Fun things to do in Homewood and beyond

By MIA BASS 

If you’re looking for a way to entertain and unwind with your kids this summer, Homewood and the surrounding areas are hopping with things to do.

Free Friday Flicks

Free Friday Flicks will continue in Homewood Central Park through August. The linup features Spongebob Squarepants (July 8), Over the Hedge (July 15), Chicken Run (July 22), Rango (July 29) and Tangled (August 5). Festivities start early with moon bounces and various food vendors. Movies begin around 8:15 p.m.

Homewood Public Library

Activities for kids are also available at the library. They will be hosting movie night on July 6, 4-6 p.m. Barrett will tell stories on July 8 at 10 a.m., and there will be a grand finale with a magic storyteller on July 27, 4-5 p.m.

Kids can learn about Chinese dance and culture on July 13, 4-5 p.m. and can take a look at the Iliana Motor Speedway Car Show on July 21 from 6-8 p.m. Of course, kids are encouraged to get a library card and take part in summer reading for their age range throughout the summer. For more information, check out http://www.homewoodpubliclibrary.org.

Beyond Homewood

These locations aren’t in Homewood but are too much fun for your family to miss this summer.

Birmingham Zoo. If you’ve got some adventurous kids on your hands, enroll them in a week-long day camp hosted by the Birmingham Zoo. Camps are available for each grade level, 4K through eighth grade. Half-day and full-day experiences are available as well as before and after camp care for busy parents on the run.

Camps include themes such as Everything Animals, Art Around the World, Africa and Beyond and ZSI: Zoo Scene Investigation. Registration is required through the zoo’s website, http://www.birminghamzoo.com.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens. If your child likes to enjoy nature, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers week-long camps throughout the summer that run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monet’s Garden will be held from July 11-15 and is limited to students entering third through sixth grades.

Let’s Dig Up Some Fun runs July 18-22 for children entering 5K through second grade. Animal Adventures from the Egg and Beyond is for third through sixth graders on July 25-29. During that same time frame, four and five year olds entering preschool are invited to Bug Expeditions. It’s a Buggy World is also offered from July 25-29 for entering 5K-second graders.

Online registration is required for these camps and additional information can be found at http://www.bbgardens.org.

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum. Take a train ride on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For more information, visit their website at http://www.hodrrm.org. Drive time from downtown Homewood: 36 minutes.

Southern Museum of Flight. Check out the Vietnam War helicopters at a special exhibit and see all the planes this museum has to offer. For more information, check out http://www.southernmuseumofflight.org. 13 minutes.

Pelham Ice Arena in the Pelham Civic Complex. Beat the heat and go ice skating with your family or a larger group. Admission is $7, and skates are $2. To learn more, visit http://www.pelhamciviccomplex.com. 21 minutes.

Tree Top Family Adventure.Drive out Highway 280 to this Chelsea destination for 66 lanes of mini bowling, mini-golf, go-karts, laser tag arena and Birmingham’s largest arcade. Visit http://www.treetopfamilyadventure.com for more information. 21 minutes.

iJump: Located in the Inverness area off Highway 280, kids will love the inflatable play equipment, indoor go karts and a rock climbing wall. Summer hours are Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 6 p.m. For additional information, call  981-2696. 13 minutes.

McWane Science Center: See their new special exhibit, the Imagination Lab, featuring a bubble room, zip line, giant maze and messy art studio. For more information, visit http://www.mcwane.org. 8 minutes.

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