Birmingham is my hometown, so sharing my love of this city is near and dear to my heart. Birmingham is the largest city in the state of Alabama, and for good reason. We have a great food scene, fun nightlife, and, most importantly to me, lots of great family fun to be had. With a mix of free and paid activities, there is sure to be something to fit every vacation budget.
Family Friendly Activities in Birmingham, Alabama
When you live in a city not often thought of as a tourist destination, when friend or family come to town, the number one question you probably get is “What’s there to do around here?” Now that I have lived in Birmingham for almost 4 years, I can confidently say there is plenty to do around here. It’s especially important for our activities to be something that the entire family can do, and that will cater to each of my twins’ preferences. Trust me when I say we’ve tried just about everything this town has to offer. Today I’m sharing our favorite family friendly activities in Birmingham, Alabama.
The McWane Science Center
Consistently a favorite outing, McWane Science Center has a well-rounded offering of activities for the littlest members of your party all the way up to teens (and even adults)! Daily admission for adults (13-64) is $13 and children (2-12) is $9 (adults 65+ are $12 and kids under 2 are free). There is an IMAX theater, so you have the option to add on to your museum ticket price if you also want to take in an educational movie or you can buy a solo IMAX ticket.
TravelingMom Tip: if you go during the week, try a Tuesday or Wednesday for the lowest crowds. Field trip groups tend to overwhelm the building on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, but you can always call ahead to check who will be there that day if Tuesday and Wednesday are not convenient for you. The closer it is to a holiday, the less likely a field trip group will be there on a Thursday or Friday.
The Birmingham Zoo
We love our zoo because it offers families a chance to view exotic animals in a safe, family friendly environment. They are currently undergoing a massive renovation to totally overhaul the entrance, and I am eager to see how this will enhance our zoo experience. Admission prices for children (2-12) are $11, adults (13-64) are $16, and seniors (65+) are $14, but they do offer discounts to members of the military, groups, and those who have memberships to other zoos that are part of the American Zoological Association (AZA). There are a plethora of mechanical rides, giraffe feedings, camel rides, and special events that you can add on to your admission if you so choose. It is a clean, well-organized, large zoo with plenty to entertain your family for an afternoon.
Birmingham Museum of Art
The Birmingham Museum of Art, or BMA, is one of the hidden gems of Birmingham. The children’s area, Bart’s Artventure, is worth the trek downtown in and of itself because everything is hands on and encourages imaginative play. They usually have a craft related to the current gallery exhibits that is fun and easy to do. In my opinion, children 12 and under would get the most out of Bart’s Artventure while tweens and teens might prefer to browse the non-touchable galleries and exhibits. Another perk to this excellent museum? Admission is free! I always love it when I can save a little here and there.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are a beautiful place to let everyone stretch their legs a bit and enjoy some gorgeous scenery. Depending on the time of year you go, you may see a group practicing their yoga moves or a lawn full of eager fans anticipating the showing of a fun film during their “Flicks Among the Flowers” program. Admission and parking at the gardens is always free, but membership, which has various levels of cost, allows for free or discounted participation in activities like yoga, photography classes, and art classes.
Birmingham Barons Game
With no professional sports teams in the state of Alabama, we have to make do with what we have. Minor league baseball has such a different feel than professional baseball, but that doesn’t have to equate to less fun. I love going to smaller sports venues with my family because we can usually get up close and personal with the action on the field for a fraction of the cost of professional sporting events. Tickets for Barons’ games are anywhere from $14 for premium dugout seats to $7 for general admission seats. Children 12 and younger, seniors 60+, and members of the military all receive a $1 off of the regular price for each section. As a mom of rambunctious twin girls, I often opt for the general admission seats so when my girls get the itch to get up and move, they have free reign to do so without disturbing others.
In addition to the excitement of watching the game, the family fun zone offers kids the chance to release some energy by bouncing on inflatables or climbing on the playground. Adults will enjoy the atmosphere of the game and the savory food offerings from regional favorite Dreamland Barbecue as well as drink offerings from local brewery, Good People Brewing Company.
Birmingham, Alabama may not be high on your list of vacation destinations, but I think it’s worth stopping through next time you’re on your way to Alabama’s beautiful beaches. Next time you’re in my neck of the woods, try out some of these places I suggested. You may be surprised just how much there is to do and see in my hometown.