Birmingham On a Rainy Day: 14 Things To Do
One of the largest cities in the UK, Birmingham, West Midlands offers tons of things to do. Whether it's exploring a perfectly preserved jewellery workshop from the city's industrial area heyday in the Jewellery Quarter, visiting some of the city's incredible parks, or simply savoring a nice meal along the water's edge in Gas Street Basin, you'll find it easy to fill up your days with entertaining activities and sights to see in this sprawling city.
However, like the rest of the UK, Birmingham gets its share of rain. Even in the height of summer, rainy days are not rare, so you should be prepared to spend some time indoors no matter when you visit. Luckily, Birmingham has some excellent places to spend time on a rainy day. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Birmingham, grab a raincoat or umbrella, and get ready to explore some of the best bad weather activities in the West Midlands.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
One of the first places you should visit on a rainy day in Birmingham is the excellent Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. This large, free museum has an incredible collection of art and artifacts, as well as regular temporary exhibitions. You could easily spend several hours wandering through the many galleries, so it's a great option for a rainy day activity.
Highlights of the art collection here include work by John Constable, JMW Turner, Renoir, and Canaletto. The museum also contains incredible historical artifacts from around the world and from the local West Midlands area, including the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. And while art and history may not appeal too much to any kids you're traveling with, the preserved Triceratops skull and other reconstructed prehistoric creatures certainly will. Plus, since it offers free admission, it's an excellent way to save some money while you explore. Don't miss this opportunity to visit one of the best museums and art galleries in Birmingham, if not the whole UK.
Off The Wall
If you're looking for something a bit more active to do on a rainy day, head to Off The Wall, an indoor rock climbing facility in Birmingham. With over 15,000 square feet of space and walls up to 40 feet high, there's plenty of room to explore and challenge yourself, no matter your skill level.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced climber, you'll find plenty of routes to keep you entertained, and the staff is always on hand to offer advice and help with belaying. And if you really want to test yourself, try the speed climbing wall where you can race against the clock. It's a great place to wait out rainy days, and the whole family can enjoy this new dimension of your Birmingham trip.
National Sea Life Centre
Another excellent option for a wet weather activity is the National Sea Life Centre. Located just outside of the city centre, this massive aquarium is home to over 60 different marine species, including sharks, seahorses, stingrays, and otters.
You can explore the different tanks at your own pace, or take part in one of the many talks and feedings that happen throughout the day. The National Sea Life Centre is also an excellent option if you're traveling with kids, as there are plenty of interactive exhibits and activities to keep them entertained. And if it's a really rainy day, you can even take a walk through the underwater glass tunnel for an up-close look at the fish swimming overhead. The whole experience may make you feel like you've experienced a flood of biblical proportions but will keep you out of the worst of the weather and keep you entertained while you're at it.
For another rainy day activity that will keep the whole family happy, head to Star City. This large entertainment complex has something for everyone, with bowling, laser tag, arcade games, and even a cinema.
The kids will love spending some time at the Ten Pin Bowling Alley, while the adults can enjoy a game of laser tag or a few rounds of bowling. As well as the latest and greatest in video gaming, Star City offers retro arcade games that may take you back in time to your own childhood. As far as indoor activities go, this one is hard to beat for a fun way to wait out the worst of the weather.
And if you need a break from the games, you can always catch a film at the on-site cinema. Star City is the perfect place to escape a rainy day, and you're sure to have a great time no matter what you do.
National Exhibition Centre
If you're looking for an indoor activity that's a bit more educational, the National Exhibition Centre is a great option. This large exhibition space hosts a variety of different events throughout the year, from art shows and historical exhibitions to trade shows and conventions.
Along with the shows, the NEC is also home to some great restaurants, hotels, and other things to do. Check out Resorts World for great shopping and restaurants, not to mention a cinema and a casino where you can try your luck. If you'd rather do something a little more active, explore the Bear Grylls Adventure, where you can go rock climbing, scuba diving, or parachuting, all without leaving the NEC.
Rock Up Birmingham
Located at Broadway Plaza, Rock Up Birmingham is another indoor climbing centre that's perfect for a rainy day. With 26 different climbing walls, some over 26 feet, and 70 different routes, there's plenty of room to explore and challenge yourself, no matter your skill level.
Billed as the UK's largest indoor climbing and adventure center, this facility includes an incredible assault course, high ropes, and even a zip line. And if you need a break from the climbing, there's also a cafe where you can relax and refuel before taking on the walls again.
Rock Up Birmingham is the perfect place to wait out a storm, and you're sure to have a great time no matter what you do. Broadway Plaza has many other great activities as well such as a bowling alley, casino, and plenty of restaurants.
For something a bit different, the Custard Factory is a great option. You won't find much actual custard being manufactured here. Instead, this large complex is home to a variety of different businesses, from art galleries and shops to restaurants and cafes.
The Custard Factory is also home to a number of events and activities, so there's always something going on. And if you're looking for something to do on a rainy day, there's plenty to keep you entertained.
The Custard Factory is particularly well known for its indoor crazy golf course known as Ghetto Golf. Strictly for adults, Ghetto Golf incorporates street food, live DJs, and a cocktail bar along with its outrageous crazy golf course, making it one of the most unique attractions in the West Midlands.
Treetop Adventure Golf
For a more family-friendly version of golf, check out the Treetop Adventure at the Bullring in the city center. This facility has two 18-hole courses, Ancient Explorer and Tropical Trail, with exciting themes that make for a fun day out. There's even a challenging 19th hole that you can attempt and possibly win a free round of golf.
And thanks to its location, once you're done at Treetop Adventure, you'll be ideally placed to explore the Bullring. Home to some of the best shopping in Birmingham, the Bullring is also home to a number of great restaurants, cafes, and bars. Get some retail therapy while you wait out the rain or even pick up a cute new raincoat or umbrella to help you enjoy the weather. Combined with neighboring Grand Central, this is one of the largest shopping centers in the UK and in Europe, and so it belongs on the bucket list of any committed shopaholic. It also very much earns its place on this list of the best indoor activities in Birmingham.
For a bit of history, the Birmingham Back-to-Backs are a must-see. These historic houses were built in the 1800s for working-class families and have been carefully restored to their original condition.
You can take a guided tour of the houses to learn about the lives of the people who lived there and get a glimpse into what life was like in Birmingham during the Industrial Revolution. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who bring the history to life, making this a great activity for all ages.
After your tour, take some time to explore the rest of the museum, which has exhibits on the history of Birmingham and its people. There's also a cafe where you can grab a bite to eat or a cup of tea.
The Birmingham Back-to-Backs are open from 10 am to 4 pm, making them a great option for a rainy day activity. They're located in the Jewellery Quarter, which is also home to a number of other great attractions, including the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, so you can easily make a day of it.
Legoland Discovery Center
If you're looking for something to do with the kids, the Legoland Discovery Center is a great option. This indoor attraction has rides, LEGO build and play areas, and a 4D cinema. It's the perfect place to spend a rainy day with the family.
The Legoland Discovery Center is located in the Arena Birmingham, which is also home to a number of other great attractions, including the Sea Life Centre and the National Indoor Arena. So, if you're looking for a full day of indoor fun, this is the place to be.
National Motorcycle Museum
The National Motorcycle Museum is one of the largest motorcycle museums in the world and is a great option for a rainy day activity. With over 1,000 motorcycles on display, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
In addition to the motorcycles, the museum also has a cafe, gift shop, and library. So, even if you're not a motorcycle enthusiast, there's still plenty to see and do.
The National Motorcycle Museum is open from 10 am to 4 pm, making it a great option for a rainy day activity. It's located just outside of Birmingham in Solihull, so it's easily accessible by public transport.
Birmingham Public Library
If you're looking for a more cultural activity, the Birmingham Public Library is a great option. This striking building is one of the largest public libraries in Europe and is home to over a million books.
In addition to the books, the library also has a number of art galleries, exhibits, and events. So, whether you're looking to learn something new or just browse the collections, the Birmingham Public Library is a great option.
The Birmingham Public Library is open from 9 am to 8 pm, so you can even head here to wait out a rainy evening.
West Midlands Police Museum
For something a bit different, the West Midlands Police Museum is a great option. This museum is dedicated to the history of policing in the West Midlands and has a number of interesting exhibits.
Here, you can learn more about some of Birmingham's most dastardly criminals such as the infamous Peaky Blinders gang and the men and women whose job it was to bring them to justice. It's a fascinating way to learn more about the history of the city through some of its darker chapters, and older kids especially will get a thrill out of this unconventional Museum. However, the true crime stories told here may be a little too scary for younger children.
Thinktank Science Museum
Finally, for a fun and educational activity, the Thinktank Science Museum is a great option. With over 200 interactive exhibits, the Thinktank Science Museum is a great place to learn about science and technology.
There's also a planetarium, 4D cinema, and cafe on-site, so you can easily spend a whole day here. Kids will have so much fun they won't realize they're learning anything, and adults will probably learn a lot too from the impressive displays at this fun museum.
Rainy days aren't exactly rare in Birmingham. But thanks to all the excellent indoor activities the city has, you don't need to be confined to your hotel room no matter what the weather's doing. Embrace the rain and see some of Birmingham's top attractions.