Free Birmingham Activities to do with Kids and Babies
For everyone’s sanity, parents and their littles need to get out. But what is there to do when the temperature starts dropping ? Here are a few FREE local things to do this fall and winter in Birmingham, AL. Load up those kiddos and have an adventure together!
Birmingham Museum of Art
The Birmingham Museum of Art is great for a rainy day. On the second floor there is a room for kids filled with interactive art activities, books and tablet games. The outdoor area is gated and has several lovely spots to have a snack. For mamas with infants, this is a great naptime hideaway during cooler months. With your baby nestled against you in a carrier or bundled in a cozy stroller, walk through quiet galleries, view the beautiful art pieces and find a moment of calm for you and your little one. There is a café on the second floor also, great for a quick bite to eat. Another bonus? Admission and parking are free!
The Great Outdoors
Typically we have mild weather at this time of year; while the air does get cooler, there are still lots of things families can do outdoors. Pack a fall picnic and take the kids to play at Homewood Central Park. Just a quick stroll away from the Homewood Library, Sweet Jon’s Café, and Hero Donuts, this is a popular park for moms to catch up while the kiddos release that pent up energy on slides, swings, and climbing things. This park also features a play area for younger tots to play safely, away from the big kids.
Birmingham Botanical Garden - With nice bathrooms closeby, a sweet library located on site and a warm greenhouse in case the weather takes a turn for the worse, the Botanical Gardens are a lovely way to spend a sunny morning or afternoon. With preschoolers, making it an adventure by going on a scavenger hunt makes it even more fun and BBG makes it easy by giving you one for free at this link.
If you are a more outdoorsy family, a short hike at Ruffner Mountain Park, Red Mountain or Moss Rock Preserve are all great places to explore with kids; have them search for fall leaves of different colors or point out the wildlife, such as squirrels and chipmunks. Make sure to dress appropriately, and know your limits when it comes to how long you want to be on the trails. My personal tip for when you decide to go on a hike with the 5 & under set is to set a timer for 20-30 minutes - when it goes off, stop for a snack and then turn around and head home. Oh yeah. Definitely bring snacks.
Music with Mama
Are you a musical mama? If so, perhaps a free Mommy and Me music class would interest you and your children! Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Vestavia, AL hosts a class where moms can come with their little ones and sing classic nursery rhymes and traditional Christian music. This is a great way to start with language development, keeping a steady beat, and socializing with other children. It’s also a great way to meet other moms and have fun while doing it. Email Sarah at snorris <at> shades <dot> org to learn more.
Birmingham Library Days!
There is not enough I can say about the Jefferson County library system; it is simply amazing! As long as you live in Jefferson County you are eligible for a library card with which you can visit and check out materials from any of the 40 libraries across the area. Checkouts aren’t just limited to books either; you can select board games, CDs, movies, and tablets preloaded with stories and games!
Need I say more? Every Birmingham library has its own schedule but if you want to do something a little different from the regular storytime fare, check out Homewood Library’s Move & Groove Storytime on most Friday mornings- complete with dancing and yoga. Maybe you can even get a little deep breathing exercises in yourself.
The Library at the Botanical Gardens even offers a seed exchange program where patrons can “borrow” seeds for flowers and produce and, after harvest, return seeds gathered after they harvest their crops!
Hoover Library - You could spend an entire day at the Hoover library without anyone getting bored. It has “toy” stations set up throughout the children’s area - including puppets, legos and more along with a little gated outdoor playspace. If you aren’t sure what to check out for your kids - Hoover has topical backpacks with age ranges that you can check out. It’s a fun way to do some “at home” learning without actually having to plan it out yourself.
Hoover library has a theater in the lower level and they use it often for kids programs - including movie showings and live plays. This winter schedule, it includes the Grinch and a meeting Santa event.
When everyone gets hungry and the snacks run out, you can grab lunch at the cafe inside the library. The cafe is large and includes several sofas. On their fall & winter schedule, the Hoover Library has several kid friendly events and plays/movies for free - including watching the Grinch and meeting Santa.
Check out the list of libraries to find the one closest to you! (Be sure to check library websites and social media; some groups require sign up in advance.)
Birmingham is a wonderful place to raise children, and we are so fortunate to have so many free opportunities for learning in our great city. I hope these ideas have inspired you to load up the diaper bag, snacks, and kiddos and head out to do something new this month!
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