Where You Should Travel With Your Family :: Day Trips from Birmingham

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Spring break is knocking at our door with summer break not far behind, so let’s talk entertainment strategies. Let’s talk road trips. Granted, Birmingham has so much to offer right here within our city limits, but sometimes the idea of getting a little mud on the tires is appealing, too. Stay tuned for another post on weekend travel, but for now let’s focus on day trips from Birmingham – specifically destinations less than 1.5 hours away from the city

Calera {or Bust}

The North Pole Express has developed quite the reputation around here with sellout crowds months in advance, but did you know the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera has similar events throughout the year? Consider taking your little train enthusiast to the Cottontail Express around Easter time, A Day Out With Thomas this spring, or Wild West Day this summer. 

Childersburg {or Bust}

Desoto Caverns in Childersburg ain’t your great-great-grandma’s cave. While the focus of this attraction is, of course, the (impressive) caverns, you will be surprised by all that Desoto has to offer, including go-carts, gem mining, a maze, mini golf, and an array of delightfully quirky games. A laser light, sound, and water show comes with every cavern tour, and your kids will even get a little history lesson in the process. Is Desoto Caverns a tourist trap? Yes. And is it a must-do at some point during your children’s younger years? Absolutely.

Clanton {or Bust}

Peach Park is the iconic pit stop on I-65 for many, myself included, and if you have never experienced Peach Park, it’s time. Prepare yourself to experience gorgeous fresh produce, delicious homemade sweets, MeeMaw decor, and lots and lots of teenage pageant queens adorning the walls. Many of the state’s U-pick farms are located in and around Chilton County, so a morning of strawberry picking chased by a Peach Park lunch of BBQ and ice cream would make for the perfect Southern field trip. Don’t come home without a photo by the cow!

Huntsville {or Bust}

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is another one of those that you just have to do at some point. This is truly a gem. People travel here from all over the country; we are lucky to be an easy drive away! The Space Center will be an educational experience, and it will also be an interactive, fun experience. Definitely worth the drive!

Montgomery {or Bust}

Our state’s capital houses some RICH history — the kind of history that needs to come up in conversations with your kids. A trip to the short but powerful Rosa Parks Museum or Civil Rights Memorial would be a great way to instigate these conversations. Drive by the Capitol and Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (Martin Luther King Jr.’s church), and another interesting stop is Old Alabama Town. Spend the rest of your day at the Wynton M. Blount Cultural Park — picnic in the park, visit the fabulous kids’ section of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and/or watch a play at the impressive Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Tuscaloosa {or Bust}

Another easy road trip, the Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa has been on my travel bucket list for quite some time. Once again, while Birmingham offers the ultimate hands-on museum (The McWane Science Center) right here in our midst, sometimes it is nice to change things up a bit. Of course, the University always has interesting activities going on, and my personal recommendation would be women’s gymnastics if you can catch it. Check out all sporting events for The Tide here.

Check out some free children’s CDs at your local library, buckle up, and enjoy the ride! May this travel season bring you quality time, conversation, and memories with your family. Spring Break ’18 or Bust!

Where are your favorite day trips from Birmingham? I would love to hear!

 

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Molly grew up in Montgomery and then ventured to Furman University for a degree in Communication Studies. After a year of AmeriCorps service in Denver, working as a camp director in Mentone, and then working for a non-profit in Macon, Molly moved to Birmingham for her husband's pediatric residency at UAB. After moving states, buying their first home, and having a baby within 4 weeks, Molly spent a year at home adjusting to their "new normal”, and she now works full time as the Project Manager for the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce. Molly and Carter live in Homewood with their daughter, and they are members of Trinity UMC. On nearly any given night, you will find Molly lying on the couch watching HGTV while scouring the internet for the next local festival/story time/restaurant/bargain in the area. Then she will get veryyyy excited to go to bed.

4 COMMENTS

  1. These are great! We also love to go over to Atlanta or Chattanooga for the day. Aquariums, museums, parks, shopping and restaurants.

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