If you’ve decided to spend your Spring Break in Birmingham next week, here’s a few ideas to help you and your kids make the most of it:
You can’t go wrong spending the day at the zoo and with seasonal favorites such as the Predator Zone, Children’s Splash Pads, Schaeffer Eye Center Wildlife Shows, train rides, carousel rides, and more there’s something for everyone to enjoy. For more information, visit birminghamzoo.com.
BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS
Open everyday, free admission and parking from dawn until dusk, the Gardens’ 67.5 acres are filled with more than 30 thematic gardens, outdoor sculptures, fountains and a Japanese garden with tea house. Other areas of interest are Arrington Plant Adventure Zone, Conservatory, Garden Center, Gerlach Plant Information Center, Lawlor Gates, Sonat Lake & Entrance and Moon Tree. For more information, visit bbgardens.org.
MCWANE SCIENCE CENTER
Spring brings with it “Backyard Adventures,” a traveling exhibit at McWane Science Center. From the biological interactions between plants and insects, and the zoology of nocturnal animals to the horticultural know-how that goes into growing giant vegetables, the mathematical genius needed to lay pavers and feats of construction that can go on in the shed, the backyard is full of science. Try your hand at the backyard-themed mini golf. Walk through the seasons and observe plants growing in super time and take a look at the garden through the eyes of a bee or a dog using special lenses and more. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, visit mcwane.org.
RED MOUNTAIN PARK
Spring forward with RMP for extended hours from 7 a.m.-7p.m. Current attractions include two city overlooks, three tree houses, a 6-acre Remy’s Dog Park and adventures like the Vulcan Materials Zip Trip, Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Tower, Kaul Adventure Tower and Mega Zip at the Kaul Tower. For more information, visit redmountainpark.org.
RUFFNER MOUNTAIN NATURE CENTER
This 1,000-acre oasis in downtown Birmingham attracts birdwatchers, hikers and nature lovers to its 11 miles of hiking and walking trails, nature center with native animals, picnic area, gardens, gift shop and special sunset hikes with wine and cheese or moonlight treks with music. It’s a great place to get away from modern life and enjoy some time outdoors. Fresh Air Family presents: Gross Out Camp on the Mountain March 26-30 for ages 6-11 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, before and aftercare available. For more information and to register, visit grossoutcamp.org/spring-break or ruffnermountain.org.
SLOSS FURNACES NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK
This 32-acre blast furnace plant where iron was made for nearly a century is the only 20th century blast furnace in the country being preserved and interpreted as a museum. A great place to explore, the site preserves a collection of machinery building and industrial structures that typify the first 100 years of Birmingham’s history and the technology that drove America’s rise to world industrial dominance. Additional interest at Sloss is the speculation that the furnaces are haunted by a former foundry man. For more information, visit slossfurnaces.com.
BJCC CONCERT HALL – “Lion King: The Musical”
Giraffes strut. Birds swoop. Gazelles leap. The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before and as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. This is Broadway in Birmingham, Disney’s “The Lion King.” Show runs through April 1. For showtimes and tickets, visit theaterleague.com.
VULCAN PARK AND MUSEUM
Vulcan, the largest cast-iron statue in the world, designed by Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti and cast from local iron ore for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair rest on top of Red Mountain with a beautiful view of downtown Birmingham. Also, inside Vulcan Center is an interactive museum that contains the historical timeline of the city of Birmingham. For more information, visit visitvulcan.com.
BIRMINGHAM CIVIL RIGHTS INSTITUTE
This historic museum traces the journey of the civil rights advocates of the 1950s and 60s, who changed the course of American history. The struggle of equality of Black Americans in chronicled here, from the Jim Crow laws in the 1800s to the freedom rides, sit-ins and demonstrations of the 1960s, The institute showcases a walking journey through the “living institution”, which displays the lessons of the past as a positive way to chart new directions for the future. For more information, visit bcri.org.
BARBER VINTAGE MOTORSPORTS MUSEUM
With the best and largest motorcycle collection in the world and stunning views of the Barber Motorsports Road Course., this high energy environment makes for a one-of-a-king field trip. The museum houses over 1,400 motorcycles that span over 100 years of production and the world’s most extensive Lotus collection, anchored by the Lotus 21 as well as rare race cars, including the 1964 Ferrari F-158, in which John Surtees won the 1964 Formula 1 Driver’s World Championship. For more information visit barbermuseum.org.
SOUTHERN MUSEUM OF FLIGHT
The Museum is one of the largest aviation museums in the Southeast and houses over 100 aircraft, as well as engines, models, artifacts, photographs, and paintings. in addition, the Museum is home to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame. Toddlers to teens will enjoy all that is offered at the museum from play places to five flight simulators, an aviation hangar with a real airplane for kids to climb in and more. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, visit southernmuseumofflight.org.