For parents and caregivers of children ages six years and younger, there’s just one place to go for endless entertainment—Itty Bitty Magic City at McWane Science Center. We tagged along with one local family during their first visit and discovered why it’s such a special place for families in Birmingham and beyond.
1. Main Street
One of the top attractions at Itty Bitty Magic City is Main Street. Capturing the look and feel of a vibrant, bustling city, it’s the ultimate place for littles to be “big” for a day.
Here you’ll find real city elements from blinking streetlights to charming storefronts—all perfectly pint-sized for little ones to explore.
During the Colley family’s visit, these were their top three favorite spots:
Children are like ants to a lollipop at the Diner, one of the hottest spots along Itty Bitty Magic City’s Main Street.
PARENT BONUS: There are plenty of stools set up along the Diner’s counter. Though low to the ground, they are large enough for parents to sit and watch as youngsters pretend to be chefs, servers and more.
- Aprons + oven mitts
- Food, food + more food—all pretend, of course!
- Oven that opens + closes and stove with light-up burners
Need more pretend food? Kids can dash over to Main Street’s Grocery Store to stock up on more supplies.
“My daughter enjoyed asking us what we wanted to order while we were seated at the diner, preparing it in the pretend oven, and giving it to us. I could have sat there all day!”Mary Colley, parent
Itty Bitty Garage
Learning how cars work. (Patience Itson / Bham Now)
Engines, tires and tools—oh my! Main Street’s Garage is the ultimate pit stop.
- 2 cars with removable tires
- Play tools
- Rolling boards to discover what’s under the hood
The Pet Vet
If your kiddo loves animals, expect to spend a good deal of time at the Pet Vet.
- Stuffed animals like dogs, cats + more
- Wash station with sinks, sprayers + dryers that actually blow cool air
- X-rays showing real animals
- Lab coats
“We spent the most time at the pet vet where she could pretend to bathe the pups while wearing the vet lab coat. She loved putting them back in the pretend cages and then tending to another animal.”Mary Colley, parent
Experience Itty Bitty Magic City with your family—get your tickets in advance.
2. Creative Play Areas
After visiting all of Main Street’s exciting stops, there’s even more fun to be had. Here’s at look:
As soon as a child learns how to walk, there’s no stopping them. If you have a little mover and shaker at home, a visit to Itty Bitty Magic City’s Climbing Structure is a must!
Here’s why it’s awesome:
- It’s designed with safety in mind, so parents + caregivers don’t have to worry.
- It’s made to engage early learners at every skill and development level.
- It allows children to physically challenge themselves and reach new heights.
If your youngster loves to splash, get ready for tons of smiles and laughs at Itty Bitty Magic City’s Water Play area.
At this fun zone, your kiddo will engage in all sorts of captivating water experiments and activities, like:
- Water domes + ball vortices
- Squirters + pumps
- And more!
Don’t forget, parents and caregivers can play, too! So feel free to splash alongside your water-lovin’ kid.
The Tot Spot
For families of infants and toddlers who need a smaller, more condensed play space, there’s a special section just for them inside Itty Bitty Magic City. Designed with crawlers and toddlers in mind, this secure space lets McWane’s youngest visitors explore and play to their heart’s content, while giving parents and caregivers peace of mind.
3. Free programming
Don’t miss out on free programming for children ages six and younger at Itty Bitty Magic City, including:
- Tot Spot Explorer Program: Every Friday at 10:30AM, children 18 months and younger (and their caregivers!) can attend the Tot Spot Explorer program conducted by McWane’s early childhood educators.
- Tinker Shop: This unique early childhood maker space encourages children to explore materials, learn how to work together and build creative-problem solving skills through open-ended play. Join the Tinker Shop on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2:30PM.
- Little Labs: Give your youngest a jumpstart on STEAM by introducing them to science, technology, engineering, art and math during Itty Bitty Magic City’s Little Labs programs. Attend Itty Bitty’s Little Lab programs daily at select times.
Know before you go
Before you visit Itty Bitty Magic City, here are a few must-knows:
- It features nearly 10,000 square feet of interactive an immersive learning space.
- It’s designed for children ages 6 and younger.
- For families with children in different age brackets, everyone is welcome to enjoy Itty Bitty Magic City together.
- Address: 200 19th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203
- Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 9AM-5PM | Saturday, 10AM-5PM | Sunday, Noon-5PM
- Cost: Access to Itty Bitty Magic City is included in general admission to McWane Science Center.
- Tickets | Save on visits to McWane, purchase a Membership
One thing is certain, young families—including the Colley’s—love Itty Bitty Magic City and are already planning their next visit before they leave.
“We are certain to visit Itty Bitty Magic City again very soon. It was so enjoyable to relax and watch my three-year-old play with toys that were specifically sized for her. I’m excited to tell friends with young children and visit together, it will be so fun to see all their interactions running the little city together!
As we were leaving, my daughter whispered to me ‘I really like this place!'”Mary Colley, parent