Birmingham is a diverse city packed full of entertainment, outdoor activities, arts and family fun. As the largest city in Alabama, Birmingham is home to more than 212,000 people, according to the 2010 U.S. census and more than 1.1 million people live within the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, as of 2013. The many attractions in this city include indoor play facilities, a zoo and museums.
Parks and Recreation
You'll find an assortment of activities available through the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Department. In summer, you can take your kids for a swim at one of the city's swimming pools, including East Thomas Pool, Memorial Pool or Wiggins Pool. Spend some time at one of the city parks or nature areas. At Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, you and your kids can tour the nature center, walk one of the trails or participate in programs, including camps. Twenty recreation centers are throughout the city that offer children's activities, including the Community Center at Brownsville Heights, Hawkins Recreation Center and the Memorial Park Recreation Center.
Zoo or Botanical Gardens
At the Birmingham Zoo, your children can explore the 122 acres that are home to 800 animals from 200 species, including several endangered species. Some of the animals you'll see include African elephants, giant anteaters, black swans, tortoises, monkeys, flamingos and a variety of snakes. Other activities inside the zoo include camel rides, wildlife shows, keeper chats and animal feedings. Your family can visit the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to see more than 12,000 different plants on 67 acres. On weekends, you can also participate in programs such as hikes, family-friendly demonstrations and outdoor adventures.
You can take your children for a fun-filled day at the McWane Science Center. Inside, your family can get hands-on with a variety of interactive exhibits, including Alabama Dinosaurs, a place where your kids can see dinosaur fossils from dinosaurs that once roamed the state. In the GENEius Lab, your children can complete science experiments and the Tornado exhibit shows how tornadoes form. At the Birmingham Museum of Art, your family can view a range of art exhibits, including some that are hands-on, including Bart's Adventure, in which kids can make their way through 12 learning stations that encourage creativity, exploration and discovery. Other children's activities at the museum include scavenger hunts, family days, story times, and art classes and camps.
If you're looking for somewhere for your kids to burn energy, go to iJump 280. This family entertainment complex covers more than 20,000 square feet and features a rock wall, go-karts, an arcade and gigantic inflatables. Alternatively, you could take the kids to Treetop Family Adventure for some family fun. Your children can climb around the three-story indoor playground, navigate through the obstacle course, play mini golf, ride go-karts and play laser tag.