9 safe ways to enjoy the heck out of this Thanksgiving weekend

woman at Jemison Park
There should be plenty of time to get outside over Thanksgiving weekend. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Hard to believe Thanksgiving is here, but chalk it up to the general weirdness that is 2020. Turkey Day traditions may be a little (or a lot) different this year, but there’s no reason you can’t still have a good time. We pulled together 9 safe ways you can enjoy the long Thanksgiving weekend in Birmingham.

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5 spots to FALL in love with the changing leaves in Birmingham, including Oak Mountain State Park

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Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham, Fall
Is there anything prettier than a scenic drive in the fall? Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

You heard it here first, folks. Fall is the prettiest time to enjoy the beauty of some of Birmingham’s best parks. If you want to see the changing leaves in all their glory, there is no better time than now—so, we rounded up five of the best spots to see the changing Fall landscape in Birmingham.

We hopped in a new 2020 GLE350 for our drive out to Oak Mountain. Check out the inventory at Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham to learn more.

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13 arts, culture + sports organizations opening back up, including the Negro Southern League Museum

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is one of the organizations that's reopened
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been back to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens since they reopened. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

When COVID hit back in March 2020, the City of Birmingham closed arts, cultural and sporting organizations across the city. Some of these have opened back up and others will soon. Keep reading for all the details.

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Enjoy the outdoors this fall with 6 fun community sports in Birmingham, including beach volleyball

The temperatures are finally cooling down, and we’re celebrating by spending as much time outside as possible! Whether you want to watch or join, add these 6 community sports in Birmingham to your calendar to enjoy the weather and get some exercise.

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How this Birmingham synagogue reinvented its New Year celebration + takeaways for other religious holidays anywhere

A congregant from Temple Beth-El Birmingham blowing the shofar at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens
A congregant blew the shofar at a safe distance from the crowd. Photo via Audrey Nicole Photography

Mid-March, most religious organizations moved online. In the Jewish world, the big question was “What about Rosh Hashanah?” Each fall, the Jewish New Year is usually a time for the largest in-person gathering of the year. Temple Beth-El Birmingham got creative with the holiday. Now they have concrete takeaways for other faith communities as they begin to plan their own upcoming holidays. Keep reading for all the details.

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Reopening update: Vulcan Park and Museum, Topgolf, Birmingham Botanical Gardens and more are back

Birmingham, Vulcan Park and Museum , Driver's Way, Vulcan statue
View of Birmingham, AL from the top of Vulcan. Photo via Vulcan Park and Museum

The Magic City’s biggest attractions continue to open up.  Last week, it was the Birmingham Zoo and Vulcan Park and Museum.  This week, Topgolf and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens are reopening on Monday, June 15th.

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BOCCA is the new Italian restaurant of your dreams. Don’t miss its opening on 2nd Ave. this February!

BOCCA
If you’ve headed down 2nd Ave. recently, you may have seen a sleek new upgrade to the space. Photo via Bham Now.

It’s time to break out your high school Italian. Beloved French restaurant Bistro 218 is opening a sister Italian ristorante, BOCCA. You don’t have to wait long, homemade pasta and fresh bread will be at your fingertips on 2nd Ave. downtown next month!

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Who’s bringing back native plants to the landscape of Alabama? Take a look and see.

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St. Stephen’s native plant volunteers (L to R)  Gwendolyn Griffith, Lois Chaplin, and Chris Boles. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

“They know what to do.”

That’s how John Manion, curator of the Kaul Wildflower Garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, explains why native plants are important for our gardens and natural landscapes in Birmingham.

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What are native plants and why do they matter here in Birmingham?

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HICA volunteers weeded and planted in Ruffner Mountain’s bird habitat garden. Photo courtesy of Bob Farley

You might have heard talk about ’native’ plants. But, what are they and more importantly, why should you care? We’re going to take a look at these questions in this first of a three part series. I invite you to come along with me to explore.

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Green thumbs, hearts of gold. Meet the volunteers that keep Birmingham Botanical Gardens beautiful!

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Volunteers are an indispensable resource in fulfilling the Friends’ promise of protecting, nurturing, and sharing the wonders of the Gardens. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Similar to most nonprofits, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens is dependent upon volunteers and the work they do. The Friends honored volunteers this month at their annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.

As Executive Director of the Friends—Tom Underwood—stated, just one person’s decision to volunteer helps build the network of community support that keeps the Gardens thriving.

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5 summer camps at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens– including a family camp that you’re not going to want to miss

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Summer camp smiles! Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Summer’s in full swing here in Birmingham. But don’t fret— you still have time to sign up for these fantastic summer camps at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. If you find yourself asking, “Is it time to go school supply shopping yet??” You’re in luck— no matter their age or interests, the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens probably has a summer camp option that your kiddos (and you) will get excited about. 

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Horizons Bingo Bash

Join us for a night of food, drinks, music and games at the 2019 fundraiser benefiting The Horizons School. Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe will provide delicious food and drinks (including beer and wine). Enjoy tunes and entertainment with the DJ and wear your dancing shoes!  The highlight of the night will be your chance to win fabulous prizes playing BINGO!

7 things you missed at the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Native Plant Conference, including hip hop and forestry

Kaul Wildflower Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Courtesy of Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

There were a lot of exciting things going on at this year’s Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Native Plant Conference. We spoke with the conference’s organizer, John Manion–who is also curator of the Gardens’ Kaul Wildflower Garden–about the highlights.

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Birmingham Rose Show

The Birmingham Rose Society invites you to come see, smell, photograph and enjoy roses Mother’s day weekend at the beautiful Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 

 

It’s one of the largest exhibitions of roses in the southeast with hundreds of roses on display. All roses at the show have been grown in exhibitors gardens and serve as a showcase of what can be grown in this area.

 

The judging is Saturday morning, but the festivities are all weekend! There are all sorts of categories ranging from “novice” to “experienced exhibitor” and also “artistic arrangements” and, a photography division. 

 

While you’re here, be sure to stroll through the stunning Dunn Formal Rose Garden and see hundreds of magnificent roses in bloom. 

 

Exhibitor and Show Schedule

 

Saturday

6 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Entries Received

 

10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Judging of the entries

 

3 p.m. – Growing Roses in Alabama- 

FREE educational seminar

 

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rose Show open to the public 

 

Sunday

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Rose Show open to the public

 

Interested in exhibiting your roses, arrangements or photographs at the show? Check out http://www.BirminghamRose.org/ for full details. 

 

See you at the show!