Spend a week in Birmingham, AL

by on July 10, 2009

in A Week in...

Jamie and her friends Angie and Trish from BirminghamMommy sent us a week’s worth of fun Birmingham, Al activities to do with a baby or toddler in tow. Wondering what to do in the heat with your baby or toddler? Wonder no more.

Monday: gardens and cookie factory!
Mondays are tough, even if you are on a staycation, so let’s start off easy, shall we? Grab your coffee and head on out to Aldridge Gardens. Explore the varieties of hydrangeas with your baby as you scope out a spot on the lawn to stretch out and enjoy a picnic– the shade here is priceless in the Alabama heat. Admission is free.

After your leisurely visit to the gardens, head over for a train-ride tour of the Bud’s Best Cookie Factory. That’s right – A cookie factory. You must call ahead to set this up but it’s so worth it. Admission is also free, plus you get to take home samples – Yum.

Tuesday: splash pad
Grab baby, your swimsuit, a towel and some sunscreen and make your way over to Gardendale to enjoy the Splash Pad at Celebration Park. This free park is a delightful change of scenery when temperatures get close to 100! Baby will love it as you help her through the sprinklers and fountains. Don’t forget to pack a lunch and plenty to drink! Celebration Park’s splash pad is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. It is closed Mondays for maintenance. The park is located at 2191 Fieldstown Road.

splash pad birmingham


Wednesday: stay inside
We’re staying indoors today! If baby is over the age of 1, head to the McWane Science Center. All ages are allowed, but most infants won’t get much out of this oversized kid museum. Baby will love the Just Mice Size area – water table, little ones play room and much more. The new Shark and Ray Touch Tank is opening in July, allowing kids an up-close experience with, well, sharks and rays. And don’t forget the Itty Bitty Magic City exhibit is open all summer long on the 3rd floor just for the itty bitty ones! Admission is free for members / $11 for adults, $8 kids 2-12, under 2 is free.

If baby is up for it, or if you can just bring the older kids, catch the show at the Argo drive-in. Wednesday night’s price is just $5 a carload and the kids can run around a bit to shake off those extra wiggles before the show. Show starts around 8 pm and there are concessions on site. Also, don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs. The drive-in is located at 100 Angus Street Trussville, AL 35173.

[RM note: we love the drive-in for babies! ]

Thursday: new park to explore
It’s time to discover a new, out-of-the-way park in Birmingham! Grab an early lunch at Whole Foods, and then head over to Overton Park. This park boasts a perimeter fence, well-kept play area, pavilion and a beautiful rolling lawn. I’m fond of this park since the fence allows the older kids to play at their speed while I can also keep a watchful eye on the little one. One drawback of this park is there are no public restrooms, so make sure to stop before you get there. Turn onto Overton Road off Hwy 280. Stay straight on Overton Road until you see the park on your left.

Friday: hit the farm
Here we are – it’s Friday! No time to slow down as this staycation is moving on! Friday is the perfect day for a road trip! Pack a lunch, some ice-cold drinks and head to Tuscaloosa to visit The Barnyard. This top-notch petting farm is sure to please any baby – especially those fond of Ole McDonald. I promise this will be the cleanest, happiest petting farm you’ll ever visit. You can find more information on their site, including directions. Admission is $10 per child/$5 per adult. Friday free play hours are currently 9 am -12 pm (note at this time Friday is the only day they’re open for free play).

Tuscaloosa Barnyard

If you’re not up for the drive to Tuscaloosa, check out storytime at Whole Foods at 10 am in the cafe. Baby gets a story, you can grab a coffee or a treat – it’s a win-win!

Friday night, grab a light dinner at Zoe’s, then head over to Free Friday Flicks at Homewood Park. Again, the kids will love being able to watch a movie under the stars, with room to spread out on your favorite blanket or lounge chair.

Saturday: farmer’s market
Pepper Place Market. At this fresh market you can enjoy the absolute best of what Alabama farmers and beekeepers have to offer. In addition to the intoxicating local produce, you can grab a bite to eat from one of the featured restaurant tents and relax as you listen to live music. My children love to people (and dog) watch here. The market is open rain or shine, every Saturday of summer, 7 am – 1 pm.

If you’d rather really hit the outdoors, put baby in your backpack carrier and head out for a soothing morning hike at Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover. The serene setting of gentle waterfalls, soaring boulders and tree-lined trails will instantly set you and baby at ease. It’s a family favorite at my house!

Bonus activities: other notable Birmingham baby-friendly spots:

A huge thank you to Jamie, Angie and Trish for sharing their great ideas with us! And local mums, check out BirminghamMommy.com to find out what else is going on with them!

Not in Alabama? Check out our other vacation and staycation guides! Perfect for maternity leave or spring break.

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.

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