I don’t know about y’all, but I am so ready for spring break! For those of you who are staying in town, included below are some low budget – and even free – things to do in the Magic City.
Arranged by parts of town, I’ve paired activity options with food in that neighborhood. After all, we are most definitely a foodie city! So take the time to try a new restaurant and spice things up on your staycation!
And if you have kids, you can always pick up a copy of Down in the Ham: A Child’s Guide to Downtown Birmingham and use it as a scavenger hunt!
- Visit the Southern Museum of Flight
- Open Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- $7 for adults
- $6 for kids
- 3 and under free
- Explore Ruffner Mountain
- Eat breakfast or lunch at East 59 Vintage & Cafe
- I recommend The Hawaiian sandwich, the Pimento Cheese BLT, and the Cranberry Pecan Salad!
- Grab some coffee at Woodlawn Cycle Cafe
- Catch a double feature at the Coyote Drive-In (They also have mini golf)
- Open Thursday-Sunday. First show is at 5:30 p.m. with a 10 minute intermission before the 2nd movie.
- $7 for ages 12+
- $5 for ages 5-11
- 4 and under are free
- Tour the Barber MotorSports Museum
- Open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Sundays from noon – 6 p.m.
- $15 for adults
- $10 for ages 4-12
- 3 and under are free
- Shop at the The Outlet Shops of Grand River
LAKEVIEW & AVONDALE
- Tour Sloss Furnaces
- Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
- You can always do a self-guided tour for free (takes about 1 hour), and that info is in the Visitor Center.
- On Saturdays and Sundays, Sloss offers free guided tours, which start at 1 p.m. and last for 1 hour. No reservations required!
- Walk or ride a Zyp Bike down the Jones Valley Trail
- Get your local produce and yummy pastries at The Market at Pepper Place on Saturday (7 a.m. – noon)
- Stretch your legs and take a walk around Avondale Park
- Get your pic taken in front of the Wings of Avondale mural at MELT
- Satisfy that sweet tooth at Big Spoon Creamery
- Get your coffee fix and even play some board games at Saturn
- Eat at…
- Saw’s Soul Kitchen, MELT, Fancy’s on Fifth, Avondale Common House, Post Office Pies, or Taco Morro Loco in Avondale
- Bettola, Red Cat Coffeehouse (breakfast/coffee), and OvenBird by Pepper Place
- Hattie B’s, Babalu Tapas & Tacos, Jack Brown’s, and Slice at Lakeview
- Check out the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
- Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- $5 for adults
- $4 for senior citizens (60+)
- $3 for students
- $14 for family
- Enjoy some culture and tour the Birmingham Museum of Art
- Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon – 5 p.m.
- General admission is free!
- Read and check out some books from the Birmingham Public Library
- Get your cup of joe from Octane
- Eat at Eugene’s Hot Chicken at Uptown
- Tour the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 – 5 p.m.
- Sundays are free general admission!
- $15 for adults
- $6 for college students (with ID)
- $5 for senior citizens (65+)
- ages 4-12 who are students in Jefferson County get in free (otherwise it’s $5)
- 3 and under are free
- Follow one of the Civil Rights Heritage Trail paths to learn more about Birmingham’s civil rights history
- Explore or catch an IMAX movie at the McWane Science Center
- Weekdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Sundays from noon – 6 p.m.
- $13 for adults
- $12 for senior citizens (65+)
- $9 for ages 2-12
- Take a selfie in front of the It’s Nice to Have You in Birmingham Mural outside of John’s City Diner
- Browse and take in the unique charm of What’s on 2nd
- Get your food fix at the Pizitz Food Hall
- Or at Brick & Tin, Paramount, Yo Mama’s, Trattoria Centrale, John’s City Diner, El Barrio, Bamboo on 2nd
- Load up on caffeine for the day at Urban Standard
- Grab a pastry, cookie, or homemade Nutella pop-tart from Feast & Forest
- Walk, ride a Zyp Bike, or participate in a free exercise class at Railroad Park
- Take a pic in front of the rainbow tunnels and the Rotary Trail sign
- Walk down the Rotary Trail and go climbing at 1st Avenue Rocks
- Tour the Negro Southern League Museum
- Tuesday – Friday from 1 – 5 p.m.
- Saturdays from noon – 5 p.m.
- Admission is free!
- Caffeinate at Red Cat across the street from Railroad Park
- Try the dark chocolate sea salted caramel at Birmingham Candy Company (located on the west side of Railroad Park)
- Eat at Pies & Pints or Glory Bound Gyro Co.
FIVE POINTS SOUTH
- Shop for vinyl at Renaissance Records and talk all things music with Gary and Jimmy while you’re there
- Take the elevator or climb to the top of Vulcan + tour Vulcan Park & Museum
- Open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- $6 for adults
- $5 for seniors (65+) and military personnel
- $4 for children ages 5-12
- 4 and under are free
- Hike the trails at Red Mountain (gates open from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
- Eat a cookie (or several!) at Insomnia Cookies
- Eat at Makarios, The Original Pancake House, Chez Fonfon, 5 Point Public House & Oyster Bar, or Delta Blues Hot Tamales
MOUNTAIN BROOK, ENGLISH VILLAGE, & CRESTLINE VILLAGE
- Take a stroll through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens
- I recommend taking a picnic or grabbing some coffee/pastries from Continental Bakery to eat while you’re there.
- Visit the Birmingham Zoo
- Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Admission is half price on Tuesdays.
- $17 for adults
- $14 for seniors (65+)
- $12 for children ages 2-12
- Walk down Jemison Park Nature Trail
- Try the ice cream at Mountain Brook Creamery
- Grab a cup of joe and browse the book selection at Coffee Street Coffee & Books
- Eat at Brick & Tin, Davenport’s Pizza Palace, Local Taco, La Paz, Crestline Bagel, Chez Lulu, Continental Bakery, Saw’s Juke Joint, or Basil Gourmet Pizza
- Hike or go bouldering at Moss Rock
- Shop at The Galleria (and if you have littles, be sure to ride the carousel!)
- Browse and find a good book and hole up for hours at 2nd & Charles
- Eat at Vecchia (get the pizza, the spinach artichoke dip, the Italian cream cake, and the bread pudding), Moss Rock Tacos & Tequila, Ashley Mac’s, or Baha Burger