Just a few hours west of Atlanta, travel to the “Magic City” for the weekend.

Sloss Furnaces

Now considered a National Historic Landmark, this factory produced iron for almost 90 years. Stop by the educational Visitor’s Center to learn about the history of the building, and take a self-guided walking tour around the old, giant furnaces. Public-guided tours are free and held most Saturdays at 1 p.m. Call 205-254-2254 to make sure a tour is available.

Vulcan

Commissioned for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair to commemorate Alabama’s iron and steel industry, the Roman God of forge now stands tall over the city of Birmingham. The park and museum offer awesome views of downtown, and would be a great place to let the kids run around and have a picnic.

Homewood

A great area to walk around and visit local shops and restaurants including Steel City Pops for a delicious, homemade popsicle. Stop by Homewood Toy and Hobby Shop for some vintage toy finds and eat at Salem’s Diner, home to tons of Alabama and Auburn football memorabilia and tasty breakfast and lunch fare.

McWane Science Center

If you are walking around downtown, McWane is a great place to stop with the kids. Visit the Itty Bitty Magic City play area for kindergarten and younger, The Shark and Ray Touch Tank, The Bubble Room, ScienceQuest area and more. The Giant Theatre’s screens are dome-shaped for an enhanced experience.

Golden Flake Factory Tour

Have you ever wanted to visit a potato chip factory? Here is your chance to taste hot chips right from the conveyor belt. Learn about the history of Golden Flake Snack Foods, and see how chips are made straight from the potato. The best part is you get to taste-test several different flavors of their chips. Schedule your tour ahead of time. Tours last approximately one hour.

Other stops:

Post Office Pies: A post office turned hand-tossed pizza shop in Avondale.

Naked Art Gallery: Local, handmade art with pieces depicting Birmingham landmarks and beyond. Lots of fun trinkets for purchase as well.

Birmingham Museum of Art: A large collection of art and a hands-on kid’s area with make-your-own-art stations and projects inspired by current exhibits. Admission to the museum is free.

Joe Minter’s African Village in America: The house and yard areas are made from scraps – basketball hoops, statues, toys, and more. 931 Nassau Ave. SW, Birmingham.

Color Tunnel: A huge network of colorful LEDs installed in a tunnel – makes for a great photo spot. Located on 18th Street in downtown Birmingham near Railroad Park.

– Teresa Farkas

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