The Best Days Out With The Kids In & Around Birmingham

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Birmingham, the beating heart of the West Midlands, is not just a bustling city known for its industrial heritage and vibrant cultural and culinary scene. It’s also a treasure trove of family-friendly activities and attractions. Whether you’re local to the area or visiting from further afield, there’s no shortage of exciting days out to be had with the kids. 

From interactive museums to wildlife encounters and outdoor adventures, Birmingham and its surroundings offer a plethora of experiences that will keep children of all ages entertained. With that in mind, here are some of the Second City’s best options for a memorable family day out.

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

For a day that combines fun with education, Thinktank is an award-winning science museum that offers an extraordinary, interactive journey through the world of science and technology. The museum is home to over 200 hands-on displays on topics ranging from steam engines to space exploration. The Kids’ City area is perfect for younger children, allowing them to explore a mini city where they can learn through play. Don’t miss the Science Garden, an outdoor discovery space with exhibits that teach the principles of mechanics and engineering.

Sarehole Mill

For a slice of history and a touch of Tolkien magic, Sarehole Mill is a delightful day out for families. This historic watermill, nestled in the picturesque Shire Country Park, is said to have been an inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The mill itself is one of only two surviving working watermills in Birmingham and offers a fascinating insight into the life and industry of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Children can learn about the milling process, from grain to flour, and the importance of mills in the history of food production. The museum also hosts a variety of craft workshops and events throughout the year, making it a dynamic place to visit. After exploring the mill, take a stroll through the surrounding parkland, which features beautiful woodlands, meadows, and the River Cole. The park’s natural beauty provides a serene backdrop for a family picnic and a chance for children to play and explore in a setting that feels like a page out of a storybook.

Please be aware that Sarehole Mill is currently closed for renovation, with a view to opening in early summer.

Drayton Manor Theme Park

For families seeking thrills and spills, Drayton Manor Theme Park offers a high-octane day out with a variety of rides and attractions to suit all ages. Located just a half hour drive outside Birmingham, this theme park is home to some of the biggest, wettest, and scariest rides around. For the little ones, Thomas Land is a dream come true, bringing to life the beloved ‘Thomas & Friends’ series with themed rides, a play area, and a chance to meet Thomas the Tank Engine himself.

Adrenaline junkies can enjoy roller coasters like Shockwave and Air Race, while those looking for a more relaxed experience can take a leisurely boat trip around the park’s lake or visit the 15-acre zoo, which houses over 100 animals from all over the world. Drayton Manor also offers a range of dining options and picnic areas, so you can refuel and get back to the fun.

The park is designed with families in mind, offering baby changing facilities, lockers, and a range of services to ensure a comfortable and stress-free day out. With seasonal events, such as their magical Christmas celebration and spooky Halloween festivities, Drayton Manor Theme Park is a year-round destination for family entertainment.

Library of Birmingham

Don’t overlook the Library of Birmingham, a modern architectural marvel and a hub of knowledge and culture in the city centre. This isn’t just any library; it’s one of the most visually striking landmarks in Birmingham, with its futuristic design and shimmering façade. Inside, it’s a paradise for young readers and families, offering a vast collection of books, including children’s literature that can ignite the imaginations of your little ones.

The library also hosts regular family-friendly events, storytelling sessions, and interactive workshops that can engage children in the joys of reading and learning. The dedicated children’s area is designed to be welcoming and stimulating, ensuring that even the youngest visitors can find a cozy corner to delve into stories. Moreover, the Library of Birmingham boasts impressive viewing platforms on the upper floors, providing panoramic views of the city – a perfect way to show the kids the city from a different perspective.

With its free admission, the Library of Birmingham is an excellent indoor option for families looking to combine education with entertainment, all within the heart of the city. Whether it’s to discover a new favorite book, participate in an educational event, or simply enjoy the view, the Library of Birmingham is a must-visit destination for families exploring the city’s cultural offerings.

The Park VR Experience

Embark on a futuristic family adventure at The Park VR Birmingham, in the city’s Brindleyplace (just seconds from the SEA LIFE Centre, by the way), where virtual reality brings an array of immersive worlds to life. This isn’t your average arcade; it’s a cutting-edge playground that invites you and your kids to step into interactive games, encouraging teamwork with state-of-the-art VR headsets and controllers across two spacious 7×7 meter playing fields. After the thrills, unwind with a refreshing drink at the bar, and consider their catering options for a full day of fun.

The Park VR is more than just a gaming destination; it’s a place to create lasting memories with your family. Right now, the dedicated family VR experience at the Park is centred around ancient Egypt. Billed as ‘The Mask Of The Pharaoh’, we don’t ruin the surprise here! This one simply has to be seen to be believed.

National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham

Dive into an underwater world at the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, where your family can come face-to-face with over 2,000 creatures, including sharks, rays, and the adorable Gentoo penguins. The 360-degree ocean tunnel is a highlight, offering an immersive experience as you watch the marine life swim above and around you. The centre also focuses on conservation, providing an excellent opportunity to educate the kids about the importance of protecting our oceans.

Cadbury World

A visit to Cadbury World is a must for any family with a sweet tooth. Located in the historic Bournville village, this self-guided exhibition tour takes you through the history of chocolate and the Cadbury business. Kids will love the 4D Chocolate Adventure and the opportunity to see real chocolatiers at work. Plus, there’s plenty of chocolate tasting along the way!

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

For a more relaxed day out, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens offer a beautiful and tranquil setting to explore with the family. The gardens feature four stunning glasshouses that range from tropical rainforest to arid desert climates. There’s also a playground, a butterfly house, and a range of family-friendly events throughout the year.

Ash End House Children’s Farm

Located just outside Birmingham, Ash End House Children’s Farm is a delightful day out for younger children. They can get up close and personal with a variety of farm animals, feed the chickens, and even take a tractor ride. The farm also has a number of play areas and a hatchery where kids can witness chicks emerging from their eggs.

Black Country Living Museum

Step back in time at the Black Country Living Museum, an open-air museum that recreates life in the Black Country in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum is an immersive experience with costumed characters, original shops and houses, and even a traditional fairground. Kids can learn about the region’s history in a hands-on way, from attending a Victorian school lesson to trying their hand at traditional crafts.

Cannon Hill Park

Cannon Hill Park is Birmingham’s most popular park and offers a great day out with plenty of space for kids to run around. The park features playgrounds, a mini-golf course, and pedal boats on the lake. The MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) is also located within the park, offering a range of artistic activities, from theatre to visual arts, many of which are aimed at families and children.

Dudley Zoo & Castle

A short drive from Birmingham, Dudley Zoo and Castle provides a unique combination of history and wildlife. The zoo is home to hundreds of animals, including some rare and exotic species, while the 11th-century castle offers stunning views and a glimpse into the area’s past. The zoo also has a range of interactive experiences and feeding times that are sure to captivate the kids.

Lickey Hills Country Park

For families who love the great outdoors, Lickey Hills Country Park is a perfect choice. With over 500 acres of woodland, heathland, and grassland to explore, it’s an ideal spot for walking, picnicking, and nature watching. The park also has a visitor centre, a play area, and a golf course.

The Bottom Line

Birmingham and its surrounding areas are brimming with family-friendly attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether your kids are budding scientists, animal lovers, or outdoor adventurers, there’s something in Birmingham for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready for some unforgettable family fun in the heart of England.

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