10 things to do in Birmingham with kids

Things to do in Birmingham

If you’re in need ideas for keeping your little ones entertained this October half-term, perhaps you should consider a trip to the second city (if you live here, then lucky you!) There’s something for kids of all ages in Birmingham and the region has just been announced as the UK’s fastest growing tourist destination outside of London – so come see what all the hype is about!

We have more canals than Venice (you haven’t heard that one before) and more Michelin stars than any other regional UK city, but if your kids need more than food and water to entertain them, here’s my top 10 things to do in Birmingham with kids.

Things to do in Birmingham with kids

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Cadburys World

Any kid who’s read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will absolutely love this place. There are 14 zones taking you on a complete tour of Cadburys including a 4D cinema experience, a chocolate making tutorial and an Aztec jungle. There’s also an adventure play area which is great for when the kids get a little restless (although bear in mind that it’s outdoors so not great on a rainy day). Probably more suitable for older kids who will appreciate all that the experience has to offer. They also get FREE CHOCOLATE!! Tours are allocated on a time slot basis, so make sure you book your trip in advance (online) so that you can book a time that’s suitable for you.

THINK TANK BIRMINGHAM

Think Tank, Birmingham Science museum is perfect for those ‘but why?’ kids who want to know everything there is to know about the universe they live in. Whether it’s space, manufacturing or future inventions that your kids are interested in, there’s so much to do and see here. Main highlights include the planetarium, the spitfire gallery, and a science garden which is an outside discovery space parked with surprises and outdoor fun for the family.  The museum is also hosting a number of additional activities over the half-term.

TWYCROSS ZOO

A 30 minute drive outside of the city centre, Twycross Zoo is perfect for a family day out. There are around 500 animals to see, and Twycross has the largest collection of monkeys and apes in the West. The food court has a number of options for kids and there’s also a great soft play area – if you want to lose an hour of your day!

thomas land, drayton manor

I wrote a review of our visit to Thomas Land in the summer here, but trust me when I say that it’s an absolute must for little Thomas fans. With a new expansion and several new rides launched this year, there’s even more to do – from riding on Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy, to taking an Engine Tour on Thomas himself to Farmer McColl’s farm, you definitely won’t be short of things to do. A great day out for toddlers (check out the height restrictions before booking your tickets). Drayton Manor is located to the north of Birmingham, visit their website for tips on getting there from the city centre. Again, book in advance online for big savings.

review of thomas land drayton manor

library of birmingham

Launched in 2013, the new Library of Birmingham is sure to fuel kids’ imaginations and has everything the little bookworm could possibly want. There are a number of areas to discover including a dedicated Children’s Library, which is a treasure trove for all ages from tots to teenagers. There are also a number of regular activities including story sessions from visiting authors – Chris White visits on 28th October for a Cartoon and Rhyme Roadshow, and there’s also a Pirate Fun Day taking place on 30th October. You can find out more here.

cannon hill park

If it’s outdoor fun you’re after, Cannon Hill Park is ideal for families. Located just outside of the city centre, the park spans 250 acres and has two children’s play areas, as well as woodland, formal gardens, a lake, plenty of picnic areas and a 36 hole mini golf course. At the heart of the park is the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), host to a wide range of theatre performances, music, comedy and children’s plays. Visit the website to find out what’s on.

BIRMINGHAM SEA LIFE CENTRE

All under one roof, Birmingham Sea Life Centre is perfect for a rainy day. I went in the (not so sunny) summer with my sister and two year old nephew and he loved it! Even Taylor was (uncharacteristically) quiet – mesmerised by the bright blue tanks and weird and wonderful sea creatures. The highlight for me (and my nephew) were the penguins – a new addition in 2014, the penguin’s playful and quirky ways are so much fun to watch! There’s also various interactive ‘stations’ for kids as you walk around – for every answer they get correct you give them a stamp for a medal at the end. The soft play area at the end is also very popular! Be sure to book online in advance to save up to 40%.

Birmingham Sea Life Centre

black country living museum

The open air Black Country Museum literally transports you back in time to an 1830s Black Country village with charismatic residents to chat to, trams to ride and games to play. If it’s entertainment you’re looking for and something to set the imagination alight, then this is your place. There’s stories to hear about the challenges and triumphs of industry in the 1830s, and twenty six acres of history to explore. Little history boffs will be in their element. The museum is also hosting some great half-term activities including treasure trails, craft workshops and street games.

SNOW DOME, TAMWORTH

Whether you’re a seasoned skiing family, or you’ve never been up a peak in your life, the Snow Dome at Tamworth is guaranteed to provide a fun-packed active day out. It’s home to the UK’s only dedicated children’s snow play area, and also has an ice-skating rink and an ice track, as well as real snow slopes. There’s something for kids of all ages and you don’t need any prior experience to participate in any of the activities. Children aged 3-7 years can also try tiny tubing and tiny sledging. The Snow Dome is less than a 30 minute drive outside of Birmingham city centre.

bbc birmingham tours

The BBC Birmingham Tours offers visitors the chance to gain access to the ‘behind the scenes’ world of some of your favorite shows. Informative and entertaining tour guides will show you all there is to know about the fantastic TV, radio and online productions that are created at BBC Birmingham. There are plenty of interactive elements to keep kids entertained – have a go at making your own radio play complete with music and sound effects, or experience what it’s like to take part in CBBC’s quiz show, Copycats. Tours last up to one and a half hours. There’s a lot of walking and standing, so better for the older kids.

What are your plans this half-term?  Do you have any other suggestions for things to do in Birmingham with kids?

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25 Comment

  1. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)
    October 24, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Love the sound of Cadburys World and the Black Country Living Museum – will be added these to my list of places to visit when we are next in the area 🙂
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Outdoor fun at Apple DayMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      October 25, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      You definitely should! Both places are really quite unique and a great day out 🙂

  2. The Speed Bump
    October 24, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    We love the Birmingham Sea Life centre! Can’t wait until my little girl is old enough to enjoy Cadbury World, I loved it! Did a 5k charity run through Cannon Hill Park when I was pregnant and it’s beautiful. Birmingham is such an underrated city – I’m originally from the Black Country but now live about two hours away. There’s so much to do around Birmingham, this guide has really reminded me of some great places to take my little girl!
    #KCACOLS
    The Speed Bump recently posted…Moments that melt my heart…My Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      October 24, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      I know, I’m really looking forward to visiting Cadburys World again when Taylor gets old enough to appreciate it (although I’m sure she’d appreciate the chocolate now!) Birmingham does have so much to offer – we always forget what’s on our doorstep so putting this post together has reminded me too of all there is to do here. Well done you for the 5k charity run whilst pregnant – that’s 5k more than I managed! 🙂

  3. Coombe Mill - Fiona Cambouropoulos
    October 24, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Oh my there is so much and some really great places too, I’ve seen many of these through my Country Kids link up and never realised they were all around Birmingham, I’m not sure which I would want to visit first! #KCACOLS
    Coombe Mill – Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Weekly Farm PhotoMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      October 25, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      I am biased of course, but Birmingham really is a great city and has lots to offer. It’s definitely a good choice for a fun-packed city break with kids. Hopefully you’ll get chance to come up this way soon x

  4. Silly Mummy
    October 24, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    These sound like great activities. Has been years (& long before kids) since I’ve been to Birmingham. I absolutely love living museums – there were quite a lot around where I grew up in Yorkshire & I loved going to them. Must get to Cadburys World at some point – can’t believe I’ve never done it! #KCACOLS
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Child Safety Kits Are Out to Get UsMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      October 25, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      I also loved living museums as a kid – it’s the history geek in me! We actually used to spend a lot of time in Yorkshire as our grandparents had a timeshare in Thirsk, so we used to visit every year when I was growing up – such a beautiful county. Cadburys World is a must if you’re ever in the area x

  5. mummyofboygirltwins
    October 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I love this. I have just moved to Worcester so Birmingham isn’t far for us all now – and I have yet to go!! Will try and do some of these soon! Thanks for linking up. Jess xx

    #sundaystars
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…Sunday Stars linkyMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      October 25, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Oh you definitely should go soon! We’re not too far from Worcester ourselves but I love how good the train links are into Birmingham too. Plus the new New Street is pretty impressive and definitely worth a visit to the John Lewis there. Hopefully you’ll get around to visiting soon xx

  6. A Moment with Franca
    October 25, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    This is a great list Natalie!! My parents in law lives in Polesworth which is not far from Birmingham so we have gone to some of the places in this list like Twycross Zoo, Thomas Land and the Snow Dome, Tamworth. I really want to go to Cadburys World and the Sea Life Centre. Thanks so much for joining me at #KCACOLS. I love to see your posts here every week. BTW, would you like to try to guest co-host with me one weekend? Drop me an email if it is something that could interest you 😉 xx
    A Moment with Franca recently posted…My Sunday Photo – Enjoying AutumnMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      October 27, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks Franca! Sounds like you have seen quite a bit of what Birmingham has to offer! Thomas Land is my personal favourite – I just love how magical it is and seeing how much the kids love it! Glad you’re enjoying the posts, I would love to co host, I’ll drop you and email 🙂 xx

  7. Claire at Tin Box Traveller
    October 26, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    I went to a couple of these places as a kid but am yet to visit Birmingham with my own children. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Making the most of family timeMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      October 27, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      No problem Claire, hopefully you’ll get the chance to visit again soon! x

  8. Rachel
    October 27, 2015 at 11:28 am

    I am from your neck of the woods, some lovely ideas here. Haven’t been to Cadbury’s for years! Will have to go back! Think Tank is a great one too #twinklytuesday xx
    Rachel recently posted…Pumpkin Craft…FailMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      October 28, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Think Tank is definitely on my To Do list once Taylor gets a little older – although I admit that the visit will probably be more for me than for her! xx

  9. Lisa (mummascribbles)
    October 30, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I went to Cadbury world a few years back and thought it was great. I so need to take Zach to Thomas land – I’ll make sure that happens after winter! Bham is a long way from us! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday
    Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted…The reality of toddler dreamsMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      November 5, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Lisa, Thomas Land really is worth a visit – especially if Zach’s a Thomas fan! Hopefully you’ll get chance to visit in the New Year 🙂

  10. Mummy Fever
    October 30, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Great list – we’ve done some of these but not all so will try out the rest thank you #TheList
    Mummy Fever recently posted…Let’s make it in a minuteMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      November 5, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      Thank you, hope you enjoy them! I also need to get out visiting!

  11. mummuddlingthrough
    October 31, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Thanks for linking this great list to #coolmumclub. I am not that familiar with the Birmingham area, but I did once go on an awesome hen weekend there! We went on a canal boat ride and there was a crazy lady off of Come dine with me hosting the boat tour…I’m suprised she wasn’t on your list ?! 😉 x MMT
    mummuddlingthrough recently posted…Quotes from the G-unit – October 2015My Profile

  12. Tracey Williams
    November 2, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Birmingham is only an hour away from where we live but we have never visited before. I keep saying we really must visit Cadbury World soon as I have heard so many good things about it. Certainly sounds as if you could spend a good few days in Birmingham with the kids #Thelist x
    Tracey Williams recently posted…10 Reasons why October was awesomeMy Profile

  13. Elena
    November 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    This is a fab post, I am actually about to do a similar one for London!
    My inlaws live in Birmingham and my eldest son usually spends half term with them so he has visited a lot of these places. His favourites are Thomas Land and the Black Country Museum,
    #Thelist

  14. […] from Dubai, so we take advantage of the time we have together and I always try and take them to a local family attraction (in addition to our obligatory trip to Thomas Land!) Last year it was The Sea Life Centre in […]

  15. Danielle
    January 23, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Love these suggestions! Cannon Hill park is a particular favourite of mine, going down there on a sunny summers day is an incredible treat for the family.

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