Birmingham has always been a popular destination. Known as “The Magic City,” it quickly gained status due to its iron industry. The city’s waterways and proximity to the Appalachian Mountains create a mix of urban and rural living done right.
Since it’s one of the most populated cities in Alabama, it only makes sense that Birmingham is full of fun things to do. Visitors to this impressive city get to enjoy a wide variety of activities.
Even the hit song, “Paint Me a Birmingham” by Tracy Lawrence, describes this picturesque city as an ideal place that people yearn to return to.
When you’re traveling as a family, it can be difficult to find something everyone enjoys. But in Birmingham, you don’t have to look too hard to find family-friendly activities.
Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor entertainment, here are our top five picks to please everyone in your bunch!
1. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Civil rights have improved over the past few decades, but that hasn’t always been the case.
Lest we forget history, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute keeps an archive of material related to civil rights. The Institute displays historical documents and relics to educate the public about the history of the fight for justice.
In the museum, you’ll walk through a time capsule of important civil rights movements. You’ll learn about significant people who made a difference. Exhibitions vary but always spotlight major crusaders in the quest for civil rights.
Some areas are designed with a focus on educating younger children. Weekly programs are the perfect activity for families and school groups.
2. Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
Are you ready for some football?
If you’re interested in sports history (especially related to Alabama’s teams), the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (ASHoF) is the place to go.
Although ASHoF isn’t technically a museum, the 6,000-plus pieces of sports memorabilia make it feel like one.
Open every weekday, it occupies an expansive, 33,000-square-foot building, making it one of the largest halls of fame in America. Every inductee from 1969 to today is represented somewhere inside the museum.
If you’re in town during May, you can attend ASHoF’s induction ceremony banquet. Enjoy a meal with other sports fans and watch your favorite athletes get inducted into the Hall of Fame!
You say it’s your birthday? What better way to celebrate than immersed in sports-themed rooms with thematic decor and catering?
Guests can even host their own special events by renting the hall for weddings and more.
3. Birmingham Zoo
There’s always an adventure to be found at the Birmingham Zoo. Even if the events and exhibits are the same, the animals are always up to new hijinks!
Explore the Zoo via train ride or watch the sea lions play with their trainers. Listen to the howler monkeys sing or stop by the barn and feed the goats!
Wild animals from all different ecosystems converge here. Whether you’re interested in predators, primates, or farm animals, you’ll find something to enjoy.
But if you want more than just a glimpse, you can always book a behind-the-scenes encounter. With your special pass, you’ll get an up-close look at how the animals live. Ask your guide questions, take a thousand pictures, and make memories with your loved ones.
Before you head home, make sure to stop by the gift shops and restaurants. Some of the Zoo’s eateries even have mobile ordering, so you can avoid the line.
4. Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve
Nature lovers everywhere have the Ruffner Mountain Preserve on their bucket list. This public reservation is home to more than 14 miles of hiking trails!
Old mining sites make this preserve a popular tourist destination for history buffs. And the area’s biodiversity invites scientists from around the world.
In the Nature Center, you’ll find exhibits displaying hundreds of native species, both living and preserved. So even if you’re not a hiker, you’ll enjoy this destination.
There’s also an on-site animal care unit, where injured and ill animals are treated. Stop by before you leave to see how the Preserve’s veterinarians care for local wildlife.
5. The Birmingham Museum of Art
Whether you’re an art lover or you’re just looking for something to do on a rainy day, check out the Birmingham Museum of Art.
No matter your age, there’s something here for you. Daily exhibitions and an ever-changing event calendar make this a must-see destination.
Within the Museum’s collection, you’ll find paintings, sculptures, and a mix of ancient and contemporary pottery. Their exhibitions showcase work by artists from all over the world.
And for the kids, there’s ArtVenture, a hands-on gallery where your youngsters can create masterpieces of their own!
There’s never a dull moment in Birmingham. Whether you’re looking for peace and quiet or fun and excitement, you’ll find it all here!
History, culture, outdoor activities, and incredible food await your family’s visit!
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