According to our recent audience poll, most of y’all are planning to stay home this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. We pulled together a list of five pandemic-safe ways we can enjoy this long holiday weekend here in Birmingham. Keep reading for the details, then let us know what you’ve got planned.
1. Get into the Christmas spirit with virtual + drive-in church services
2020 has brought out everybody’s creativity, and Birmingham’s churches are no exception. Slip into something comfy, brew yourself a warm beverage and get ready for music and a message sure to inspire. Here in The Magic City, we are definitely spoiled for choice when it comes to religious offerings.
- Local churches bring cheer this year with in-person + virtual musical services
- 15 local clergywomen: what they’re praying for now + where you can find them this Christmas
- Find out how this local church is bringing the Christmas spirit to their community, including virtual candlelight services
2. Support our local restaurants, bars + breweries 🍻 over the long Christmas weekend
If you choose to go out on this chilly long weekend (55 is the high on Sunday, and before that it’ll be a lot colder than we’re used to in these parts), a number of spots now offer heated patios and covered dining tents.
You may have heard that Fancy’s on Fifth is closing after December 31. Whether or not they’ll return remains to be determined, but the good news is you can still get food from this Avondale favorite on December 26, December 30 or December 31. To make a reservation, visit resy.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fear not, though, if you’d rather stay in and get takeout. Every time I see one of our pieces on Bay Leaf’s offerings, I want to try every. single. thing. Lucky for us, their holiday menu is available for pick up or dine in between now and January 1.
By the end of the weekend, if you’ve eaten all the food you made or ordered for Christmas, here are 6 places where you can get takeout on Sundays.
For the planners in the house, why not go ahead and order your food for New Year’s Eve?
Finally, don’t forget that alcohol to go is a thing again, so you can ask about that when you put in your food order.
3. Go for a drive 🚘
One of the ruts people can fall into is thinking that staying home literally means staring at the same four walls. But you can hop in the car and go explore parts of town you haven’t seen, like these five historic neighborhoods in Birmingham.
When you’re tired of looking at beautiful homes and neighborhood holiday decorations, there are gorgeous light displays and drive-through light shows if you don’t mind a mini-road trip and are ready for a change of scenery.
4. Get outside 🥾 to enjoy the long holiday weekend in Birmingham
They don’t call it Alabama the Beautiful for nothing. Our area is blessed with an abundance of large natural areas where you can get your blood pumping while staying COVID-safe. Think Ruffner Mountain, Railroad Park, Vulcan Trail, Rotary Trail, Red Mountain Park, Jemison Trail, Oak Mountain State Park…and that’s just off the top of my head in a very small radius.
If movement is your goal, we’ve got some great ideas for how to get active outside even when it’s cold.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a fan-favorite, and the perfect place to go for a stroll when you need to feast your eyes on something beautiful. Bonus: they are open 365 days a year. Be sure to look for their poinsettia tree—a holiday tradition for 57 years.
5. Know that if this holiday season has got you down, you are not alone 🌟
For so many of us, the joy of the holidays is in the people and the traditions we hold dear. Don’t be surprised if there’s real grief at the loss of being able to hug people you love, or carry on in the way your family has for years.
We talked with the chaplains at Children’s of Alabama to get their best advice for navigating this holiday season, and we also put together a list of grief resources. Stigma against reaching out for help is so yesterday. #2020strong means knowing when the load’s gotten too heavy for you to bear alone and reaching out for help.