Bummed about all that might not be happening this summer with COVID-19? Here’s our list of what fun you CAN partake in even with social distance in Shelby County and beyond.


Get Fresh Veggies from Local Markets

You can still shop local businesses and farmers’ selections local farmers’ markets. Here are the markets that are open are opening soon for the summer:

Sign Up for Online Summer Reading

No pandemic can stop you from summer reading! In fact, you might have more time for it than usual. Register for summer reading and log your books with the at your local library, and you can join in on their online programs for kids. Many libraries are offering pickup services now too.

Get a Sweet Treat

Start with a frozen one from Top It Off Frozen Yogurt & Smoothies in Helena, Steel City Pops on Highway 280, Frio’s Gourmet Pops in Alabaster or Montevallo, Creams & Cones in Pelham, or K&J’s Elegant Pastries in Alabaster. There’s always bakeries too: Edgar’s in Pelham, Delicious Bakery in Alabaster, C’s Cakes and Coffee House in Montevallo, Tee’s Cakes & Pastries in Chelsea and Columbiana, Pastry Art Bake Shoppe and Ashley Mac’s in Inverness (and Creations Galore & More opening in Calera later this summer)—many options to choose from

Livestream a Concert

Missing live music? Watch Shelby Arts Council’s live steam Three on a String concert Thursday night, May 28 on the arts council’s YouTube channel. Next up after that is the Chuck King Trio on Thursday, June 11. Find more details here.

Explore Oak Mountain State Park

Go for a hike, golf, fish, swim, boat, mountain bike, and much more a this 940-acre park in Pelham. You can even go cable water skiing! Although its playgrounds are currently closed, most other amenities are open. Find more details here.

Take Part in a Different Kind of VBS

Vacation Bible School is taking on a different form for some churches this summer—online. Check with churches near you for details on their plans. For example, Asbury United Methodist Church in North Shelby County is streaming its VBS online July 13-16, and Westwood Baptist Church is holding backyard VBS at various homes June 15-18.

Try a New Trail 

Take a break from your neighborhood walk! Hike the Dunnavant Valley Greenway in Mt Laurel or walk or run trails at Buck Creek Greenway, Veterans Park (Alabaster), Veterans Park (Valleydale), Heardmont Park or the Hillsboro Trail, Montevallo Greenway. Find the full list here.

Shop Local + Eat Local

Shelby County shops are mostly reopened and ready for shoppers! Browse them with a mask on with social distance in person, or many are still offering online and/or curbside options as well. Likewise, most restaurants have reopened patios and dining rooms with limited capacity, and are still offering to-go and curbside offerings too—perfect for al fresco dining in your backyard or a park picnic.


Take in a Concert from the Car

June 4, 11, 18, & 25
Hoover Met Complex

Who says you can’t rock on and social distance at the same time? The Black Jacket Symphony is returning to the stage to perform classic rock albums with the audio blasting directly into your car stereo. It’s like a drive-in movie but with music! Visit blackjacketsymphony.com for more information. 

Drive in for Pop-Up Movies at The Summit

May 30+June 7
The Summit

 Sidewalk Film Center is setting up (temporary) shop The Summit. Gates fo these drive-in movies open at 7 p.m., and the lot closes at 7:45 p.m. The movie begins at sunset, around 7:40 p.m. Pretty in Pink is on tap for May 30, and The Peanut Butter Falcon for June 7. Admission is $20 per car. 

Watch Cardboard Puppet Theatre

Birmingham Children’s Theatre can’t host live shows for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t putting on shows. Each Wednesday at 9 a.m. they are releasing at Cardboard Puppet Theatre production on their website. Titles like Anita’s Vacation, Harris the Helper and Turtle Takes Her Time helps young audiences process these new and uncertain times, and they are all written, performed, filmed and edited by the BCT team. Watch them here. 

Go Berry Picking

We all went strawberry picking to save our sanity in the spring. Now it’s blueberry season, or it will be by sometime between mid-June and early July. Find a list of farms that offer u-pick options here and be sure to pack a hat and bug spray. Trust us, it will be worth all the sweat for cobblers, muffins and smoothies in your future.

Visit the Virtual Zoo

The Birmingham Zoo is planning to open gradually this summer, but to tide you on animal visits over until then you can take a peek behind the scenes in its Virtual Zoo video offerings. Check them out here.

Are there  any local events and activities we should add to this list? Email them to our editor at mm@shelbyliving.com.