The Best Places to Get Outside with Kids in Birmingham


If there are any other moms out there looking to get their steps in and try some new fun parks and playgrounds, there are our lots of places to walk with kiddos. Most places you can get a good, quick one-to-three mile walk in, depending on your little one’s mood. Here are the best places to get outside with kids in Birmingham…

Heardmont Park

places to get outside with kids in Birmingham

Heardmont Park has it all. It’s a great place to start if you’re just need to stretch your legs. It has a playground in the center, a wide paved path, tennis courts, soccer fields, playful creeks, pickle ball courts, and a nice hike behind the courts on the outer edges under the trees. The shaded outer walking path is nice in the warmer months. It also has the Oak Mountain Eagles’ track and football stadium if you want to run stadiums and/or laps.

Veterans Park

places to get outside with kids in Birmingham

Veterans Park has the largest walking area and most kid-friendly play areas of this list. There is a smaller children’s playground, a larger children’s playground, a sandy set up of beach volleyball courts, several gravel paths around the pond, and shaded pathway to walk starting under the bridge and across the street. Just follow the nice gravel path! This has a long shaded loop that keeps you cooler for warm weather walks.

Chelsea Recreation Park

places to get outside with kids in Birmingham

At Chelsea Recreation Park, you’ll find a large, oval, paved pathway around the whole park. There are soccer fields at the top and a playground in the middle. It’s connected to the Chelsea Softball Complex below. We rented out a pavilion for LB’s 2nd birthday last year and regularly swing by for a quick walk and play stop outside after school!

Dunnavant Valley Greenway

places to get outside with kids in Birmingham

Dunnavant Valley Greenway is a hidden gem by the old SportsBlast soccer fields across from the Narrows off 280. The park starts at Dunnavant Valley as you drive toward Mt. Laurel and ends at the soccer fields. It’s a nice walk for several miles with some rocky patches and a trickling creek. This park is especially good for the winter months! It should already be under construction to be extended in the future.

Oak Mountain State Park

Although it costs for admission, Oak Mountain State Park has a lot to offer from water sports on the lake and beachy area, to a BMX track area, to the Alabama Wildlife Center bird sanctuary, to all the great camping things that a state park of this magnitude has to offer.

places to get outside with kids in Birmingham

We personally like to walk several of the trails with our son. If you go to the main trailhead parking lot and cross the road to get started, you’ll see the different trails that start there. We prefer to have our son walk Maggie’s Glenn. It’s about 1 mile to a lovely creek, and LB can make it there and back now that he’s 3. Next, we walk the main wide trail up to the Billy Goats Gruff Bridge, and that’s about as far as we make it on two feet with a toddler. We still don’t go far without our jogging stroller, just in case, but Oak Mountain’s hiking trails are not super stroller-friendly.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

There are so many hidden little trails in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens if you go to the far right upon entering. Cross a bridge, go up the paved hill, and you’ll find that about 10 hidden trails back up into what we call the “Rock Wall” and “Fairy Forest.” If planned right, this place can keep kids entertained for hours (with a snack)! You’ll get a trip that ends at the koi pond in the Japanese Gardens. 

Shoal Creek Park

In Montevallo, just past American Village, is the charming Shoal Creek Park with lots of cut trails on the right and left. It’s got a brilliant sunflower field in season, some picnic areas, historic areas, creeks, bridges, and bird-watching signs. This would be a great place for family pics, and it’s a nice day trip to just let the little legs easily follow the paths!

Lakeshore Trail 

Homewood Shades Creek Greenway (the Lakeshore Trail) stretches along the main road, Lakeshore, in Homewood. It would be great idea to train on this paved path for a run or a bike ride. It’s also a good place for a sunny Sunday afternoon stroll. You can start at one end of this path and end up at Brookwood Village at the end of Lakeshore.

Jemison Park

Jemison Park in Mountain Brook is always a popular walk. It runs alongside a lovely creek with a paved sidewalk for several miles. We don’t make it here very often, but in celebration, Bradley and I spent our anniversary weekend exploring this walkway and enjoying Davenport’s Pizza for the first time during the lock-down year.

Wald Park

Wald Park in Vestavia boasts of a recently remodeled park with all the bells and whistles. It holds two new playgrounds—one up top and an inclusive playground below, beside the baseball fields. 

Walking is still our favorite active family hobby. We try to get a walk in a few days a week, but we find other ways to exercise since our son has outgrown the jogging stroller. He walked his first half mile around 20 months on the boardwalk overlooking Mount Cheaha on July 4, 2020. He’s built up his stamina, and when he’s in a good mood, he can do about 2 miles at age 3. He loves to discuss and examine things he finds in the woods exclaiming, “God made this!” There are many other fun places to visit, but I’ll have to explore those another time. We can also show you all the great trails if you ever want to swing by Chelsea Park for a visit!

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Abigail Brock
A Birmingham native with an active, family-centered lifestyle, Abigail Brock has been an educational leader in Shelby County for over 8 years where she lives in Chelsea with her husband, BB and son, LB. She has a passion for meeting the social-emotional wellness needs in the lives of students, families, teachers and staff impacted by the educational system. She has a heart to encourage parents, especially moms, as they navigate each new season of raising preschool and school-age kids. She believes that moms are the glue of the home, but often need some daily TLC as they work to hold it all together!


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