We have a two year old, and she loves playing in the water, as long as she can touch the bottom, which rules out most of our pool options. We thought about going to Alabama Adventure, but it is just so crowded, spread out, and expensive.
I didn't even know that there was another waterpark option close to Birmingham, but my husband heard about Spring Valley Beach from a guy at work, so we did a bit of internet research and then decided to give it a try!
Spring Valley Beach is a small waterpark in Blountsville (in Blount County). It was right at an hour from our house in Birmingham, and as you can tell from this mural on their wall, is in a good centralized location for a lot of Northern Alabama:
They have a Gigantonourmonstrosity of a pool - I don't know how big, but it looks like about five Olympic sized pools all stacked next to each other:
The pool has multiple small water slides into it, as well as a HUGE kiddie portion with all sorts of toddler sized attractions:
There are also multiple pavilions and picnic tables, with grills, that you can use to cook out (you can actually bring your own food and drinks into the park!!) and hang out all day:
Besides the pool area, they have six larger waterslides. Nothing terribly daring or frightful, but very fun nonetheless. My favorite part of the slides is how laid back they are - they actually allow small children to come with their parents on this slide:
So my two year old got her first large waterslide experience!!
The most original (and scariest) slide they have is called The Sidewinder, but I think "The Halfpipe" would be more appropriate.
You start out going almost STRAIGHT DOWN (It really feels like you get airborne), and then slide up the other side, back down, back up the original side, etc. Here's my husband's ride:
They also have two slides that are below ground, where you curve around the mountainside:
Besides the ones shown, they have an enclosed (and pitch black!) slide, and a steep straight down slide. They were all fun!!
Here were some of the best features of the park:
- Minimal lines at the slides - some slides had NO lines.
- They were so laid back and family oriented. As I mentioned, you can bring your own food and drinks in, bring your tents and tailgate and even bring your own grill (although they had plenty for use as well).
- The parking is superb. We parked in between the pool and the waterslides, so it was super convenient to swap out stuff as we went back and forth. No mile and a half walk on hot asphalt to your car. There was even parking where you could pull right up to one end of the pool and tailgate there.
- It's small enough that it is perfect for small kids. My two year old wouldn't do well with long walks, long lines, a milion different rides, etc. This was the perfect size for her.
- It's open seven days a week all summer long, so Ali and I will be going back during the week.
I wrote an extended blog about Spring Valley Beach on my Personal Blog.
If you have an Alabama Secret (or not-so-secret) that you'd like to share with us, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!