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15 Fun Things Under $15 To Do This Summer

Want fun things to do this summer? Don’t worry! I’ve made a list of entertaining options for anybody who feels stuck in a rut. And the best part is that everything is $15 OR UNDER! 

In (Or Near) Birmingham, Alabama

  1. Birmingham Museum of Art 
    1. Cost: FREE
    2. Beat the heat and enjoy looking through an extensive collection of art that will take you through historical periods and geographical landmarks. This museum is HUGE and it’s a great way to spend the afternoon. 
  2. McWane Science Center
    1. Cost: Adventure Halls Only are $15 or IMAX Only is $9
    2. Feel like a kid again and learn something new at the McWane Science Center! No matter your age, the bed of nails, ocean exhibit, and the room that makes you look really small or really big is always fascinating! 
  3. Pepper Place Market
    1. Cost: Depends on how much you spend (but generally not too expensive)
    2. Enjoy this extensive farmer’s market that’s open on Saturday mornings! Everything is local and fresh, and the market is also close to fun shops and restaurants. There’s Red Cat Cafe, so you can sip on some coffee while browsing for ingredients for your next recipe. 
  4. Railroad Park and Red Cat Cafe
    1. Cost: Also depends on how much you choose to spend (but generally not too expensive)!
    2. Speaking of Red Cat Cafe, you can also visit this location that’s right across from Railroad Park. Sip on an iced latte while walking around, reading a book, or just enjoying some sunshine in a beautiful park in the middle of the city. 
  5. The Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series
    1. Cost: $10
    2. Check the Alabama Theatre’s calendar for the full schedule of classic summer movies to enjoy in this historic theatre! From Grease, to The Princess Bride, to Steel Magnolias, there’s a movie for just about everybody! 
  6. Birmingham Botanical Gardens
    1. Cost: FREE
    2. Spend a few hours looking at BEAUTIFUL greenery and landscapes! For more on what’s in bloom, classes, and special events, you can visit their website. They have TONS of great things for someone with a green thumb (or someone who wants to learn a thing or two about taking care of plants)!
  7. The Summit and Steel City Pops
    1. Cost: Depends on what you purchase (but generally inexpensive).
    2. Browse through some of your favorite stores and top the day off with a popsicle from Steel City Pops! I don’t know about you, but Barnes and Noble, Sephora, and ice cream sounds like a great day to me. You could also catch a matinee at the AMC Summit 16 for under $15 a ticket! 
  8. Oak Mountain State Park
    1. Cost: FREE
    2. If you’re an outdoorsy person, you will LOVE hiking through the trails at Oak Mountain. From Beaver Lake to a trail where you can see owls, this is always a fun park to visit! 
  9. Grand River Drive In
    1. Cost: $8 for a double feature
    2. Love movies and have a car? Experience a nostalgic drive-in! Load up your car with friends, buy some snacks, and enjoy the show. They also have other fun events like mini golf and vendors throughout the summer, so keep your eye out for those! 

Not in Birmingham (For Those Who Live Farther Away Or Don’t Mind A Drive)

Note: I’m from North Alabama, so that’s where these places are. They’re also only about an hour and a half away from Birmingham! 

  1. Point Mallard Water Park 
    1. Location: Decatur, Alabama
    2. Cost: $10 per adult (age 12-61) ticket on Mondays -Thursdays 
    3. Jump in a pool this summer (or a few pools!) at Point Mallard Water Park! There’s a wave pool, lazy river, an Olympic pool with diving boards and platforms, as well as many fun slides! There’s also food options located inside the park and a gift shop!
  2. Space and Rocket Center Summer Events at the Planetarium 
    1. Location: Huntsville, Alabama 
    2. Cost: $15
    3. Learn about outer space at the historic Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama! The Planetarium offers fun and educational shows that cover everything from aliens to comets to an update on the universe. Also, when you drive by you’ll see a giant rocket right beside the road, so that’s always a cool sight! 

For Almost Anywhere

  1. 5 Below Spa Day 
    1. Cost: Depends on how much you spend!
    2. Okay, as a bargain hunter I’ll admit I’m a little addicted to 5 Below. Here’s how you can turn this shopping trip into a fun day. You can get sheet masks, a bath bomb, and fun stick on nails (or nail polish, for those who are more ambitious with their nail art) and relax! OR you can get the Cozy Night In kit that has an adult coloring book, a mug, a stress ball, and an eye mask! 
  2. Matinee Day
    1. Cost: Depends on the theater, but usually about $10-$15
    2. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but this is such a fun and inexpensive way to spend the afternoon! Movie theaters are back so I highly recommend catching a film if you want some entertaining (and air conditioned) fun! 
  3. Craft Store Tie-Blanket
    1. Cost: Depends on where you shop, but one person will spend about $10-$15 
    2. Grab a friend and get browsing for fleece fabric! The goal is each person picks a different pattern to use for each side of the blanket. Then, cut small slits into the sides of each piece, tie the two sheets of fabric together, and then you have a fun blanket to use for picnics or bundling up on colder summer nights!
  4. Top Golf
    1. Cost: This depends on the time of day you go and how many people you go with (with more people per bay bringing the cost down)
    2. Whether you’re a pro at golf or have never held a club, you’ll have fun trying your luck at getting the ball into the targets! Play against your friends, order some snacks, and try to learn a new skill.

Check out more summer articles by GirlSpring contributors!


Skylar Summers is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She's passionate about empowering women through storytelling, writing, and creating visual media. To learn more about Skylar, visit her Instagram page @skylarsummers20 and watch her short films on her website (linked on her Instagram page)!

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