Take a Can’t Miss Alabama spring break, without smashing piggybank

Take a Can’t Miss Alabama spring break, without smashing piggybank
Get ready for a rockin' good time at the Tuscaloosa Bicentennial Bash, where you'll hear soulish tunes from St. Paul & the Broken Bones. The annual music extravaganza truly is a can't-miss event: Enjoy free admission, food trucks and a venue that will engage the kids in fun, age-appropriate activities. Enjoying quality time with your family is a sure way to top off your 2019 spring break. (McLister/Alabama NewsCenter)

CMA helps you live your best life and have fun with the kiddos, on the cheap! 

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Break away with music, fun at Tuscaloosa’s Bicentennial Bash March 30

Free music and free fun equal a great spring break! The entire family can rock on while enjoying time together at Tuscaloosa’s Bicentennial Bash.

Eclectic musical offerings await, with performers ranging from Indie rock group Moon Taxi to soul performers St. Paul & the Broken Bones to the Blind Boys of Alabama and Grammy award-winning singer Jason Isbell. Groove with Alabama’s famous Commodores on the TTown200 Stage at 6:15 p.m.

The come-and-go atmosphere includes food trucks and a kids zone with face painting and inflatables. If you prefer some distance away from the stage, bring a chair or blanket and watch the show on a massive LED screen outside the amphitheater. The night ends with fireworks.

Doors open at 1 p.m. at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater at 2710 Jack Warner Parkway. Call 205-391-9200 for details.

Make happy memories at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera

You don’t have to spend a bundle for a play date your kids will remember: Visit the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera. The venue will entertain the entire family, with an interesting museum collection and the chance to learn about Alabama railroading.

Kids can have a fun day out with Thomas the Tank Engine. Take a train ride and enjoy quality family time, then stop by the Thomas & Friends Imagination Station with Thomas-themed activities such as temporary tattoos. Youngsters will love splashing in the bubble station, playing mini golf and more. Click for tickets, dates and times, or call 866-468-7630. The address is 1919 Ninth Street in Calera.

Enjoy a free Taste of India with Bollywood, mandala coloring and yoga March 30-April 1

Be there for Alabama’s first bhangra (traditional Indian folk dance) and Bollywood fusion dance competition on Saturday at the Alys Stephens Center from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Collegiate dance teams from across the country will compete. Try delicious Indian food from Taj India at the beginning of the show. Admission is free.

Start April on the right foot by attending ArtPlay at the Alys Stephens Center at 5:30 p.m. Allow your inner child to de-stress at mandala coloring night, where your creativity can flow as you color intricate Indian designs. Or, try a relaxing Vinyasa Flow yoga class with Mollie Erickson from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the grass of the Rear Quad behind the Alys Stephens Center (the class will be in the Odess Theatre if it rains). You’ll move through traditional asanas, honoring India’s rich heritage, and try new combinations of poses.

For details about these events, call 205-975-4769. The Alys Stephens Center is at 1200 10th Ave. South in Birmingham.

Indulge your sweet hankerings at the Mobile Chocolate Festival March 30

Take a walk down Chocolate Bliss Lane at the 11th annual Mobile Chocolate Festival, and you’re sure to find a sweet, salty, mild or dark concoction to satisfy your sweet tooth. Sample from myriad delicious varieties during the Chocolate Challenge, enjoy demonstrations and kids arts and crafts. Delight in the cupcake booth, chocolate martini tastings and Magic Memories Photo Booth. Admission is $5 for adults; children 13 and under get in free.

Attend at the Grounds at 1035 Cody Road North in Mobile from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

See thousands of blooming azaleas at Bellingrath Gardens through March 31

After lolling in the sun, take a break from the beach with a visit to Bellingrath Gardens. See an explosion of color with 250,000 vibrant azaleas in bloom. You can enjoy more than 65 acres of gardens, including 400 varieties of camellias – Alabama’s state flower – and lush, American-Asian-themed areas.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $8 for kids. To see the historic home, tickets are $22 for adults and $14 for children. Kids 4 and younger get in free. See the gardens from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road in Theodore. Dial 1-800-247-8420 for more information.

See the ‘Man of La Mancha’ at Virginia Samford Theatre on March 28-April 7

Both hilarious and heartbreaking, you’ll laugh and smile watching the exploits of Don Quixote and Sancho in “Man of La Mancha” at Virginia Samford Theatre at Caldwell Park. The whimsical play, based on the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age, includes famous songs such as “The Impossible Dream.”

Enjoy evening shows Thursday through Saturday, starting at 7:30 p.m. Sunday shows are at 2:30 p.m. Click for ticket prices. The theater is at 1116 26th St. South in Birmingham.

Don’t miss the Elberta German Sausage Festival on March 30

Looking for delicious, authentic German cuisine? Look no further than the Elberta German Sausage Festival for yummy offerings. There’s something for everyone, with rides for the kids and food booths.

The free event is from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Elberta Town Park, at the intersection of 13052 Main Street and State Street.

Mark your calendar to find your own Dragon Eggs at UAB’s annual Egg Hunt April 7

There won’t be clucking of hens or chortling bunnies, but children will be thrilled to run up and down field at the Dragon Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 7. The free event is open to children 12 and under at the Football Operations Center. Registration starts at 2:30 p.m. and the egg hunt opens at 3 p.m. Separate areas will be designated for children 5 and under and 6 to 12. Bring your own basket.

Indulge kids in face painting, take pictures with UAB football players and hang out with Blaze while enjoying inflatables, food trucks, games and more. The names of two lucky winners will be drawn for a UAB Football VIP package. The UAB Football Operations Center is at 1219 Sixth Ave. South in Birmingham.

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