Parks & Rec

1) Embrace the Outdoors

Take advantage of living so close to the water and explore one of the nature centers and state parks along the Causeway. There are numerous trails, piers and picnic tables that allow visitors to have first-hand encounters with local wildlife. Since you can get into the parks for less than $5, it makes for an inexpensive day of fun.

Blakeley State Park • 34745 state Highway 225, Spanish Fort. 626-0798. 
Five Rivers • 30945 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort. 625-0814. 
Meaher State Park • 5200 Battleship Parkway E., Spanish Fort. 626-5529. 

2) Get Cooking

Whether you’re addicted to the Food Network or just looking for a creative date night, local cooking classes are sure to satisfy. Wind Creek Casino’s culinary team treats guests to various mouthwatering demos throughout the week. Or, opt for one of The Grand Hotel’s new culinary weekends. The events are held once a month and are centered around different themes. For $10 on a Friday night you can develop your mixology skills with a beverage-oriented class. Then, on Saturday, learn how to make everything from sushi to sourdough bread for $25. Call ahead for reservations. Your significant other – and your stomach – will thank you.

Wind Creek Casino • 303 Poarch Road, Atmore. 866-WIND-360. 
The Grand Hotel • 1 Grand Blvd., Point Clear. 928-9201. 

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3) Nourish Your Body and Your Mind

For the more studious, the History Museum of Mobile offers a free, noontime lecture series. Some of the topics they have lined up for this year include the 50th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s record-breaking homerun, Albert Murray, Mardi Gras architecture and Mobile vs. New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. Bring a sack lunch, but beverages are provided.

The History Museum of Mobile • 111 S. Royal St. 208-7569. 

4) Find Your Inner Child

Kickball, the sport once reserved for recess and schoolyards, has been occupying young adults’ Thursday nights for the past few years. It’s only $50 per person for the season, which consists of one game a week for seven weeks, plus one playoff week. Players can register as individual “free agents” or with a group. If your friends already have a team, don’t worry, you can ask to be added to it when you register. Everyone goes out after the games, so be sure to figure out where the discounted “league bar” is this season. Register online before March 1 to play this spring.

Go Kickball • South Alabama

5) Get Crafty

Have a Pinterest project you’ve been dying to do? Has your husband been nagging you about your “craft closet” that miraculously doubles overnight? Scrapbooking Frenzy can help. They offer various do-it-yourself classes on everything from how to make wreaths for your front door to the ins and outs of mastering a diecut machine. Plus, they carry a smorgasbord of craft supplies. Dates and prices for classes vary.

Scrapbooking Frenzy • 1168 West 1-65 Service Road S., Suite A. 447-2134. 

6) Ride the Ferry

Why ride the ferry, you ask? Because we have one, and it’s awesome and it should be on the top of your Mobile Bay bucket list. Walk around and take in the views and wildlife while being transported from point A to point B, Fort Gaines to Fort Morgan (or vice versa) aboard the Marissa Mae Nicole or Fort Morgan ferries. The trip takes about 40 minutes, and travelers are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure time. Cars with one driver are $30 round-trip, $4.50 for each additional passenger, and kids under 12 are free. For a full list of ticket prices, visit the transit system’s website. Running conditions depend on the weather and tides, so be sure to follow the Mobile Bay Ferry on Facebook and Twitter for the most up-to-date information. 

Mobile Bay Ferry • 101 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island. 861-3000. 

7) Listen to Local Tunes

The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm is like the cool kids’ lunch table. It’s home to everyone who’s anyone and it’s pretty exclusive. You have to get on the music venue’s guest list to attend the concerts. The intimate setting, which is actually in Cathe Steele’s backyard, provides a harmonious atmosphere for various artists to perform together. Serious music lovers are encouraged to BYOB and BYOLC (bring your own lawn chair). Ticket prices vary.

The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm • Silverhill

8) Raise Your Voice

Itching to get your 15 minutes of fame? Always felt like you were destined for the spotlight? Give your personal karaoke machine a night off, and share your gift for off-key singing with the world. And, hey, it’s OK if you only know some of the words. There’s a teleprompter there to help you, and you’re at a bar, so the other patrons probably don’t know the lyrics with 100 percent accuracy either. Warning: Pick and choose your fellow singers/dancers wisely, or a Vine of your stellar performance could go viral.

The Garage • 9 S. Washington Ave. 433-2223.
Hayley’s • 278 Dauphin St. 433-4970.
Industry Bar • 2551 Government Blvd. 470-0840.
OK Bike Shop • 661 Dauphin St. 432-2453.
The Royal Knight • 3004 Government Blvd. 476-6044.
Tropics • 5872 Battleship Parkway. 626-9008.

9) Explore the Delta

Venture further into the Delta than ever before in a flatbottom airboat for an up close and personal look at local flora and fauna. Just don’t go too crazy. Keep all hands and legs inside the vehicle, and don’t rock the boat, because of, ya know, the gators. Delta Airboat Express offers three types of tours: the slower hour-long ride, the faster half-hour version or the half-hour night option. Rides are $35 for adults, $25 for kids.

Delta Airboat Express • 3733 Battleship Parkway. 370-7089. 

10) Test Your Knowledge

Tons of local bars and restaurants allow wannabe “Jeopardy” contestants to shine at trivia nights, with topics ranging from ’80s pop culture to molecular biology to the NFL. But take note, some of the more seasoned vets take their random facts of knowledge pretty seriously. For those interested in more lighthearted competition, there is always bingo. Cash or gift-card prizes are usually standard awards at both games, but let’s face it, the bragging rights are what’s most important. See some of our favorite gaming haunts below.

Alchemy Tavern • 7 Joachim St. S. 441-7741.
Ashland Pub • 2453 Old Shell Road. 479-3278. 
Fairhope Brewing Company • 914 Nichols Ave., Fairhope. 279-7517. 
Mellow Mushroom • 2032 Airport Blvd. 471-4700. 
Moe’s Original Bar B Que • 701 Spring Hill Ave. 410-7427. 
OK Bike Shop • 661 Dauphin St. 432-2453.
Pickle Fish Pizzeria • 5955 Old Shell Road. 344-9899. 
The Ravenite Pizzeria • 102 N. Section St., Fairhope. 929-2525.
Wintzell’s • 605 Dauphin St. 432-4605. 

Tacky Jack’s on the Causeway • 1175 Battleship Parkway, Spanish Fort. 621-8988.
The Haberdasher • 451 Dauphin St. 287-1976.

Text by Mallory Boykin

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