10 Things To Do In Birmingham With Kids5 April, 2022by Bounce
Birmingham is a centrally-located English city two and a half hours northwest of London and even closer to the large cities of Manchester and Liverpool. It's a big city itself with over one million residents and a thriving tourist destination. Without leaving town you can check out world-class museums in the City Centre, shop til you drop at Bullring & Grand Central, and dine at some of the finest restaurants in the country. While these activities may not appeal to kids as much as adults, don't worry, there are still plenty of things to do in Birmingham with kids.
Kids who like animals, the outdoors, theme parks, and adventure are sure to have a fabulous time exploring Birmingham. Birmingham is a more affordable destination than London or other large European cities, and these prices make it a popular place for local families to settle and raise kids. As a result, the city is full of kid-friendly activities, and many of them will appeal to parents as well and the cost to see and do it all won't break the bank.
Before you head out on your Birmingham family vacation, make sure you're not loaded down with unnecessary bags. Head to a Bounce luggage storage in Birmingham and keep your hands free to wrangle the kids and board public transportation.
Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park
Previously called the Birmingham Zoo, the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park sits on the edge of Cannon Hill Park. The small zoo houses endangered animals along with some of your favorites. They are passionate about conservation and education, especially for kids, and you can tour the area watching out for red pandas, lots of different monkeys, wallabies, and lemurs. You might even catch one of the programmed feeding times. This is a great spot to get the whole family excited about wildlife and how we can help to protect the animals.
The conservation park is located in Edgbaston on Pershore Road and is open from 10 am to 4 pm in the winter. In the summer, they stay open until 5 pm. As far as family activities go, the admission prices here are quite reasonable. The adult ticket is £7.25 and kids up to 15 are an economical £3.65. If you have kids under three, they get free entry.
Cannon Hill Park
Once you've done everything at the Wildlife Conservation Park, head to the adjacent Cannon Hill Park for some much-needed relaxation or a rousing game of tennis. The park is the most popular in Birmingham and when you see how many kid-friendly activities it offers, you'll understand why. Spread over 250 acres, this well-used park is used frequently by locals and tourists for walking and jogging as well as fishing in the lake.
For families with kids in the toddler to ten-year-old range, a stop-in at the Fun Park is a must. Send the older kids off to play a round of mini-golf and let the youngsters loose. From spinning coasters to train rides to tower rides, the younger kids will love it. Some of the rides permit adults as well, so parents don't have to be left out of the excitement. If that wasn't enough, the park also offers pedal boat rentals for a jaunt around Swan Lake. The boats are even shaped like swans to add a little bit of whimsy.
A trip with kids in Birmingham isn't complete without a visit to the SeaLife Centre. This aquarium boasts over 60 marine life displays, some of which are even interactive. SeaLife Centre Birmingham is located on Brindley Place near one of the city's over 300 canals and near the Birmingham Walk of Stars. The marine centre feature's the UK's only 360-degree clear tunnel where kids can observe the intriguing ocean life from all angles. Aside from the tunnel, you can visit the penguins at the Ice Adventure, watch mesmerizing jellyfish go about their business, and take pictures in front of Beverley the octopus. In all, there are too many creatures here to mention, but the bamboo sharks, sea horses, turtles, and sea otters are bound to dazzle the little ones.
The standard admission ticket will set you back £22.95 and it's a little cheaper if you book online in advance. This is one of the pricier things to do in Birmingham with kids, but you're guaranteed hours of entertainment.
Legoland Discovery Centre
Right across the Birmingham Canal from the Sea Life Centre, you'll find everyone's favorite Legoland Discovery Centre. Half playground, half entertainment centre, this is another one of the more expensive attractions in Birmingham. But, if you pair it with Sea Life, you can get a significant discount if you buy one ticket for the two places. You don't even have to visit on the same day - the two admissions are good for 90 days.
If your kids are into LEGO, they'd be missing out if you leave this off your itinerary. You can take pictures with your favorite LEGO characters, admire the wonders of Miniland, and catch a movie in the 4D cinema. In all, there are two rides and eight different attractions to experience here. If this one makes your list, try to arrive as early as possible. It fills up quickly, especially during the school holidays.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Also in Edgbaston, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a 15-acre garden located about 1.5 miles from the Birmingham City Centre. The venue has four different glasshouses that will expose you to various climates from dry desert to tropical rainforest and as you move from one to the other, make sure you stop and check out the beautiful gardens. The greenery is expertly landscaped and gives off a feel of a Victorian-era estate.
The gardens host many family-friendly events including various guided tours and music performances on the bandstand. Grab a seat on the expansive lawn and let the music take you away. The kids will certainly enjoy visiting the Butterfly House as well. The house teems with vibrant tropical butterflies from all over the world. But, the butterfly house isn't open year-round. You can only step inside this world from late May to early September, so keep that in mind before you get anyone's hopes up. The whole family can gain entry here for the relatively low price of £22, which seems like a real bargain!
Birmingham Science Museum
For science-loving kids and kids with a thirst for knowledge, head to the Birmingham Science Museum for a fun-filled day out. Kids under eight will be happy to explore the MiniBrum area of the museum. MiniBrum is a child-size incarnation of the city of Birmingham. It has recognizable landmarks and tons of activities for kids to get lost in. There's a construction zone, workshop, and salon where the kids are completely in charge. What kid wouldn't love that?
The museum also features a science garden, which may be the perfect complement to a trip to the botanical gardens. Kids and adults can relax under the stars at the on-site planetarium and then tour the museum learning about the facets of science and industry. Be prepared to shell out a bit for this kind of educational fun, but any parent whose kid comes here to develop a passion for science would likely gladly pay. Adults will need to pay £14 for entry and children 3 to 15 are £10.25.
For more of the best museums in Birmingham, check out our guide.
West Midland Safari Park
If the Sealife Centre and the Wildlife Conservation Park were a hit, you should probably include the West Midlands Safari Park on your itinerary as well. While technically in nearby Bewdley, but still part of the West Midlands, the safari park is less than an hour by car from Birmingham and is such a memorable attraction. Home to over 160 exotic animals, there are so many exhibits to choose from, but one of the highlights is definitely the Safari Drive Through. This is one of the best ways to see the majestic animals up close from the safety of your car. You'll see African elephants, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, and carnivores like tigers and cheetahs. Don't worry though, they are not in the same enclosure. Otherwise, that could get messy.
After your personal safari, head to the Land of the Living Dinosaurs or the Adventure Theme Park. Just be aware that some of the additional activities here come with an extra fee, so prioritizing is a good idea.
It may not be well-known that Birmingham is the birthplace of Cadbury chocolate. Cadbury World is a self-guided museum-like experience run by the Cadbury Company 20 minutes southwest of the Birmingham City Centre. Kids can get up close and personal in a real chocolate factory and learn about the history of this tasty treat. They can even test their skills as a chocolate maker to see if they've found their dream career.
Cadbury World has an exciting outdoor play area and also shows a 4D movie where kids in Birmingham can virtually ride a chocolate bar and dive into pools of creamy chocolate. Luckily, it's a virtual experience because otherwise there'd be a lot of laundry to do.
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
One of the best free things to do in Birmingham City Centre is the Birmingham Museum. The building itself is a Grade II listed Victorian-era masterpiece and the museum boasts the world's largest collection of pre-Rafaelite art. While this might not be the best way to entice kids through the doors, the Egyptian mummies definitely will. The kids can learn a little about local history while gazing at fancy jewels and elaborate metal works. Be sure to check out the museum's website for information on rotating exhibits and family-friendly events. The museum is hard to avoid in the City Centre in Chamberlain Square, which is a less than 10-minute walk from Birmingham New Street Station.
Birmingham Mystery Treasure Tour
For families who enjoy outdoor adventures, the Birmingham Mystery Treasure Tour is the perfect way to spend a couple of hours. In all, it's a 1.5-mile jaunt on a loop trail. Along the way, everyone should be on the lookout for clues hidden on buildings and statues or any other permanent structure. Answer correctly to solve the mysteries and you might even win real treasure in their monthly draws.
The trail map is downloadable from their website and if you get stuck on one of the clues, help is provided via text. To print the map yourself, the download will cost you £9.99 and one trail booklet is sufficient for up to five people. This is a fun and cost-effective way to learn more about Birmingham while enjoying time outside. If it's raining though, maybe move this one to another day.
What are the best family activities in Birmingham?
The best family activities in Birmingham are the ones that take into account your family's favorite things to do. Cannon Hill is a wonderful park full of varied attractions with tons of things to do for both adults and kids, and depending on what you do, comes in pretty cheap. For kids passionate about animals, SeaLife is a must as well as the Safari Park. For families who like to learn on vacation, the various Birmingham Museums, and especially the Science Museum are likely to offer the best bang for your holiday buck. Regardless of how many family-friendly things you manage to fit into your schedule, you're sure to have the time of your lives!