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Things to do with kids in Birmingham

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Located in the West Midlands and some 126 miles from the capital, Birmingham is the largest city in the UK outside of London. It is quite easy to travel from London to this West Midlands city, thanks to the several trains that usually depart from London Marylebone and London Euston every ten minutes. The journey itself is not that long, just one and a half or two hours unless you take an indirect route, but either way, you will stop at either New Street or Snow Hill station in Birmingham. This infrastructure makes it an ideal place to visit after you see all London Museums

Things to do with kids in Birmingham – Pin it !!!

We took a trip to “Brum” (a short form of the local name for Birmingham, ‘Brummagem’), and we have prepared a list of things to do with your kids in the city. For us, it was highly convenient since the city is not far away from our UK hometown of Shrewsbury.

So let’s get started. We hope you read and get some inspirations from our list. 

What is there to do in Birmingham with kids? 

When it comes to things to do in Birmingham with your youngsters, there are plenty you will be spoilt for choice. Whether it is the holidays or just wants a nice weekend getaway, here is where you can take your kids in the Second City. 

Cadbury World

Located in Bournville, a few miles from Birmingham City centre, is this attraction that has been welcoming visitors since 1990. If you have kids that are hard to please, Cadbury tends to go down well with all types of children. It has managed to blend virtually everything that kids love into one space – chocolates, 4D cinema, museum, children’s playground, and factory tour. Also, everyone will get a couple of free chocolate bars before the tour starts and during the tour, you will have a free tasting of smelted chocolate with toppings of your choice from marshmallows to popping candy.  

National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham 

This aquarium is located in the busy Brindley Place district in Birmingham and is home to more than 2,000 animals. The main highlight of visiting SEA LIFE is the turtle, penguins, and sharks feeding and walking through a glass tunnel with sharks sashaying above your head.

The staffs are friendly to children as they give talks on some species found in the aquarium. Though it is pretty compact, National SEAL Life Center Aquarium still allows visitors to have to close up encounters with a variety of animals which is a great attraction for the whole family and makes the SEA LIFE one of the best aquariums.

Thinktank Science Museum 

Kids tend to be fascinated by science and my girls are totaly crazy about it, so we visit Science Museums all over the world. Maybe it is because their sense of curiosity is still at its peak or for any other reason. At the Thinktank Science Museum, your youngsters will enjoy a combination of learning and exciting hands-on exhibits. There is a planetarium within the space as well as numerous rooms dedicated to natural history and displays of engineering feats unique to the city (Birmingham is actually considered to be the first manufacturing town in the world). 

birmingham with kids, things to do with kids in Birmingham, kids in birmingham
Things to do with kids in Birmingham – visit Thinktank

Situated at Millennium Point, the museum can be reached from the New Street station in central Birmingham.

IMAX and 4DX Cinema 

This fun-packed expedition is found at Cineworld along Broad Street. The location offers some of the most unforgettable, revolutionary cinematic experiences you will not find anywhere else, that excites all senses. The 4DX special effects include such settings as fog, wind, rain, lightning, scents, and bubbles.

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  • Address: 181 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DA, United Kingdom
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What can you do for free in Birmingham with kids? 

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 

BM&AG is the largest museum and art gallery in Birmingham and has a collection of international significance ranging from fine art, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry, archaeology, local history, ethnography, industrial history, and many others. Though the museum offers free entry, donations are welcomed.

kids in birmingham, birmingham museum
Great fun in the Art Museum

Street art in Digbeth 

The neighborhood of Digbeth is considered the creative hub of the city and once you stroll around its streets, you will instantly see why. The area is home to some impressive street arts and your children can really appreciate the creativeness that is on show. You can stroll streets starting from Custard Factory, the arts and independent outlet building, and get to know the neighborhood which is also home to prominent locations such as the Old Crown – the oldest inn in Birmingham from the 1360s, as well as the JFK memorial and the popular Irish Center. 

kids in birmingham

Library of Birmingham 

Since it opened its door to the public in 2013, the Library of Birmingham is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city and a place where your kids can learn a few things about the history of the city and Shakespeare. The library is home to more than 300,000 books, which can be read from the seventh floor – the library’s observation deck. 

The Canals 

Fun fact: Birmingham has many canals than Venice! You heard that right; the city has 35 miles of canals compared to only 26 in Venice. Additionally, more cubic meters of water flow through this West Midlands city’s canals than any other city on the planet. So if you miss Venice, Birmingham canals can help you satisfy some of those longings. 

The best canal path in the city can be found in Gas Street Basin, which is also lined with some charming cafes such as Canalside Café. 

Birmingham Churches and Cathedrals 

England has a very noticeable Christianity culture, which you can feel with many churches and cathedrals scattered across the country. In Birmingham, there are a number of places of worship where you can visit with your kids for free. Most of these churches still have their medieval design and architecture. 

Some of these places of worship are St Laurence’s in Northfield, St Edburgha’s at Yardley, St Martin in the Bull Ring, as well as St Gile’s at Sheldon. 

As far as cathedrals are concerned, the city centre has two – St Chad’s Cathedral located in the Jewellery Quarter and St Philip’s Cathedral in Colmore Row in the heart of Birmingham.

BBC Birmingham at the Mailbox 

Here your kids can pretend to present the news or weather forecast for the famous British news agency the BBC. They can also have their photos taken with the Dr. Who’s TARDIS or take selfies with dresses from Strictly and learn a few things about the long-running soap opera The Archers (the oldest soap opera in the world), which is produced in the city.

Admission to Public Space is free and is open every day of the week. For 90-minutes tours, you will have to pay for those.

Lapworth Museum of Geology 

This museum is a treasure trove for vestige beats from the past era. The museum is operated by the University of Birmingham and features a wide range of collection of maps, fossils, minerals, rocks, and more. 

Moreover, it has over 250,000 specimens dating back over 3 million years ago. 

cool birmingham museum
photo source Wikipedia

Your kids are into dinosaurs and other behemoths of the Mesozoic era, then they will enjoy every minute spent at the Lapworth Museum of Geology. It is among the oldest geological museums in the United Kingdom and charges nothing. 

Ikon Gallery

Located in Brindleyplace, the Ikon gallery is a perfect place to spend a couple of hours in Birmingham with your kids. It has a shop, café, an elevator to all floors, and baby changing facilities. It also occasionally features special kids’ events, particularly during the holidays.

Black Country Living Museum 

With a chance to rid vintage buses and trams on offer, your kids are guaranteed to enjoy the Black Country Living Museum. It also has an onsite café, pub, and the best of all, a chip shop. It also has plenty of kid-friendly open spaces to stroll and special events during school holidays

Kids aged 4 and below enter free, so you will only have to pay for your ticket as an adult. 

Parks 

Birmingham is not short of beautiful parks. In fact, the city has more than 80 acres of formal parkland and an additional 120 acres of the woodland manor. The parks are basically a place where you can relax with your kids and enjoy your picnic or partake in games such as tennis, or ride pedalo paddle boats.  It is in these parks that you can also see animals such as pandas, wallabies, and lynxes. 

Cannon Hill Park might be the best for you and your kids.

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens 

Located around a mile from the city centre, Birmingham Botanical Gardens comprise fifteen acres of superb gardens and lawns. The garden has something for everyone. 

The four glasshouses display a lot of cool things such as arid desert and tropical rainforest, there are children’s trails, beautiful gardens, family events, a tearoom, a newly launched Treetop Playground, and a gift shop. 

The four glasses will specifically pique your interest since they display everything ranging from Arid Houses and Mediterranean to Subtropical and Tropical House. The large lawn in front of the glasshouses features beds and bushes around its edges, a perfect combination of a much-needed rest after a long day of different expeditions.

Lickey Hills 

Aside from the Library of Birmingham, the Lickey Hills offer the best views of the city. Country Park, which is located on the hills, is the most treasured in the city and has several hiking trails and animals such as grass snakes, rabbits, lizards, and squirrels.

The Lickey Hills Country Park sits on 524 acres and is a great place to admire the laidback city landscape.  

Martineau Gardens 

Martineau Gardens is a community garden featuring two and a half acres of organically maintained grounds. It is one of the most interesting gardens in Birmingham. 

The plants you can find here include some unusual trees and well-managed bushes, mulberries, an orchard growing figs, apples and grapes, as well as a vegetable garden and herb beds. 

You can also find a forest habitat, children’s play area, nature trail wildflower fields, hothouse, beehives, ponds, and bird hide. 

Hot and cold beverages are served from the Pavilion though you can also bring your own picnic. 

Above all, the entrance is totally free except for special occasions. 

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park 

Located on the edge of the city centre, this wildlife park provides a great value day out for young kids trying to learn about wildlife conservation. Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is home to a wide range of animal species from all over the world, including otters, lemurs, red pandas, wallabies, reptiles, and a range of monkey species. 

The park usually hosts regular events to raise awareness about different breeding programmes to conserve animals especially those in danger of extinction, as well as the best ways to maintain healthy populations of animals on our planet.

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  • Address: Pershore Road, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 7RL, England 
  • Ticket: Adults £6.25, kids (3-15) £3.30, Concessions £5.00
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The Donkey Sanctuary, Birmingham 

Birmingham’s donkey sanctuary is a place where donkeys and rescued and offered for adoption. Here you will meet a delightful team of donkeys that also love to meet new people. 

Mosely Bog 

If any member of your family is a fan of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, they will appreciate these parts of the city because they inspired the author of the books. One of these areas is the Moseley Bog where you can find the Tolkien Trail and Sarehole Mill. These two locations also host the Middle-earth weekend every May.

What is there to do indoors in Birmingham? 

The weather in Britain is never that friendly. It is almost raining every day, and this makes it difficult to enjoy most outdoor activities. But even with harsh weather conditions, you and your kids can still have so much fun doing some of the rainy day activities shared below. 

Indoor climbing 

This is certainly one of the most common indoor activities you can do in Birmingham. Places that offer indoor climbing include Rock UP Birmingham at Broadway Plaza, which offers up to 26 different climbing challenges, Redpoint Climbing Center on Cecil Street and Birmingham Bouldering Center on Water Street.

Trampoline Parks 

Which kids don’t like a trampoline? Giant trampoline parks are now emerging almost everywhere in the Midlands. It seems like it is the newest trend currently sweeping the country and you must take advantage of it. One example of a trampoline park is the Inflatable Zone at Great King Street North. The park includes Human Hungary Hippos game as well as a tube forest. Another park was recently opened in Stechford called Inflata Nation Theme Park, and it offers a gigantic inflatable multi-person wrecking ball game. 

Other parks include Rush UK, located in Kings Norton, featuring a ninja combatant style assault course, Bounce in Birmingham in Perry Barr, Boing Zone in Stourbridge and Cannock, Flip Out in Sandwell, Jump Xtreme in Tamworth, and Airspace in Wolverhampton.

Escape Rooms 

Jewellery Quarters boast the newest escape room in town. Called simply Escape Reality, this escape room offers visitors an opportunity to crack codes, work out riddles, and solve puzzles. The interactive challenges here include trying to escaping from the maximum-security prison Alcatraz, stealing a diamond from a bank, evading robots after a botched lab experiment, and fleeing a serial killer.

Children’s Play Village 

This role play village opened in 2018 in Warwick. Kids can dress up and play the roles of adults (firefighters, post office workers, salons, and so on).

The location also has a campsite with a fake fire and barbecue as well as a wooden VW camper ice cream van, a construction site for making bricks, and vets.

Adults can also join in the fun or just stay away in the café. 

Ghetto Golf 

Another great place to enjoy indoor fun is at Ghetto Golf, which mixes graffiti, crazy golf, street food, and cocktails. It is located at the Custard Factory but is, unfortunately, is for people who are over 18 years.  

Where can I take the kids in West Midlands? 

If you widen your nets a little bit across the West Midlands, more options will be opened to you. This region includes cities like Leicester, Coventry, West Bromwich, and Wolverhampton.

Here is where you can take your kids in the West Midlands region of the UK.

Wren’s Nest Hill Nature Reserve, Dudley 

Once upon a time (428 million years ago), this area was a tropical ocean. But after the water dried up or escaped, the place has since become important for archaeologists. Many fossils have been excavated here since the mid-1800s which led to the site being declared the first urban National Nature Reserve in the UK in 1956. It is around 11 miles from the city center of Birmingham, off Wren’s Hill Road. 

Batsford Arboretum and Garden Center, Cotswolds 

This destination offers the finest and most affordable days out in the West Midlands. The area features some fine café, beautiful gardens, breathtaking vistas, and an 1800s arboretum.

The arboretum is opened every day throughout the year except Christmas Day and is the only paid part of the attraction. All other places – the café, Garden Shop, and Plant Center, are free.

Moreover, pets are also welcomed in the arboretum provided they are on the leash all the time.

This place is located some 45 miles from Birmingham. 

Things to do with kids in Birmingham – Summary

Birmingham with kids – pin it for later


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Ania James

photographer, traveller, mother of twin girls, wife, worldschooler, rulebreaker

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