Y’all, it’s not hot yet in the Ham. The pollen hasn’t even kicked up. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! Get those kids outside fast and live it up. Where to go? So many options. Here are my reviews and family pics from each site.
Ruffner Mountain. https://ruffnermountain.org
Things are starting to bloom there and it’s getting pretty. Take a hike down the nature trail, and get a cute pic of your kid(s) on top of Turtle Rock. I believe they are renovating the nature center right now, but once that’s done, be sure to swing by and check out their snakes and turtles.
This is a beautiful, easy walk in Mountain Brook. We have been known to walk it all the way towards Another Broken Egg Café, then sit outside. Treat yourself to a specialty mimosa. You’ve kept your kids alive all week. You earned it. It is a chain restaurant, but my kids swear by their pancakes.
Moss Rock Preserve. http://www.hooveral.org/?nid=214
Boulder Field is pretty cool and bound to impress the kids, but the hiking can be more advanced here. You might just get a workout. While you’re in Bluff Park, you could swing by Tip Top Grill and reward yourself with a beautiful view and killer burgers.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens. www.bbgardens.org
This is a great place to let your kids roam free. They can truly stop and smell the roses, enjoy the shady paths, and marvel at the Japanese Gardens. It’s heaven.
Oak Mountain. http://www.alapark.com/oak-mountain-state-park
Head straight to the Treetop Nature Trail. Park across the street. Admire the owls and hawks. Then follow the walking path for a lovely, short, not-too-strenuous hike. Since it’s finally crawfish season, may I recommend hitting up Cajun Steamers in Patton Creek afterwards? Sit outside and eat boiled crawfish, if you’re stinky from hiking. Sometimes they have live music. The kids can always get chicken fingers if crustaceans aren’t their thing.
The Birmingham Zoo. https://www.birminghamzoo.com
This zoo is amazing. Did you see they’re bringing back camel rides this spring AND they have a new jaguar? His name is Khan. He’s 3 years old and I may already be in love.
So, now you are tired from all that walking, right? Go to Vulcan. Ride the elevator to the top. Watch your kids’ jaws drop when they see the view of downtown. Then hook the kids up with a treat from Steel City Pops or Savage’s while you’re in Homewood. May I recommend the gingerbread men at Savage’s? Splurge on the big ones. You know you’re hungry.
Date Night Downtown
Finally, you’ve worn those monsters out, and it is time for date night. If you are feeling a bit wild, hit up downtown. For happy hour, enjoy cocktails on the roof at Carrigan’s, if the weather is nice.
Then walk over to Bamboo on Second for sushi. Try a “Touch of Grey.” That drink will get the party started. If Mexican is more your speed, go to Babalu’s. You need their guac and margaritas in your life. Afterwards, The Collins Bar is a lovely spot for custom drinks and a rowdy game of darts or jenga. You’re welcome.
Sundays in Birmingham
Visit a church.
Find a pretty one. This is not necessarily about religion! You need to do this for the unique cultural experience. You’re in the Bible Belt now. Explore. I am Episcopal and can vouch for St. Stephen’s and St Luke’s as visitor-friendly, but there are so many beautiful churches out there. In fact, there is literally one on every corner. This is First Presbyterian downtown.
Picnic in a park.
Head to your local Birmingham park for a picnic. Try Railroad Park downtown, Overton Park in Mountain Brook, or Heardmont Park in Hoover. Soooo many to pick from. Just throw some sandwiches and juice boxes in a bag and go. Let the kids linger on the playground.
If you must.get.out.of.town.
Desoto Caverns. https://www.desotocavernspark.com
Meander about 40 minutes down 280 to reach this destination. Watch your kids marvel at stalagmites and stalactites and then jump outta their skins when the tour guide turns the lights off! Then end your experience by picking up rock candy in the gift shop. There are bumper car type rides out back if you so chose to indulge.
Note: This is not a sponsored post.
This post does not represent the opinions of BMB. I am just expressing my own views on local attractions. I have no conflicts of interest. This list did not include the following: Chuck E Cheese, Let’s Play, or McWane Science Center, as “the author” is allergic to crowds, scared of germs, and must be able to see her kids at all times. I hear Oak Mountain has an awesome petting zoo. I would not know about this, though. I live with enough wild animals. I don’t go seeking ’em out.
Wise mamas, please share your winning weekend itineraries below in the comments!