If you are looking for kid-friendly ideas for weekend fun and frolic, we’ve got you covered!
Published: December 31, 2021
By: Becky J. Beall
Up the ante in your parenting game by choosing an agenda complete with kid-approved meals, shopping and activities that the whole gang will enjoy. Remember, some spots still have abbreviated or different times due to Covid. Check and plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
McWane Science Center
200 19th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
McWane Science Center operates under the mission to “spark wonder and curiosity about our world through hands-on science.” A compilation of hands-on learning experiences partnered with a myriad of permanent exhibits (Itty Bitty Magic City, Explore! Collections Center, Alabama Dinosaurs, Fox 6 Weather Lab, Sea Monsters and an IMAX Dome Theater just to name a few) creates the perfect play date for parents and children and is loaded with educational value.
McWane is a year-round venue serving families in more than science. A science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning environment is all part of the available offerings at McWane Science Center where kids are allowed to learn by doing. It is a valuable asset to the Birmingham community, and a prime spot for family fun!
The Birmingham Zoo
2630 Cahaba Road
Birmingham, AL 35223
Children and animals go together like peanut butter and jelly, and Birmingham is fortunate to have one of the state’s most popular attractions, the Birmingham Zoo available to families. Check out everything from red pandas, lions and giraffes to orangutans, rhinos, bear, elephants, sea lions and more spread out across a sprawling 122-acre property. Enjoy lots of special events (check their calendar online) and learn about animal care, conservation initiatives and Species Survival Plans on your visit. The Zoo is a must-visit attraction for any family fun day!
Oak Mountain State Park Petting Zoo (Demonstration Farm)
200 Terrace Dr.
Pelham, AL 35124
Oak Mountain State Park’s Demonstration Farm is home to many animals like goats, chickens, roosters, pigs, peacocks, donkeys, sheep and more! Visit the Petting Zoo Thursday through Monday (they are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday) and watch as the children enjoy learning about and visiting with these sweet farm babies.
While you’re there, check out other offerings available to the public such as the Alabama Wildlife Center – Alabama’s oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation and education center. AWC rescues, rehabilitates and releases about 2,000 native birds every year and is home to Shelby the Bald Eagle and the Eurasian Eagle Owl (the world’s largest owl species).
Other fun things to do includes horseback riding, swimming and the beach, archery, watersports, geocaching, hiking, biking and fishing. Something for everyone in your party awaits at Oak Mountain State Park.
Hoover Met’s Explore Playground and Splash Pad
5508 Stadium Trace Parkway
Hoover, AL 35244
What a way to spend the day or even part of the day! Families are loving the 15,000 square-foot playground and 7,000 square-foot splash pad with an all-inclusive design that meets the needs of folks with disabilities and mobility issues. There are age-appropriate play structures with 43 elevated play elements and 34 ground level play elements.
Unique features of the playground include the central feature, Carly’s Clubhouse (17 feet tall); a roller slide; Rockin’ Robin (a cozy spot); parallel play Double Zip Track and a Roxall (unique to Alabama); a musical play area with chimes and musical flowers); sensory features; swings accommodating all ages and abilities; incorporated shady spots and much more!
Davenport’s Pizza Palace
2837 Cahaba Road
Mountain Brook, AL 35223
If you let the kids choose, they’ll likely pick pizza! Davenport’s Pizza Palace has been around for more than 50 years and makes their dough and sauce from scratch daily. The atmosphere is super family-friendly and the food is great! There are also some old school video games in the back for a nostalgic challenge to parents (and the kiddos will also enjoy).
2916 18th Street South
Homewood, AL 35209
Start your fun-filled day with a special trip to Savage’s Bakery! Choose from fresh-baked pastries like old fashioned cinnamon rolls, bear claws, pull-apart breads and their famous orange rolls. Don’t forget to grab some Liza’s Lemonade and if you should find your family there at lunchtime, there’s a kid’s menu with grilled cheese, PBJs and other kid favorites.
Sometimes kids and shopping just don’t mix, but choosing a bookstore, toy store or specialty shop just might be the ticket to successful shopping with children. Check out some of the places listed below.
Homewood Toy & Hobby Shop
2830 18th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35209
Barnes & Noble
Patton Creek Shopping Center
171 Main Street
Hoover, AL 35244
45 Church Street
Mountain Brook, AL 35213
Also, don’t pass on the gift shops at the Birmingham Zoo and McWane Science Center. Both are excellent!
And here are a few more spots to check out:
Aldridge Botanical Gardens
3530 Lorna Road, Hoover
Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
1631 Fourth Ave. N., Birmingham
Alabama School of Fine Arts
1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
2150 Richard Arrington Blvd. N., Birmingham
Alabama Wildlife Center
100 Terrace Dr., Pelham
Highway 119, Montevallo.
Barber Motorsports Park
6040 Barber Motorsports Pkwy., Leeds
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
2612 Lane Park Rd., Birmingham
Birmingham Children’s Theatre
1001 19th St. N., Birmingham, AL, 35203
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
16th St. N., Birmingham
Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham
Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum
1919 Ninth St., Calera
Moss Rock Preserve
Preserve Pkwy., Hoover
Ruffner Mountain Nature Center
1214 81st St. S., Birmingham
Southern Museum of Flight
4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham
Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park
12632 Confederate Pkwy., McCalla
1701 Valley View Dr., Birmingham