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 3-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. This month the latest Linn-Henley Gallery exhibition is called Southern Thunder: the Legacy of Alabama Auto Racing, presented by the Jefferson County commission. Hear the hair-raising stories and the impact that auto racing in Alabama had on the regional and national scenes. See memorabilia such as cars, helmets, racing gear, and trophies to learn about the foundation for auto racing in Alabama today.
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! Vulcan AfterTunes Fall Concert Series is coming soon! (Description: Enjoy cool tunes, craft beers, and sweet views with your favorite cast iron statue. Local and national acts bring unique sounds to Vulcan’s unconventional stage.) There are also fabulous annual events like the Spring Walking Tour, 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.