One of the state’s unique holiday traditions returns this year at Rickwood Caverns State Park.
The park’s centerpiece cave system will be home to “Wonderland Under Warrior,” a magical experience as the cave is transformed into a festive underground winter wonderland. Holiday light displays and decorations accentuate the cave’s natural formations.
“Wonderland Under Warrior is one of the top attractions at the park every year, and it’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit,” Rickwood Caverns State Park Superintendent Chris Bentley said. “We are extremely pleased to keep this holiday tradition going for all of our guests.”
Wonderland Under Warrior began Saturday, Nov. 21 and runs through Dec. 30, operating from 2 to 8 p.m., on the days it’s open, and the last tickets will be sold each day at 7:30 p.m.
Cost is $10 per person, and it’s open through Nov. 30 each day, except for Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Day), and Nov. 30. In December, Wonderland Under Warrior is open almost daily, with the only closed dates being Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 24 (Christmas Eve), Dec. 25 (Christmas Day), and Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve).
A complete schedule can be found on the park’s website. All regular cave tours are suspended for the duration of “Wonderland Under Warrior” and will resume in 2021.
All cave visitors are required to wear masks as part of COVID-19 precautions, and guests are required to maintain a social distance of 6 feet from anyone not in your immediate family. Capacity restrictions will be enforced by park employees in the cave, nature center and gift shop and must be followed by all guests.
Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the cave, and park staffers disinfect frequently.
The cave temperature remains at 62 degrees year-round, which makes it the perfect place to visit on a cold day. The park’s gift shop will be decorated for the holidays and offer unique gifts, ornaments, snacks and hot cocoa to purchase.
Finally, “Wonderland Under Warrior” features an out-and-back self-guided tour, so the 110-step ascent at the end of the normal cave tour is not required. This makes the walk easier for anyone with mobility issues and small children. The entire walk is about a mile in the cave.
“Wonderland Under Warrior has become one of the top holiday attractions in the entire parks system, and we know many visitors look forward to it every year,” said Greg Lein, Director of the Alabama State Parks System. “The parks system offers unique experiences from the state’s Gulf Coast beaches to the gorgeous scenery in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northeast Alabama. Diving deep into Rickwood Caverns is a holiday experience unlike any other, and it represents another way to offer our guests something truly adventurous and memorable.”
Rickwood Caverns State Park is located just off Interstate 65 in Warrior, about 30 miles north of downtown Birmingham and about 75 miles south of Huntsville.
About Alabama State Parks
The Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 21 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water in Alabama. The parks range from Gulf Coast beaches to Appalachian Mountains and provide opportunities and facilities from basic day-use activities to resort convention lodging, restaurant and golfing areas. Learn more at www.alapark.com
About Rickwood State Park
Rickwood Caverns State Park features 260-million-year-old formations that were created by water and reveal evidence that the cave was carved from an ocean bed, all 175 feet below the Earth’s surface. The park also includes a campground, playground, hiking trails, gift shop and Olympic-sized swimming pool fed by cool waters from the cave. Learn more at www.alapark.com/parks/rickwood-caverns-state-park