Summer vacation may be over but that doesn’t mean summer has ended. According to the calendar, we technically still have a few more weeks of summer to enjoy and, although the heat can be brutal, Birmingham’s summers are filled with fun festivals and celebrations, outdoor activities, concerts and culinary delights that are still to come. Don’t let the late-summer fun pass you by — seize what’s left of summer and discover new adventures and hidden corners of the Magic City! Here are 10 things to do in Birmingham before the summer ends.
10 Things To Do in Birmingham Before the Summer Ends
1. Float, paddle and splash in Alabama’s waterways and parks.
Nothing beats the heat like spending the day wading and splashing in the water. Alabama’s waterways offer an abundance of natural beauty and refreshing relief from the Alabama heat. One of our favorite water adventures is tubing lazily down the Cahaba River. Bulldog Bend rents tubes and canoes and offers shuttle service to and from the put-in and take-out locations (3224 Bulldog Bend Road, Brierfield, AL 35035; (205) 926-7382). Or rent a stand-up paddle board, kayak, canoe or pedal boat at Oak Mountain State Park for an afternoon of nature-filled water exploration. If you’re more into the excitement of the theme park scene, head to Alabama Splash Adventure for a day of fun in the sun!
2. See a drive-in movie.
There’s nothing more fabulously ol’ school than taking in a movie at a drive-in movie theater and Birmingham has two great ones. The Coyote Drive-In & Canteen offers a double feature for $8 and the sprawling grounds include games, food vendors, drinks and live music. Or explore the Trussville area, then hunker down at Argo Drive-In Movie Theater and take in a flick under the stars.
3. Visit a farmers market.
Gorgeous produce, delicious eats, refreshing drinks, live music and creative wares made by local artisans — Birmingham’s farmers markets should make any local proud of Alabama’s bounty and its wonderful farmers, of our craftsmen and artists, and of our culinary creatives! It’s a great way to mingle with your fellow Birminghamians and to pick up some uber-fresh ingredients for making a summer feast! To find one, check out our Ultimate Guide to Birmingham’s Local Farmers’ Markets.
4. Get a sweet, homemade ice cream treat.
It’s like peanut butter and jelly or beer and pizza: Summer and ice cream just go together. Whether you catch the Big Spoon Creamery truck at the Tip Top Grill for a sunset ice cream sandwich or venture to Steel City Pops for an artisanal popsicle, savor every bite as the summer comes to an end. Try a new ice cream or popsicle place — just check out our guide to Birmingham’s favorite ice cream joints and popsicle stands.
5. Go ziplining.
Feel the cool wind rush against you as you soar through the trees — that’s one way to cool off! Red Mountain Park’s impressive Vulcan Materials Zip Trip features a series of seven exciting ziplines connected by treehouses, as well as a sky bridge, cable swing, rope swing and rappel. Or get wild at the Birmingham Zoo’s Soaring Safari Zipline Adventure, followed by an afternoon of seeing the zoo’s fabulous animals.
6. Enjoy the arts in the cool AC.
Outsmart the heat by staying in the icy-cool theaters of Birmingham. Downtown’s historic Theatre District will soon play host to the 12th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival and the city’s concert venues will feature world-class talent. Fashionistas from Birmingham and beyond will gather to share and celebrate their art at the BJCC Legacy Arena. There’s no shortage of artistic outings to take, so don’t miss your favorite art form!
- August 13: The Black Jacket Symphony Presents The Eagles’ Hotel California at Iron City
- August 17: Birmingham Mountain Radio Presents Jenny Lewis at Iron City
- August 19–21: Cirque du Soleil Presents TORUK – The First Flight at the BJCC Legacy Arena
- August 25: Comedian Lewis Black at The Lyric Theatre
- August 25–27: Birmingham Fashion Week at the BJCC Legacy Arena
- August 26–28: 12th Annual Sidewalk Film Fest
- September 15: Roseanne Cash at The Lyric Theatre
- September 16 – October 2: Monty Python’s SPAMALOT at The Virginia Samford Theatre
7. Spend a Thursday at Arlington Antebellum Homes & Gardens.
Each Thursday in the summer, from June to August, Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens hosts a lunch. Seatings are at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and the $18 admission fee also includes a tour of the 1840s antebellum home, which is only made complete with a stroll through the gorgeous gardens. For more information, visit Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens.
8. Track down a food truck.
Adventurous epicures rejoice! Birmingham has a veritable army of food trucks peppered across our fair city. What better way to savor the summer than by tracking down your favorite roaming kitchen! Whether it’s the spicy soul food from Eugene’s Hot Chicken, the authentic Mexican cuisine from Los Dos Hermanos or elevated pub-friendly fare from The Hot Tag food truck, the Magic City’s traveling chefs serve up some delicious eats! Follow your food-truck bliss with our Ultimate Guide to Birmingham’s Food Truck Scene.
9. Head to Lake Martin.
Rent a cabin or set up camp at lovely Lake Martin this summer! From swimming, skiing, boating, floating and fishing, to hiking, biking and horseback riding, Lake Martin offers so many fun activities. Take a boat ride to Peanut Point for some of the tastiest boiled peanuts on the lake, or book your reservations at the award-winning SpringHouse. For a full tour of this Alabama jewel, check out “Lake Martin, a Rejuvenating Alabama Refuge.”
10. Enjoy a Zyp BikeShare adventure through downtown Birmingham.
Take to the streets of the Magic City for a Zyp BikeShare adventure of your own making! Downtown Birmingham is brimming with growth and activities, from Railroad Park and Regions Field to the Rotary Trail, Second Avenue North’s hip scene, Pepper Place and all the way across the city to Avondale. Experience all the excitement by renting a Zyp bike at one of the downtown stations and experience it for yourself. To find a station near you, visit Zyp BikeShare.
For more events and happenings, be sure to check out our SB Happenings page. It’s also available in our FREE StyleBlueprint App, which is filled with events, local businesses, amazing local restaurants and so much more!