Saturday, February 8, 2020

Sloss Furnace, Birmingham, AL

Every new place offers a unique experience, but every now and then we stumble upon something that is completely unexpected. Sloss Furnace is a perfect example and was the uncontested highlight of one of our family vacations. Visiting a historic iron furnace facility was one of those experiences that we never knew we always wanted - and one we'll never forget!

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Most of your time will be spent exploring the grounds in a self-guided tour, but there is a visitor's center that does a great job of explaining the history of Sloss and how the industry impacted the area. All of the areas and equipment are explained so students better understand the process.

Be sure to stop in here!

As a home educator, this is the type of thing that, frankly, I'd never think to focus on and wouldn't be able to teach in a memorable way. I'm always appreciative of experiences that bring history and industry to life and highly recommend this tour. Plus, it's just plain fun!

Monkeying around

Super creepy tunnel to explore

What You Need to Know

Check the website ahead of time to be certain of visiting hours. Weddings, concerts, and other special events are sometimes held here.

When it comes to're sort of on your own. There are certainly some places that are roped off and clearly marked to warn visitors away, but there's a lot that can be climbed and explored. Also, there's just a lot of rusty metal all around. Supervision is definitely warranted here.

Most of the paths are gravel and there are some steps and uneven floors/ground. Strollers and wheel chairs won't work well here. There's a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes!

Be sure to check out the bonus nighttime tour and the photography class offered. I think either one would be amazing for teens!

Additional Resources

Sloss's website has some good info to read ahead of time. It will all be covered in the Visitor's Center, but why not save some time?

Check out this short, but informative article about the history of iron and steel from ThoughtCo. Depending on how interested your kiddos are on the topic, there is a whole host of related articles on that site, including this one on the history of the Industrial Revolution.

This lapbook about the Industrial Revolution, from In the Hands of a Child, looks great! It's for grades 5th-10th. I did't purchase it, but I did download and review the preview and it looks well worth the cost.

Check your local library for the books below, but should you choose to purchase, please use my links. As a member of the Amazon Affiliate program, every purchase helps support my blog.

Lyddie is a fantastic book that showcases child labor in industry. I read it as an adult and loved it. Bonus: your child may never complain about chores again!

The Industrial Revolution for Kids is informational and includes suggested projects and activities to help bring the lessons to life.

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