With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start mapping out some family fun. To make planning a cinch, we compiled a list of the best ways to fill those summer days. From camps and day-trip destinations to lots of free activities, we’ve got Birmingham families of all sizes covered.
Have a little twinkle toes at home? Alabama Ballet is a wonderful place for them to dip their toes into the amazing world of dance. This summer, they’re offering two exciting camps. Here’s a look at each:
Tutus & Tiaras
For one week, four hours a day, kids ages 4-7 will:
- Take age-appropriate ballet and tap classes
- Create ballet-oriented crafts
- Learn how ballet dancers tell stories with pantomime
- Partake in story time to learn about classical ballets like The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Don Quixote and The Sleeping Beauty
When: Session 1 – July 18-22 | Session 2 – July 25-29
Cost: $250/week | $425 for both sessions
Designed for kids ages 8-12 years, dancers will:
- Take age-appropriate ballet classes
- Learn modern dance and jazz techniques
- Take character and/or theatre dance classes
- Study dance history
- Prepare for an end-of-session performance
When: July 18-22 & July 25-29 | 10AM-3PM
Cost: $475 for 2 weeks
I come from a musical family and took several instruments growing up. Personally, I’m thrilled to fill you in on the many summer music camps for kids offered at Mason Music.
For ages 3-18, Mason Music gets kids excited about all things music, from guitar and drums to piano and vocals. Here’s a peek at what they’re offering:
STARS Music Camp For Preschoolers (ages 3-5)
- Session 1) June 13-17: Bluff Park Studio
- (Session 2) June 27-July 1: Cahaba Heights Studio
- (Session 3) July 11-15: Greystone Studio
- (Session 4) July 25-29: Mountain Brook Studio
Mason Music Camp For Beginners (ages 6-8)
- (Session 1) June 6-10: Cahaba Heights Studio
- (Session 2) June 20-24: Greystone Studio
- (Session 3) June 27-July 1: Mountain Brook Studio
- (Session 4) July 18-22: Bluff Park Studio
- (Session 5) August 1-5: Cahaba Heights Studio
Guitar Camp For Beginners (ages 10-15)
- When: June 13-17 | 9AM-Noon
- Where: Mountain Brook Studio
Want more kids’ summer music camps? Check Mason Music’s full list. Slots fill up fast, so register now!
I’ve heard many parents talking about KidStrong recently, and after looking into it, I have to say that it does look pretty cool. A private child development training center, KidStrong focuses on the brain, physical and character development for kids up to age 11.
With obstacle courses and children’s play equipment it’s a bit like a fitness bootcamp for kids, but much less intense! What’s awesome is that along with regular classes, they also offer summer camps—many with exciting themes. Here’s what to know:
- Camp Times: 9AM-2:30PM
- Camp Dates + Pricing:
- April 15 + 18: $50
- May 27: $50 (THEME: Superhero Camp)
- May 31-June 3: $200 (THEME: Ninja Camp)
- June 6-10: $250 (THEME: Confidence + Leadership Camp)
- More dates + prices.
Ready to sign up? Get your strong on—register now.
Alabama Folk School at Camp McDowell
Have a rising 5th-12th grader? Consider signing them up for Youth Folk Camp at the Alabama Folk School. One of the many opportunities offered at Camp McDowell, this particular camp combines the fun of overnight camp with folk school instruction in music, painting, poetry, pottery and more.
Samford Academy of the Arts
For kids interested in art and music, Samford Academy of the Arts is a great place to kids to enjoy the fun of summer camp.
McWane Science Center
You can’t have a summer family fun guide without mentioning McWane Science Center—it’s one of Birmingham’s top spots for family entertainment, after all. Centered on all things science, it caters to all ages. Plus, it helps keep your kiddo’s brain active during those long summer months.
During your visit:
- Engage in hands-on activities on McWane’s Adventure Halls.
- Learn + play at Itty Bitty Magic City (for preschool kids).
- Discover sea creatures and dinosaurs.
- Watch a movie at the IMAX Theatre.
- Visit the gift shop for a cool souvenir.
Psst! McWane offers summer camps, too. Learn about them here.
The Birmingham Zoo
When it comes to family entertainment, The Birmingham Zoo never disappoints. Just check out their attractions:
- Animal encounters
- Train + carousel rides
- Park + playground areas
- Splash pad
- And more!
Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure
It may not open for the summer season until May, but go ahead and plan ahead for you and the family to visit Alabama Adventure and Splash Adventure in Bessemer. With over 25 attractions like rollers and water slides, it’s the place to go for a full day of fun.
High Point Climbing and Fitness
Want your family to put fitness first this summer? Make it happen with visits to High Point Climbing and Fitness—an indoor climbing gym for adults and kids. Check it out for indoor rope climbing and bouldering, a kids’ zone, yoga classes and more.
- Where: 4766 US-280, Birmingham, AL 35242
- Day Passes: Adults – $19 ($25 with gear included) | Kids 10 & Under & Seniors – $17 ($23 with gear included)
- 7-Day Passes: $111 ($150 with gear included)
- Monthly Memberships: $74/month | Students/Military Discount – $63
- Gear Rentals: $3-$6
- Website | Facebook | Instagram
Urban Air Adventure Park
“I’m bored!” If you’re a parent, this sentence surely made you cringe. Happily, I have the perfect solution to bounce the boredom right out of your kids this summer—a trip to Urban Air. Filled with tons of trampolines, some reaching the ceiling, it’s a great way for the whole family to get active and have some fun. And honestly, it’ll bounce the boredom out of parents, too. I mean, can you honestly say no to a giant space filled with wall-to-wall trampolines? I think not. Find out what else they offer.
For all the family fun this summer, pack up the crew and head to your nearest YMCA. They offer everything from summer day camps to swim lessons and team sports. View the list of what’s offered and sign up now.
Day Trips within 1.5 hours of Birmingham
Cook Museum of Natural Science
Whether you love sea animals, outer space, forests, insects or any other aspect of the natural world, you’ll find it at The Cook Museum of Natural Science in Decatur. Here you’ll have the chance to explore nine themed exhibits featuring animals from around the world, interactive learning and even a 15,000 gallon aquarium. Learn more reasons you should visit.
Located in Childersburg, DeSoto Caverns is sure to be your family’s favorite destination this summer. Here you’ll find:
- 15+ unique attractions
- Live entertainment
- Craft artisan demonstrations
- Astounding caves
- And more!
Montgomery Zoo & Mann Wildlife Learning Museum
Love a fun zoo trip? Then you’re sure to enjoy the Montgomery Zoo. About an hour drive from Downtown Birmingham via 1-65S, you’ll discover:
- Amazing animals like monkeys, hippos, giraffes and flamingos
- A must-visit park with tons of equipment to play on
- A tasty cafe to grab lunch
- An awesome gift shop for memorable souvenirs
- And more!
Free Family Fun
With so many summer days to fill, it’s always a must to have some free options. The Greater Birmingham Area offers so many. Here are some that are not only fun, but will save you some serious cash:
- 10 fishing spots in and around Birmingham
- 7 parks in Birmingham you need to visit
- Your ultimate guide to 17 Birmingham walking and hiking spots
If you didn’t know, Birmingham Museum of Art is also free to visit with a broad range of activities, exhibits and events. See what’s new.