Situated on a 19-acre 'green' space that merges the "industrial and artistic heritage" of Birmingham, George's Boxcar Café serves a menu of casual eats and drinks, sating visitors during a variety of events held onsite. On nights with nice weather, the park is home to events such as Sounds & Snacks By The Tracks, featuring jazzy sounds of local musicians and the summery taste of hot dogs, burgers, and frisbees.
The sleek, dark body of the A-12 Blackbird is invisible to radar detection, but that doesn’t stop it from attracting the attention of every visitor to the Southern Museum of Flight in sight. The retired bomber is just one of the aircrafts in the Southern Museum of Flight’s outdoor collection, and it gives visitors a glimpse of what’s to come. Stepping inside, you can almost hear the purring engines from the Korean War jet or 1920s Huff-Daland crop duster.
Not only does the museum bring high-flown feats of engineering artistry down to earth, it sets its impressive collection of airplanes into realistic dioramas. The exhibits, designed to give life to the history of southern aviation, sprawl across 75,000 square feet and includes photographs, models, original engines, and the tiny gnomes that power them. The Korean War Jets exhibit, for example, uses mannequins and a surprisingly realistic mock-up of Kimpo Air Force Base to tell the story of No Kum Sok, a North Korean lieutenant in the Air Force who defected.
In one corner, kids practice cracking a safe. In another, tiny hands sift through sand to find ancient fossils, with no archaeologists in sight. Toddlers, meanwhile, wander through a surreal dreamscape of 10-foot milk cartons and car-sized paper towel rolls. But these aren’t scenes from a zany summer movie about all the adults disappearing: they're snapshots of the McWane Science Center, whose dozens of fun, interactive exhibits enliven science.
Notable exhibits include a collection of Alabama dinosaur skeletons that help us understand what life was like in the state millions of years ago. An aquarium area boasts a Shark & Ray Touch Tank, delighting visitors with an aquatic petting zoo. Interactive contraptions such as the pulley chair lift—which lets kids learn about simple machines as they hoist themselves aloft—convey abstract concepts with fun activities.
Featuring more than 20,000 square feet of play space, iJump's two locations delight pintsize adventurers with indoor attractions and all-inclusive birthday parties. After conquering inflatable slides and imaginary city-states, kids can hone their racing chops on two types of age-appropriate go-karts at iJump's original location. In addition, a 20-foot rock wall beckons explorers to strive towards its summit, and arcade games set kids on a quest for prizes. At the newer location in Crestwood, parents can relax in the lounge outfitted with a huge HDTV and free WiFi—amenities also available at the other facility—while kids safely submerge into the ball pit in search of lost wallets filled with prospective business clients. Committed to clean fun, iJump provides hand-sanitizer stations throughout its spaces.
The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is a stately 33,000-square-foot museum, where more than 5,000 sports artifacts are displayed in glass cases and frames. Memorabilia, jerseys, and photographs commemorate the great baseball players, football stars, and basketball players from across the ages, including Jesse Owens, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays. The museum gift shop features an eclectic array of souvenir T-shirts, stuffed animals, and local college team regalia.
• For $15, you get a bowling outing for two (up to a $32.50 value). The bowling outing includes the following: • One hour of open bowling any time except Friday and Saturday nights after 9 p.m. (up to a $20 value) • Two shoe rentals (up to a $6.50 value) • One pitcher of soda (a $6 value)