Family Weekend: Moss Rock Festival in Hoover

The Moss Rock Festival at The Preserve in Hoover is a perfect fall afternoon for the family. The setting is an architecturally planned community surrounded by tall trees and soft, picnic-blanket turf right down its center axis. It’s here that musicians will play and kids will gallop and you can just pause to enjoy the fiery leaves all around.

The streetscape is stroller friendly and there are plenty of leashed dogs mingling with their people. It’s easiest to leave your car at Regions Park off hwy 150 and ride one of the school bus shuttles into the festival. When else do you have an excuse to ride a school bus? The windows are partially lowered, the wind whips your hair, and you’re a kid on a field trip again. Of course you should take restroom breaks before you arrive; port-o-lets are the only public facility.

Artists pitch display tents all around the perimeter of the Green, and the materials and subjects are fascinating. You’ll also see exhibits of student-created projects exploring the topic of protecting the environment and conserving energy. It’s fitting that, during this season of abundance, you will be reminded of the importance of conserving precious resources.

Bring a reusable bag or pick one up here, because there will be plenty to carry. One year we received a long-leaf pine seedling to transplant as well as paper that incorporated wildflower seeds (the wildflowers did fine, the seedling, not so well). There are craft areas for the kids to make mobiles and paper mosaics with salvaged  materials. Frankly, these aren’t likely to make it to your fridge door display, but they are entertaining for the kids nonetheless. This means a few minutes of peace and quiet for you.

There are plenty of exhibits describing eco-conscious products. In the usual irony, bottled water is also for sale, but you can bring your own aluminum bottle and demonstrate that you are already a convert to conservaton. If you have any remodeling in your future, take some time to see booths like those showing bamboo flooring and natural floor coverings. Sometimes there are promotional deals available.

You may be able to complete some of your holiday shopping with greeting cards, handmade ornaments, and locally made goods. The fun is in the mix of participants and sponsors peddling everything from magazines to pottery. Food is also available, so plan to hang out awhile if you can. Head over to the Moss Rock Preserve to see beautiful rock formations and maybe take a short hike while you’re out (it’s just crowded enough that, even with a wrong turn, someone is bound to find you). Signs will point the way and there will be plenty of others out exploring.

You may get to watch some rock climbers while you’re at Moss Rock. Wonder if those little mats they use incase of falling would be extra security for the bed-jumping daredevils in your home? On second thought, better mosey on past the rock-climbers before anybody in your party gets inspired to try and scale the rock facade back at the house.