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Instead of sweating in the summer heat, local museums offer an air conditioned way to stimulate the brain. Museums all throughout Alabama have many features to offer and some even serve lunch after taking in all there is to see. We’ve got a list of museums just ready and waiting for you to visit. Get to know about them here!





Birmingham Museum of Art

The nationally recognized Birmingham Museum of Art is currently hosting five exhibitions that range from Southern Gothic to an African Gallery Reinstallation. The museum hosts regular events from concerts to costume making workshops to its Slow Art Sundays in downtown Birmingham.

·      Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is open until 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. It is closed on Monday.

·      General admission is free.

·      Families and children are always welcome to for drop-in programs such as Bart’s ArtVentures.

·      Adults can enjoy a lunch at Oscar’s, a Diner’s Choice for 2015, which is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and on select Sundays.


Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

Sitting on 4th Avenue is Birmingham’s Jazz Hall of Fame, where jazz artists with ties to Alabama are remembered. Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and more are showcased in the hall to help appreciate the culture behind jazz music.

·      Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed Sunday and Monday.

·      General admission for self-guided tours is $2 and is $5 for guided tours.

·      The museum has over 2,200 square feet of exhibits and sponsors performances around Birmingham.

·      To see different upcoming events for the Jazz Hall, go to jazzhall.com/events.


Southern Museum of Flight

Home to over 90 aircraft, the Southern Museum of Flight is one of the largest aviation museums of the Southeast. Its 75,000 square foot facility highlights aircraft and memorabilia from civilian to military to experimental aircraft. Exhibits honor the Tuskegee Airmen, show Vietnam War helicopters and are even housed outdoors.

·      Open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and closed Sunday and Monday.

·      Admission for adults is $7 and admission for seniors and students is $6.

·      Aviation Adventure Camps for children begin June 13. Opportunities for both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are available.

·      For more information, see southernmuseumofflight.org.





Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts is currently showing four exhibits that vary in medium and message. The museum’s collections range as well, from African artifacts to historical porcelain pieces. As the oldest fine arts museum in the state, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has seen artwork of all different stories, shapes and sizes.

·      Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays.

·      Admission is free and lunch is served at Café M Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

·      Collections include American paintings, sculptures, Old Master Prints and more. Plans for a new sculpture garden are being developed.

·      Summer art camps for children begin June 22.

·      To see more about the museum, visit mmfa.org.


Rosa Parks Library and Museum

Named after the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” the Rosa Parks Library and Museum sits on the Troy State University Montgomery campus. The museum preserves materials related to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Seven thousand square feet are dedicated to the history behind and related to Mrs. Parks and the boycotts.

·      Open

·      Admission for children 12 years and younger is $5.50 and for children over 12 years of age it is $7.50.

·      Features The Children’s Wing, where visitors can take a time machine ride into a 1955 Montgomery city bus to understand the events Mrs. Parks underwent.

·      Original historical documents are also on loan from the City of Montgomery from the era.


Freedom Rides Museum

The Freedom Rides Museum allows a step back into the past in Montgomery’s historic Greyhound Bus station. Using artwork, architectural elements and more, visitors are able to see how the Freedom Riders were able to make an impact during their time period. Visitors can follow the Freedom Rides story via outdoor exhibit panels, works of art, video exhibits and more.

·      Open Friday and Saturday only from noon to 4 p.m.

·      Admission for adults is $5. For children ages six through 18, admission is $3. College student, senior and military admission is $4.

·      Educational opportunities and preservation programs are available via the museum’s website at preserveala.org.





Children’s Hands-On Museum

Located in downtown Tuscaloosa, the Children’s Hands-On Museum centers on learning through play for children who pass through its colorful doors. Children are encouraged to touch, feel and play in the exhibits that make up the museum’s three floors of installations for ages up to 13.

·      Open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

·      Admission is free for children under one year old, $3 for children under three years old, $9 for children and individuals older than three years and $7 for seniors.

·      Visits are self-guided and all are hands-on play and an exhibit is offered solely for infants.

·      Readmission cards are issued for visitors who wish to leave and return to the museum for same-day use.

·      See chomonline.org for a virtual tour and more information.


Alabama Museum of Natural History        

The Alabama Museum of Natural History is housed within The University of Alabama’s Smith Hall on campus. The museum, home to labs and classrooms for University students, is home to collections that date back to the late 1800s. Collections in the museum include history collections, ethnology collections and more.

·      Open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

·      Admission for adults is $2 and $1 for children and seniors. Children under five, University students, faculty and staff are all given free admission.

·      The museum hosts summer programs for children that include museum expeditions, a science day camp and an art day camp.

·      Visit almnh.ua.edu/summer-programs to find out more.


Paul W. Bryant Museum

Focused on the preservation of all University of Alabama sports, the Paul W. Bryant Museum is home to decades of Alabama sports history. The museum holds six permanent exhibits dedicated to Alabama football and has an archive library dedicated to published materials about Alabama sports.

·      Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

·      Admission for children under six is free of charge. Admission for adults is $2 and is $1 for children and seniors.

·      Visitors can view a hall of honor complete with a bust of Alabama football coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant.

·      See bryantmuseum.com for more.



Photos: The Birmingham Museum of Art and the Montgomery Freedom Rides Museum

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Rocket City Journal is Huntsville, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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