Rickwood Caverns State Park will again transform its signature cave system into a magical experience for the 2023 holiday season.
Known as “Wonderland Under Warrior,” the cavern becomes filled with festive light displays, decorations and appearances by Santa Claus and other notable holiday-themed characters who are available for photos. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience surrounded by the cave’s natural beauty, accentuated by an outdoor light display that guides guests from the park office to the mouth of the cave.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve been to ‘Wonderland Under Warrior’ year after year or you’re coming for the first time, because we are confident your visit will be among your favorite holiday memories,” Rickwood Caverns State Park Manager Bridgette Grace said. “We’re committed to making it better than ever for our guests this year, and we hope to people will come to the park during the 2023 holiday season.”
“Wonderland Under Warrior” began Saturday, Nov. 18, and runs through Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. The attraction operates each day from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the final tickets sold daily at 7:30 p.m.
There are some days that the attraction will be closed, including Thanksgiving Day, which is Nov. 23; Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Dec. 24-25; and New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. In addition, it’s closed most Mondays and Tuesdays. It is open on New Year’s Day, which is the final day for this year’s attraction.
A complete schedule can be found on the park’s website, which notes Santa’s last day will be Dec. 23. All regular cave tours are suspended for the duration of “Wonderland Under Warrior,” but will resume in 2024. Visitors are encouraged to wear closed-toed shoes suitable for walking or hiking.
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 gifts, ornaments, hot cocoa and other snacks for purchase.
For first-time visitors, it’s important to note “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 young children or guests with mobility issues. The entire walk covers approximately a mile inside the cave.
“It’s clear that ‘Wonderland Under Warrior’ is one of the very best holiday attractions in the entire state, not just our State Parks System,” said Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship. “The staff at Rickwood Caverns State Park works tirelessly to make this holiday attraction available, and it’s gratifying to see so many people come back year after year. We hope to see old friends and new guests come to the cave this year to make holiday memories.”
Reservations are highly recommended and can be made online at https://reserve.alapark.com/rickwood-caverns/tours or by calling the park at (205) 647-9692.
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.