My family of four, including kids 6 and 8, is heading to Birmingham this weekend to visit McWane Science Center on a Scout overnight (pray for me), and we would like to turn it into a mini-exploration of the city. Since McWane is the reason we're going, the bulk of our time in town will be spent there, but I'd like to hit a couple other key places.
We have a reciprocal with the zoo and the kids love animals, so that's a high consideration. Even if we're only there an hour, it's free so that's OK with me. Other places high on my list (but I'm not sure we'd have time to do them justice: Civil Rights Institute, Sloss Furnaces, and another wacky suggestion I saw somewhere else on the forum - Ed's Pets. Oak Mountain also seems like a great place to explore, but probably for another visit when we have more time. I'd love to hear any input as to what we must see this time and what should be saved for later.
We will also have probably two lunches in town (dinner and breakfast will be served at McWane), and I'd like to hit a couple of good local joints that are kid-friendly. They don't need to serve usual kid food like nuggets; in fact, we'd rather they didn't. Our kids are fairly adventurous and are sometimes well behaved, but I probably wouldn't take them to Frank Stitt's place. From reading other posts the restaurants high on my list are Dreamland BBQ and Irondale Cafe. Any other suggestions?