Top 10 Free Things to do in Birmingham
Low on cash in Birmingham? Don’t fret; there are still plenty of entertaining destinations that don’t cost you one cent! Join a tour of Alabama’s wine country, stroll through a wildflower garden, or ghost hunt in one of Birmingham’s most haunted locales. The sky’s the limit!
- Birmingham Museum of Art
- 16th Street Baptist Church
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens
- Vulcan Park
- Window Shop at Five Points South
- Ruffner Mountain Nature Center
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- Kelly Ingram Park
- Sloss Furnaces
- Winery Tours
Admission is free at this Birmingham cultural attraction. Housing the world’s finest collection of Vietnamese ceramics and the largest Asian art collection in the Southeast, the Birmingham Museum of Art will not disappoint! To learn more about this free opportunity go to: www.ArtsBMA.org.
In the fall of 1963, four African American girls were killed in a bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. This event captured the country’s attention and Americans turned their eyes to this Southern city. Today, the church is a designated National Landmark and tourists come from all over the world to visit the spot where a grave injustice was done. A donation of $5 is requested, but you can tour the church for free. To learn more about this historical site go to: www.NPS.gov.
Explore indigenous plant life at Alabama’s largest living museum! Take a stroll through any of 20 thematic gardens including: Southern Living Garden, All-America Garden, Ireland Iris Garden, and the Kaul Wildflower Garden. Take a peek at the traditional Tea House in the Japanese Garden. Let the cares of the city melt away in this wildlife haven! To learn more about free things to do in Birmingham at the Botanical Gardens please visit: www.BBGardens.org.
If you are looking for free stuff in Birmingham, check out Vulcan Park. Birmingham’s industrial history is important to its current identity. The statue of the Roman god of the forge – Vulcan – plays a crucial role in that identity. At Vulcan Park, you can view the world’s largest cast iron statue as well as hear the story of Birmingham’s link to the god that has become a symbol of the city. To learn more about this free cultural opportunity go to: www.VisitVulcan.com.
Looking for free things to do in Birmingham? Check out Five Points South, a happening cultural district that offers live entertainment, trendy shops, and enough interesting folk to people-watch all day! Bonus: view Frank Fleming’s controversial sculpture: “The Storyteller.” To learn more about Birmingham free stuff go to: Fivepoints.SupportLocalFlavor.com.
This wildlife retreat is one of the most serene free things to do in Birmingham. Take advantage of the extensive 11-mile hiking and walking trail system. View indigenous Alabama species at the Visitor’s Center. Bring a picnic lunch and throw a ball around! For the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center please visit: www.RuffnerMountain.org.
Birmingham has long been known as a center of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1963, events transpired that turned the world’s attention to this once struggling racially divided city. Located in the aptly named Civil Rights District, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute promotes civil and human rights education. Take advantage of this free opportunity and learn about Birmingham’s role in one of the greatest nonviolent movements of our time. For more information please see: www.BCRI.org.
Kelly Ingram Park is located in the Civil Rights District of Birmingham and was the site of mass sit-ins, demonstrations, marches, and other protests during the Civil Rights Movement. The infamous “Bull” Connor turned high-pressure fire hoses on child demonstrators in this park. Today, the park displays art to commemorate the events that once transpired there. Stroll through Kelly Ingram Park and view a sculpture of police dogs attacking innocent bystanders. Find yourself in the middle of a story. For more information about free things to do in Birmingham at Kelly Ingram Park go to: www.NPS.gov.
Tour the old relics of Birmingham’s industrial past at Sloss Furnaces. The defunct blast furnaces, web of pipes, and towering smoke stacks create a spooky ambience. In fact, ghost hunters have been known to visit Sloss Furnaces due to the claim that it is haunted by old factory workers; it is documented as a site for paranormal activity. Tour the Furnaces today and connect with Birmingham’s history. To view the website visit: www.SlossFurnaces.com.
Sign up today for a free winery tour of some of the country’s most fertile wine country! Located about 40 miles from the Birmingham metro area, Morgan Creek Vineyards & Winery is worth the drive and highlights Southern wines. Another family-owned vineyard – Ozan Winery – also offers free sampling and tours of its vineyard. Of special note is the wine “Norton” which is pressed from a Native American red grape grown on site. To view free things to do in Birmingham at Morgan Creek Vineyards & Winery go to: www.MorganCreekWinery.com. For the Ozan Winery please visit: www.OzanWine.com.