From the McWane Science Center to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, there’s no shortage of ways to expose your kids to the best of the future and the most valuable lessons of the past. And with so much beauty surrounding this humble Alabama city, from Vulcan Park to free gardens and nature centers galore, Birmingham families know how to make the dream a reality. We have a bunch of our favorite family activities in Birmingham below, plus our events calendar is loaded with things to keep you during your visit.

photo: Rob Briscoe via flickr

Red Mountain Park
Over 15 miles of trails featuring two city overlooks make up this gorgeous park. Three breathtaking tree houses and the six-acre off-leash Remy’s Dog Park are also part of the fun. You can find adventures like the Vulcan Materials Zip Trip and Kaul Adventure Tower, kid favorites.

281 Lyon Ln.
Birmingham, AL
Online: redmountainpark.org

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
This historic museum traces the journey of the civil rights advocates of the 1950s and 60s, who changed the course of American history. The struggle for equality for Black Americans is chronicled here, from the Jim Crow laws in the 1800s to the freedom rides, sit-ins and demonstrations of the 1960s.

520 16th St. N
Birmingham, AL
Online: bcri.org

Birmingham Museum of Art
This three-story museum houses an eclectic selection of art, including Wedgewood pottery, the largest collection of Asian art in the southeast, Native American and African art, impressionism, contemporary art and American landscapes.

2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Blvd.
Birmingham, AL
Online: artsbma.org

photo: James Emery via flickr

McWane Science Center
Fun and learning never end at McWane Science Center, a nonprofit, hands-on museum and IMAX. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder from an amazing collection of dinosaurs to innovative environmental showcases, imaginative early childhood playgrounds and an awe-inspiring aquarium.

200 19th St. N
Birmingham, AL
Online: www.mcwane.org

Alabama Theatre
After a complete restoration, this historic venue once again shows its 1927 grandeur. Check out family-friendly features.

1817 3rd Ave. N
Birmingham, AL
Online: alabamatheatre.com

Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The Gardens’ 67.5 acres is filled with more than 30 thematic gardens, each one classified into one of three types: Gardens of Collections, Gardens of Nature and Gardens of Culture.

2612 Lane Park Rd.
Birmingham, AL
Online: bbgardens.org

photo: Vulcan Park via yelp

Vulcan Park and Museum
The largest cast-iron statue in the world created for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was placed on top of Red Mountain with a beautiful view of downtown Birmingham. Also, inside Vulcan Center is an interactive museum that contains the historical timeline of the city of Birmingham.

1701 Valley View Dr.
Birmingham, AL
Online: visitvulcan.com

Birmingham Zoo
Watch sea lions being trained and fed, zip around on the Zoo Train, hop on the carousel, check out the alligator swamp and tropical rain forest: all this and more are offered at this educational and entertaining zoo housing 170 animals from around the world, including endangered species.

2630 Cahaba Rd.
Birmingham, AL
Online: birminghamzoo.com

Next Levl Extreme Air Sports
Head to this cavernous jumping gym when the kids need to burn off some energy.

6009 Tattersall Dr.
Birmingham, AL
Online: nextlevl.us

The Best Upcoming Events for Kids in Birmingham
If you’re looking for events and activities, don’t miss our local Birmingham events calendar, which has everything from story times to seasonal activities like apple picking, pumpkin patches and Christmas tree farms.

—Kate Loweth