Give the gift of Adventure this Christmas – Moms in the West Midlands recommend!

This year has been the year the world opened back up again and we really made the most of exploring some new places, we’ve listened to our friends suggestions and had some wonderful experiences all across the Midlands and so we thought we would recap some favourites and invite some friends, other moms (and no that’s not a typo) in the West Midlands to also share their recommendations for family friendly places to visit across the Midlands all year round.

All of these awesome places offer annual passes which are a great gift idea, and offer excellent value for money if you visit a few times throughout the year plus membership often includes perks such as free parking and additional discounts – so without further a do let’s get right in to it:

The Botanical Gardens

Westbourne Rd, B15 3TR

We are personally recommending the Botanical Gardens. I have a single adult pass because under 5’s visit for free and a membership allows you to invite one guest to accompany you for free entry. Members also get the added bonus of free parking which saves £2 on every visit. An adults pass is £42 and family passes are £67 for the year.

We visit the gardens regularly throughout the year, enjoying the peaceful surroundings in the middle of the city. With tea rooms, two children’s play areas and of course the beautiful botanicals and glass houses there’s something new to explore with every visit. Our highlights this year include access to the dinosaur exhibit and some the live music events from the bandstand during the summer.

All things Wild

Station Rd, WR11 7QZ

The dinosaurs at All things Wild

Season passes valid all year from 1st Jan are £80 per person. Discounts for four or more multiple purchases apply. All things Wild is such a wonderful place to meet so many animals but the things which our Moms in the West Midlands seem to mention over and over again are the amazing mud kitchen, the barefoot walk and the dinosaur trail – if you have dinosaur mad little ones this is a place they will repeatedly ask to visit. There are many different outdoor play areas and there’s a fabulous indoor play area here too which makes this a great all year round place to visit.

Warwick Castle

CV34 4QU

Warwick Castle (Brummie Mummie Amy)

Brummie Mummie Amy recommends Warwick Castle. With three children ranging from toddlers to pre -teens Amy recommends this as a great day out for the entire family. Their gold pass comes in at £65 and we agree that this is an amazing annual pass offer. This membership gives members year round access to the castle, gardens and grounds and Warwick Castle hosts so many fantastic events throughout the year this represents excellent value for money as a single day ticket is £16- so even if you only visit once in each school holiday you’re already saving money.

Members receive perks such as discounts in store, restaurants and on overnight stays in the knights village, complimentary parking and exclusive offers to special events and exclusive experiences.

Merlin Passes

Various locations throughout the UK

Legoland Windsor (Moms in the West Midlands)

Merlin passes had to be mentioned. These passes are perhaps one of the more expensive available but have such a huge variety of big names Family attractions under one pass it’s worth exploring – with local venues such as Warwick Castle, the Sealife Centre and Legoland Discovery there’s plenty to explore a stones throw from the Midlands.

Alton Towers – recommended by Kiri.mumto2leiversboys

Of course if you like to chase big adventures then the pass also entitles holders to visit some of the UK’s best attractions such as Alton Towers (recommended by Kiri , Thorpe Park, the Blackpool tower and so much more. Even if you created a bucket list and only went out as a family once a month you’re bound to make savings – options include a monthly direct debit to spread the cost and members receive way too many perks for me to list.

Cotswold Wildlife Park

Ox18 4JJ

The Cotswold Wildlife Park

If you ever wondered what it was like to see a rhino living the highlife then this is the place to visit, it’s almost surreal seeing them graze in front of the glorious house. This independent park is home to some one of the UK’s largest zoological collections and a fabulous day out for all. We love the magnificent play area and the variety of animals to visit. Adult annual passes are £78 and kids 3 and up £55 with family options also available.

National Trust

Various locations throughout the UK

At £78 for one adult and kids or £128 for two adults and kids this pass is one which has had so many mentions. The National trust hosts over 500 venues across the country and so if you like to travel and find new places rather than return to the same place then this is one for you. Attractions include gardens, houses and parks – many of which have historical and cultural significance. National Trust members receive perks such as free parking and a handbook which is a useful guide to all of the different places you can visit.

The Grand Theatre

Lichfield street WV1 1DE

Something a little different here – purchasing a friends of the grand theatre pass for a loved one entitles them to exclusive priority booking and discounted tickets alongside invitations to exclusive events.

West Midlands Safari Park

Spring Grove, DY12 1LF

The Ice Age at West Midlands Safari Park (Moms in the West Midlands)

Moms in the West Midlands founder Sangeeta recommends the Safari Park – annual passes are £70 for adults and £50 for kids aged 3-15. As always members receive exclusive benefits including discounts in retail shops, restaurants, theme park wrist bands and more. Annual pass holders also get one free trip to Midlands theme Park Drayton Manor too so this membership offers the potential for great savings.

Giraffes on Safari (Mumof4_lifewithliz)

WMSP hosts various seasonal events including at Christmas and Halloween – during the summer opening hours are extended so you can really make the most of it. Our Safari highlights include the Ice and and Dinosaur exhibitions – not to mention the brand new route of the drive through Safari a 2-3 hour self drive experience which takes you across the plains of Africa and beyond with excellent views across the Severn Valley to enjoy too.

Lorikeet feeding (Mumof4_lifewithliz)

Arley Arboretum

Lion Lane, DY12 1SQ

For the most scenic views across the valley then a walk through Arley Arboretum is highly recommended by all. An annual pass is £30 for adults and £15 for kids. Highlights at the Arboretum for us include the fairy garden, the maze and the awesome Easter trails hosted every year. My top tip would be to check out the cafe for seasonal treats and delicious hot chocolate.

Bodenham Arboretum

Bodenham Lane, DY11 5TB

Another beautiful treasure of the midlands is this beautiful Arboretum with its five pool walk. Memberships begin at a similar £30 for adults and £20 for kids with family options also available. Bodenham hosts the most glorious winter trails and the annual pass also entitles you to visit the Living rainforest in Berkshire and Batsford Arboretum in Gloucester. Arlo’s favourite experiences at Bodenham include the working farm you can visit right in the middle of the woods, and feeding the fish in the lake because they come right to the surface.

Park Hall Farm

Park Hall, SY11 4AS

Twelve month memberships available at £48 with families of four at a reduced rate. Based in Shropshire this is another delightful day out with animals to visit, play areas to explore and our favourite – the barrel train ride. Members also receive a discounted Santa experience too.

Birmingham Museums

Various locations

We are all incredibly proud of our city and our diverse history and thriving culture. The Birmingham Museums collectively have eight different places to explore across the region and membership gets you unlimited year round access to all of these places – Thinktank in the heart of the city centre is home to the immersive mini Brum play village and the science garden and I think the pass is worth it just to be able to visit on a regular basis. A family membership is £95, adults £35 and kids/concessions £30. Membership perks include discounts in cafes and shops as well as exclusive member events.

The eight Birmingham Museum attractions are: Sarehole Mill, Thinktank Science Museum, Blakesley Hall, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Soho House, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Weoley Castle and of course Aston Hall

360 Play

Kingfisher Shopping Centre, B97 4EU

360 play Redditch (Brummie Mummie Amy)

When you’re stuck for something to do on a rainy day then soft play is the answer. We are lucky to have some awesome indoor playgrounds in and around Brum, and many of them offer annual passes. One of the most popular suggestions from our Moms in the West Midlands is 360 Play based in The Kingfisher Centre in Redditch. This fabulous area has its very own merry go round, a huge soft play frame to explore and immersive play experiences with props too.

A peak membership pass for a year is £95 (currently on offer for £70) and is for one adult and one child. The best bit about this is the adult can be different for each visit so you can send mum, dad, grandparents or a childminder. Membership perks include discounts on food and special event tickets.

Twycross Zoo

Burton Rd, CV9 3PX

Image credit: Brummie Mummie Amy

Another awesome animal based attraction in the Midlands is Twycross Zoo. Recommended by Rebecca from House of Stew and many other local mums, passes are for Adults £65 and kids £50. This year round pass entitles you to visit every day (except for Christmas Day) and includes special events such as Easter and Halloween. With hundreds of animals to meet, and awesome indoor and outdoor areas to explore this offers a fabulous family friendly day out.

Twycross Zoo (House of Stew)

I’ve shared a blog post before covering some of our favourite family friendly farms in the Midlands and it’s delightful that many of these offer annual passes. Highlights for us include:

Hatton Adventure World

Dark Lane, CV35 8XA

Exploring Hatton (Kayla_89_xo)

Reccomended by Kayla_89_xo and many other moms in the West Midlands, Membership for the farm is £96 for individuals with a variety of family pass options available at discounted rates. We love Hatton and it’s year round family friendly events – the indoor facilities including the animal barn and soft play make this a fabulous place to visit whatever the weather and an added bonus is the beautiful surroundings and the shopping village with its array of stores to explore.

·         Unlimited entry to Hatton Adventure World all year round

·         Entry to Snorty’s Superslide Mania indoor soft play

·         3 members newsletters every year full of exciting news

·         Exclusive Members offer vouchers 3 times a year

·         Invitations to 3 exclusive members events at the Adventure World

·         Discounts on children’s birthday parties and Laser Combat parties at Hatton

·         Discounted entry to meet Father Christmas

· Complimentary and exclusive Hatton calendar every year

Birds of Prey experience at Hatton

Attwell Farm

Seafield Lane, B98 9DB

Attwell Farm is one of the places the kids request to visit most often for several reasons – recommended by Abby and Olivia Attwell Farm has the most awesome bouncing pillow and the “real” decommissioned fire engine. The kids always enjoy the huge soft play, sand pits, outdoor play areas and of course meeting and greeting the variety of farm animals too. As a grown up I can confirm that the cafe serves the most devious cakes and there’s always plenty of seating in the soft play which is an added bonus. Adult memberships £72 and kids £80.

Drayton Manor theme park and Zoo

Mile Oak, B78 3TW

Thomas Land at Drayton Manor (BrummyMummyDiaries)

Recommended by Hayley – Brummy Mummy Diaries, Just 40 mins drive from spaghetti junction, in Tamworth is Drayton Manor – home to 100 rides and attractions including Thomas Land and a zoo. With the annual pass you can visit whenever the park is open (check the website for closures) and enter seasonal events too. Family Pass for 4 people: £340 (£85pp) – Age 12+ £99pp – Age 4-11 £85pp – Age 2-3 £65pp and of course Under 2’s go free.

Members receive exclusive perks such as 20 £20 passes for family and friends to further share the gift of adventure as well as discounts to on site shops and restaurants, special events and hotels. Annual pass holders also receive a complimentary ticket to West Midlands Safari Park.

Dudley Zoo and Castle

Castle Hill, DY1 4QF

In the heart of Dudley is the famed zoo, the zoo itself features enclosures with the unusual Tecton architecture which attracts a mixed bag of opinions from visitors, especially as they offer a stark contract to the 11th century castle ruins – it’s unsurprising that the zoo has a protected status. Dudley zoo is a shining example of how attitudes towards conservation have grown over the years and the changes the zoo has experienced alongside its history are what makes us proud to have such a place on our doorstep. There’s such a wide variety of animals to meet, including some of the worlds rarest animals.

This annual pass is one which delivers the most value for money in the Midlands – adults £49 and kids £32 which offers unlimited entry for a year and you can also get a £15 annual parking pass too.

English Heritage

Various places throughout the UK

English Heritage is ideal for fans of historical architecture and for budding explorers. It’s most famed attraction is perhaps the beautifully mysterious Stone Henge but English Heritage proudly boasts over 400 attractions nationwide. Memberships start at £64 for one adult and up to six children. Perks include discounted entry to Warwick Castle and many other attractions as well as free parking and delivery of magazines and a members handbook.

Conkers

Rawdon Rd, DE12 6GA

Visiting Conkers – (House of Stew)

If you’re looking for the ultimate place for outdoor adventures then Conkers is it. Suggested by Rebecca – House of Stew – Membership is £18 for kids and £28 for adults with various family packages. Conkers is home to acres of woodland / forest to explore and has its very own ropes course which is great for an adrenaline rush. The barefoot walk is a highlight for a sensory experience and on rainy days there’s plenty of indoor activities to encounter too. We’ve visited so many times and still haven’t managed to experience everything Conkers has to offer. There something for all ages here to enjoy.

Ironbridge Museums

M54 J4 or 6 based on the attractions you wish to visit

Another place which has had so many nominations is the Iron Bridge Museums – with a family pass for one adult and up to four children costing £47 which gives you entry to all of the attractions including Blists Hill Victorian town. The iron bridge gorge itself is a world heritage site so well worth a visit.

Hawkstone Park Follies

Shrewsbury, SY4 5JY

The follies are open on selected dates throughout the year but a membership is still worthwhile as there’s so much to see and do. This is the kind of place to visit with your walking boots on and head out for a great hike so perfect for outdoor explorers and adventurers. This English Heritage attraction was one of the most visited landscapes in the 19th century but forgotten about and allowed to become overgrown until a huge project in the nineties set to restore it to its former glory. The views you can find at the follies and second to none and there are surprises to encounter throughout including a shell encrusted grotto, the Swiss bridge and gingerbread hall.

Black Country Living Museum

Tipton Rd, DY1 4SQ

If you’re looking for the best fish and chips in the midlands then the Black Country Museum is the place for you. This open air museum is where history comes to life, and it’s an experience quite unlike any other as buildings such as shops, houses and even a pub have been reconstructed to show what life was like for Black Country residents during the industrial revolution and beyond. They even host Peaky Blinders themed evenings and members of course receive discounts on special events, food, drink and additional tickets for friends and family alongside free parking. The best thing about a visit is the team of actors who do an excellent job of bringing the experience to life. It’s hard to explain but they have an awesome TikTok page you can visit to get a feel for the work they do.

Birmingham Wildlife and Conservation Centre

Pershore Rd, B5 7RL

Affectionately known by locals as “the nature centre” which was it’s name many moons ago, it’s hard to believe that such a lovely variety of animals lives behind the fence along the Pershore road, adjacent to Cannon Hill Park. A family season ticket is £86 (two adults and three children). This season ticket grants you year round access – highlights include the red pandas, the new pair of otters Charlie and Ceri, and the reptile house which is home to all manner of creatures. The conservation centre has its own cafe with an indoor play area too which is a bonus for rainy days and ideal for little ones.

Weston Park

Weston Under Lizard, TF11 8LE

A family pass for Weston park is £75, or for individual adults £30. This stately home is unlike any other in that nothing is “out of bounds” so you can bring a football, or take the kids bikes and scooters along to enjoy the space. The woodland adventure playground is one of the kids favourite play areas to visit, and members can also enjoy discounted (or free) entry to many events throughout the year including festive experiences and the summer fiesta.

Trentham Gardens

Stone Rd, ST4 8JG

Membership to Trentham has its perks – such as early entry – so members can arrive an hour before everyone else and priority ticket purchase for special events. You can also bring along family and friends at a 20% discount. The year round fairy trail at Threntham is one of the best trails in the Midlands to explore with beautiful sculptures around the gardens and then Trentham Gardens always hosts excellent trails for Easter too. We love visiting to walk around the vast lake which hosts many water sports and we can’t wait to come back next year and take a trip on the Miss Elisabeth boat and maybe bring our fishing rods for a quiet afternoon of fun.

Monkey Forest

Trentham Estate, ST12 9HR

Monkey Forest (mumof4_lifewithliz)

A stones throw from Trentham gardens is monkey forest – adults passes are £30 and kids £22. Liz from mumof4_lifewithliz has recommended this attraction and so we are avidly waiting for the announcement of the beginning of the 2022 season. Members not only get to visit throughout the opening season but also can few proud that memberships contribute to the valuable conservation efforts Monkey Forest is making.

If you have any top tips which you think local mums would be interested in hearing about, or if you’re a local business and want to be featured then please get in touch – we can’t wait to hear about your amazing adventures!!

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