Virtual tours, live streams and other family entertainment in Can’t Miss Alabama

Virtual tours, live streams and other family entertainment in Can’t Miss Alabama
Eleni Katherine Musgrove takes a story break with Red Mountain Theatre's "Play Making Live with Bradford." (Grant Musgrove)

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While many Alabamians are social distancing and sheltered in place,
Can’t Miss Alabama is offering ideas to keep the entire family safe and entertained.

Red Mountain Theatre Facebook Live

Enjoy “Play Making Live with Bradford” on Facebook Live and YouTube each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. for an exciting adventure through theater for children ages 4 to 6 years old.

Bradford H. Forehand is the education manager at Red Mountain Theatre Company (RMTC). He received his bachelor’s degree in musical theatre from the University of Mobile. He completed his master’s in theatre for youth at Arizona State University, where he also worked as a freelance actor, director and teaching artist. Prior to starting at RMTC, Forehand taught and directed at Lexington Children’s Theatre, Childsplay and The Coterie Theatre. He is a native of Trussville. Follow the event on Facebook.

To support Red Mountain Theatre, visit redmountaintheatre.org.

Alabama Public Libraries Online Services

Major libraries across the state offer a huge slate of online services: Patrons can check out ebooks and audiobooks, stream movies and TV shows, prepare for standardized tests and get expert help with homework. Some systems have expanded access to their online offerings since the start of the epidemic, or even shifted their purchasing patterns for new materials. Some have taken storytime sessions online to maintain a sense of normalcy for their youngest clients (and some relief for their parents).

A Digital Media Zone powered by OverDrive allows patrons to check out ebooks, audiobooks and movies. Freading adds yet more ebooks. Freegal has thousands of songs and music videos available for free and for keeps. The exact mix of services varies from system to system, as does the way they’re presented on websites. Most systems are actively promoting their online offerings on their homepages, but it pays to poke around.

The Birmingham Public Library has a “Digital Library” tab. The website for Jefferson County public libraries has a coronavirus update on its homepage that lists online services. At the Mobile Public Library’s MPLonline.org, you can find the most popular ones under the “eResources” tab, where you can select “Digital Downloads.” Options on the Mobile system’s site include Cloud Library (audiobooks and ebooks), Flipster (magazines), hoopla (ebook, audiobooks, comics, music, TV shows and movies) and kanopy (movies, with an emphasis on independent, foreign, documentary and classic cinema).

RELATED: Kids bored during COVID-19 hiatus? Try these family fun ideas

Birmingham Zoo Launches Virtual Zoo

The Birmingham Zoo is offering a virtual look inside the zoo with access to signature camps and programs. Guests who follow Facebook and Instagram will have an opportunity to tour the grounds and see behind-the-scenes areas, learn what’s new at the zoo and meet their animal neighbors.

Additionally, the zoo will host a Virtual Zoo Camp on Facebook weekdays at 11 a.m. Each 10-minute episode includes engaging activity, tours, interesting lessons about animals and Birmingham Zoo conservation work in our own backyard and around the world. The zoo’s education staff will be online to answer questions and chat with virtual campers about the day’s lesson. The zoo’s social media will continue to highlight animals through its Meet the Neighbors campaign. Each day at 1 p.m., viewers will have a chance to watch a short clip of zoo animals, learn about their behaviors and meet the professionals who care for them daily. Zoo members will receive an email video every Monday with exclusive content just for them.

For more information and how to give, visit birminghamzoo.com.

The virtual zoo includes signature camp programs, a tour of the grounds, behind-the-scenes areas, lessons about animals and more. (Brittany Dunn/Alabama NewsCenter)

The Market at Pepper Place Drive-Thru Farmers Market

After the success of its launch, the Market at Pepper Place in Birmingham is pleased to announce the next Drive-Thru Farmers Market Saturday, March 28. Once their order has been placed, customers can pick up their pre-ordered and pre-paid goods from vendors Saturday between 7 a.m. and noon. To ensure participants’ safety and health, there will be no sales or payments on Saturday – pick-up only. Click here to view menus and order from vendors listed below:

  • Belle Meadow Farm offers veggie boxes. Shop online here. Order must be placed by Thursday, March 26, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Ireland Farms offers a seasonal veggie box. Shop online here. Orders must be placed by Thursday, March 26, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Snow’s Bend Farm offers a seasonal veggie box. Shop online here. Orders must be placed by Thursday, March 26, 11:59 p.m.
  • Hinkel’s Bakery will have a variety of baked goods. Shop online here. Order must be placed by Friday, March 27, at noon.
  • Marble Creek Farmstead will offer meats and farm eggs. Place your order and pay online here. Orders must be received by Friday, March 27, at 4 p.m.
  • Dayspring Dairy will have a variety of sheep milk cheeses and caramels, plus an assortment of jams. Shop online here. Place your order by Friday, March 27, at 11:59 p.m.
  • BDA Farm is currently sold out of its CSA shares. Check the market’s website as more items become available.

Similar to grocery stores, Certified Farmers Markets in Alabama are included in the list of essential services and can remain open to the public as they provide access to fresh produce and goods. Based on the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Jefferson County Health Department (JCHD), the Market at Pepper Place can safely support Alabama farmers and the community. The Drive-Thru Farmer’s Market will serve as a “contactless” model that will allow farmers to continue selling directly to customers. This model minimizes any need for physical contact as social distancing is prioritized. Orders and sales will be made by the customer directly to the farmers online. Pre-purchased items will be delivered directly to the customer’s vehicle. Farmers will wear gloves while handling pre-purchased goods, so that customers will remain in their vehicle at all times. If you have trouble contacting anyone listed above, call the farmers market at 205-705-6886. Visit the Market at Pepper Place website or follow along on social media as the market continues to offer and evolve the drive-thru options each week. The venue is 2807 Second Ave. South.

Jess Meuse Quarantine Acoustic Show

Hang out online with Jessica (Jess) Meuse Saturday, March 28, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Southern rock and country star is known for “What’s So Hard About Bein’ a Man?” The singer and songwriter self-released a CD by the same name in 2011 and has written about 60 original songs.

Follow this link to learn more.

Purchase tickets here.

Spring Into Reading Challenge 

The Spring Reading Challenge is underway through Thursday, April 30, at the Birmingham Public Library (BPL). Children of all ages will experience the joy of reading plus a chance to win weekly mystery prizes. Learn more about the Spring Reading Challenge here.

For information about other programs and services at BPL, visit www.cobpl.org.

Go here to support BPL.

The Birmingham Museum of Art Virtual Tour

Explore the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) online digital gallery. The exhibition highlights a vast collection of educational and entertaining art to view from the comfort and safety of your home. View the first live broadcast from BMA’s galleries with Executive Director Graham C. Boettcher, Director’s Cut and Facebook Live.

For updates regarding the digital gallery, visit the website or follow FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Make donations here.

Highland Park Golf Course

Unwind at the Highland Park Golf Course in Birmingham from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Golfers are welcome to walk along the cart path. Book your tee time at highlandparkgolf.com or call 205-322-1902. The course management is carefully monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation and is in regular contact with health agencies for information.

Click here for updates.

Golfers are welcome to walk along the cart path at the Highland Park Golf Course based on the CDC guidelines. (Doug Bolls)

Alabama State Parks Live

Alabama State Parks is offering fun, educational and inspirational programs online. Enjoy live videos, photos, park stories, pictures and more.

Visit Facebook and search for Alabama State Parks’ naturalists:

Oak Mountain State Park
Lake Guntersville State Park
Gulf State Park
DeSoto State Park
Cheaha State Park

Link to alapark.com for more information.

Vulcan Park & Museum Shows Unity with Special Lighting

Vulcan Park & Museum will stand in solidarity with the Birmingham community during the COVID-19 pandemic with a special light presentation. Until further notice, each night starting at dusk, the pedestal will stay dark and Vulcan will be lit in his signature white to give a message of hope. Vulcan Park & Museum President and CEO Darlene Negrotto hopes the focus on Vulcan is a reminder of his symbolic importance for many generations. This lighting capability is made possible through the generous support of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham with its centennial gift to the city.

Understanding the fluidity of the current issue, the following adjustments have been made on the Vulcan property:

  • The park grounds, including Kiwanis Centennial Plaza, will remain open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, free of charge.
  • Vulcan Center, The Anvil and Vulcan’s Observation Tower are closed until further notice
  • Out of abundance of caution, the picnic area has been closed and tables and chairs removed on the overlook. Handrails and branches are sanitized daily.
  • All student and adult programs have been canceled.
  • For private events, contact the event organizer for more information.
Until further notice, each night starting at dusk the pedestal will stay dark and Vulcan will be lit in his signature white to give a message of hope. (contributed)

Alabama Shakespeare Festival

While the Alabama Shakespeare Festival is taking an unplanned intermission, share your best memories of ASF. Tag the festival and use #ASFintermission to tell what you love about the theater. In the coming months, not-for-profit arts organizations are going to be faced with some incredible obstacles. Donations of any size are appreciated.

ASF audiences and artists are key to its future success.

Stay updated about performances and messages from ASF artists at asf.net.

James Spann’s Online Weather School for kids

An interactive lesson for grades 1 through 5 will provide fun for kids learning the science of weather and meteorology. Older kids and adults will learn, too, with a few laughs along the way. View the weather program live on facebook.com/jamesspann.

The previous lesson can be found here.

CHOM at Home

On Monday, March 30, the Children’s Hands-On Museum in Tuscaloosa will launch “CHOM at Home,” featuring Hopscotch on the Sidewalk. Staff members came up with the idea to inspire kids to have fun while they are at home because of COVID-19. Other initiatives include science experiments, charades, interactive poles, children interacting and daily challenges. Donations are welcomed. Follow the event of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Learn more at chomonline.org.

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