Last year I posted my 25 ideas for summer activities in Birmingham. But . . . that was 2019 — you know, before COVID-19 crash-landed into all our summer plans. This year’s post looks a *little* different. However, there’s still plenty of fun to be had this summer in and around Birmingham!
Fellow moms, here’s my list of top twelve sanity-saving summer activities in Birmingham:
- Vulcan Park and Museum — Vulcan’s observation tower and park grounds just opened back up this week! They’ve added one-way foot traffic signs as well as implemented hand sanitizer stations throughout the park. It’s actually cool and windy up on the viewing deck directly under the big guy — even on a hot summer day! Make sure to leave enough time after your visit to explore Vulcan Trail! (Kids 4 and under are FREE)
- Do It Yourself Crafts in Homewood — because as a mom, it’s always better for your kids to make an art mess outside your home, can I get an amen?! This summer, they are offering camps with smaller numbers to help with social distancing. You can find more information about camp dates and themes here. In addition to in-person camps, they also offer their items to-go so you can paint in the comfort of your home!
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens — We’ve missed the gardens, but after three long months, they’re finally open again to the public starting next week (June 15th). Even on a hot summer day, you can always find shady spots to sit, swing, and enjoy a picnic at the BBG.
- Birmingham Children’s Theatre is offering online summer camps as well as FREE puppet shows on their website, such as “Cora Goes Camping” and “Maddy and the Magic Safari.”
- Birmingham Zoo — Oh, how we missed our favorite animals while the zoo was closed for COVID-19! They reopened this week, and we went the first day (in the rain)! How’s that for commitment?! Masks are required for everyone age two and up (but they do make exceptions for medical reasons). I was nervous how my kids would handle the masks, but I was pleasantly surprised! They did great. Sometimes we sell our kids short, am I right? The zoo did a fantastic job reorganizing one-way paths with new directional signage. We’ll definitely be back soon.
- DeSoto Caverns — Less than an hour’s drive southeast of Birmingham in Childersburg, you and your kids can enjoy a fun-filled day! They have implemented changes to their operation to ensure safety including more private tours, regular cleanings, and hand sanitizer stations. While some attractions are closed right now, many attractions are open including gemstone panning, the climbing wall, the DeSoto Caverns Explorer Ship, miniature golf, the caverns, and more.
- Splash Pads — Liberty Park (Vestavia) and Celebration Park (Gardendale) — What could be better than that on a humid day? (Plus, both are FREE)
- Free Friday Night Flicks at Veteran’s Park in Hoover runs July 31st, August 7th, 14th, and 21st. Veteran’s Park will include social distancing guidelines so everyone can enjoy a FREE family-friendly movie under the stars.
- Blueberry Picking at Smith’s Blueberry Farm in Sterrett — We’ve been reading the classic book Blueberries for Sal, and my kids will love getting to pick blueberries just like little Sal!
- Alabama Splash Adventure Water Park in Bessemer — The Birmingham Moms Blog contributors went last summer and had a blast! Read about it here! “The General” and her team have spent countless hours cleaning and putting new health measures in place.
- Your Local Library — the Jefferson County Library System is offering curbside pickup this summer. Reserve new books each week to keep your kids entertained and well-rounded! Many offer online story times including my personal favorite Ms. Eve at Avondale Library. She posts a new story time every Monday on the Avondale Library Facebook page.
- AquaPark at Flipside — the inflatable obstacle course on Beaver Lake inside Oak Mountain State Park is now open. It has slides, a jump section, and a wave section!
On those days when we just need to get out of the house and do something simple, I’m thankful we have great park options and hiking trails to choose from throughout the city! And on the days you just want to stay inside, here and here are some fun activities to do at home.
How about you? What are your plans to beat the summer heat (and boredom)? If I missed your favorite activity spot, let me know in the comments below which summer activities in Birmingham will help you stay sane this year!