It’s that time of year again when kids are out of school for summer break. It won’t be very long before their parents are busy back-to-school shopping. Meanwhile, grandparents have an opportunity to spend time with the young ones doing things both will find fun and educational. Birmingham offers a wealth of activities that can entertain both children and seniors. These include:
McWane Science Center
Four floors of interactive exhibits include an aquarium, Shark and Ray Touch Tank, the ScienceQuest exhibit, Bubble Room, Rushton Science Theater (with a Tesla lightning coil), Sea Monster and Dinosaur exhibits, a giant animated globe that shows planetary data, a lab where kids can touch fossils and rare minerals, a level blending art and technology, and the Toytopia exhibit (about the origins of toys) and Winter Wonderland model train exhibit. The McWane also has a 5-story tall IMAX Dome Theater.
Among the creatures you’ll see are foxes, bobcats, snakes, hawks, vultures, otters, bears, raccoons, tiger, lion, giraffe, goats, alligator, owls, frogs, elephant, turtles, and a variety of bugs, fish, and birds. The zoo is open 9 am-5 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, remaining open until 7 pm on Tuesdays and weekends. Seniors citizens get a $5 discount and children under 12 also cost $10. Admission is half-price on Tuesdays. The museum is just south of US 280/31.
Oak Mountain State Park
Located in Pelham, the park provides nearly 10,000 acres of land for fishing, horseback riding, swimming, and hiking trails. Three lakes are stocked with catfish, crappie, bream, and largemouth bass. Boats are available to rent. The Tree Top Nature Trail is an elevated boardwalk that accommodates those with mobility issues. A petting farm lets children get up close to goats, pigs, donkey, chickens, and more.
The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
With over 1,400 motorcycles, Barber is recognized by Guinness World Records as having the world’s largest motorcycle collection. You can see 700 mint-condition motorcycles when visiting. It also has an extensive collection of rare and historic cars, providing an opportunity for grandparents to tell stories about vehicles they once owned (or admired) when they were hot off the factory floor. The museum (located near I-20 and I-459) is open Monday-Saturday from 10 am-6 pm and Sundays between noon-6 pm. It’s recommended you call to confirm hours during holidays and colder months.
These are just four of the options convenient to Birmingham seniors for entertaining their grandchildren and creating new memories.