The 2.38-mile winding track at Barber Motorsports Park plays home to the three exhilarating races set to zoom amid early spring greenery on this fully charged Sunday. Claim a perch on the hillside-grass seating or pump frenetic fists in the grandstand-seating area for the Star Mazda series as it whisks its four-wheeled velocity carts past your rapt self, then take in the revved up Firestone Indy Lights Race where vrooming vehicle masters take the helm of launched earthships. The IZOD IndyCar Series Race boasts gargantuan names in the whipfast world, including Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Will Power, and Peregrine "I Don't Need This Helmet But It's Regulation" Falcon. Acceleration aficionados can rest their own speed-hungry motors in the free parking lot at Birmingham Race Course on John Rogers Drive, with convenient track shuttles available. Otherwise, fleetness fans can opt to pay an additional, purchased-in-advance charge for on-site parking at the Barber Motorsports Park.
The owners of Starlite Farm share a combined 45 years experience in training show horses. At their equestrian center, they lead a staff that teaches beginners the basics of horseback riding with private lessons and train seasoned riders the ins and outs of equine competitions. They also give horses a place stay with boarding in 12’x12’ stalls and open their farm for birthday parties where little ones ride ponies, play games, and meet all the horses.
Though giant gorillas aren't indigenous to Alabama, there is a place where you can spot one: Adventure Park at Grants Mill. Zip-lines send riders soaring past a towering sculpture of the aforementioned ape as it clutches a helpless victim in one over-sized hand. Other parts of the complex are brimming with their own treasures: a restored train engine and train car planted in the parking lot house a sports bar and casual restaurant. Visitors can also bounce between an elevated ropes course, remote-control race car track, bungee dome, water wheel, and miniature golf course.
During the week, the lot at The Drive-In sits vacant—but it's far from abandoned. A bit before the clock strikes 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, cars start to crowd into empty spots. The carloads of families and couples on date night are there for the feature, which usually includes one kid-friendly movie—think Planes—or one for grownups, such as Wolverine. Plus, audience members can munch on buckets of popcorn as films unfold.
The Edge’s movie masters light up wall-to-wall screens with anticipated blockbusters and obscure indie flicks as guests kick back in high-backed, adjustable chairs. 18-inch risers position each row at just the right height for an unobstructed stadium-style view, and Dolby Digital surround sound systems tickle eardrums with multidimensional soundscapes. While cinephiles tuck in to tasty tidbits and delicious plotlines, moveable cup-holder armrests make it easy to stow beverages, snuggle with loved ones, or catapult beverages onto not-so-loved ones. The concessions stand sells beer and wine throughout screenings.