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Birmingham, Alabama boasts an incredible downtown area exploding with new things to do and places to see every year. In addition to its downtown area, the surrounding suburbs of Birmingham also have a lot to offer. Consider these family-friendly activities in Birmingham the next time you plan a visit.

Enjoy Family-Friendly Activities in Birmingham This Year

McWane Science Center employee demonstrates an experiment at the Birmingham Public Library.

Birmingham is well known for its Civil War and Civil Rights history, but there is more to this modern Alabama metropolis than its past. Over the last 10 years, it has become a hot spot for up-and-coming chefs, and this influx of new restaurants has brought visitors from all over the globe.

Don’t leave the kids out of your Birmingham travels! Even if they aren’t foodies, there are plenty of family-friendly activities in Birmingham, Alabama.

1. Visit the McWane Science Center

Inside Itty Bitty Magic City at McWane Science Center

The McWane Science Center is one of Birmingham’s best places for families with children! It’s our family’s favorite spot because there is so much to see and do. Daily admission for adults ages 13-64  is $13, and children ages 2-12 are $9. Adults 65+ are $12, and kids under 2 are free. Tickets include all areas of the museum except for movies and documentaries being shown in its IMAX theater.

2. Get Wild at the Birmingham Zoo

Giraffe at Birmingham Zoo

The Birmingham Zoo boasts a fantastic collection of animals, including zebras, giraffes, elephants, and a barrel of monkeys, to name a few of its exotic species. It also has a reptile house and an area dedicated to native animals called “Alabama Wilds.”A climbing and splash pad area is included with admission if your kids need to run around and let out some energy.

Children, ages 2-12, are $10, Adults ages 13-64 are $15, and Seniors, age 65+, are $10. There are giraffe feedings, a carousel, and a train ride that you can spend extra money to participate in, but they are unnecessary to enjoy the zoo overall.

3. Get Hands-On at the Birmingham Museum of Art

Birmingham Museum of Art has family-friendly exhibits.

Birmingham Museum of Art, or BMA, is one of the hidden gems of Birmingham. Their area for children seems small, but it is packed with tons of things for them to do.

Everything in Bart’s Artventure! is hands-on and encourages imaginative play. The crafts are usually related to the museum’s current exhibits. Admission is free, and donations are accepted.

4. See Rare Cars at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

A group of motorcyclists prepare to tour Alabama after a stop at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham. The museum, owned by George Barber, is home to the worldÕs largest motorcycle collection. Image Credit: Jamie Martin

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is located just outside Birmingham, in Leeds, Alabama. This museum has the world’s largest Lotus race car collection, as well as motorcycles and over 1,200 models of cars and motorcycles. Admission is $12 for kids and $18 for adults.

5. Check out Vulcan Park and Museum

Vulcan statue at Vulcan Park and Museum in Birmingham, Alabama. Image Credit: RYO Alexandre /

The official symbol for the city of Birmingham is the Vulcan statue, which is the largest cast iron statue in the world. Vulcan is the Roman god of fire and forge which fits Birmingham as it has a history of being called “Iron City USA” due to its past iron production.

Admission gives visitors access to the park, observation tower, and museum. Tickets are $4 for children and $6 for adults.

6. Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Railroad Park

Railroad Park is one of many great family-friendly activities in Birmingham Alabama

Like other major cities in the US, Birmingham’s downtown area has an incredible 19-acre green space known as Railroad Park. The park is a convenient walk to or from other major downtown attractions, including Regions Field, the ballpark for Birmingham’s minor league team the Birmingham Barons.

Railroad Park is free to enter, and there is free street parking if you can find it. Metered parking in the area is free after 6 pm on weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

7. Smell the Roses at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Pink flowers in a garden. Image: Shutterstock.

Another free attraction, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, is located right across the street from the Birmingham Zoo. With over 67.5 acres of space, the Gardens include over 12,000 different plant species and 30 gardens. Educational opportunities or other events are available for a fee.

8. See a Drive-In Movie at the Grand River Drive-In

The Grand River Drive-In is located in Leeds, Alabama near The Outlet Shops of Grand River. Make a day of it by starting at the outlets and finishing at the drive-in. The theater has four screens and plays new releases and classic films.

It is family-friendly because it has a playground, dog park, and mini-golf course nearby. Visit their website to see what movies are currently playing.

9. Try Something New at Pepper Place Market

Produce at a local farmer's market. Image: Shutterstock

No matter your age, Pepper Place Market is intriguing and fun. It is one of the largest outdoor markets in Alabama, operating almost year-round. Every vendor is from Alabama, so you can be assured that you support local businesses when you shop. Enjoy strolling through the market that features everything from food to crafts and more.

10. Engage with the Arts at Birmingham Children’s Theater

BJCC Exterior where Birmingham Children's Theater performs. Image Credit: Dystopos

Our community is fortunate to have this resource available for field trips and activities. I highly recommend a family visit to the Birmingham Children’s Theater when you are in town. For over 75 years, this professional theater has been putting on shows aimed at kids.

Toddlers and infants can enjoy the theater with their “Tiny Tykes Tales” series or the “Wee Folks Theater” for slightly older children. Best of all, if the theater is not a normally affordable experience, the second Saturday of each show’s season is “Pay What You Can Day.”

Activities to Consider for Older Children

US Civil Rights Trail 16th Street Baptist Church. Image Credit: Art Meripol

Much of Birmingham’s history is related to its industrious past and role in the Civil War and the Civil Rights eras. Teens and young adults will want to visit a self-guided walking tour of the Civil Rights District and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

For those interested in the steel and iron industry, a self-guided tour of Sloss Furnaces and an on-site museum are available. Sloss Furnaces are also alleged to be some of the most haunted places in Alabama, which may or may not be family-friendly, depending on what time of day your family chooses to visit.