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Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

Dunbar, West...
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Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

We are coming to visit a family member and will be staying at Embassy Suites(downtown, I think). We will arrive on a Wed evening and have all day to sightsee on that Thursday. Most of our weekend ( Fri, Sat, and Sun ) will be spent with Family until about 5 or 6 in the evening. We have never been to Alabama before and want to make the most of our trip, with gas prices rising it may be a while before we get to take another trip. So any suggestions on museums, local food, shopping, etc. that is a must see? We are on a budget, so nothing too extravagent! Also, what is the weather like that time of year? We are very excited about visiting Birmingham and want to make it one to remember. Thanks!

Birmingham, Alabama
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1. Re: Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

Weather in the spring will change from hour to hour (almost minute to minute). The temperature should be decent enough to not need even a light jacket. The kids may even be comfortable in shorts. I would expect rain (maybe even storms) most afternoons.

The McWane Center is a children's interactive science museum and IMAX theater that is downtown. Kids love it. If you are into museums and history, the Museum of Art is nice and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute might be interesting to you. A little further out, but probably interesting to the kids is the Barber Motorsports Park and Museum in Leeds. Another sight that is unique to Birmingham is Vulcan Park, which is very close to your hotel. Vulcan is the largest cast iron statue in the world. He stands on top of Red Mountain and pays homage to the iron and steel industry that Birmingham was largely built on. Another place that looks back to that industry is Sloss Furnaces.

For the evenings, you could check out the Galleria mall in Hoover. Lots of stuff to look at and plenty of food options in the area. Another night could be The Summit (closer to your hotel than the Galleria) for shopping and eating. There are tons of great places to eat in Birmingham. If you give a little guidance on types of food, we can help you a little more. With that said, I will go ahead and offer a couple of options anyway. For great BBQ, check out either Full Moon or Moe's Original BBQ. Another option might be Dreamland on Southside. For "meat and three" cafeteria style lunches, you can't go wrong with Nikki's West. If you go to Leeds for the track, you might consider stopping in Irondale at the Irondale Cafe. it was the inspiration for the book and movie Fried Green Tomatoes. For a local hamburger place since you have young kids, Hamburger Heaven is great. Also, Guthrie's for chicken fingers. You mentioned a budget, so I won't mention all of the fine dining places.

Hope this helps some. Let us know if you have more or specific questions.

Dunbar, West...
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2. Re: Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

Thank you for the advice on Birmingham... I've seen great reviews on all the places mentioned... it seems like so much to do... so little time. you know?

Mississippi
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3. Re: Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

Be sure to have some of the great AL BBQ before you leave Birmingham. Saw's has good BBQ. Go to Niki's for outstanding country food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Niki's West @ 233 Finley Ave. W, Birmingham, AL 205 - 252 - 5751.

http://www.nikiswest.com/

Saw's BBQ @ 1008 Oxmoor Rd., Birmingham, AL 205 - 879 - 1937.

http://www.sawsbbq.com/

Gardendale, Alabama
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4. Re: Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

The Birmingham Zoo is opening a new exhibit called Trails of Africa that should be open by then. If the weather is nice I really reccomend the Zoo.

As previously stated, the McWane center is a favorite with kids. Can get expensive with a large group, but it will take all day to go through it.

Dreamcakes Bakery in Homewood has to die for cupcakes. Look them up online for flavors. Also, while in Homewood check out NY Pizza. Some of the best pizza in Bham IMHO.

If you want to venture out a little further, there is a place off Hwy 280 called Treetop Family Adventure. probably about 30 minutes from where you are staying. They have gocarts, mini glof, arcade, laser tag, etc.

Feel free to ask more questions!

Birmingham, AL
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5. Re: Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

Your kids are old enough to appreciate the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. It's really amazing, and tells the story in a very engaging way. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is free, and if the weather is nice, it's a wonderful place to take a stroll. It's very kid-friendly, and in a lovely part of town, very near the zoo. If you want to get a little out of town and do more outdoors, Oak Mountain State Park is 20 minutes south of downtown. There's hiking and a lake with paddleboats (check to make sure they're operating that early in the spring) and a great "hospital" for wounded animals that you can tour, plus other stuff to see. There's a small fee for the entrance to the park, but well worth it. Be sure you eat some Alabama barbecue while here. My favorite is Jim and Nick's. Enjoy your visit!

Birmingham, AL
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6. Re: Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

another vote here for the CRI... it is indeed interesting, and...accurate.

The Zoo is nice, but a bit $$ compared to zoos in other cities. It is right next to the Botannical Gardens, though, and they are not far from the Embassy Suites at all.

Oak Mountain State Park...good hiking trails, canoe/paddle boat rentals. about 25 minutes from hotel.

Vulcan Park...nice views and a bit of history about the city & its industries.

Will not take more than an hour. Again very close to hotel.

I agree with all the folks that say eat BBQ! every region of the south has their own, and ours does not disappoint. personally i like Dreamland for ribs, but Full Moon for pork & chicken. Both are decorated with local memorabilia.

no offense to the person who suggested this, but i would NOT drive out to teh Galleria in Hoover for shopping. It is in an area of very heavy traffic, and although has some nice shops, is no different than a nice shopping area in any other suburban area. (mall, JCPenney, barnes & noble, dick's sporting goods, movie theater, starbucks, etc.)

Late April is usually very nice, weather wise.

Have fun, Miller

Birmingham, Alabama
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7. Re: Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

I definitely would do the zoo and Vulcan

Bham museum of art is nice too

Check out Smith variety in mt brook village kids and you will love it

I would pass on galleria heavy traffic!!

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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8. Re: Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

Something else that I don't think has been mentioned is the minor league baseball team - the Barons. They play in Hoover which is not too far. Here's a link to their schedule to see if any of the home games might coincide with your trip:

…minorleaguebaseball.com/schedule/index.jsp…

9. Re: Trip to Birmingham in late April with kids ages 9 & 11

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