Gift (Outside) the Box :: Best Birmingham Experience Gift Ideas


Happy December, Birmingham! Now cue the millions of mass holiday marketing emails from every single retailer that you have shopped at in your entire life! The holidays are about much more than presents and over-spending, but there is so much pressure to buy more and spend more that it’s easy to end up with an abundance of things we don’t need and have no room for.

I, for one, am over it! This mama is taking the holidays back, minimizing the clutter, and buying as few “things” as possible. When family and friends ask what my kids need/want for Christmas, the answer is simple because I always say this: give them a fun experience! No more toys to end up in the never-ending pile of things they don’t play with. No more electronics to zone out on after a long day of virtual learning.

So today, I’m sharing some of the best Birmingham experience gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season. And this guide isn’t just for kids, but there is something for the entire family. Consider giving some of these alternative gifts this Christmas, and share this post with your local family and friends who also need creative gift ideas!

The Best Birmingham Experience Gift Ideas

Vulcan Park and Museum Membership

Vulcan Park and Museum is a rich part of Birmingham’s history and a really fun place to take your family. On weekends in December, they host a ticketed event called Magical Nights complete with a light show, holiday attractions, and food trucks.  Check out Julie’s family-friendly trip and consider adding tickets to Vulcan to your holiday gift list!

Spa Services

The Retreat Day Spa is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Offering massage therapy, nail, and waxing services, a trip to the spa would be the perfect gift for somebody who has everything! Because who doesn’t like to be pampered once in a while?

McWane Science Center Membership

Designed to inspire a life-long love of learning, McWane Science Center has welcomed millions of visitors since opening its doors in 1998. My parents gift the kids a membership every Christmas, and it’s one of our favorite places to go! Every visit there is something new to discover and learn. Another Birmingham gem that’s more than worthy of making it into your gift-giving this season.

Birmingham Zoo Membership

Birmingham Zoo is the local attraction that our family visits the most! The zoo just underwent a years-long renovation and is rightfully holding strong to its place as one of the best zoos in the United States. The zoo offers so many things for families, including summer camps, year-round homeschool classes, and even learning opportunities for teachers! A membership to the Birmingham Zoo is the gift that keeps on giving.

A Visit to The Pixel Room Birmingham

The Pixel Room Birmingham is our city’s first selfie museum, complete with 20-plus curated photo rooms for selfies or a family adventure. We all know someone who takes pictures of absolutely everything — this year, gift them tickets to take as many photos as they can stand at The Pixel Room Birmingham. Because if you didn’t take a picture, did it really even happen?

A Movie at the Drive-In

Grand River Drive-In is back and better than ever! Enjoy movies under the stars with dinner and refreshments from The Snack Shack, an off-leash dog park for the furry friends, a playground for the kiddos, a mini-golf course, and yard games. This would be a great gift for the family who loves a good movie night! This post has awesome tips on how to make the most of a visit to the Grand River Drive-In, specifically during this pandemic.

Grocery Delivery

Give that busy person in your life the gift of grocery . . . shopping! Shipt is a grocery-delivery company that brings the freshest produce and goods straight to your door. Stacey is a mom of triplets who uses Shipt to make her life easier. Triplets . . . whew! I’d say I trust her judgment! You can choose between an annual membership or Shipt Passes. This is a perfect gift for the busiest person you know.


I hope these unique Birmingham experience gift ideas help you “gift outside the box” this holiday season, and also provide some helpful hints to the people in your life that want to gift you what you REALLY want this year! 

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Krystin, who was born and raised in Birmingham, always promised that she would move away from the city the first chance she got. But Birmingham definitely got the last laugh! Now over 3 decades later, she finds herself married to an awesome guy who is also Birmingham born and raised and a homeschool mom to 4 amazing kiddos who get to grow up exposed to everything our amazing city has to offer. By day she is a blogger and influencer at Growing Up Godfrey, where she helps busy moms live, love, and teach their children with joy. And at night – you can find her hanging with her husband and kids. Wondering how she does it all? She says her faith in God is key. Birmingham was never part of the plan, but Krystin is daily falling in love with it all over again.