The city of Birmingham may not immediately spring to mind for a family weekend, but this previous manufacturing powerhouse is in fact a hotbed of culture, history and diversity. A major player in the Industrial Revolution, Birmingham has a proud history, which can be explored through its numerous museums and landmarks.
Many of these museums are fantastic for children, offering family-friendly events and interactive exhibits. Visitors will also find grand stately homes, beautiful parks and world famous attractions like Cadbury World. So you certainly won’t be short of things to do with kids in Birmingham.
Read on to discover our top things to do with your kids in Birmingham:
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1. RAF Museum Cosford
30 minutes from the city centre is the Royal Air Force Museum which promises a great day out for the whole family. Historic aircraft on display include the world’s oldest Spitfire and the last surviving Dornier Do 17 – a German bomber recently salvaged from the bottom of the English Channel.
And of course, the kids are sure to love the 4D flight simulator. With interactive exhibits and regular family friendly events, it’s no surprise this is one of the highest rated things to do in Birmingham with kids. And the best bit of all? It’s free entry!
2. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
Birmingham is lucky to have a Legoland Discover Centre which attracts a lot of families all year round whether you are local resident or a visitor. You will find some indoor rides and even a 4D cinema. Some workshops are organised on weekends for children who can be creative as much as they like. This is a great kids friendly activity to do on a rainy day in Birmingham.
3. Aston Hall
If the weather’s looking iffy, head to this Jacobean mansion for a day full of fascinating history. The kids will love following the fairytale trail around the house, regular storytelling sessions and seasonal events like Halloween Fright Night and Santa’s Grotto. The Gardens are also beautiful to explore on a dry day, with picnic spots and a nature trail for little ones to discover.
Address: Trinity Road, Birmingham B6 6JD
4. Cadbury World
What could delight the kids more than a visit to a chocolate factory?! Cadbury World promises to bring their Willy Wonka dreams to life, as you tour the working factory floor, taste special edition chocolates and learn all about the history of the brand. There are also interactive activities, rides, an outdoor play area and of course, a gift shop! Certainly one of the best things to do in Birmingham with kids.
Address: Linden Rd, Birmingham B30 1JR
5. Birmingham Science Museum
This award-winning museum is a fantastic place for all ages to discover the wonders of science. Packed full of fun exhibits from a talking robot to steam engines, this is sure to ignite your child’s imagination. There are over 200 hands-on displays spread over four floors of the impressive waterfront Millennium Point building. Highlights include a new interactive gallery for under 8s, a Planetarium, a Science Garden and an inspiring programme of events.
6. Drayton Manor Theme Park
One of the best theme parks for toddlers, Drayton Manor is home to Thomas Land, where train-mad tots can enjoy over 25 rides and attractions themed around the famous locomotive. For older children there are hundreds more rides, as well as a small zoo and a 4D cinema. Drayton Manor is just 20 minutes drive from Birmingham city centre. However if you’re willing to travel a bit further, Alton Towers is a fantastic themepark for older children.
7. Explore the Canals
Explore the city’s 313 miles of canals on a narrowboat – a great family activity for the summer months. You can either hire your own boat, or choose an organised tour which takes you to some of the city’s landmarks. Most boat trips depart from Sherbourne Wharf, where you’ll also find lots of shops and restaurants. If you prefer to stay on dry land, simply strolling beside the canals is a great way to entertain young children, with a chance to spot boats, wildlife and buildings. This is surely one of the best free Birmingham Kids Activities.
8. Sutton Park
This 2,400 acre nature reserve is a wonderful place to escape the city centre. Its woodland, lakes and heathland is home to a vast array of wildlife including cattle and wild ponies, which are sure to delight the kids. Just 6 miles south of Birmingham, Sutton Park is popular with families at the weekends, as well as cyclists, joggers and dog walkers. The visitor centre is open all year round, and offers a cafe, baby changing facilities and maps. Alternatively, if it’s slides and swings you’re after, check out this handy list of parks with playgrounds in Birmingham.
9. Ackers Adventure
Take on an outdoor challenge at this fantastic activity centre set in 75 acres of land, just two miles outside Birmingham City Centre. There are indeed a vast array of activities to choose from, including climbing walls and obstacle courses. Some activities are suitable for children as young as 3. So it promises to be a great day out for the whole family. You can book a 90 minute taster session for archery, canoeing, bushcraft, abseiling and more. Or choose a Thrillseeker Day, which includes a whole range of activities from skiing to zip wires. Ackers Adventure also offers holiday camps, birthday parties and longer courses which are popular with local families.
10. Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park
The compact Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is home to some of the world’s most endangered animals including Red Pandas, Colombian Black Spider Monkeys, Ring Tailed Lemurs and the Two Toed Sloth. Young children will love seeing theses creatures in their naturalistic enclosures. And you’ll be pleased to know your entry fee will help to preserve these critically endangered species. There are regular informative talks and also daily feeding times which are fun for little ones to watch. And lastly, there is also a small soft play area for toddlers to let off some steam.
Address: Pershore Rd, Birmingham B5 7RL
11. Inflatable Theme Park Birmingham
If you are looking for a fun activity to do with your children in Birmingham, you can’t go wrong by picking a session at the Inflata Nation Theme Park at Stechford Retail Park. Expect to find climbing wall, inflatable balls and lots of places to bounce. There is also an area designated for your littles ones under 4 years old. Make sure you book in advance and enjoy a lot of bouncing and laughter.
12. Karting and Laser Tag at TeamWorks
TeamWorks has a lot to offer in Birmingham City and Birmingham West if you are running out of ideas on how to keep your kids entertained in Birmingham. You will find activities such as Karting, Laser Tag and even Simulator Racing. However, bear in mind that there is a minimum age to be able to do these activities. For instance Karting allows children to ride if they are aged 8 years old with a minimum height of 145cm. For Laser Tag, your child will have to be 6 years old minimum. Are you ready to compete and race against your children in a fun family activity in the city of Birmingham?
13. Blakeskley Hall
If you are interested by going back to history and teach the local culture to your children while having fun, check out the different family friendly activities at Blakesley Hall. This Tudor house has lovely gardens with lots of things to do in the summer for kids. You will also find a family room that is open on weekends and during school holidays. Some storytelling is also organised from time to time so make sure to check their website and see what’s on for families prior to your visit.
Address: Blakesley Rd, Birmingham B25 8RN
14. PEN Museum
Did you know that the city of Birmingham was employing around 8,000 women workers in the pen industry during the Victorian era? No wonder why there is a dedicated museum to this fabulous object that we use daily even in the age of smart phones and computers. What can you expect in the museum is three different rooms where you can find all sorts of pen and pen nibs. Your children will find some interactive activities to do as well and can even create your own pen nib.
15. National Sea Life Centre Birmingham
This huge aquarium is a fantastic place to take the kids on a rainy day. The Sea Life Birmingham is home to over 2,000 species of marine life, which the kids can learn all about through feeding times and talks, tours and touch pools.
It also boasts the UK’s only 360 Ocean Tunnel, which you can walk through and admire reef sharks, graceful rays and giant turtles. Furthermore, families can save money on two attractions by buying a combined ticket to the Sea Life Centre and Legoland Discovery Centre, which is right next door.
16. Bear Gryll’s Adventure
If you are looking to try different activities in one place, Bear Gryll’s Adventure is the place to go to in Birmingham. Your children will be able to try archery, indoor climbing, high ropes and plenty more. By the way if you wonder who is Bear Gryll, he is a famous British explorer who was also featured in the TV program Man vs. Wild.
Did I mention you can also participate in a diving session and get very close to sharks too!
I hope you’ve found enough things to do with your children in Birmingham and that this article inspired you to plan a weekend break over there. Visiting Birmingham with your kids is the perfect opportunity for a fantastic family weekend. And if your children are up for some treasure trail in Birmingham, have a look at this Birmingham map where you there are 11 hidden treasures to find in the city.
16 Things to Do in Birmingham with Kids
- RAF Museum Cosford
- National Sealife Centre
- Aston Hall
- Cadbury World
- Birmingham Science Museum
- Drayton Manor Theme Park
- Explore the Canals
- Sutton Park
- Ackers Adventure
- Birmingham Wildllife Conservation Park
- Inflatable Theme Park Birmingham
- Karting and Laser Tag at TeamWorks
- Blakeskley Hall
- PEN Museum
- LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
- Bear Gryll’s Adventure
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