#88 on our Deployment Bucket List was to ‘Spend the Day in Mobile, Alabama’. So, after a quick Pinterest search of things to do in Mobile, I had a few ideas. We left home at 9:30 in the morning and didn’t make it back until nearly midnight.
We didn’t know it until we got there, but Mobile was in full swing for Mardi Gras! The kids loved it and have asked me many times when we are going back.
Here is how we spent the day in the Azalea City.
5 Fun Things to Do in Mobile, Alabama
See the USS Alabama
Our first stop in Mobile was Memorial Battleship Park – home of the USS Alabama. We could have easily spent the whole day here!
I wasn’t sure if my girls would like the battleship. After all, they are typical girly girls and guns, wars, and battleships are for boys. But that notion flew right out the window as soon as they laid eyes on that gigantic boat. They LOVED it!
We wandered up and down all the stairs and ladders exploring this massive ship. There were tons of interactive features and plenty of photo ops. The kids had a great time!
(You can read all about our time at the park here: 5 Fun Reasons to Visit the USS Alabama.)
Check out the Submarine – the USS Drum
Technically, this could be included in number 1, since it’s at the same park as the USS Alabama, but it was so cool that I figured it deserves a mention of its own! The girls enjoyed the USS Drum as much as the battleship.
We walked through the entire sub, as the kids pressed buttons and pretended to be the captain. We read the informational plaques and learned a lot about life under the sea. The kids were very interested in the tight living quarters and even tested out the beds in the ‘dorms’.
Commissioned in 1941, the USS Drum is the oldest American submarine open to the public. Its insignia was drawn by Walt Disney and the Drum is credited with sinking 15 Japanese ships during WWII.
If you’re at Memorial Battleship Park, make sure to walk through the submarine. You don’t want to miss it!
Visit the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center
If you have kids, a visit to the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center is a MUST when you are in Mobile.
My kids loved all of the hands-on exhibits, but their favorites were the Discovery Zone and the Wharf of Wonder. They loved playing in the ball pit and putting on puppet shows. They even built and tested a tiny raft at one of the exhibits. And the My Body Works exhibit was a hit with its giant beating heart!
There are four permanent galleries at the center: Scratch Factory, Discovery Zone, My Body Works, and the Wharf of Wonder. However, there are traveling exhibits that stop at the Exploreum, so no two visits are ever the same.
Make sure you check the Exploreum website before your visit, to see what’s new!
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Visit the Moon Pie General Store
The Moon Pie General Store and its soda fountain was a huge hit with my girls. We had a little bit of time to kill and just happened to wander in.
This store is 6000 square feet of Moon Pie merchandise: a quirky selection of bottled sodas, unique gifts, old-timey candy, and Moon Pies of every flavor. There are so many flavors I never even knew existed!
In the store, there is an old-fashioned soda fountain that serves ice cream, milkshakes, and diner-style food. And it was delicious!
See a Mardi Gras Parade
Unbeknownst to me when I planned our trip, Mobile was celebrating Mardi Gras. We were lucky enough to be there on the same day as the Daughters of Neptune parade. After making sure the parade was family-friendly (it is!), we were off to stake out a good spot on the parade route.
Luckily, we found a great spot not far from the Moon Pie General Store and stayed out late catching Mardi Gras beads, toys, candy, and Moon Pies.
The parade was a perfect ending to our fun-filled day in Mobile!
*Bonus* Find an Oyster Shell
While walking around Mobile, make sure you keep an eye out for giant painted oyster shells. These unusual works of art are part of the Oyster Trail.
The Oyster Trail is a public art treasure hunt throughout coastal Alabama. Trail maps can be picked up in various locations or downloaded from the Oyster Trail website if you are interested in finding all of the shells.
There are so many things to do in Mobile, that we couldn’t possibly have done them all in one day.
This little day trip is hopefully just the beginning of finding adventures in this gorgeous southern city.