There are few things as synonymous with Birmingham as the big man atop Red Mountain. He has lived in the Magic City since 1905, holding a hammer and a spear. And standing at 56 feet tall, he is the largest cast iron statue in the world and the largest metal statue ever made in the United States. Vulcan Park and Museum is a rich part of Birmingham’s history and a really fun place to take your family. Don’t miss these attractions for all ages (including beloved stuffed animals) when you visit!
Map of Birmingham
Between the statue and the entrance to the museum there is a panoramic view of the cities, interstates, and highways that make up Birmingham. It’s a great visual to teach kids (and adults, too!) how our city is laid out. We found the area where we live and pointed out the different areas of where we spend time.
Many people might not even know there is a museum about the history of Birmingham along with the history of Vulcan. The museum is interactive and recounts the region’s industrial history in a compelling way that inspires visitors of all ages. My three-year-old son really enjoyed configuring the Vulcan magnet puzzle and looking through the glasses at the scenes.
Anvil Gift Shop
Don’t miss a hidden gem in the museum—the gift shop called The Anvil! So many great finds in the shop including Alabama-made goods, historical books about Birmingham from baseball to food, coal miner helmets, and quality t-shirts for the whole family. You can find gifts for anyone, including those hard-to-shop for people on your list!
Towards the end of the museum, there is an exhibition hall that changes from time to time. The current exhibition in the Linn-Henley gallery is called Birmingham Bottling: Soft Drinks in the Magic City and is presented by Coca-Cola Birmingham Bottling Company. In this exhibit, Birmingham Bottling overviews the city’s history of soft drinks, exploring why Birmingham led the nation in soft drink brands. It features various products that have quenched the city’s thirst throughout the years. If you miss Ala-Cola, Cafa-Cola, Cola-Nip, Fan-Taz, Glee-Cola, My-Cola, Nifty-Cola, Rye-Ola, or Wiseola, be sure to check out this collection of memorabilia and vintage soda bottles! You can check it out through January 29, 2023.
You really can’t beat the beautiful views of the city of Birmingham from atop Vulcan. Bonus points if you take the stairs all the way to the top!
Vulcan is a great place to visit any day of the week but especially when they have special events! This Saturday, April 24th, there will be an event called Soda Science. For $10, you can collaborate with industry experts to design your own soft drink! You’ll have the opportunity to flavor, mix, and brand your own carbonated kid-friendly beverages. After you’ve mixed your concoction to your liking, guest experts will explain the science and marketing behind launching a new soft drink. This event is sure to be a hit, especially for all the kiddos!
There are also fabulous annual events like the Spring Walking Tours, Vulcan’s Birthday Bash, and Thunder on the Mountain. Check out the events page to stay in the know about everything going on!
Membership to Vulcan Park and Museum offers you and your family the opportunity to make Vulcan a part of your daily life. Benefits include free admission year-round to Vulcan’s Museum and Observation Tower, discounted (and sometimes free) admission to popular community events, and the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing preservation of Birmingham’s favorite landmark. For more details on becoming a member, click here to visit the website and learn all about the amazing benefits of a Vulcan membership.
Photos at Vulcan
Ever wanted to take family photos, graduation photos, birthday photos, etc. at a Birmingham location, but you weren’t sure where to go? Vulcan Park and Museum is a great place to shoot those memories you will enjoy for years to come! There are lots of naturally beautiful outdoor locations throughout the park as well as atop Vulcan. You will forever remember these photos at one of Birmingham’s iconic and historic places. I know I will always treasure these family photos … and even better, it was my daughter’s first birthday!
Special thanks to Jennifer Hagler Photography for capturing our day at Vulcan Park & Museum.