Birmingham Parent - The Guide - January 2023

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Family Guidebook 2023 Birmingham’s Favorite Parenting Resource Celebrating More than 19 Years in Publishing 844-367-0045 844-367-0045 HIGHLANDS SCHOOL SUMMER CAMP (205) 956-9731 ext. 606 Schedule a FREE orientation today! Enroll Now and Save up to $50!* *Enroll between February 1-28, 2023. ©2023 Kumon North America Inc. All rights reserved. Kumon Math and Reading Center of Hoover 205.444.9485 Dr. Sheridyn Breedlove Dr. Alison McAfee Dr. Tiffany Moore Dr. Lisa Frees (205) 978-8245 4801 Altamont Road South Birmingham, AL 35222 205-879-2006 JANUARY 2023 THE PREMIER PARENTING MAGAZINE FOR CENTRAL ALABAMA 2737 Highway 280 S #141A Mountain Brook, AL 35223 205-437-1111 mountainbrook 844-367-0045 205-848-7800 205-620-6448

Happy New Year

from our team at Brookwood Women’s Center!

We make birth days special with luxury suites and postpartum care, including advanced neonatal services. And as the seasons of life move forward, we provide comprehensive care for women’s health. It ’s our pleasure to help you live your best life. We look forward to serving you!

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2 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023

Experience Tropic Falls at OWA! 23 amusement park rides and the region’s biggest indoor water park, plus, coming in 2023, our all-new wave pool and surf simulator.

Just steps away, experience Downtown OWA, an idyllic Southern downtown with entertainment, shopping and dining, like family-style meals at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen!


Family Guidebook 2023 Welcome to Our...

I’ve seen a lot of jokes on social media about 2023. Since the roller coaster years of 2020-2022, folks are joking we are going to quietly sneak into 2023 and look around and try not to make waves. I’m hoping 2023 is GREAT for all of us – waves and all – and only good things are coming our way.

We are glad Birmingham Parent made it through another challenging year, and we appreciate you, the readers, and you, the advertisers, sticking with us and supporting us. We’ve learned to survive, and we have to keep updating, changing and almost reinventing ourselves.

Now, we hope you enjoy our latest version of The Guide, now Birmingham Parent’s Family Guidebook 2023, full of important information, access to important numbers and website, and a lot of good information. We have all the resources that you will need ALL YEAR LONG here. Please consider this your 2023 handbook of resources.

2023 is our 19th year of publishing Birmingham Parent. We are exciting about bringing our in-person events, like Camp Expo (Feb. 18, 2023) – now celebrating its 30th year; Special Needs Expo (March 18, 2023) and Happy Healthy Kids Fair (date TBD) back. You’ll see more online and social media promotions from us in 2023, as well as our great contests and giveaways! We are continuing our Birthday Club, Homeschool Corner and My Favorite Teacher, introduced in 2022 and continuing in 2023.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as logging on to where you can sign up for our free weekly e-blast, The Buzz, Home Edition, from Birmingham Parent, as well as all our online communications. This eblast was a product of the first year of Covid, one of the “good things” that came out of a really bad time.

Don’t miss a thing with Birmingham Parent. We are the only 7-times-a-year local, free, parenting magazine in our area! We’d love to hear from you more about what you’d like to read in BP this year. Send us a message on social media or email me.

And cheers to 2023 – wishing you all good things in the new year!

Thanks for reading,


Carol Muse Evans is the publisher/editor/owner of Birmingham Parent magazine, a publication she and her husband David began in 2004. The Birmingham, Alabama-based parenting publication attracts more than 60,000 readers monthly in a four-county area and receives 10,000 hits per month on its website. The magazine has a 20,000+ print circulation, plus several thousand in readership of the digital edition online. It is the only independently audited free publication in our area. Evans is an award-winning writer and editor who has also has written for several other publications as a freelance writer since the late 80s. She is a graduate of Auburn University in journalism and is a graduate of Scottsboro High School. She is married with two grown children and lives in Alabaster. She is a member of Alabama Press Association and Southeastern Advertisers and Publishers Association (SAPA).

Lori Chandler Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent. She also is a freelancer for Business Alabama magazine and has written/edited for several other publications. This award-winning writer and editor is a graduate of the University of Alabama in news/editorial and Hueytown High School. She is married with two children.

CORRECTION: In the November/December 2022 issue of Birmingham Parent, in the “Ask the Specialist” column about midwifery, Shelia Lopez was mistakenly identified as a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife). She is a CNM, a Certified Nurse Midwife.

703 Logan Rd., Suite 150 Clanton, AL 35045 205-624-2405 205-403-5224 FAX



David & Carol Evans

EDITOR Carol Muse Evans

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lori Chandler Pruitt

CONTRIBUTORS BrandPoint Sarah Lyons Paige Townley sales BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Tom Gonzales


BIRMINGHAM PARENT IS A PUBLICATION OF EVANS PUBLISHING, LLC. Publishers: Carol Muse Evans, David K. Evans Sr. Birmingham Parent (EIN200694149) is published monthly by Evans Publishing LLC. or Birmingham Parent is © 2022 by Evans Publishing LLC.

Family Connections Media ©2021-2022 by Evans Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permis sion is prohibited. Editorial submissions are welcome. For back issues, please send a self-addressed 10” x 13” envelope with $4 for postage and handling.

4 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023
web production Digtial Doo-Wop DISTRIBUTION T&P Deliveries Legal Counsel Balch & Bingham LLP
ed note | 5 So families can stay close when it matters most. @rmhcalabama Provide a meal Round-Up for RMHC Red Shoe Run

In Case of Emergency

Local emergency authorities in any area 911

General listings of Crisis Numbers:

American Association of Poison Control Centers 800-222-1222

Parenting Assistance Line – PAL – parenting support, etc. Call 866-962-3030 or text PAL to 274448

The Crisis Center

Serving the Counties of Central Alabama Crisis/Suicide Line 24 hours/7 days 205-323-7777

UTalk Youth Line for Teens Call or text about anything 3-10pm every day 205-328-5465

UTalk Youth Line Call or text about anything 3-10pm every day 205-328-5465

Senior Talk Line

Free, confidential telephone reassurance service for senior citizens, caregivers, retirees, widowed persons, grandparents and others. 205-328-8255

Rape Response

Available 24/7 205-323-7273

Veterans Crisis Line

Free, confidential support for veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve and family members/friends. Services for deaf and hard of hearing individuals offered. Available 24/7 Dial 988 then press 1; text 838255; chat online at

Jefferson County Recovery Resource Center

The program provides information about drug and alcohol abuse, as well as details on how to obtain help for yourself or a loved one. A list of various treatment options and available resources are also provided to callers. Available 8:30am-5pm 205-458-3377


Sneaky Ways to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

As a mom of three toddlers, I understand the challenge of getting your kids to eat vegetables daily. It is recommended that kids eat three servings of vegetables per day. This may seem like quite a feat, especially if your child has declared crackers and chicken nuggets to be their main source of nutrition.

Here are some simple ways to sneak veggies into your child’s diet. Who knows? Maybe you will end up eating more vegetables too.

Hide it. With a little planning you can easily hide veggies in almost all your child’s favorite foods. Zucchini can be finely grated into spaghetti sauce, taco meat, or sloppy joes. Pureed carrots can be disguised in macaroni and cheese and cooked and mashed cauliflower can be easily hidden in mashed potatoes or potato soup.

Offer it. I received a covered vegetable tray as a gift and decided to fill it with the carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cauliflower that were just sitting in my refrigerator. I began to set the veggie tray out at mealtime and during snacks and to my pleasant surprise, my kids started to eat them. They ate so many I had to fill the tray again and again. Add some hummus, ranch or dill dip, or peanut butter and they will be even more likely to dig in. This will help cut down on the “Can I have a snack?” questions and you’ll know they are getting a nutritious option instead.

Blend it. Kids love smoothies because they are delicious and fun to eat. Vegetables like spinach and kale can be blended into smoothies or yogurt without changing the taste. Offer a fun cup to drink out of or buy your own refillable squeeze pouches or yogurt sleeves to encourage kids to drink their hidden veggie smoothies in ways that they are familiar with.

Bake it. Kids rarely turn down a sweet treat and it is easy to sneak veggies in without them even noticing. Zucchini and carrots can be baked into quick breads, muffins, cakes and cookies and you will receive little to no complaints.

Model it. Our actions speak louder than our words. When kids see parents eating veggies on a regular basis, they are more likely to do so as well. Modeling a healthy diet and exercise for your kids will help them learn to do the same.

Prepare it. Kids are much more likely to try new foods when they do the preparation themselves. Get the kids involved in the kitchen and have them choose vegetables to add to their menu. You can also try planting a garden in your own backyard. When kids grow and prepare their own food, they are much more likely to eat it because they have ownership in the project.

Don’t give up. It may seem like your kids will never break the routine of chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and crackers but don’t give up. Exposure makes them more likely to try new foods, even vegetables.

Sarah Lyons is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to six kids, including seven-year-old triplets.

8 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023
The Resource Every Parent Needs The Parenting Assistance Line (PAL) is a free service available to anyone who wants information and support in becoming a more confident parent or caregiver. If you have a parenting question or just need a sympathetic ear, give us a call, text or visit our website to chat online. 866-962-3030

Area Health Departments

Alabama Department of Public Health

201 Monroe St. Montgomery, AL 36104 General Information: 800-252-1818 Emergency Preparedness Information: 866-264-4073

Chilton County Health Department

301 Health Center Dr. Clanton, AL 35046 205-755-1287

Cullman County Health Department

601 Logan Ave. S.W. Cullman, AL 35055 256-734-1030

Jefferson County Department of Health

Central Health Center

1400 Sixth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-933-9110

Eastern Health Center 601 West Blvd. Roebuck Birmingham, AL 35206 205-588-5234 (appointments)

Western Health Center 631 Bessemer Super Hwy. Midfield, AL 35228 205-588-5234 (appointments)

Shelby County Health Department

2000 County Services Dr. Pelham, AL 35124 205-664-2470

St. Clair County Health Department

1175 23rd St. N. Pell City, AL 35125 205-338-3357

Tuscaloosa County Health Department 2350 Hargrove Road E. Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 205-562-6900

HEALTHY YOU 2023 10 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2023

Childrens AL •org

In the little moments and major milestones of childhood, we are here for our patients and their families – helping, healing, teaching and discovering. Brand_HERE_BabyHand_Birmingham-Parent_7.25x4.8.indd 1 | 11
10:52 AM



Children’s of Alabama

1600 Seventh Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-9100

Children’s South Pediatric Outpatient Center

1940 Elmer J. Bissell Rd. Birmingham, AL 35243 205-638-4800

UAB Hospital 1802 Sixth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-934-3411

UAB Women & Infants Center 1700 Sixth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-934-3411

UAB Medical West 995 Ninth Ave. S.W. Bessemer, AL 35022 205-481-7000

UAB Highlands 1201 11th Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35205 205-939-4939

UAB Callahan Eye Hospital 1720 University Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-325-8254

Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham

810 St. Vincent’s Dr. Birmingham, AL 35205 205-939-7000

Ascension St. Vincent’s St. Clair

7063 Veterans Pkwy. Pell City, AL 35125 205-338-3301

Ascension St. Vincent’s East 50 Medical Park Dr. E. Birmingham, AL 35235 205-838-3000

Ascension St. Vincent’s Blount 150 Gilbreath Dr. Oneonta, AL 35121 205-274-3000

Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton 2030 Lay Dam Road Clanton, AL 35045 205-258-4400

Encompass Health Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital 3800 Ridgeway Dr. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-868-2000

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Shelby County 900 Oak Mountain Commons Lane Pelham, AL 35124 205-216-7600

Brookwood Baptist Medical Center 2010 Brookwood Medical Center Dr. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-877-1000

Birmingham VA Medical Center 700 S. 19th St. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-933-8101

Cooper Green Mercy Health Services 1515 Sixth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-930-3200

Grandview Medical Center 3690 Grandview Pkwy. Birmingham, AL 35243 205-971-1000

Shelby Baptist Medical Center

1000 First St. N. Alabaster, AL 35007 205-620-8100

Princeton Baptist Medical Center 701 Princeton Ave. S.W. Birmingham, AL 35211 205-783-3000

Walker Baptist Medical Center 3400 Hwy. 78 E. Jasper, AL 35501 205-387-4000

Citizens Baptist Medical Center 604 Stone Ave. Talladega, AL 35160 256-362-8111

Cullman Regional Medical Center 1912 AL Hwy. 157 Cullman, AL 35058 256-737-2000

DCH Regional Medical Center 809 University Blvd. E. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 205-759-7111

Northport Medical Center 2700 Hospital Dr. Northport, AL 35476 205-333-4500

Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center 3701 Loop Rd. E. Tuscaloosa, AL 35404 205-554-2000

YOU 2023 | 13 HEALTHY YOU 2023

The Benefits of Healthy Snacking

Ahealthyand well-balanced diet is important for kids to maintain healthy growth and development. Snack time is a great way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into a child’s daily diet. Here are some of the benefits of healthy snacking:

Snacking helps kids develop healthy habits. Including three meals and two healthy snacks into your child’s daily diet helps kids learn healthy eating habits that will stick with them for a lifetime. Providing a well-balanced and healthy diet helps kids learn appropriate portion control, to eat (and enjoy) a variety of foods including fruits and vegetables and develop a healthy relationship with food. Kids who learn these valuable habits early are less likely to form unhealthy eating habits such as eating out of boredom or based on emotional factors. They also learn to eat when they are hungry and stop eating when they are full, a skill many adults struggle with.

Snacking gives kids the boost they need. Without snacking, kids are less likely to meet the suggested nutritional intake to maintain a healthy diet because their stomachs are smaller and become full with a smaller meal. Adding two small snacks a day that provide fruit, veggies, low fat dairy, or whole grain helps kids fill in the nutritional gaps they may have been missing from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition, snacks provide a boost of energy to get kids through the rest of the day.

Snacking benefits a child’s overall health. The development of healthy eating habits at a young age decreases the likelihood of children developing diseases like cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Kids who eat more fruits and vegetables and less “junk food” that contain high quantities of sugar are also more likely to have better dental hygiene. Kids who maintain a healthy diet, including smart snack choices, are less likely to binge on foods high in calories and carbohydrates.

Snacking helps power brain development. Kids who eat healthy snacks are generally more prepared to listen and learn at school because their bellies are full. They have more energy and are more attentive in class. Hungry kids become irritable, tired, and less alert. A healthy snack can do a lot to help kids grow and develop properly.

Now, how do parents get kids to eat the fruits and vegetables their bodies need? Prepare fun snacks, which encourages kids to try new foods and may even help them to forget they are eating healthy food at all. Here are some great snacks that kids will have fun eating.

» Frozen banana “ice cream.” Simply slice a banana and freeze overnight. The next day put the bananas in a blender or food processor, and the result will taste similar to ice cream.

» Apple slices. Slices of apple can be more appetizing for kids and are fun to eat. Add a side of peanut butter for dipping to make them even more appealing.

» Fruit kabobs. Create “caterpillars” out of grapes for a snack. Another way is to use cookie cutters to cut interesting shapes.

» Ants on a log. Simply fill celery with peanut butter and top with raisins.

» Dinosaur broccoli trees. To a kid, broccoli resembles a tree. Bring the dinosaur toys to the table to “share the trees.” Add ranch or blue cheese dip, or cottage cheese on the side.

» Zucchini spaghetti. Kids love spaghetti. This alternative is just as tasty as traditional spaghetti noodles.

Sarah Lyons is a freelance writer.

14 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022
YOU 2023
HEALTHY | 15 Where We Know Your Child By Name 2409 Acton Road, Suite171 Birmingham, AL, 35243 (205) 978-8245 Sick Visits, Immunizations, Well-Child Visits and Newborn Care Our trained team of pediatricians can diagnose and treat a wide range of acute illnesses. We accept patients ranging in age from newborn to adolescence. HEALTHY YOU 2023 IN STUDIO OR OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY AVAILABLE 205-902-0385 FAMILY CHILDREN NEWBORN SENIORS COUPLES MATERNITY WEDDING BOUDOIR PHOTOGENIC MODELING EVENTS ENGAGEMENT No Sitting or Session Fees! SAVE THE DATE! Feb. 18, 2023 McWane Science Center BOOTHS AND SPONSORSHIPS STILL AVAILABLE! Call 205-624-2405 or email or go to Presented by: Sponsored by::


For decades the Mathnasium Method™ has transformed the way kids learn math. We build a foundation for math mastery for children of all ages/grades through deep understanding by starting with what they already know, addressing any learning gaps, expanding their mathematical thinking and adding new concepts in sequence. This proprietary method works for kids of all ages and skill levels, whether they’re struggling in math,

doing okay but could be doing better, or are already excelling but need more of a challenge. When kids see what they can achieve because of their proficiency in math, it can alter the course of their entire lives.

We offer in-center learning in Mountain Brook off Highway 280 with instructors or online from anywhere, perfect for any child and different learning needs. No matter the option, face-to-face learning is what


Fun and learning never end at McWane Science Center, a nonprofit, hands-on museum and IMAX® Dome Theater. This state-of-the-art museum is located in the heart of Birmingham’s downtown revitalization district. McWane Science Center has welcomed millions of visitors— from ages 1 to 100 — year-round to see, to hear, to touch, and to experience the wonder of science in one of the South’s most unique venues.

Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder —you can play tunes with your feet on the Giant Piano, learn about gravity with a daring ride on the High Cycle or pet the sharks and stingrays in the Shark & Ray Touch Tank – there is a new discovery around every corner. The adventure intensifies in the IMAX® Dome Theater, where wide-eyed visitors experience the sights and sounds of breathtaking films on


Acton Road Pediatrics is where Birmingham children come first, and where pediatricians and patients work together to provide exceptional medical care for kids in the area. We know how hectic life can be and are committed to making our practice convenient and accessible for your family. We want you to feel confident that when you choose us as your child's primary physician, you're working with professionals who

are qualified, experienced and caring.

Our goal is to provide routine care starting at the newborn visit all the way through age 18 (or graduation from high school whichever comes first). We also aim to take care of any medical issues that may arise outside of the routine checkup. These issues may range from medical problems, including special needs, to social, developmental,


offer a quality summer program as well. Highlands summer camp offers challenging activities, talented teachers and the great variety that you have come to expect from Highlands School.

• Online registration starting in early February

• Half days or full days available (Enrichment and Traditional)

your child will receive with Mathnasium.

Our math instructors are:

• Advanced in mathematics

• Passionate about teaching math, online and in person

• Focused on each student's learning plan

• Always patient

• Background-checked

2737 Highway 280 S #141A Mountain Brook, AL 35223 205-437-1111 mountainbrook

a 5-story-tall screen surrounded by 3 tons of high-intensity speakers.

For over 20 years, McWane Science Center has stayed true to its mission – to spark wonder and curiosity about our world through hands-on science. As a cornerstone of the downtown community, McWane opens its doors to young and old alike for laughter, learning and an experience like no other. 205-714-8300

Highlands School’s Higher Degree of Learning does not end when the school year is over. We

• Come for just one week or all seven!

• Early drop-off and late pick up available

behavioral, nutritional, or school problems.

Acton Road Pediatrics has been a staple in the metro Birmingham area for 14 years. It has been and continues to be our privilege to care for the children in our community and to be a part of their journey to adulthood.

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

Our Enrichment camps include active, artistic, academic and just plain fun choices. Be sure to note that we offer morning sessions, some afternoon sessions and some full day camps! We also offer full day Traditional Day Camp which includes weekly themes and trips to the pool.

Open to Kindergarten through 8th grade from June 5 - July 28, 2023 and closed the week of July 3 - 7.

2409 Acton Road Suite 171 Birmingham, AL, 35243 (205) 978-8245




4901 Old Leeds Road

Birmingham, AL 35213

Summer Director, Lisa Camp,

(205) 956-9731 ext. 606

16 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023 MEET THE COVER SPONSORS
Where We Know Your Child By Name Dr. Sheridyn Breedlove | Dr. Alison McAfee Dr. Tiffany Moore | Dr. Lisa Frees


Odyssey was created by educators who dreamed of opening an early learning center where children could be nurtured and taught by a highly trained and loving staff. That dream was realized when our Inverness school opened in 1995, and then again in 2001, with the opening of our second school in Trace Crossings.

Odyssey’s goal is to create a life-long love of learning. We have developed our own age appropriate curriculum, specifically designed to introduce each age grouping to lan -

guage, reading, math, science and more, so that your child will possess a strong foundation for Kindergarten and beyond. Additionally, we guarantee teachers with four-year education degrees in all preschool classrooms and offer exceptional child-to-teacher ratios.

At our schools, you can watch your child’s entire day in live, streaming, HD video over the Internet, through an individual, secure connection linked directly to your child’s classroom. We want our parents to know what happens during

their child’s day, and Odyssey is the only Over-the-Mountain daycare to offer this service.

Our team works tirelessly to earn its reputation as the best childcare option for Birmingham parents,and we invite you to visit today to witness for yourself what so many other families have known since 1995! Visit for more info.




Dr. Tabitha J. Gatrey, a native of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is a board-certified pediatric dentist. She is a graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She went on to receive her Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry with Research Honors. While serving as Chief Resident, Dr. Gatrey also com -


pleted her residency in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. During residency Dr. Gatrey completed training with special needs persons and medically compromised children at the Sparks Dental Clinic. Visiting the dentist at Pediatric Smiles is a fun adventure. We like dental visits to be a positive experience for future visits that last through

adulthood. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

4823 Promenade Pkwy. Suite 101 Bessemer, AL 35022 205-230-9000 205-230-9000

The Learning Tree, Inc. serves children with intellectual disabilities and autism. More than 700 children are served each year primarily from across Alabama and the southeastern region of the country. Programs include preschool services, residential, educational, clinic-based applied behavioral analysis services, and consultation services. Current programs are located in Huntsville, Birmingham, Anniston, Jacksonville,


Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children. Ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves patients from every county in Alabama and nearly every state. With more than 3.5 million square feet, it is one of the largest pediatric medical facilities in the United States.

Children’s offers inpatient and

outpatient services at its Russell Campus on Birmingham’s historic Southside with additional specialty services provided at Children’s South, Children’s on 3rd and in Huntsville and Montgomery. Primary medical care is provided in more than a dozen communities across central Alabama.

Children’s is the only health system in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is a private, not-for-

Tallassee, Montgomery and Mobile. Growing Independence Behavioral Services, outpatient clinics for applied behavior analysis (ABA) services, are located in Birmingham, Anniston, Montgomery, and Mobile. For Clinic services call our referral line at (334) 425-6418 or for other inquiries visit our website at

profit medical center that serves as the teaching hospital for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs. The medical staff consists of UAB faculty and Children’s full-time physicians as well as private practicing community physicians.

1600 7th Ave. South, Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-9100 | 17 MEET THE COVER SPONSORS
Growing Independence Behavioral Services


Mon Ami, a children’s boutique in English Village, caters to boys and girls learning to style themselves during the awkward period between childhood and teenage years. It offers fashionable clothes and accessories for sizes 4-16/18 in both boys and girls clothing.

Mon Ami doesn’t just sell clothes, though. According to owner Aja Powanda, it provides “fashion, style, comfort and confidence to the tween and emerging tween, helping them to create their own

style during a sometimes-awkward stage in life.”

Aja Powanda opened Mon Ami, her first fashion boutique in 2019, with the hopes of building a clientele of confidently fashionable young members of the greater Birmingham community.

Since she opened her doors, Powanda has been dedicated to providing excellent service to all of her young clients and their families.

“We are here for the customers!


Every day, our doctors and nurses work with patients who need compassionate medical care.

At Brookwood’s Women’s Medical Center, we are here to care for women through all phases of life.

We offer a full scope of women’s services, including obstetrics, gynecology, urogynecology, fertility, maternal fetal medicine, gynecologic oncology, pelvic pain,

obstetrics ER, women’s diagnostics, robot-assisted surgeries, women’s operating room (specific for women’s surgeries), breast cancer navigator, birth navigator, Level III NICU, neonatologists, classes for new moms and dads, breastfeeding support groups, cord blood donation program and more.

What makes us special?

The Women’s Medical Center is a leader in gynecologic ro -

We deliver in the local area to their door. We can stay late or open early. We have opened for families on an off day. We will make private appointments,” she says.

Powanda has also become very involved in the community surrounding her boutique. She’s a member of the Junior League of Birmingham and the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce. She also supports the Chris Hammond Youth Foundation.

40 Church St. Birmingham, AL 205-848-7800

botic surgeries. We also hold several awards and distinctions, recognized by the Joint Commission (perinatal care certification), the State of Alabama Breastfeeding Committee (Better Bama Babies), BCBS Distinction Center for Maternity Care, International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (consultant care award) and many more.


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama (RMHCA) serves 73 families every night, providing them with a “home-away-fromhome” while their children receive medical care in Birmingham. In addition to providing a comfortable bedroom with a private bathroom, we surround families with love and support from volunteers, staff and other guest families who share the same hopes and fears. We provide volunteer-provided meals, family

program and activities, indoor and outdoor play areas, laundry facilities, WiFi and much more so that our guest families can concentrate on what is most important – their child’s health.

Our two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, located at UAB Women & Infants Center and DCH Regional Medical Center (Tuscaloosa), provide an inviting oasis of calm for families, while increasing their ability to advocate for their child. They

can find comfort, care and support without leaving their child’s side.

We may not be able to make the medicine taste better or take away painful treatments. But by keeping families together and close to their child’s medical team, RMHCA and its supporters can help lessen the burden and ensure families have the stability and resources to get and keep their child healthy and happy. Learn more at


Tucked below Oak Mountain, only 20 minutes south of Birmingham, the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena is Shelby County’s finest entertainment, conference, and banquet facility. With two NHL-sized ice arenas (that easily transforms into 30,000-square feet of exhibition space), a Skating School, Skating-Birthday Party Rooms, and 7,000 square feet of elegant banquet and conference space, Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena is the ideal place for special events.

The Pelham Skate School provides instruction for the beginning figure skater, hockey player, or recreational skater, with classes for students of all ages and levels. Beginning levels of ice skating are taught through the guidelines of Learn to Skate USA.

Our Skate School Coaches and our Director of Skating are Learn to Skate USA Certified Coaches and members of U.S. Figure Skating and/or USA Hockey and the Birmingham Figure Skating Club. Our private coaches are

members of the Professional Skater's Association, Learn to Skate USA, the Birmingham Figure Skating Club, and U.S. Figure Skating.

Whether your interest lies in healthy competition or simply in recreation and exercise, the Pelham Skating School provides a well-balanced professional atmosphere for learning. Group classes are offered on an 8-week schedule meeting once a week and private lessons are available.

To learn more about the Women’s Medical Center, visit


500 Amphitheater Road

Pelham, AL 35124 205-620-6448

18 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023 MEET THE COVER SPONSORS


Dr. Angelica Rohner is a specialist in the field of Pediatric and Adolescent Dentistry.

What’s so special? Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry, dedicated to the oral health of children, ranging from infants to teens.

Dr. Rohner and her highly trained staff work hard to make each child’s dental visit fun and exciting, resulting in a great attitude toward dentistry and,

ultimately, oral health. On a daily basis we hear our patients say, “I love the dentist!”

We take pride in great clinical and conversational experiences with our patients. We realize that taking care of our patient’s guardian is equally important. Our office works with you to schedule appointments that work best for your child and their schedule. Our convenient location makes


The Altamont School is Birmingham’s independent college preparatory school for students in grades 5-12.

For 50 years, its rigorous academic requirements, leadership education, athletic opportunities and personalized college search program have given students outstanding preparation for higher education and professional leadership. One-hundred percent of graduates are accepted into four-year colleges and universities.

The school’s light, open architecture is inspired by the natural

beauty of its 28-acre wooded campus atop Birmingham’s Red Mountain. In addition to an exceptional collection of art displayed in every space, the main school building features 40 classrooms, science labs, a fine arts center, a student center, an art gallery, a sculpture garden, a computer center with 3-D printers and a laser engraver, a 6,300-volume library, and studios for orchestra, art, photography and audio-visual

a trip to the dentist easy. We also supply text, email and/ or phone confirmations and communication pathways. It is an honor for our patient’s parents to trust us with the well being of their children. This is never taken lightly and is evident in the concierge style environment they provide. Let Dr. Rohner and her dental team take care of you and your child!


production. Athletic facilities include two basketball courts, three volleyball courts, a weight training facility, six tennis courts, a soccer field, track, discus cage, shot put ring, long jump pit and pole vault. A second campus provides another gymnasium as well as soccer, baseball  and softball fields. All students are encouraged to take part in the activities these facilities make possible.


Kumon of Hoover is a well-established after-school math and reading enrichment center located across the street from Best Buy near the Galleria mall.  Kumon creates confident students by starting with comfortable work and motivating them to excel to grade level and beyond. Instructors cultivate work skills, focus, stamina, and speed to achieve academic success while promoting self-learning. We offer an enjoyable environment where every student can reach their maximum potential.

Kumon accelerates your child’s learning – from as young as three years through high school. Kumon goes beyond tutoring, by actively developing critical thinking skills as children progress independently through a carefully crafted math and reading curriculum. Kumon’s timetested self-learning program uses engaging worksheets and guidance from an on-site instructor to present new concepts and materials, giving children an academic advantage in


When your child Is sick, you don't want to spend hours in a waiting room. At Urgent Care for Children, we understand this and are committed to serving every patent with compassionate, quality care that Is affordable and accessible.

Urgent Care for Children (UC4C) was founded by a group of pediatricians who saw a need to support parents when their child’s pediatrician was not available. As parents themselves, they understood that children’s Illnesses or Injuries don't follow normal business hours. They created a model built

on partnering with local pediatricians while offering an affordable alternative to the emergency room. UC4C is now the second largest pediatric urgent care in the nation, operating 20 clinics across the Southeast with 11 in Alabama. .

We are proud to provide care for patients ages 0-21 with non-life-threatening needs during the day, after-hours and on weekends, 365 days a year.

• Fever, allergies, sore throat, coughs, colds, asthma

• Sprains, strains, earaches, bruises & lacerations

the classroom – and throughout life.

As a result, many Kumon students’ study above grade level. Parents are encouraged to attend a free orientation at the Kumon Math & Reading Center of Hoover to find out more about enrolling their children in the Kumon Program. Enroll now and save up to $50! Call for details: 205- 444-9485, visit our website, hoover-al or or email

4801 Altamont Road South Birmingham, AL 35222 205-879-2006

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Kumon Math and Reading Center of Hoover 205.444.9485

• Minor burns, rashes, insect bites, stings

• Vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea

• COVID, strep, and flu tests

• Sports physicals

Urgent Care for Children offers a one-stop-shop with on-site laboratory and x-ray services, as well as an In-house pharmacy. Our expert team is all pediatric trained, so you can rest easy knowing your child is in good hands.

Birmingham, Vestavla, Trussvllle, Hoover, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Madison, Montgomery, Auburn, Mobile, Daphne | 19 MEET THE FRONT SPONSORS
Schedule a FREE orientation today! Enroll Now and Save up to $50! *Enroll between February 1-28, 2023, to waive the Registration Fee of up to $50. Additional fees may apply. ©2023 Kumon North America Inc. All rights reserved.
and Reading Program

Award-winning OWA Parks & Resort in Coastal Alabama is a 520-acre property owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.  The family-friendly resort's name is

derived from a Creek word for "big water," and the tropical theme of the 520-acre property was inspired by the Gulf of Mexico, minutes away via the Foley Beach Express.

At the heart of OWA is Tropic Falls with its ride-focused theme park, outdoor wave pool (coming soon) and the region's largest indoor water park, covered by a convertible roof. Just outside the

ticketed areas is Downtown OWA. This pedestrian-only streetscape was inspired by Southern small towns and features a familypleasing range of dining, shopping and entertainment.

With its own award-winning TownePlace Suites by Marriott, OWA Parks & Resort is Coastal Alabama's favorite place to thrill, then chill.


At McCalla Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Olga Sanchez Hernandez and staff, provide dental care for patients from the ages of 1 to 18 years of age, and handicapped patients. Our services include preventive, restorative, and emergency treatment. Dr. Sanchez Hernandez also provides orthodontic treatment for children and adults.

We combine pediatric dentistry

and orthodontics to allow for all the dental needs of our patients to be met under one roof. The dental services needed are provided, while at the same time the development of an adequate occlusion is monitored closely. This allows for orthodontic treatment to be provided in a timely manner increasing the quality of service. Our staff operates as a team and is committed to high quality service with emphasis

on individual needs in a comfortable environment.

Our hygienists are especially qualified to deal with children and adolescent specific needs. All of our personnel are kept abreast of the latest developments through continuing education courses. Come visit our website at and take a virtual tour of our office.

Dr Olga Sanchez Hernandez 205-477-8004


Providing for the future needs of loved ones who live with disabilities can be complicated if they qualify for government benefits. The Alabama Family Trust Corporation can help by serving as trustee of a special needs trust that is approved by the Social Security Administration and the Medicaid Agency for SSI and Medicaid beneficiaries.

Created by state law, AFT serves beneficiaries of any age and accepts initial deposits as small as $1,500.

The unpaid Board of Trustees and the outstanding administrative, finance, and tax AFT staff members have the experience and dedication to AFT’s goals to understand the unique needs of your loved one and the challenges that face care givers. Their knowledge ensures that trust funds are used solely for your loved one’s benefit for goods and services that government benefits do not cover. You can be confident that the trust is managed to maintain benefits eligibility and


You deserve something special when it comes to your photos. I am someone who connects easily with people and I want them to feel comfortable getting their photos taken. After all, I believe that the best smile is a natural smile.

Photography should capture the individualism of a person. I am very creative, have photo editing expertise, integrity and high energy to capture and preserve your moments for years to come. Every family, couple and child is different and I value the

that trust assets are protected from financial exploitation and fraud.

Whether you need a means to provide for a loved one now or at your death with your own funds, or your loved one receives funds of their own, you can place funds in an AFT trust so that government benefits are retained. In addition, the AFT Charitable Trust can help meet the special needs of your loved one after the assets of the individual trust are exhausted.

time, patience and energy that goes into your photography session.

I have flexible options to help you select the best collection of services for you and your budget. Contact me today for a consultation. I look forward to meeting and working with you and I look forward to helping you preserve this special moment in your life and capturing your memories to make them last forever!

20 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023
Road, Suite 111 Birmingham,
2057 Valleydale
AL 35244

Gadsden and Etowah County, ideally-situated in northeast Alabama along the Coosa River and at the foot of Lookout Mountain, are full of outdoor fun. View the majestic 90-foot Noccalula Falls, ride the train or play mini-golf at Noccalula

Falls Park. Mountain-bike or hike the Black Creek Trails, fight spotted-bass on Neely Henry Lake, flick a fly for Rainbow Trout on Black Creek, or go for a birdie at Twin Bridges or Silver Lakes golf courses.

Festivals like Glencoe’s Celebration in the Park or Attalla’s Heritage Day, along with Gadsden’s First Fridays will keep you busy throughout the year. Make sure to put the first Thursday through Sunday in August

on your calendar so you won’t miss the “World’s Longest Yard Sale!” This historic sale begins at Noccalula Falls Park and travels up Scenic Lookout Mountain Parkway to Chattanooga and beyond for over 600 miles to Michigan. Bargain hunters and yard-sale junkies travel across the U.S. to Gadsden for this funderful sale each year! Come visit us!


The Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) offers talented students from across Alabama an exemplary specialty-focused education without the burden of tuition. A state-funded public school with both day and boarding options, ASFA takes a deep-dive approach to education in creative writing, dance, mathscience, music, theatre arts, and visual arts. Passionate and

engaged students find a home at ASFA alongside peers who share a singular focus on their disciplines and are guided by supportive faculty members who are accomplished professionals in their own right.

After spending each morning on robust academic coursework that exceeds state high school diploma standards, students devote sustained hours every

day to honing their craft, flexing their creativity, and developing their unique voice within their chosen discipline. Our graduates build on the creative habits of mind they develop at ASFA to establish successful careers in a wide array of fields, serving as innovative leaders, cultural champions, and role models for future generations.


The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a centerpiece in the state of Alabama’s marine research and education programs and a center for transformative oceanic and coastal research. DISL programs reach all corners of the state and beyond to research and educate about the changes in the marine environments. Located on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island, a barrier island in the northern Gulf of Mexico, DISL is surrounded by Mobile Bay, the Mississippi Sound, and the waters of the Gulf, making it a perfect location to conduct a wide range of marine science


DISL’s Discovery Hall Programs include academic year classes for K-12 students, summer overnight and day camps, professional development workshops, and public outreach. The BayMobile, DISL’s traveling science classroom, visits underserved schools throughout the state of Alabama which do not have the opportunity or the means to visit the DISL on a field trip.

The Alabama Aquarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab highlights the four key habitats of coastal Alabama: the Mo -

bile Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands, and the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

DISL’s University Programs consists of two parts: summer undergraduate and graduate courses and year-round graduate programs. The summer program consists of three summer sessions with about two dozen courses offered. The graduate program offers a variety of disciplines for Ph.D. and master students to choose from as they continue their studies.

(205) 252-9241 Birmingham, AL 35203

Could it be Dyslexia?

• Comprehensive diagnostic medical, neuropsychological \ psychological evaluations for learning disabilities

• Speech and Language evaluation\ intervention

• Occupational Therapy evaluation\ intervention

• Psychological services: counseling, IEE, parent coaching.

• Therapeutic Classrooms

• In person and online neurodevelopmental reading remediation

• College and adult literacy interventions

• Educational workshops for parents and educators

• Advocacy and support services

We accept referrals from pediatricians, parents and schools.

motto is “Failure is NOT an 251-861-2141 101 Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528 | 21
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option” Failure is not an option! 205-364-2347 2111 Parkway Office Circle, Suite 150 Hoover AL. 35244 Take a tour@

Driver’s License Offices in Our Area

Every county in the state has its own office that issues tags for vehicles, boats, trailers and other vehicles that are required to be registered. Go to the office in the county where you live to buy tags, or you can renew tags online through your county’s website. For more information, go to

As to driver’s licenses, the following is a list of locations in Birmingham Parent’s circulation area. Some give the written and road test for a driver’s license; others also have driver license division offices, but they are for license renewals or replacements only. Check with your county for hours and days open.

Please note that a first-time Alabama driver’s license or a STAR ID has to be obtained at an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency location. Contact your county’s driver license office for further information. Information also may be obtained at

Driver’s License Locations:

Jefferson County

Bessemer Courthouse

1801 Third Ave. Bessemer, AL 35020 205-426-7958

Birmingham Trooper Post 908 Bankhead Hwy. W. Birmingham, AL 35201 205-252-7445

Shelby County

Shelby County Courthouse Annex

1018 County Services Dr. Pelham, AL 35124 205-620-5891

Columbiana Office 104 Depot St. Columbiana, AL 35186 205-669-2614

280 Shelby County Services Building 19220 Highway 280 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-670-6825

Chilton County

Chilton County Courthouse

500 Second Ave. N. Clanton, AL 35045 205-280-7207

Cullman County

Cullman County Courthouse

500 Second Ave. S.W. Cullman, AL 35055 256-775-4822

St. Clair County

St. Clair County Courthouse 1815 Cogswell Ave. Pell City, AL 35125 205-338-0526


48 Court St. Ashville, AL 35953 205-594-2442

Tuscaloosa County

Trooper Post 2645 Skyland Blvd. E. Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 205-553-0729


An Overview of Area Municipalities

The following is a listing of most of the cities in the Birmingham Parent circulation area of Jefferson, Shelby and Chilton counties. The information below is a resource for anyone needing to get in touch with city services and information where they live.

Jefferson County

City of Adamsville 4828 Main St. Adamsville, AL 35005 205-674-5671

City of Bessemer 1700 Third Ave. N. Bessemer, AL 35020 205-424-4060

City of Birmingham (county seat) 710 20th St. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-254-2000

City of Brighton 3700 Main St. Brighton, AL 35020 205-425-8934

City of Center Point 2209 Center Point Pkwy. Center Point, AL 35215 205-854-4460

City of Clay 2441 Old Springville Rd. Birmingham, AL 35215 205-680-1223

City of Fairfield 4701 Gary Ave. Fairfield, AL 35064 205-788-2492

City of Fultondale 1210 Old Walker Chapel Rd. Fultondale, AL 35068 205-841-4481

City of Gardendale 925 Main St. Gardendale, AL 35071 205-631-8789

City of Graysville 246 South Main St. Graysville, AL 35073 205-674-5643

City of Homewood 2850 19th St. S. Homewood, AL 35209 205-332-6100

City of Hoover 100 Municipal Drive Hoover, AL 35216 205-444-7500

City of Hueytown 1318 Hueytown Road Hueytown, AL 35023 205-491-7010

City of Irondale 101 20th St. S. Irondale, AL 35210 205-956-9200

City of Leeds 1400 9th St. Leeds, AL 35094 205-699-2585

City of Moody 670 Park Ave. Moody, AL 35004 205-640-0302

City of Mountain Brook 56 Church St. Mountain Brook, AL 35213 205-802-2400

City of Pinson 4410 Main St. Pinson, AL 35126 205-680-5556

City of Pleasant Grove 501 Park Rd. Pleasant Grove, AL 35127 205-744-1720

City of Vestavia Hills 1032 Montgomery Hwy. Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 205-978-0100

City of Tarrant 1133 East Lake Blvd. Tarrant, AL 35217 205-849-2800

City of Trussville 131 Main St. Trussville, AL 35173 205-655-7478

Shelby County

City of Alabaster 1953 Municipal Way Alabaster, AL 35007 205-664-6800

City of Calera 7901 Highway 31 Calera, AL 35040 205-668-3500

City of Chelsea 11611 Chelsea Rd. Chelsea, AL 35043 205-678-8455

City of Columbiana (county seat) 107 Mildred St. Columbiana, AL 35051 205-669-5800

Town of Harpersville 83 Town Hall Lane Harpersville, AL 35078 205-672-9961

City of Helena 816 Hwy. 52 W Helena, AL 35080 205-663-2161

Town of Indian Springs Village 2635 Cahaba Valley Rd. Indian Springs, AL 35124 205-982-1755

City of Montevallo 541 Main St. Montevallo, AL 35115 205-665-2555

City of Vincent 25 Florey St. Vincent, AL 35178 205-672-2261

Town of Westover 3312 Westover Rd. Westover, AL 35147 205-678-3375

Town of Wilsonville 9905 N. Main St. Wilsonville, AL 35186 205-669-6180

Town of Wilton 100 Depot St. Wilton, AL 35187 205-665-2021

Chilton County

City of Clanton 505 Second Ave. N. Clanton, AL 35045 205-755-1105

City of Jemison 14 Padgett Lane Jemison, AL 35085 205-688-4491

Town of Maplesville 9400 AL Hwy. 22 Maplesville, AL 36750 334-366-4211

Town of Thorsby 21060 U.S. Hwy. 31 Thorsby, AL 35171 205-646-3575


11 Best Day Trips from Birmingham

Birmingham has much to offer when it comes to adventure and activities, but sometimes a trip outside the city is in order. Luckily, Birmingham is a prime location in central Alabama that makes for easy travels to and from several other destinations. Here we share 11 easy trips from Birmingham that are sure to make your day.

Cook Museum of Natural Science Decatur, Alabama

Fun and excitement combine with science and learning at the Cook Museum of Natural Science. The museum has been a Decatur institution since it first opened in 1968. Though originally just the humble insect collection of John Cook, Sr. – mainly used for training for Cook’s Pest Control’s employees – it soon grew to include wildlife, rocks, minerals, fossils, and more. After decades, the family closed the original museum and built an entirely new, state-of-the-art facility, which opened in June 2019.

Georgia Aquarium Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta encompasses 600,000 square feet of space, containing about 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water. There’s an incredibly wide range of animals and exhibits. Also included are all sorts of animal encounters with dolphins, penguins, sea lions, sharks, and sting rays, as well as a variety of shows and presentations. Thrill seekers will enjoy the opportunity to cage dive with sharks.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center Huntsville, Alabama

Housing the most comprehensive U.S. manned spaceflight hardware museum in the world, including America’s first satellite, Explorer I, space vehicles, and all sorts of far-out artifacts, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center has earned the spot as the state’s most visited attraction for a reason. In addition to its many exhibits, children and families can partake in a range of can’t-do-it-anywhere-else activities like Apollo 11 virtual reality, flight simulations, and G-force accelerators, as well as watch movies and shows all about space and even check out underwater astronaut training.

24 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023 FAMILY FUN
Photo courtesy of U.S. Space & Rocket Center Photo courtesy of U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Oak Mountain State Park

Pelham, Alabama

At 11,632 acres, Oak Mountain State Park is the largest state park in Alabama, just a short drive from Birmingham. For the most adventurous, there are more than 50 miles of trails for mountain biking and hiking, as well as water activities like cable skiing and boating. Other popular activities include horseback riding, fishing, and golfing. For those more interested in nature, Oak Mountain has several naturalist programs and educational opportunities, such as the Alabama Wildlife Center. The center services injured native birds, providing needed rehabilitation before returning them to the wild. Visitors can check out the center’s resident birds on the Tree Top Nature Trail.

Majestic Caverns

Childersburg, Alabama

Majestic Caverns has long been known for its uniquely stunning beauty. Situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Majestic Caverns (previously known as DeSoto Caverns) is the very first cavern recorded in the United States, dating all the way back to 1796. Its unique formations include the onyx room, passageway to a natural waterfall, and Cathedral room, which is longer than a football field and as tall as a 12-story building. Majestic Caverns features one of the largest accumulations of onyx-marble stalagmites and stalactites in the world. In addition to its many underground offerings, which include a laser light show, there are more than 20 activities above ground.

National Memorial for Peace and Justice Montgomery, Alabama

One of Alabama’s newest attractions is the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in downtown Montgomery, opened in 2018. It is the first of its kind dedicated to the legacy of enslaved Black people in the United States. The six-acre memorial guides visitors throughout a journey of slavery in America all the way to the Civil Rights era and lingering modern-day issues as well. Each stop along the way features eye-catching sculptures, artwork, and displays from notable figures including Toni Morrison, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Hank Willis Thomas.

Ruby Falls Chattanooga, Tennessee

Ruby Falls, nestled inside Lookout Mountain, is the tallest and deepest underground cave waterfalls open to the public in the United States. The more-than-memorable experience takes visitors down a glass-front elevator 260 feet and guides them along a cavern trail and unique formations to the stunning waterfall. Along the way, a tour guide shares details about the

formations and how the cavern was discovered. Also on site are zip lines and climbing tower at High Point ZIP Adventure, and several eateries.

Children’s Hands-On Museum Tuscaloosa, Alabama

The power of play is strong at the Children’s Hands-On Museum. Its hands-on learning provides a space for kids to explore, create, and discover in the most fun ways possible while also learning all about S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). Each exhibit is specifically designed to spark a child’s curiosity in a way that inspires them to learn through play, whether it be learning about river transportation from the wheelhouse of a towboat, examining a replica of a Choctaw village from the 1700s, or shopping and selling at the Lil’ Sprouts Farmer’s Market.

Little River Canyon National Preserve Fort Payne, Alabama

From its breathtaking views and natural beauty to its abundance of recreational activities and natural resources, Little River Canyon National Preserve is a truly special destination. The preserve features forest lands, waterfalls, canyon bluffs, boulders, pools, sandstone cliffs, and much more. Visitors can spend a day hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, fishing, or simply having a picnic and enjoying the truly spectacular views.

Nashville Zoo

Nashville, Tennessee

The ninth largest zoo in the country (by land mass), the Nashville Zoo is a top tourist attraction thanks to its incredible mix of animals from around the world. The zoo also offers a variety of ways to experience many of them up close, including Lorikeet Landing, Kangaroo Kickabout, and Critter Encounter. Between each encounter visitors can enjoy a spin on the Wild Animal Carousel or a journey around the property on the Wilderness Express Train.

Noccalula Falls Park Gadsden, Alabama

Noccalula Falls Park is an easy day trip from Birmingham. The park includes 500 acres of land in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Since it opened in 1953, it has been a sought-after destination for tourists all over the world thanks to its beauty and offerings, including the beloved 90-foot Noccalula Falls. The park also features a botanical garden, animal habitat, historic homes and the Gorge trail, which takes hikers along a path behind the falls.

Paige Townley is a Birmingham freelance writer. | 25 FAMILY FUN
Photo courtesy of Nashville Zoo


Birmingham Public Library branches: Avondale Central (downtown Birmingham) East Ensley Five Points West Inglenook North Avondale North Birmingham Powderly Pratt City Smithfield Southside Springville Road Titusville West End Woodlawn Wylam Jefferson County Library branches: Adamsville Bessemer Botanical Gardens Center Point Clay Fultondale Gardendale Graysville Homewood Hoover Hueytown Irondale Leeds Midfield O’Neal (Mountain Brook) Pinson Pleasant Grove Tarrant Trussville Vestavia Hills Walter J. Hanna (Fairfield): Warrior The Birmingham metro area is rich with many libraries that offer a multitude of books, movies and online resources for people of all ages and stages. Each library branch is listed below with a main website that allows you to find the nearest library in your area. 26 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2023
AREA LIBRARIES | 27 Check out our CIT (Counselor-in-Training) Program Contact Lisa Camp at lcamp@highlandsschool org or 205-956-9731, ext 606 Located on Old Leeds Rd (I-459 exit at Grants Mill Rd) S U M M E R C A M P 251-861-2141 102 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528 Programs for all ages EDUCATION
Schedule a FREE orientation today! Enroll Now and Save up to $50!* Enroll between February 1-28, 2023, to waive the Registration Fee of up to $50. Additional fees may apply. ©2023 Kumon North America Inc. All rights reserved. Math and Reading Program Preschool – High School Imagine what your child can accomplish with practice in math and reading. Kumon Math and Reading Center of Hoover River Oaks Village 3744 Lorna Road, Hoover, AL 35216 205.444.9485 ADVERTISE HERE! Reach 60,000 parents in Central Alabama about your product or service! Call 205-624-2405 NOW!
Shelby County Libraries: https// Branches: Albert L. Scott (Alabaster) Chelsea Columbiana Harpersville Jane B. Holmes (Helena) Mildred B. Harrison Regional Library (headquarters) Mt Laurel North Shelby Library Parnell Memorial Library (Montevallo) Pelham Roy Downs Memorial Library (Calera) Vincent McGraw (Vincent) Vernice Stoudemire (Wilsonville) Westover St. Clair County Library: Branches: Ashville Doris Stanley Memorial Library (Moody) Odenville Pell City Springville Ragland Steele Chilton County Public Library: Chilton/Clanton Jemison Maplesville

Area Public School Systems EDUCATION

Jefferson County Jefferson County Board of Education

2100 18th St. S. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-379-2000

Bessemer City Schools

1621 Fifth Ave. N. Bessemer, AL 35020 205-432-3000

Birmingham City Schools 2015 Park Place N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-231-4600

Fairfield City Schools 6405 Avenue D Fairfield, AL 35064 205-783-6850

Homewood City Schools 450 Dale Ave. Homewood, AL 35209 205-870-4203

Hoover City Schools 2810 Metropolitan Way Hoover, AL 35243 205-439-1000

Leeds City Schools 1517 Hurst Ave. Leeds, AL 35094 205-699-5437

Midfield City Schools 417 Parkwood St. Midfield, AL 35228 205-923-2262

Mountain Brook City Schools 32 Vine St. Birmingham, AL 35213 205-871-4608

Tarrant City Schools 1318 Alabama St. Tarrant, AL 35217 205-849-3700

Trussville City Schools 113 N. Chalkville Rd. Trussville, AL 35173 205-228-3000

Vestavia Hills City Schools 1204 Montgomery Hwy. Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 205-402-5100

Shelby County

Shelby County Board of Education

410 E. College St. Columbiana, AL 35051 205-682-7000

Alabaster City Schools 10111 Highway 119 Alabaster, AL 35007 205-663-8400

Pelham City Schools 3160 Pelham Pky. Pelham, AL 35124 205-624-3700

Chilton County

Chilton County Schools 1705 Lay Dam Rd. Clanton, AL 35045 205-280-3000

Cullman County

Cullman County Schools

402 Arnold St. N.E. Cullman, AL 35055 256-734-2933

Cullman City Schools 301 First St. N.E. Cullman, AL 35055 256-734-2233

St. Clair County St. Clair County Schools 410 Roy Dr. Ashville, AL 35953 205-594-7131

Pell City School System

3105 15th Ave. N. Pell City, AL 35125 205-884-4440

Tuscaloosa County

Tuscaloosa County Schools 1118 Greensboro Ave. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 205-758-0411

Tuscaloosa City Board of Education 1210 21st Ave. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 205-759-3700 | 29 2022 WINNER FOR FAVORITE •PRESCHOOL/ CHILDCARE • DAY CAMP •AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM INVERNESS CAMPUS 205-991-0039 TRACE CROSSINGS CAMPUS 205-988-8829 BIRMINGHAM’S PREMIER LICENSED DAYCARE & PRESCHOOL Our goal is to be the best educational daycare and preschool program in the country Since 1995, Odyssey has offered incredible child-to-teacher ratios, certified teachers and a curriculum that prepares our children for elementary school, all in safe, clean, beautiful facilities. $1,500 Quarterly Bonus for Preschool Teachers with Degrees in Early Childhood Education Exceeds All StateStudent Ratio Standards Professionally Developed Age-Appropriate Curriculum Free Internet Video Monitoring Music, Spanish, Computers and Youth Fitness/Sports programs Best Playgrounds in Birmingham WWW.ODYSSEYEARLYSCHOOL.COM LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE NOW FOR CHILDREN 6 WEEKS THROUGH 2nd GRADE Visit and signup for a recurring monthly donation to BLESS A LOCAL FAMILY 205-607-2112 Businesses, local organizations & individuals all welcome! Did you know you can sponsor a baby's diaper need for as low as $10/month? INTENSIVE & IMMERSIVE Math-Science study for students with a passion for STEM EDUCATION DLOVEPHOTOS.COM HOMESCHOOL CORNER Advertise Here! -

4 Tips to Protect Your Kids Online

Going to school means tech and gadgets, from tech devices and online learning platforms to online-only textbooks. With new digital learning devices and platforms comes the need for additional online safety tools and the ability to educate kids on safe online habits.

Any time is a good time to tackle this head-on and teach kids the importance of digital safety. Not sure how to start the conversation? Check out these four tips to help protect your kids online as they study at home, homeschool or in school.

Discuss the Dangers of iDentity theft. Did you know that in 2021, more than 1.25 million children in the U.S. were victims of identity theft and fraud? According to Javelin Strategy & Research, over half of all identity theft cases involve children ages 9 and younger. Most victims won't know their identity has been stolen until they're adults and apply for a loan or credit card.

To reduce the risk of identity theft, teach your kids how to protect their personal information online. For younger children, emphasize the importance of keeping their full name, birthday, address and phone numbers private. If you have teenagers, make sure they understand that they shouldn't share their Social Security numbers or driver's license information.

Be minDful of what you post on social meDia. Potential fraudsters can glean sensitive information from you or your child's social media profiles. You may not think twice about sharing a birthday photo or a snapshot of your family vacation, but scammers can easily use this information to access your accounts or find out where you live.

Sit down as a family and review your social media accounts to increase your digital security. Some ways you can enhance your social media privacy are to make your profiles private; restrict who can see your posts; limit comment access to close friends; limit message requests to approved followers only; never reveal your address or date of birth; and disable location sharing on certain apps.

By following these steps, you can instantly secure your family's social media accounts and teach your children how to be digital security savvy.

r eview passwor D security Best practices. If you use a password that contains personal information – like your birthday or a pet's name – and you reuse passwords, chances are your children do too. Teach your children the importance of password protection and best practices for password security.

One way to easily protect your whole family's passwords is to use a password manager. There are programs that help you do this, such as Aura, an all-in-one online safety platform. This feature stores and manages your family's online accounts in one place and more importantly, automatically chooses long, random and complex passwords that are difficult to crack. Never recycle passwords again!

check parental controls. Parental controls are a powerful tool to give you peace of mind that your kids' online activity and behavior are in accordance with your family's preferences. Not only do they allow you to monitor your child's screen time and online activity, but you can also use parental controls to block and filter harmful sites.

30 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023
Courtesy of BrandPoint | 31 Teaching math can be very rewarding. It can also be a challenge with a classroom of students who need to move along at a certain pace. Mathnasium would like to be a resource for you and your students when individual math help is needed outside of school. We give kids who are struggling with math the individual instruction they need to address learning gaps, catch up, and get ahead. We also help those who are advanced in math and need to be challenged. Your leadership in their math education is important to us. We’d love to have a conversation about how Mathnasium can best support you and your students all year long. When more math help is needed,Mathnasium isstandingby We’re here for your students. We’re here for you. Contact us for more information about how we help students outside the classroom. Mathnasium of Mountain Brook (205) 437-1111 2737 Hwy 280 S #141A, Mountain Brook 35223 Helping you navigate Homeschool Math Create Your Own Style Mon Ami, a children’s boutique in Crestline, offers fashionable clothes and accessories for sizes 4-16/18 in both boys and girls clothing. 40 Church St. Birmingham, AL 205-848-7800 EDUCATION SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER Start the week off right with... » Featured Articles » Video Movie Reviews from KIDS FIRST! » Current Promotions » And more Visit to subscribe!

The January Winner of My Favorite Teacher is...

Q: What is your name and where do you teach, what grade?

A: My name is Andrea Neal. I teach middle and high school language arts at Jefferson Christian Academy.

Q: How long have you been a teacher?

A: I have been a teacher for 17 years.

Q: Why did you want to be a teacher?

A: I decided to become a teacher so that I could make a difference in the lives of my students. I want them to know that God has a purpose for each of them. There are always students who feel that they are not understood or heard, and I enjoy encouraging those students.

Q. What is your favorite thing about being a teacher, and what is the most challenging?

A. My favorite part about being a teacher is the transformation in students when they start believing in themselves. The most challenging aspect of teaching is undoing the mindset that some people are smart and others are not. All students have unique strengths, but they do not always know what their strengths are yet.

Q. Is there anything you'd like to share?

A. I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Michael Neal, for 18 years. I would not have been able to succeed as a teacher without his support. God has blessed us with three beautiful children; Jonah, Jaelyn and Jordyn. They are my world. All of us enjoy spending time outdoors together. I coach cross country, and in my spare time I enjoy reading and drinking tea. I am also a member of the Deerfoot Church of Christ.

Andrea Neal

Andrea has won $100 in gift cards from the Parent-Teacher Store in Hoover and Birmingham Parent. To enter your favorite teacher, visit

SPONSORED BY... The Parent-Teacher Store and Birmingham Parent bring you the chance to tell everyone who your Favorite Teacher is and for your teacher to win a special gift!

Go to:

Beginning May 1, 2022, and nominate your favorite teacher. We will randomly pick a winner each issue and feature them in the NEXT issue of Birmingham Parent!

That teacher will also win $100 in gift cards to spend at the Parent-Teacher Store! You'll need your teacher's first and last name, the grade(s) they teach, the name of the school and the city in which it is located. ONLY GOOD FOR ALABAMA SCHOOLS.

32 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023
Santa shops here for Educational Games, Toys, Arts and Craft Supplies and much more 1615 Montgomery Hwy - Hoover Mention this ad for 20% off one item* *Expires Dec 31st 2022 205-979-7222 Where learning is child’s play MY
Photo courtesy of Shawn Argo
My Favorite Teacher, Andrea Neal (right) of Jefferson Christian Academy, and her family. Photo courtesy of Andrea Neal. | 33 RSVP: Join us for an Open House! Sunday, Jan. 22 2-3:30 p.m. | Altamont Campus Learn more about The Altamont School, one of the nation’s premier independent schools for students in grades 5-12. EDUCATION


Learning Disabilities Association Provides Help, Support and Advocacy

Right Here in Alabama

When you have a child with a learning disability, or you are an adult with a learning disability yourself, you may need help, information, direction to resources and advocacy. The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is here for you, with national help and state affiliates throughout the U.S. who understand the needs of the learning disabilities community.

Alabama has its own LDA affiliate, based in Montgomery, led by Nichole Fussell as President. Tamara Massey, past president of LDA of Alabama, runs the Alabama Healthy Children Project and is a board member, as well.

While help from the organization is free, it does exist because of memberships, from parents, to educators, those who work as therapists, tutors, social workers and anyone with an interest in the learning disability community, Massey says. “As an advocacy organization, membership is what keeps LDA thriving and allows our voices and those of the children and families we serve to be heard,” says the LDA organization.

LDA can act as a parent/education liaison, and it also offers a “clearinghouse of information” of sorts, much accessible on the website. “We also help families understand what their rights are, whether it is at school or in the workplace,” Massey adds.

LDA’s Healthy Children Project (HCP) advocates for safer products and healthier food, water, air and housing that are free of chemicals that harm children’s brain health (https://healthychildrenproject. org, HCP works to eliminate the preventable causes of learning, attention, developmental and other neurologic disorders, including chemical exposures.

“We work with lots of companies to inform and increase awareness of harmful chemicals in all types of food, products and the environment and push them to take action. We also work on state and federal policies to better protect children’s learning potential,” Gregoire says. “HCP also offers lots of resources on how to better protect your family’s health, from heavy metals in food, to chemicals in household products, to air pollution, which can all all harm children’s brains.”

LDA also offers a resources library and information on its website for parents, educators, adults and supporting professionals in the learning disabilities community, and the Guide for those “NEW TO LD (learning disabilities),” is a great source of information on diagnosis, assessment and evaluation, as well as how to navigate your child’s school system.

For more information about national LDA, visit For more information in Alabama, visit or visit

Carol Muse Evans is publisher/editor of Birmingham Parent.

Not only can the organization help families with information on learning disabilities and support, it offers all types of assistance and resources such as webinars, podcasts, an online membership portal, a national conference, and more.

LDA is working toward its goal of a world in which learning disabilities are universally understood, so all individuals are accepted, supported and empowered to live a self-determined life, according to its national office. The organization, started in 1963, has pushed to create opportunities for success for all individuals – children to adults – affected by learning disabilities through its support, education and advocacy.

LDA provides a support system for members, parents, educators and professionals, and it is an advocacy program providing legislative updates, advocacy training materials and LDA’s position on many related topics affecting members, says Tracy Gregoire, director of the Healthy Children Project.

34 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023
is Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2023 | 35 SPECIAL KIDS IN BIRMINGHAM 205-883- 8333 AFT serves as trustee of special needs trusts for children living with disabilities with the goal of enhancing the quality of their lives while maintaining eligibility for government benefits. 4823 Promenade Pkwy., Suite 101 Bessemer, AL 35022 p 205-230-9000 f 205-230-0188 Dr. Tabitha Jarman Gatrey, DMD DENTISTRY FOR CHILDREN & SPECIAL NEEDS PERSONS A medical center for Academic Resilience & Success Failure is not an option! 205-364-2347 Fax: 205-364-2341 2111 Parkway Office Circle, Suite 150 Hoover AL. 35244 For any child or young adult that is a struggling reader, we can provide assessment, diagnostic, and treatment services including those with the following concerns:  • Specific Learning Disorders (reading, writing and math) • Post stroke, prematurity, fetal exposure, Down’s syndrome • Complex learning\processing disorders in adoptees & foster children • ADHD – medication management • Coexisting Anxiety and Depression – medication management • Speech and Language disorders • Occupational therapy -motor\sensory processing difficulties • Recreation therapy • Intervention for Adults with reading difficulties • High functioning autism reading remediation (limited space) Need help finding information for a child diagnosed with autism? Scan QR codes for Resources  For information, please visit ?? ?

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is part of Alabama’s Early Intervention System, providing services free of charge to children age birth to 3 years with a developmental delay or eligible diagnosis. By providing services and support to families, babies and toddlers in the Early Intervention program are getting the bright beginning they deserve. Through our statewide network of regional centers, we provide services in settings where natural learning opportunities occur-in the home, at daycare, at the park, and other appropriate settings in the community. Visit to find a regional center near you.

36 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023
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38 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023 CAST YOUR VOTE SPONSORED BY WIN AN OWA GETAWAY FOR 4 Vote for your favorites and be entered to win a getaway to OWA, Alabama's newest entertainment destination. The winner will enjoy a... • 4 Tropic Falls combo park tickets valid at both Tropic Falls theme and indoor waterpark • A two night stay for 4 at onsite Towneplace Suites • Gift certificate for OWA restaurant ENTER NOW! in the 2023 Birmingham Parent's Family Favorites Awards! 14TH ANNUAL BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S FAMILY FAVORITES AWARDS VOTING ENDS AT MIDNIGHT, APRIL 21, 2023 Visit to vote online for your favorite party place, kids meal, toy store, radio station & more. Winners will appear in the July/August 2023 edition of Birmingham Parent. Vote for your favorites & be entered to win a GRAND PRIZE getaway to OWA. Coastal Alabama's newest entertainment destination | 39 DID YOU KNOW? Receiving the Flu and Pneumonia vaccines can help reduce illnesses, doctor visits, hospitalization, missed work, and school. 09.2022 Hospitalization Work School

If you need something fresh for the family vacation this year, look no further than LEGOLAND Florida with its theme park and water park, and Peppa Pig Theme Park, just 45 minutes west of Orlando in Winter Haven.

A two-day ticket that includes the water park, LEGOLAND and Peppa Pig Theme Park with cost you approximately $124 per ticket (check website when you go for any pricing changes. This is at the time of this article). You can also buy just a theme park ticket and create the add-ons you want. And of course, there are bundle options that include a hotel stay.

Can we say, It’s AMAZING! You don’t have to love LEGO to enjoy! More great news is that everything is close together here, relatively speaking. For those with little ones, pushing strollers, etc., this can make the experience much more enjoyable.

LEGOLAND proper – the theme park – is full of great rides for all ages. You’ll find all your favorite LEGO characters here for meet and greets, great shows, plenty of fun, imaginative play, good park food, and of course, gift shops full of LEGO you can take home.

Also, it’s not just for smaller children. Sure, there is plenty for the young ones here, but there are roller coasters and thrill rides, too! There are more than 50 rides, shows and attractions designed for kids to take the lead in your vacation adventure. We were amazed by the intricate LEGO displays throughout the park, some even animated, and coming this month is the all-new Pirate River Quest. Don’t let your little pirate miss the Pirate Fest Weekends in January 2023.

40 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023 FAMILY
By Carol Muse Evans All photos courtesy of LEGOLAND ORLANDO.

The LEGOLAND Water Park, which is an optional part of your park ticket, has a LEGOLAND wave pool, lazy river, tube slides, body slides and interactive water-play structures like the Joker Soaker and DUPLO Safari. It’s great for all ages. The water park is also a world-famous botanical garden, famous in Florida since the 1930s as Cypress Gardens. While that park is no more, it remains as an important part of the LEGOLAND water park today and can still be enjoyed.

Right across the parking lot is Peppa Pig Theme Park that opened in February 2022. For the very young, this park is amazing and adorable. The rides here are meant to be for the littles, and Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster might well be the most “exciting” ride here, with a minimum rider height of 36 inches and must be accompanied by someone age 14 or older. There are rides, mazes, forts, games and lots of opportunity for free play at Peppa Pig Theme Park, and characters galore! You’ll see shows and can meet and greet Peppa Pig characters. There’s even the Muddy Puddles Splash pad for when it gets too hot.

You can take a break from the outdoor fun and relax on a beanbag with your little “piggy” in the indoor cinema and watch some of your favorite episodes of Peppa Pig. Great for naptime or some unwind time for all.

There are two hotels at the LEGOLAND Resort on site that are great, as well as a lakefront beach retreat with free transportation, but if you need something more budget friendly, there are plenty of chain hotels nearby. On site you have Pirate Island, LEGOLAND Hotel (where we stayed) and the Beach Retreat. There are perks for each, and of course, all the LEGO a child (or adult!) can imagine! Our pirate themed room at the LEGOLAND hotel included LEGO galore, as well as a bunk room with separate television for the kids. Some packages include a great breakfast, and our dinner at the LEGOLAND Hotel was impressive and delicious.


One exciting part of visiting LEGOLAND Florida is that it recently became the first theme park resort to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC). This resort-wide CAC designation includes LEGOLAND Theme Park, LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGOLAND hotels and beach retreat and Peppa Pig Theme Park.

Many people with autism and those with sensory sensitivities can find it challenging to visit new places or go on family trips due to lack of staff training and understanding on the part of destinations. The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Educational Standards (IBCCES) created training and certification program for just this, says LEGOLAND officials, and LEGOLAND Florida participated and earned this certification.

What does it all mean? LEGOLAND Florida Resort will provide:

• Training, helpful, front line team members equipped to better assist guests with sensory sensitivities and enable them to enjoy the resort.

• A sensory guide for every attraction that provides how the attraction may be affected by each of the five senses.

• Low sensory area for guests to take a break.

• An updated Accessibility Guide at and at Guest Relations.

You can check out days/hours of operation, current ticket and vacation bundle pricing, attractions and more at

To learn more about the city of Winter Haven, Florida, log onto

Carol Muse Evans is publisher of Birmingham Parent and visited LEGOLAND in June 2022 – without kids – and had a blast!



As always check ahead for hours and dates of operation, ticket pricing and more.

Aldridge Botanical Gardens

3530 Lorna Road, Hoover. 205-682-8019

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame 1631 Fourth Ave. N., Birmingham. 205-254-2731

Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd., www.

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame 2150 Richard Arrington Blvd. N., Birmingham. 323-6665

Alabama Wildlife Center 100 Terrace Dr., Pelham. 205-663-7930

American Village Highway 119, Montevallo 205-665-3535

Barber Motorsports Park

Birmingham Children’s Theatre

1001 19th St. N., Birmingham, AL, 35203. 205-458-8181

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 16th St. N., Birmingham. 205-328-9696

Birmingham Museum of Art 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-254-2565

Birmingham Public Libraries

Find a library near you for fun events and enrichment.

Birmingham Zoo

McWane Science Center/IMAX Theater

6040 Barber Motorsports Pkwy., Leeds. 205-298-9040

Birmingham Botanical Gardens 2612 Lane Park Rd., Birmingham. 205-414-3900

2630 Cahaba Rd., Birmingham. 205-879-0409

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum 1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205-668-3435

Jefferson County Library Cooperative

Find a library close to you for fun events and enrichment.

200 19th St. N., Birmingham. 205-714-8300

Moss Rock Preserve Preserve Pkwy., Hoover. 205-739-7141

Oak Mountain State Park 200 Terrace Dr., Pelham. 205-620-2520

Ruffner Mountain Nature Center 1214 81st St. S., Birmingham. 205-833-8264

Shelby County Public Libraries Find a library near you for all kinds of fun events and enrichment.

Southern Museum of Flight 4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham. 205-833-8226

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park 12632 Confederate Pkwy., McCalla. 205-477-5711

Vulcan Park 1701 Valley View Dr., Birmingham. 205-933-1409

42 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023
Fireworks at American Village | 43

Birthdays on a Budget: Reuse and Repurpose Birthday Decor

Every parent wants their child’s birthday to be special, but the cost of throwing a party can really add up, especially if you have multiple children. However, it’s possible to cut party costs without losing the fun and excitement that parents and kids alike have come to love.

One way to cut down on costs is by purchasing birthday supplies that can be reused or repurposed year after year. The easiest way to start saving on party decor is to stock up on items when they are on sale or clearance. Choose items that are not theme specific and select a variety of colors that are gender neutral. Basic birthday signs, party lanterns, and photo backdrops can be reused again and again. You can even make your own decor out of stronger materials like cardstock or cardboard or hit up the dollar store for streamers and signs that can be used repeatedly. As you collect a stash of items, store it someplace that is organized and easily accessible when the next birthday arrives.

When purchasing items for the special day, it may be wise to spend a little extra money on birthday items that you know can be used many times over several years. Purchase games that can be used every year like bingo, bean bag toss, or yard games such as badminton. These games are fun for any party and will see a return on your investment quickly. Chalkboards for birthday signs, cake stands, and punch bowls can also be purchased once and used for many parties.

You can also buy dress up items that can be used for a photo booth year after year such as hats, silly glasses, feather boas, or masks. Kids of any age will have a great time posing in different costumes. Many of these items can be purchased at a dollar store, garage sales, or may be laying around your house. Choose a basic birthday backdrop for your photo booth or use a plain sheet or tablecloth to keep things simple and affordable for your photo backdrop. There are also fun apps that allow you to put in different backdrops if you use a green background. Photos taken in the photo booth can double as thank you cards for your guests.

Money can be saved on tableware in a few different ways. Cloth tablecloths and plastic plates can be washed and used again. They will last for years with a one-time investment. If the thought of extra cleanup doesn’t appeal to you, try buying a giant roll of white butcher paper and unrolling on the table to be used as a tablecloth. Allow kids to color right

on the tablecloth during the party. When the party is over, simply roll up the paper and toss it. One roll of paper will last for years and because of the neutral color it can be used for many holidays and birthdays.

Another way to save on birthday expenses is to replace balloons with party lanterns. These can be purchased for about the same price as balloons but instead of one-time use, they can be used over and over again. By choosing a variety of neutral colors you will save money without losing the festive look.

Once the party's over, theme-specific party decorations can be repurposed in many ways. Cards and invitations can be made into wall art, ornaments, gift tags, or garland. Crepe paper and napkins can be made into confetti or garland. Old ribbons and balloons can be used to make a festive wreath.

The key to saving money by reusing or repurposing party decor is to get creative. Scour the internet or Pinterest for ideas, shop smart by buying generic birthday items on sale, or create your own decor from things you have around the house.

Once you have your basic party decor, add small touches to help create a fun birthday theme. Try to find items that can be used more than once. For example, animals from a Noah’s ark party could be reused for a zoo or circus themed party later. A little creativity can make for a fun, affordable, and environmentally conscious birthday party your child will love.

Budget Friendly Party Locations

» The park » The pool » A local church » Public buildings such as the library, a museum or the community center » Your home or backyard » The gym » Tour a local fire station or factory

Sarah Lyons is a freelance writer.

Birthdays in Your local birthday party resource
Places to Go  Entertainment Party Supplies & Rentals  Facilities  Coupons BIRTHDAY CLUB
Birmingham | 45 Sign Up and Begin Receiving FREE Special Birthday Offers from Our Sponsors Beginning May 1st! Interested in becoming a Birthday Club Sponsor? Contact us at 205-624-2405 or BIRTHDAY CLUB
46 | Birmingham Parent | January 2023 | 47 THIS IS WHAT A scientist LOOKS LIKE Did you know play is important in building skills needed in STEM careers? Make an investment in your itty bitty scientist’s future with a membership to McWane Science Center! Free admission to McWane Science Center, including Itty Bitty Magic City. Free Parking Discounts on McWane Science Center camps & classes An invitation to Monthly Member’s Only events & so much more! McWane Members get: Become an Itty Bitty Citizen today! To learn more about McWane Science Center, visit or follow us on social media @mcwanescience (205) 714-8414 200 19th St N, Birmingham, AL (205) 252-9241 Birmingham, AL 35203 205-477-8004 2057 Valleydale Rd., STE. 111 Birmingham, AL 35244 205-883-8333 Failure is not an option! 205-364-2347 2111 Parkway Office Circle, Suite 150 Hoover AL. 35244 205-902-0385 www.ChristyPierce 251-861-2141 SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER2022 THE PREMIER PARENTING MAGAZINE FOR CENTRAL ALABAMA SOYOU GOTBRACES! HERE'SHOWTO TAKECARE OFTHEM BACKTOSCHOOL FORCHILDRENWITH SPECIALNEEDS UNLESS U IS ON A MISSION BABY ONABUDGET: HOWTOSAVE ABUNDLE EVERYONE NEEDS A PAL TYPE 1 DIABETES OWA BRINGS BIG FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FAMILY FAVORITES THE PREMIER PARENTING 10 EASY WAYS TO HELP THE NEW KID AT SCHOOL Central Alabama’s most respected parenting magazine - available on stands 7 times a year and online at... Print and Digital Advertising, Website, E-Blasts, Newsletters and Social Media Call us for info at 205-624-2405 or email
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