With gas prices on the rise many families will be sticking close to home over spring break, but not to worry! There are plenty of things to do in and around Birmingham that will keep you busy, allow you to have some fun, possibly learn something new… (Shhhh, we won’t tell the kids they’re learning) but most of all they are close enough to the city so the drive won’t empty your gas tank…. or your wallet.
Tannehill State Park – more than 1,500 acres in three counties set aside for hiking, camping and outdoor recreation. A miniature railroad chugs through the pines. From spring through fall, the blacksmith, miller and craftsmen demonstrate their trades. Craft shops occupy restored pioneer cabins and artisans chat with visitors from their front porches. Steeped in history, Tannehill feels timeless. The cotton gin, pioneer farm and working gristmill preserve a long-gone way of life. Hiking trails retrace historic roadways. Artifacts of Alabama’s 19th century iron industry displayed in the Iron and Steel Museum put in perspective the massive stone furnaces, Tannehill’s awe-inspiring centerpiece.
Trade Days starts back this month and will fall at the end of this year’s Spring Break week, March 19th and 20th.
Moundville Archaeological Park – “The Moundville site, occupied from around A.D. 1000 until A.D. 1450, is a large settlement of Mississippian culture on the Black Warrior River in central Alabama. At the time of Moundville’s heaviest residential population, the community took the form of a three hundred-acre village built on a bluff overlooking the river.
Visit the newly renovated museum and experience the Lost Realm of the Black Warrior. While you are there, explore the park and take a moment to enjoy a spectacular view of the Black Warrior River or relax on our boardwalk nature trail.
Oak Mountain State Park – Alabama’s largest park, Oak Mountain provides 9,940 acres of pine-studded ridges and lush green hardwood bottoms. The park offers vacation cottages, golf, pro shop with snack bar, improved camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, mountain bike trails, backpacking, a demonstration farm and horseback riding facilities. With the largest area and variety of outdoor recreational pursuits, Oak Mountain is sure to provide excitement for every member of the family!
Desoto Caverns – Always something fun for everyone. With over 25 “Wacky” attractions including a three-quarter acre Lost Trail Maze, Panning for Gemstones, and the always popular Wacky Water Golf, you’re sure you’ll have a great time at Alabama’s Big Cave and More, DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park. Attractions are open year round with the exception of the water attractions that open again in April.
Anniston Museum of Natural History – Explore the wilds of Africa, the wonders of the North American wilderness, and the mysteries of 2,000 year old mummies in the seven fascinating exhibit halls.
Open-air exhibits place you face to face with majestic–and often deadly–animals! See one of the country’s oldest exhibits of birds in their habitats, and explore the children’s discovery room for hands-on experiences with Alabama’s natural wonders.
The Tuscaloosa Barnyard – One of our favorite places to visit! 20 minutes from Tuscaloosa, the Barnyard offers a day full of fun on a farm. Kids will have a great time feeding the ducks & fish, taking a boat & pony ride and feeding all kinds of farm animals. Onsite restrooms, and plenty picnic tables so pack a lunch and enjoy the day!
Childrens Hands on Museum, Tuscaloosa – “Specializing in Awesome” CHOM’s permanent exhibits were designed to stimulate children’s curiosity about their community and their place in it, and to involve children, parents, teachers, and others in participatory education. Hands on exhibits you will find there include, a farmers’s market, DCH Hosptial, Farm, Choctaw Indian Village and more!
Learning through play is what their exhibits are all about, and you are encouraged to touch, feel and play in the exhibits. Three floors of fun wait for families and school groups, too. With 21 exhibits, CHOM offers newborns through age 13 a fabulous place just for them!
Noccalula Falls Park – One of Alabama’s Most Beautiful Natural Parks. Learn the legend of the heart broken Princess Noccalula and see the beautiful falls that were named after her. Take a one mile scenic tour on the replica CP Huntington Train and visit Jenks the Lynx, one of the 10 or so animals that can be found in the Animal Habitat.
If you like going to the movies, mix it up a little with a drive in. Put the kids in their jammies, and pack some blankets, pillows and snacks!
If your plan is to stick really close to home over spring break, The McWane Science Center will have special events including the Backyardigans going on all week, if the weather is nice it will be a perfect excuse to visit Railroad park, Ruffner Mountain or even Vulcan.
As you can see, our fine city has so much to offer, what will you try?