Challenge yourself + support Alabama children in need. Here’s how

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Trailblaze Challenge, Make-A-Wish Alabama
Kick off a new journey in 2021. Photo via Make-A-Wish Alabama

Hiking 26.3 miles in one day is a life-changing experience, and not just for the person doing it. Make-A-Wish Alabama has a unique opportunity to bring wishes to life for children with critical illnesses in Alabama, all while challenging yourself in 2021. Read on to see how you can become a Trailblazer!

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Fox News video of Vestavia native Bennett Smith flipping his kayak down waterfalls goes viral

Bennett Smith
Bennett Smith upside down. Photo via Peter Holcombe Photography

I’ve got to admit, I’m still picking my jaw off the floor. 

This week, the FOX News program “The Five” showed a video of Vestavia Hills native and U.S. Freestyle Kayak team member Bennett Smith flipping and tumbling down local waterfalls… on purpose.

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A visual recap of Fall 2020 in Birmingham—see our 9 buzziest videos

Birmingham, drives, Driver's Way, fall, fall season fall drives
We love fall in Bham. Photo via @objectivityrach

Another season come and gone… it’s hard to believe there are only a few days left in 2020. As we wrap up fall and head into winter, we wanted to take a look back on the season—and we’re sharing it with you. Read on to see what’s been buzzing in Bham!

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Guide to last minute holiday gift ideas from Birmingham nature-based organizations

Alabama Audubon’s Alliemarie Humphries holding a banded green heron at Avondale Park in Birmingham. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Attention all tardy Christmas shoppers! Are you looking for last-minute ways to make your holiday gifts this year more nature-based and meaningful?

Below are some holiday gift ideas for that nature lover in your household.

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‘Tis the Season! 5 awe-inspiring Christmas light displays in Birmingham

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Mercedes Benz
We took a brand new 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE53 out to The Preserve in Hoover to see their Christmas decor! Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Queue up the Christmas music and start up the car. Aside from Jolly Old Saint Nick himself, there’s nothing more “Christmas” than taking a trip around town to view the jaw-dropping Christmas light displays in The Magic City. We picked out a handful you don’t miss.

For our trip out to The Preserve, we hopped in brand new 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE53. Click here to check out the available inventory at Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham.

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Winter is coming. Checking out local restaurants and bars with heated patios + tents

Bottega on Highland Ave. Photo via Chaise Sanders for Bham Now

We’ve surpassed sweater weather and have moved straight into “heater constantly on with multiple layers” weather. As restaurants have mastered al fresco dining, we’re checking out how they’re pivoting to safely serve diners during the winter. From tents to heaters, let’s see who’s bracing for the cold in Birmingham.

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What YMCA Camp Cosby was like the 1st COVID summer + 2021 plans

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campers at YMCA Camp Cosby
Even a global pandemic couldn’t stop safe outdoor fun at YMCA Camp Cosby in 2020. photo via YMCA Camp Cosby

In early 2020, YMCA Camp Cosby was looking at a banner year, but COVID had other plans. We reached out to executive director Steve Merifield to learn what camp was like last summer. Plus, we found out what parents and kids can expect if they decide to try again this summer.

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What’s happened to the prehistoric river giants of Alabama?

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Gulf Sturgeon
State biologists Greg Miles and Steve Rider holding a 165 lb. 7’ egg-bearing female sturgeon caught and tagged in September 2020 in the Choctawhatchee River. The sturgeon was released. Photo via Travis Powell

Primitive. Ancient. Rare. These are the words that best describe Alabama’s three species of sturgeon, a fish that dates back 245 million years in fossil records. It’s likely that you’ve never heard of a sturgeon, much less seen one. 

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57 years of holiday tradition—a look at the Gardens’ poinsettia tree

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poinsettia tree
A display of living color. Photo via the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The poinsettia tree has been a beloved holiday tradition at Birmingham Botanical Gardens since 1963. Each year, a living poinsettia tree is assembled for the public to admire and enjoy. We dove into the history and got an inside look at how it’s built today. Check it out!

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Bringing red-cockaded woodpeckers—nature’s historic preservationists—back to Alabama

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Red-cockaded woodpecker near it’s cavity – home. Photo via Mark Bailey

In our first story about animals returning to Alabama, we learned about black bears making a comeback in Northeast Alabama near Little River Canyon and Lookout Mountain area. In this, our second installment, we explore efforts to preserve and restore the red-cockaded woodpecker to our state.

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A little magic right here in the city—autumn in Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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autumn in Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The gorgeous ginkgo. Photo via Birmingham Botanical Gardens

This time of the year is full of all kinds of magic in Birmingham. From watching the tree lightings around town to crunching on ginkgo leaves, there’s something beautiful around every corner. There’s no place in town more magical than Birmingham Botanical Gardens—and we went to go check it out.

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Your local gift guide for the outdoor enthusiast in Birmingham

Your local gift guide for the outdoor lovers. Photo via Alabama Outdoors’ Facebook

Time to go exploring. Sometimes it’s hard to find good gifts for the person who would rather be outside and on-the-go, but finding the perfect gift doesn’t have to be a trek. Here are five local spots to visit to get that perfect item for the outdoor enthusiast in your life, including experiential ideas.

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