14 Free Things to do in Birmingham

Summer is finally here!! Are you wanting to explore Birmingham, but you’re working with a tight budget? Look no further! You and your family and friends can enjoy these 14 FREE activities to do in Birmingham this summer!

Railroad Park

Location: 1600 1st Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233

Railroad Park is a 19 acre green space located in downtown Birmingham that creates a much-needed diversion from the hustle and bustle of city life. This park is a great place to have a picnic, throw frisbee, or just walk around and enjoy the scenery. The park also hosts free exercise classes, a playground for the kids, and different community events.

Color Tunnel

Located in the city’s historic viaducts: 14th, 18th, 19th, and 20th streets

Birmingham Lights, more commonly referred to as the rainbow tunnels, or color tunnels, is the name of the colorful, permanent LED lighting installations that can’t help bringing a smile to your face as you drive, walk or ride your bike through them. Great place for photography!

Moss Rock Preserve

Location: 617 Preserve Way, Hoover, AL 35226

A perfect balance of nature and community, Moss Rock Preserve is a beautiful 349 acre nature preserve abundant with forest systems, large rock outcroppings, streams, waterfalls, wildlife, and other unique natural features. Nearly 12 miles of hiking trails exist within the boundaries of Moss Rock Preserve. These trails allow visitors to witness the beauty of Moss Rock up close and personal. Moss Rock’s Boulder Field is also a hotspot for rock climbers! This is a great place to hike, walk around, or picnic in with your family and friends.

Cahaba River

Location: The website shows all of the access points to the river: https://cahabariversociety.org/about-the-cahaba-river/recreation-on-the-cahaba/ The Cahaba River offers a wide assortment of recreational options for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and fitness levels. Just minutes from some of Alabama’s most populated areas and with a number of public access points, roads, and trails making it simple to reach, the Cahaba provides a valuable natural oasis right outside of some of Alabama’s largest urban centers. Visitors travel from near and far to enjoy the unique opportunities for fishing, paddling, swimming, hiking, camping, and wildlife-watching provided by this special river.

Ruffner Mountain Nature Reserve

Location: 1214 81st Street South, Birmingham, AL 35206

Ruffner Mountain is a 1040 acre urban nature preserve in the heart of Birmingham providing science and nature education programming, 14 miles of hiking trails, and a protected area for thousands of species of native flora and fauna. The mountain has a great view of the city from one of the overlooks. It also has a really neat and educational nature center for you to visit. Trail maps are available for free in the nature center, and it is free to visit both.

Rotary Trail

Location: 1st Avenue to 32nd Street, Birmingham, AL

The Rotary Trail is a safe place to walk in Birmingham. If you are visiting the hospitals, or in town working, the trail is sheltered from the street traffic, with nice landscaping – a great place to go relax for a few minutes. Around one-half mile long, the Rotary Trail has plenty of seating and cell phone charging stations.

Heaviest Corner on Earth

Location: 20th Street and 1st Avenue North Downtown

The Heaviest Corner on Earth is a nickname given to the corner of 20th Street and 1st Avenue North in Birmingham. The name reflected the nearly simultaneous appearance of four of the tallest buildings in the South, the 10-story Woodward Building (1902), 16-story Brown Marx Building (1906), 16-story Empire Building (1909), and the 21-story American Trust and Savings Bank Building (1912). The announcement of the last building was made in the Jemison Magazine in a January 1911 article titled “Birmingham to Have the Heaviest Corner in the South.”

Hoover Splash Pad

Location: 100 Ben Chapman Drive

The Hoover Splash Pad is located at the Hoover Met Complex. Our 15,000 square-foot playground and 7,000 square-foot splash pad are designed to meet the needs of all people, including those with disabilities and mobility issues. The Hoover Splash Pad is open May 15- September 15, and their daily hours are Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM to 7 PM.

City Federal Building

Location: 2nd Avenue North Birmingham

The tallest neoclassical building in the south, and the fifth tallest building in Birmingham, the City Federal Building is a historic landmark to the Birmingham Skyline. The parking garage attached to it gives the best views in Birmingham and is totally free! You will be able to spot it, because the red neon sign is iconic! Great place to take pictures.

Golden Flake Factory

Location: 1 Golden Flake Dr, Birmingham, AL 35205

If you are 5 years or older, YOU can tour the facility in which Golden Flake chips are made and distributed! Tours last around 45 minutes, and guests are given the full history and run down of what it takes to create their delectable crunchy potato chips. Tours are offered Monday through Wednesday at 9:30 A.M., 11:00 A.M., and 12:30 P.M. However, you must register for your tour online before arriving on site.

Birmingham Museum of Art

Location: 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr., Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35203

The Birmingham Museum of Art, one of the finest regional museums in the United States, houses a diverse collection of more than 27,000 paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and decorative arts dating from ancient to modern times. The museum is free to anyone and everyone!

Civil Rights District

Location: 520 16th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203

This is the area of downtown Birmingham where many of the Civil Rights Movement took place. Locations include the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, Fourth Avenue Business District, Carver Theatre, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. This place is a great opportunity to learn about Birmingham’s Civil Rights History.

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

Location: 1701 4th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

Free jazz classes are offered to any resident in the state of Alabama every Saturday morning by The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars. You can also find memorabilia, such as paintings, quilts, and instruments within the walls of the museum.

Ed’s Pet World

Location: 2730 18th St S, Homewood, AL 35209

Ed’s Pet World is a family owned pet store located in downtown Homewood, Alabama. They have served local pet owners and enthusiasts for 37 years. From exotic pets to tropical fish, this pet shop is sure to brighten every pet lover’s day. Some of the exotic pets include hedgehogs, sugar gliders, newts, chinchillas, alligators, iguanas, parrots, and several, SEVERAL more!

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Donate by Mail: by making out a check to "Grace Klein Community" with you designation in the memo line and send it to:

Grace Klein Community, 1678 Montgomery Highway. #104, Birmingham, AL 35216

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