It’s a glorious time in Birmingham, and our family cannot stay indoors! There is nothing more delightful than an afternoon in the park — whether it be a play date at the playground, a family picnic, or a pick-up game of soccer. While I have plenty more on my bucket list, here are some of our favorite parks we have discovered so far around Birmingham, as well as parks that come highly recommended by the BMC contributing team! (Yes, there are two Overton Parks!)
Railroad Park – 1700 1st Ave. S Birmingham, AL 35223
Railroad Park is perhaps Birmingham’s crown jewel, and the development of this massive green space was a turning point for downtown Birmingham development. From zip bikes to feeding ducks to attending concerts to the playground, you can find it all here.
Triangle Park – 4341 Clairmont Ave. Birmingham, AL 35222
The gathering spot for the beautiful Forrest Park neighborhood, this is one of my favorite parks because of the communal aspect; the neighbors purposely leave all of their old push toys out for visitors to play with. Help yourself!
This park is home to a playground, splash pad (now open!), and pavilions that can be rented out for parties. Please note that the splash pad is closed on Mondays for maintenance.
This park features a dog park (two fenced areas: one for small dogs and one for large dogs) and over seven miles of rails to trails, it sits on a creek, and it is also home to Children’s Park. Children’s Park (2408 Stouts Rd.) has a fenced-in playground and bright animal statues. Children’s park features restrooms, picnic tables, and pavilions.
Homewood Central Park – 1632 Oxmoor Road, Homewood, AL 35209
Homewood Central Park on Oxmoor Road is Homewood’s go-to park. A fenced in playground plus a huge open field, picnic pavilions, and amphitheater make this park a great meetup spot and one that tends to get a lot of attention from external events too. While you’re there, I suggest grabbing Hero Doughnuts or Nabeel’s across the street.
Overton Park – 1920 Mayfair Dr. Homewood, AL 35209
Just a few blocks away from Homewood Central Park, Overton Park is hiding deep in a neighborhood under a canopy of huge trees, making it both private and a shady respite from the summer sun — especially when other parks can get hot, hot, hot! Please note that the terrain and playground equipment at Overton Park are best for older kids.
Patriot’s Park – 710 Oak Grove Rd. Homewood, AL 35209
West Homewood is hopping, and some really fabulous eateries have opened right on the park lately. The playground can get hot, but the green space is vast — perfect for toddlers to run their energy out — and there is a nice walking track (and restrooms!) here as well.
Vulcan Park – 1701 Valley View Drive Birmingham, AL 35209
While the park surrounding the Vulcan Center is not the most toddler-friendly due to the steep terrain, it DOES boast one of the best views of downtown Birmingham AND a 56-foot tall statue, and that is awesome! Keep this space in mind for a photo or picnic even if you don’t feel like venturing into the Visitor’s Center or to the top of Vulcan, and grab your stroller or bikes for the newly renovated (and paved!) Vulcan Trail!
Aldridge Gardens – 3530 Lorna Rd. Hoover, AL 35216
Did you know Birmingham has two botanical gardens?! It took me way too long to realize that. Aldridge Gardens is a fabulous setting complete with a lake, restrooms, easy trail system, and frequent events.
Ross Bridge Historical Park – Ross Bridge Parkway Hoover, AL 35226
This beautiful, shaded walking trail and hidden park make for a photographer’s dream and an awesome “nature walk” and picnic outing with your crew. Parking is available in the gravel along Ross Bridge Parkway.
Blue Ridge Park – 1121 Blue Ridge Blvd, Hoover, AL 35226
Located right behind Shades Mountain Elementary school is this local favorite. It is fully inclusive! The park has a shaded pavilion, restrooms, and my personal favorite feature — a FENCED-IN playground. This park comes highly recommended by many of our Birmingham moms.
Veterans Park – 4800 Valleydale Road, Birmingham, AL 35244
Located in front of Spain Park High School, this park has something for everyone. The park features a walking trail around a large pond where there are always ducks to feed! There are several pavilions, restrooms, and a huge amount of green space perfect for flying kites or a game of frisbee with your fur-babies. This park also has a sand volleyball court. The great thing about both playgrounds is the track floor. You don’t have to worry about sand, mulch, or rocks hurting those tiny feet and hands. One playground is completely accessible, which makes it great for those little ones first learning to walk and get around and also for those who are handicapped or disabled. The other playground has equipment for both little and big kids! The one downfall with this park is that it is not fenced in (SIGH).
Heardmont Park – 5458 Cahaba Valley Road, Birmingham, AL 35242
Something for the whole family! This park has athletic fields, tennis courts, and walking trails. There are picnic tables next to the playground facilities to sit and catch up with other moms while you watch your children play or to have a picnic dinner before letting the kids release all of their energy.
Explore Playground and Splashpad – 100 Ben Chapman Drive, Hoover, AL 35244
The brand new Explore Playground and Splashpad opened May 1, 2019 at the Hoover Met Complex. It has integrative play with elevated and ground level play structures, 1/8-mile fenced walking track, and a splash pad with a purposefully designed point of entry into the playground. It was designed using the seven principles of inclusive design and play and has specific inclusive areas for 2 – 5 year olds and 5 – 12 year olds. There is also an adult changing station for the splash pad, giving garden, and charging stations! There are also pods where children who may get overly stimulated and need some time to calm down may sit and be by themselves. This is proving to be a very fun and sensory-friendly area to bring children and have family fun!
Inverness Park – 272 Inverness Parkway Birmingham, AL 35242
This playground is actually on the grounds of a fire station (with super-friendly firemen!). Double the fun!
Olmsted Park at Mt. Laurel – Olmsted St. Birmingham, AL 35242
Mt. Laurel is always a fun destination, in my opinion, and their park is shade-filled which I so appreciate during those dreaded summer temperatures. I also appreciate that this park is separated into big-kids and little-kids play areas.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens – 2612 Lane Parke Rd. Birmingham, AL 35223
Though not technically in Mountain Brook and not technically a park, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens sit right outside the Mountain Brook limits (adjacent to the Birmingham Zoo) and provides the same purpose (and more) as a park. Let me be clear: if you have not yet been to “The Gardens”, they are an ABSOLUTE MUST. You have to pay to visit most cities’ botanical gardens; it is crazy that ours are free! Extra hint: for an easy picnic, pick up a boxed lunch from Ousler’s Sandwiches in Mountain Brook Village on the way. Sandwich, chips, deviled egg, and brownie for $4!!! Just bring cash because while their prices are old-fashioned, so are their business practices!
Cahaba River Walk – 3529 Overton Road Mountain Brook, AL 35223
This wooded area sits right alongside the Cahaba River and truly makes you feel like you are far, far away in a nature preserve. While a few local teenagers choose this as their regular spot to hang their hammocks and dip in the creek, this park is a hidden jewel for sure!
Jemison Park – 2615 Mountain Brook Parkway Mountain Brook, AL 35226
Ahhhh, Jemison Park — another wooded area making you feel worlds away. This park borders Shades Creek and is home to the Jemison Trail — a short, easy walking trail — as well as plenty of benches to take in the scenery.
Overton Park – 3009 Overton Rd. Mountain Brook, AL 35223
I have music for your ears, mamas of young kiddos . . . this park is completely FENCED IN. Located close to Cahaba Heights, you will find a playground, green space, walking track, restrooms, pavilions, a tennis court, and sometimes food trucks here. If you live remotely near Overton Park, you have surely attended a child’s birthday party here at some point.
In the heart of Crestline Village, this park is a sweet little SHADY playground. While very sweet, it is small and does not have any green space. This has to be one of the most popular parks in town at 5:00ish thanks to very walkable surrounding neighborhoods. Also, it is just down from the wonderful Emmet O’Neal Library, should you want to pair with a story time, restrooms, and more entertainment.
Located behind the Trussville Public Library and Trussville City Pool, this park is newly renovated with a fenced-in playground. The park features areas for babies, toddlers, and big kids! What a great place for a picnic and play date!
McCallum Park – 3332 Rosemary Lane Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
Mark this as another favorite. There are restrooms, picnic pavilions, and trails here. Fair warning: pack your water shoes, as your kids will want to play in Little Shades Creek.
Wald Park – 1973 Merryvale Rd. Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
Wald Park is extensive, as it includes several sports fields, the Civic Center, and the town swimming pool. It is also home to a huge playground with castle-like play equipment.
Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex (SHAC) – 4851 Sicard Hollow Rd, Vestavia Hills, AL 35242
This is a new athletic complex (new complex means new bathrooms!) with tons of nature trails and two playgrounds. There is a playground geared towards all ages (as shown) and a playground for older kids featuring a super cool “ninja course”! Oh, and did I mention there is a *splash pad*? Grab your sunscreen and meet us there!
Don’t forget — Birmingham also has Oak Mountain State Park, Red Mountain Park, and Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve . . . but that would be an ENTIRE other post! 😉 We’re surrounded by amazing family-friendly hiking trails too. WHOA! Aren’t we lucky to have all of this in our city?