites, AMLA will send you a prize for participating.

North Alabama Agriculture Trail

Agriculture is so important to the north Alabama region, and AMLA celebrates that rich agricultural heritage that has sustained and will sustain us all for generations. The Agriculture Adventures Trail is a new trail that highlights the businesses, farms, or organizations that has an agriculturally-related product for sale or is an educational, entertainment, historical, cultural, or recreational activity conducted on a farm that allows or invites members of the general public to observe, participate in, or enjoy that activity. 

So if fun is what you’re looking for, you’ll find it all over north Alabama…and AMLA can help you!