I am always on the hunt for days out which don’t cost the earth and keep the kids busy. Arlo is getting older I can no longer take advantage of “kids under three go free” offers – We have visited all of our local parks for play areas and scooter rides which are a great place for free day out (aside from car parking fees). We also have some big trips to look forwards to and have annual passes and memberships to some places which save us money in the long run, but it’s nice to be able to pack a lunch and head out and about for a little adventure without breaking the bank. Here is a selection of our best days out for kids in Birmingham on a budget area which come in at less than a tenner per child and mostly accessible via public transport too.
1. RAF Cosford
It’s free to book a visit – select your time slot on the website. Just pay £5 for parking, it’s an additional £5 for the 4D cinema experience. 40 mins drive from central Brum this is an awesome day out and fun for all the family. Situated on the grounds of the RAF Cosford base, the RAF Museum Cosford is a fascinating destination for aviation enthusiasts and families alike. The museum houses an extensive collection of aircraft and aviation-related artefacts, showcasing the rich history of the Royal Air Force. Visitors can explore a variety of aircraft, from historic planes to modern jets, and learn about their roles and significance. The museum also features interactive exhibits, displays on the development of aviation technology, and informative presentations on the RAF’s missions and achievements. One of the highlights of the museum is the National Cold War Exhibition, which provides insights into the geopolitical and military aspects of the Cold War era. The museum often hosts special events, educational programs, and family-friendly activities, making it an engaging and informative destination for people of all ages.
Before planning a visit, it’s advisable to check the museum’s official website or contact them directly for the latest information on exhibits, events, and opening hours.
2. Lapworth Museum of Geology
A great indoor place to explore and find dinosaur fossils – and no need to book either. Located at the University of Birmingham, the Lapworth Museum of Geology invites young minds to embark on a geological journey filled with wonders. Dinosaur enthusiasts and budding geologists alike can marvel at the museum’s diverse collection of fossils, minerals, and interactive exhibits. The hands-on activities and engaging displays make learning about Earth sciences an exciting adventure, making Lapworth Museum a must-visit for families with a passion for the prehistoric. It’s based on the university campus so easily accessible by train, and the car parking is free at weekends.
Okay tickets are £10.25 but for this you get access to Mini Brum, the science garden and four floors of exhibits which will take you all day to explore. You can’t say fairer than that! If you really don’t want to spend any money then you can visit the garden after 3pm for free and get a couple of hours of play squeezed in.
4. Catch a movie
Check your local cinemas for kids showings, my local cinemas have some great offers. Admittedly they aren’t always the latest films but it’s a great way to test the waters at the big screens with little ones to see how they will last for the duration of a movie. If you have Sky TV then check your VIP rewards for free tickets, and also look out for offers with bank accounts such as club Lloyds and through work perks apps. There’s also Meerkat movies 2 for 1 offers available as well as the offers for kids movie screenings.
This outdoors adventure playground is great for kids with mountains of energy. Kids tickets are £7 and you can spend all day with the enchanted forest play zone, the tree top walk and there’s even an indoor interactive zone for when rain halts play.
Another outdoorsy activity – this playground in the middle of the forest has a low ropes course, a commando course, zip lines, a dedicated den building area and ply areas for little ones all for £7. You can choose to participate in additional activities on site for a small extra fee. In addition to the day time experience there are some very limited spots for overnight camping here which is £10 per kid and £12 for adults so
7. Mini golf – Tree top Adventure
Tree Top adventure golf in the city centre starts at £5.50 for a round of golf with the under 5’s. Sometimes they have offers such as you pay for one course and get the two! Monday to Friday from 11am – 1pm and Sundays 10-12. It’s on the top floor of the bullring and features two different themed courses plus there is a fab eatery with the most awesome pizzas and sweet treats. I visited with all four kids one afternoon and we took our time to complete a round together. We opted for a course which took us through some Aztec / jungle themed holes, each more extravagant and with increasing difficulty. Logan and Lincoln managed to ace it and ended up winning a free return trip at the last hole too. On the whole a fun unique experience but because it’s so fab it can get really busy. It’s worth speaking to the team about their sensory sessions. Every month they host a quieter inclusive session which is great to hear about.
8. Fun on Forge Mill farm
There’s lots of different animal themed attractions in around the Midlands. Check out my recent blog here with details of our top ten children’s farms to explore. Forge Mill at Sandwell Valley is a great value mini visit. You can feed the animals in the yard – adults £3 and kids £2.50 and then of course explore the parks and surrounding lakes for the cost of a car Park ticket.
There are a variety of trampoline parks around the city but for a really fun experience then the inflatables are called for. Check out Inflatanation which is £11.99 but there’s a 15% off deal on their website or check out the Rush pass. It’s £45 for five hour long open jump sessions so you can go back every week to wear the kids out.
When the weather outside gets unbearably hot then head to the snow dome to cool off. Entry to the snow fun park is £9.50 for kids and adults are from £4.95. They also do parent and tots sessions for under 4’s which are £12.
I love visiting a garden centre to while away the hours, and Webbs in Hagley has the fabulous hidden treasure which is the falconry centre on site. Adults are £6 and children 5-16 £4.50. You can pop in at any time to meet eighty species and if the weather is right then you can catch a flying display at 1pm or 3.30pm.
12. Arley Arboretum
This lovely little place is £3.50 for children and £7 for adults and is a really delightful place to explore, with walled gardens, the longest laburnum arch in Britain, a maze, a cafe and one of the best views of the Severn Valley – if you’re there at the right time you can wave to the passing steam trains. They often have seasonal events and trails for children to complete and this year the play area has been upgraded and there’s also a slack line course too.
Ten minutes from the city centre, the Wildlife Conservation Park (also knows as the Nature Centre or Birmingham Zoo) is one of our treasures, home to all sorts of animals. Tickets are £7.65 for adults and £3.80 for kids. Under threes are free. You can wander around at your leisure, meet a Komodo dragon and a porcupine amongst other interesting species. There’s a cafe with a small soft play area and an outdoor play area to enjoy too.
14. Gruffalo Trails at Cannock Chase
Nestled within the scenic surroundings of Cannock Chase Forest, the Gruffalo Trail adds a magical touch to the outdoor experience for families. Inspired by the popular children’s book “The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson, this trail takes young adventurers on an exciting journey through the woods. Children can follow the well-marked trail, encountering larger-than-life sculptures of characters from the book, including the Gruffalo himself. The trail not only sparks the imagination but also encourages outdoor exploration and physical activity. Families can enjoy a delightful walk while engaging with the story and taking part in activities along the way. The Cannock Chase Gruffalo Trail provides a perfect blend of nature, storytelling, and play, creating a memorable and enchanting day out for families with young children. Just pay for parking and your ice cream at the shops. There are also similar themed trails up and down the country if you fancy exploring further afield – the trails in the park spaces have free admissions but you can usually purchase a small pack from the visitor centre with stickers if available. At Cannock chase and other forestry venues there are also miles of hiking trails and
15. Stick Man Trail at the National Memorial Arboretum:
?Set amidst the poignant landscape of the National Memorial Arboretum, the Stick Man Trail adds a whimsical and family-friendly touch to this solemn site. Inspired by the beloved children’s book “Stick Man” by Julia Donaldson, this trail invites children to embark on an interactive and outdoor adventure. Families can follow the well-marked path and discover life-sized Stick Man sculptures along the way, engaging with the story as they explore. The trail not only introduces youngsters to the world of Stick Man but also allows them to appreciate the tranquility of the arboretum and its significance as a memorial site. With a perfect blend of nature, art, and storytelling, the Stick Man Trail at the National Memorial Arboretum offers families a unique and meaningful day out, creating lasting memories in a beautiful and contemplative setting.
16. The Library of Birmingham
The Library of Birmingham stands as a modern architectural marvel in the city, offering families a haven for learning, exploration, and creativity. This iconic library, situated in Centenary Square, not only houses an extensive collection of books but also provides a dynamic space for various activities. The Children’s Library within the facility is a dedicated area designed to spark the imaginations of young readers. Interactive displays, storytelling sessions, and a colorful, inviting atmosphere create an engaging environment for children to discover the joy of reading. Additionally, the library often hosts family-friendly events, workshops, and exhibitions, contributing to a rich cultural and educational experience. With its striking design, diverse literary offerings, and commitment to fostering a love for knowledge, the Library of Birmingham serves as a welcoming and enriching destination for families seeking intellectual and creative stimulation.
17. Birmingham Donkey Sanctuary
Located in Sutton Park, The Donkey Sanctuary offers a heartwarming experience for families and animal lovers alike. This sanctuary provides a safe and caring home for rescued and retired donkeys, promoting their welfare and well-being. Children visiting the sanctuary have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle creatures, learning about their unique personalities and the importance of animal care. The Donkey Sanctuary emphasizes educational programs, allowing youngsters to understand the role donkeys play in agriculture and the challenges they may face. With interactive sessions, guided tours, and a serene atmosphere, the sanctuary provides a unique blend of fun and education, making it an ideal destination for families looking to connect with nature and support a cause dedicated to the welfare of these charming animals.
18 The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) stands as a cultural treasure trove, enticing young explorers with a captivating blend of history and creativity. The museum’s diverse exhibits, ranging from ancient artefacts to contemporary art, offer a rich tapestry for children to discover and engage with. Interactive displays and family-friendly programs make the learning experience both educational and entertaining, making BMAG an ideal destination for families seeking a cultural adventure.
19. Cannon Hill Park
Hidden in the heart of Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park unfolds as a haven for families seeking outdoor escapades. The park’s expansive greenery, adorned with scenic lakes and charming pathways, provides an idyllic backdrop for picnics and play. The multiple playgrounds scattered throughout the park offer children a delightful space to climb, swing, and slide, while the boating lake adds an extra layer of adventure. Cannon Hill Park’s welcoming atmosphere and varied recreational opportunities make it one of the best things about the city and a perennial favourite among families. One of the UK’s best Urban Parks and certainly a highlight amongst the Parks in Birmingham.
20. Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Within the heart of Edgbaston, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens stand as a lush and vibrant oasis, offering families a delightful retreat into the world of flora. Spanning 15 acres, these gardens boast a diverse collection of plant species from around the globe, creating a captivating landscape for children and adults alike. The Glasshouses, showcasing tropical and subtropical plants, provide a unique and educational experience. The children’s play area, with its imaginative structures and engaging features, allows young adventurers to explore nature in a playful setting. With themed gardens, seasonal displays, and educational programs, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens inspire a love for nature and horticulture, making it an enchanting destination for families seeking a serene yet educational day out. Adult tickets are £7.50 and kids tickets are £5.50. If you are local then I highly rate an annual membership which gives free parking and the opportunity to take a guest every time so at £45 – If you’re going to visit six times in a year then you are saving money. Sometimes live music and festival events have an additional charge.
21. Selly Manor Museum
Stepping into Selly Manor Museum is like embarking on a time-traveling escapade to medieval England. This Tudor house museum, nestled in the picturesque Bournville village, provides an immersive experience for children curious about the past. The carefully preserved timber-framed architecture is one of Birmingham’s treasured historical sites, coupled with engaging exhibits and interactive displays, brings history to life. From hands-on activities to historical reimagining’s, Selly Manor Museum creates an educational and entertaining space for young history enthusiasts. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for children.
22. Sarehole Mill
Sarehole Mill, a historic water mill in Birmingham, offers a tranquil escape with ties to J.R.R. Tolkien. Families can explore the picturesque surroundings, learn about the mill’s industrial past, and discover the inspiration it provided for Tolkien’s writings. Tickets are £8 for adults and £5 for children
23. Ackers Adventure
At Ackers Adventure, families can experience the exhilaration of tubing and tobogganing in a thrilling winter sports setting. The tubing and tobogganing facilities offer an exciting blend of adventure and fun for children of all ages. It’s the perfect place to let off steam in the middle of the school holidays. As participants climb to the top of the slope, anticipation builds for the heart-pounding descent that awaits. Tubing involves zooming down the slope in an inflatable ring, while tobogganing offers the classic joy of racing down the hill on a traditional sled. The twists, turns, and speedy descents provide a memorable and laughter-filled experience for families, creating moments of shared excitement against the picturesque backdrop of Ackers Adventure’s outdoor setting. With safety measures in place and experienced staff guiding participants, tubing and tobogganing at Ackers Adventure promise an unforgettable winter sports experience for families seeking an adrenaline-packed day out. Tubing is available at £10 and Tobogganing form just £4 for kids.
23. Riverside Gardens at Webbs of Wychbold
Within the grounds charming Webbs of Wychbold garden centre, Riverside Gardens provides visitors with a serene and picturesque escape with free admission. The gardens, situated along the banks of the River Salwarpe, offer a peaceful retreat where families can stroll through beautifully landscaped areas, surrounded by a rich tapestry of flowers, shrubs, and trees. The Riverside Gardens create a tranquil atmosphere, inviting guests to unwind amidst nature’s beauty. Ideal for family days out with the garden centre nearby with its café and restaurants. With scenic pathways, water features, and thoughtfully designed green spaces, the gardens provide an ideal setting for a leisurely family walk or a quiet moment of contemplation. Additionally, the gardens often host seasonal events such as the enchanted garden at Christmas and activities, enhancing the overall experience for visitors seeking a harmonious blend of nature and horticultural inspiration at Webbs of Wychbold. For the latest information and any changes in offerings, it’s advisable to check the official Webbs of Wychbold website or contact them directly.
24. Severn Valley Country Park
?Situated along the scenic River Severn, Severn Valley Country Park offers a tranquil escape for families seeking to connect with nature. The park features a diverse landscape, including woodlands, meadows, and riverside paths, providing a picturesque setting for outdoor activities. Families can enjoy leisurely walks or more adventurous hikes, exploring the well-maintained trails that offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The park is dotted with picnic areas, making it an ideal spot for a family picnic amidst the natural beauty. With a variety of wildlife habitats and interpretive signage, Severn Valley Country Park provides an educational experience for children, fostering an appreciation for the local environment. Additionally, the park hosts events and activities throughout the year, adding to its appeal as a destination for nature enthusiasts and families seeking a peaceful and scenic retreat. For the latest information and any updates, it’s recommended to check the official Severn Valley Country Park website or contact the park directly.
25. Elvaston Castle
In a 321-acre estate, Elvaston Castle stands as a grand example of Gothic Revival architecture amidst beautifully landscaped gardens and parkland. The castle itself, though not open to the public, serves as a striking focal point within the estate. Visitors can explore the formal gardens, including the famous Gothic Hall, the stunning herbaceous borders, and the serene lakeside settings. Elvaston Castle’s extensive grounds offer a perfect setting for leisurely walks, picnics, and enjoying the tranquillity of nature. The estate features a variety of habitats, including woodlands and meadows, making it a haven for wildlife. While enjoying the scenic beauty, families can also take advantage of the designated play areas, ensuring that Elvaston Castle caters to visitors of all ages. It is always recommended to check for the latest information, events, and any potential closures.
26. Rosliston Forestry Centre
In the National Forest, Rosliston Forestry Centre is a popular destination known for its woodlands, recreational activities, and educational programs. The centre offers a range of outdoor experiences, including walking trails, cycle paths, and adventure playgrounds. Visitors can explore the diverse flora and fauna, participate in outdoor activities, and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Rosliston Forestry Centre often hosts events, workshops, and educational programs, making it a family-friendly destination with a focus on nature and sustainability. For the most accurate and current information, including any potential name changes, it’s advisable to check the official website or contact the local authorities in Derbyshire.
Situated on the River Severn, Ironbridge is named after the iconic Iron Bridge, which was completed in 1779. The bridge was designed by Thomas Telford and built by Abraham Darby III, using innovative techniques and an understanding of iron production that played a significant role in the industrialisation of Britain. The town and the bridge are part of the Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In addition to the Iron Bridge, the town boasts a rich industrial heritage and several museums that explore the history of the Industrial Revolution. The Ironbridge Gorge Museums include Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, and Enginuity, among others. These museums provide insight into the technological innovations, social changes, and industrial processes that shaped the region during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Visitors to Ironbridge can explore the charming streets lined with historic buildings, enjoy scenic walks along the river, and learn about the town’s pivotal role in the industrial history of the United Kingdom. The Ironbridge area is a popular destination for those interested in history, architecture, and the impact of the Industrial Revolution on society.
28. Mary Stevens Park
In the heart of Stourbridge, Mary Stevens Park is a well-loved green space that offers a variety of recreational activities and a tranquil escape from urban life. The park features beautifully landscaped gardens, open spaces, and a lake, providing a peaceful environment for visitors. It is named after Mary Stevens, a local philanthropist, and was opened in 1931.
The park includes amenities such as children’s play areas, tennis courts, a bowling green, and a pavilion. The lake adds to the scenic charm of the park, offering a serene spot for relaxation and bird watching. Mary Stevens Park is a popular destination for families, joggers, and those seeking a leisurely stroll through nature.
Additionally, the park often hosts events and community activities throughout the year, making it a vibrant hub for social gatherings and local celebrations.
29. Ikon Gallery
Situated in Brindley Place, Birmingham, the Ikon Gallery is a renowned contemporary art institution that showcases a diverse range of contemporary visual arts. It is housed in a former Victorian school building, which adds a unique character to the gallery space and open to the general public. Ikon is known for its commitment to promoting and supporting contemporary artists, offering a platform for exhibitions, installations, and other artistic projects. The gallery’s program features a variety of contemporary art forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, video, and multimedia installations. Ikon often collaborates with both emerging and established artists, presenting innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions that contribute to the cultural landscape of Birmingham and beyond.
In addition to its exhibition spaces, Ikon Gallery hosts events, talks, and educational programs, engaging with the community and fostering a broader understanding of contemporary art. The gallery’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity makes it a dynamic and welcoming space for art enthusiasts, students, and the general public. It’s a stones throw from the national sea life centre so worth popping in if you have time.
30. The Habberley Trail
Opened in March 2020, Habberley Trail is an exciting outdoor adventure trail and green space designed to get guests active and engaged in bespoke activities. The trail is custom-built by a dedicated design team that consistently introduces new and innovative ideas for activities, ensuring a dynamic and ever-evolving experience for visitors. The trail has received positive feedback from many visitors, highlighting its appeal and the enjoyment it brings to those seeking outdoor adventures. It’s one of the best way’s I have ever seen an old golf course be repurposed and there are so many fun activities and play frames I have never seen anywhere else before. Beyond the outdoor activities, Habberley Trail offers the convenience of an onsite café. After a day of exploration and physical exertion on the scenic trail, guests have the opportunity to unwind and indulge in their favourite treats at the café. This combination of outdoor adventure and post-activity relaxation makes Habberley Trail a well-rounded destination for individuals and families looking for an active and enjoyable day out. Tickets are £10.50 but weekdays during term times have a discounted rate.
31. Sheldon Country Park
In the eastern part of Birmingham, Sheldon Country Park provides a peaceful retreat and a green space for residents and visitors alike. The park covers a considerable area and includes a mix of open grasslands, woodlands, and a scenic lake. The park’s landscape offers a diverse habitat for wildlife, making it a popular spot for nature enthusiasts.
One of the notable features of Sheldon Country Park is the Old Rectory Farm, a historic farmstead that has been preserved within the park. The farm showcases traditional agricultural practices and allows visitors to learn about the area’s rural heritage. It often hosts educational activities and events for families. The park provides walking and cycling paths, making it an ideal location for outdoor activities and exercise. The serene lake adds to the park’s charm, providing a tranquil setting for leisurely strolls or birdwatching. Sheldon Country Park is a local gem, offering a blend of natural beauty, historical elements, and recreational opportunities. It’s also very close to the local airport which means its teh perfect way to indulge in a little bit of plane spotting.
32. Kingsbury Water Park
Located near the village of Kingsbury in Warwickshire, England, spans over 600 acres and is celebrated for its diverse landscapes encompassing 15 lakes, wetlands, and open grasslands. A former gravel quarry turned expansive country park, Kingsbury Water Park caters to a wide array of interests and is perfect for family days out with free admission. Nature enthusiasts appreciate the park’s rich wildlife, including various bird species attracted to its lakes. Recreational activities abound, from walking and cycling along numerous trails to fishing and horse riding. Families find the park welcoming with multiple play areas for children, and the visitor center serves as a hub for information and occasional exhibits. Throughout the year, the park hosts diverse events and educational programs for all ages, creating a dynamic and family-friendly outdoor destination. With a designated lake for model boat enthusiasts and a focus on preserving natural beauty, Kingsbury Water Park offers a versatile and engaging experience for its visitors.
33. Arrow Valley Country Park
Arrow Valley Country Park, nestled in Redditch, Worcestershire, encompasses around 900 acres of natural beauty centred around the expansive Arrow Valley Lake. The park offers a tranquil retreat with picturesque woodlands, meadows, and well-maintained walking and cycling trails. It’s one of the best free things to do on a sunny day for families – especially if you have little ones with bikes and scooters. The lake serves as a focal point for various activities, including fishing, water sports, and birdwatching. Families are catered to with multiple children’s play areas, creating a family-friendly atmosphere which is a fun place to explore. The park’s visitor centre provides information and serves as a hub for educational exhibits. Arrow Valley Country Park hosts diverse events throughout the year, fostering community engagement and outdoor enjoyment. With its diverse wildlife habitats, scenic landscapes, and recreational opportunities, the park stands as a popular destination for locals and visitors seeking a harmonious blend of nature and outdoor activities.
34. The Geek Retreat – Jewellery Quarter
Geek Retreat establishments often host a variety of events and activities, including gaming nights, comic book launches, and themed gatherings. This little hidden treasure is our favourite space to visit on a Sunday morning for the kids Pokémon Club which is £5 for kids (adults free) and includes either a pack of cards or a drink of choice. With a selection of games and a full timetable of events it’s a great place to visit on a rainy day.
35. Whitlenge Garden Centre
The combination of a fairy trail, beautiful gardens, a children’s play area, and a lovely café adds to its appeal, creating a well-rounded destination for individuals and families alike. The fairy trail likely provides a whimsical and enchanting element, while the gardens offer a serene setting for leisurely walks and appreciation of nature. The children’s play area adds a family-friendly touch, and the on-site café provides a cosy space for relaxation and refreshments. For those interested in gardening or outdoor living, the garden centre likely offers a diverse selection of plants and gardening supplies.
36. The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
Based in the heart of Coventry, stands as a vibrant cultural institution seamlessly weaving together art, history, and heritage. Its diverse exhibits encompass a broad spectrum, featuring fine and decorative arts, archaeological discoveries, natural history, and impactful glimpses into the city’s social history. The museum serves as a testament to Coventry’s evolution, from its medieval roots to its pivotal role in the industrial revolution and the challenges faced during World War II. Beyond its impressive permanent collections, the Herbert regularly hosts temporary exhibitions, ensuring a dynamic and ever-changing experience for visitors. Actively engaging with the community, the museum offers educational programs, workshops, and events, embodying its role as a cultural hub. Visitors can explore the rich tapestry of Coventry’s past, marvel at artworks spanning various periods, and partake in the cultural experience offered by the on-site café and museum shop. The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum stands as a cornerstone of Coventry’s cultural identity, fostering learning, inspiration, and a sense of shared heritage.
37. Winterbourne House and gardens
Winterbourne House and Gardens, in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, is a captivating cultural gem that seamlessly blends history and natural beauty. The Edwardian mansion, a Grade II listed Arts and Crafts masterpiece, stands as the centrepiece of the estate. Built in the early 20th century, the mansion exudes period charm with its architectural details and period-appropriate furnishings. Surrounding the mansion, the seven-acre botanical gardens showcase a splendid array of plants, flowers, and trees. The meticulously landscaped gardens are designed in various styles, offering visitors a diverse and visually enchanting experience. Glasshouses within the estate contribute to the botanical diversity, providing a home for plants from different climates.
Winterbourne House and Gardens isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s also a hub for education and cultural enrichment. The estate hosts educational programs, workshops, and events catering to a range of interests, from horticulture to the historical significance of the property. The best part for us is the view across the lake which springs up on you all of a sudden as you stroll around the grounds.
Visitors seeking a moment of relaxation can retreat to the on-site tea room, where they can indulge in refreshments while immersed in the tranquil ambiance of the gardens. We love the second hand book shop which is a great alternative to a gift shop. Overall, Winterbourne House and Gardens stand as a testament to Birmingham’s rich heritage, offering a serene retreat where history, horticulture, and natural beauty converge. Adults tickets are £7.40 and kids £6.40
38. The Coffin Works
Situated in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, is a unique museum that provides insight into the city’s industrial history, specifically the manufacture of coffin fittings. Housed in the Newman Brothers’ factory building, which operated from 1894 to 1998, the museum offers a captivating journey into the production of coffin furniture during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
Visitors to the Coffin Works can explore the factory’s preserved workshops and learn about the craftsmanship involved in producing handles, plates, and other accessories for coffins. The museum provides a window into the lives of workers during this period, illustrating the challenges and intricacies of the trade.
The engaging guided tours take guests through the atmospheric workshops, showcasing original machinery, tools, and even a recreated Victorian worker’s kitchen. The historic setting and informative exhibits shed light on the social and economic aspects of Birmingham’s industrial past. Adults tickets are £8.50 and kids £4.50
39. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, on the Edgbaston campus of the University of Birmingham, is a cultural treasure that seamlessly combines an impressive art collection with a renowned concert hall. Founded in 1932 by Lady Barber and officially opened in 1939, the institute boasts a distinguished collection featuring works from various periods, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. Artists like J.M.W. Turner, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Edward Burne-Jones are among those represented. Beyond the visual arts, the Barber Institute’s concert hall hosts classical music performances, attracting both local and international talents. The institute also actively engages in education, offering programs, workshops, and lectures for university students and the broader community. Temporary exhibitions provide additional opportunities for visitors to explore different facets of art and culture. The surrounding botanical gardens add to the institute’s appeal, offering a serene backdrop for art and music enthusiasts. As a hub of cultural enrichment, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts stands as a testament to Birmingham’s commitment to the arts.
40. Gas Street Basin
In the heart of Birmingham, Gas Street Basin stands as a testament to the city’s industrial past and canal heritage. Dating back to the late 18th century, this historic canal basin served as a bustling hub during the industrial revolution, facilitating the transportation of goods through the intricate canal network. Today, Gas Street Basin has undergone a remarkable transformation into a vibrant leisure destination. The area, adorned with a mix of historic Victorian buildings and modern developments, offers a picturesque setting for visitors. Narrowboats often line the edges, providing a charming contrast to the contemporary restaurants, bars, and cafes that now populate the canal-side. The basin’s walking and cycling paths invite locals and tourists alike to leisurely explore the surroundings, blending the tranquillity of the waterways with the dynamic energy of the city. Wandering around on a summers day is one of the best free things to do in the city centre. Gas Street Basin seamlessly combines its rich history with modern amenities, creating a captivating space that pays homage to Birmingham’s industrial roots while embracing the spirit of contemporary urban life.
41. Aston Hall
?Aston Hall, a magnificent Jacobean mansion located in Aston, Birmingham, stands as an architectural gem and a testament to England’s rich history. Constructed between 1618 and 1635, the mansion is a striking example of Jacobean design, featuring intricate carvings, mullioned windows, and a grand entrance hall that transports visitors to a bygone era. Once the residence of the Holte family for generations, Aston Hall played a significant role during the English Civil War, witnessing sieges and changing allegiances.
Today, Aston Hall has been preserved and transformed into a museum under the management of Birmingham Museums Trust. The museum allows visitors to explore the historic rooms, including the impressive Great Hall and the Long Gallery, showcasing a remarkable collection of period furniture. The mansion’s gardens, with their formal layout and parkland, offer a serene escape, inviting guests to stroll and appreciate the 17th-century design meticulously restored to its former glory.
Aston Hall engages visitors with various events, activities, and educational programs throughout the year. Guided tours provide insights into the mansion’s history, architecture, and the lives of its former inhabitants. This historic landmark stands not only as a symbol of architectural grandeur but also as a living testament to the challenges faced during times of political turmoil. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5.50 for kids
42. The Pen Museum
In the jewellery quarter the Pen Museum is housed in what was once a pen factory, providing a fitting backdrop for its exploration of the city’s rich heritage in pen production. The museum delves into the fascinating story of Birmingham’s role as the “City of a Thousand Trades” during the Industrial Revolution and its particular prominence in the pen trade.
Visitors to the Pen Museum can discover the intricate craftsmanship involved in pen-making, from the early days of quill pens to the mass production of steel nibs. Exhibits feature an extensive collection of pens, nibs, and related artefacts, showcasing the evolution of writing instruments over the centuries.
One of the highlights is the opportunity to witness live demonstrations of traditional pen-making techniques, bringing the history of the craft to life. The museum also sheds light on the social and economic impact of the pen trade on the city and its people.
The Pen Museum serves as a cultural and educational hub, offering workshops and activities for visitors of all ages. Whether exploring the exhibits, trying one’s hand at pen and ink techniques, or simply appreciating the historical setting, the museum provides a unique and immersive experience into a once-thriving industry. Adults tickets are £7.50 and kids tickets are £3.50
43. West Midlands Police Museum
Housed within the Steelhouse Lane Lock-up, a Victorian-era police station and lock-up, the West Midlands Police Museum offers a journey through the history of law enforcement in the region. The lock-up itself is a significant piece of history, having served as a working police station for over 120 years.
The museum’s exhibits showcase the evolution of policing, featuring a diverse collection of artefacts, photographs, and documents. Visitors can explore the different eras of policing, from the early days of local constables to the development of modern police forces. The museum provides a glimpse into the challenges faced by police officers throughout history and their evolving roles in the community.
One of the focal points is the opportunity to tour the original Victorian-era cells, experiencing the atmosphere of a working police station from a bygone era. The authentic setting and historical context provide a unique and immersive experience for visitors.
The West Midlands Police Museum is not only a repository of historical artifacts but also a platform for education and community engagement. It hosts various events, workshops, and educational programs, fostering an understanding of the vital role played by law enforcement in the region
44. The Back to Backs
The Back to Backs are a series of interconnected courtyard houses that were built during the 19th and early 20th centuries. These houses are characterized by their unique back-to-back construction, with the rear of one house directly abutting the back of another. This architectural style was once common in urban areas but has largely disappeared.
Operated by the National Trust, the Back to Backs are in the heart of Birmingham City Centre, next to the Hippodrome and have been preserved to provide an immersive experience of life in different historical periods. Visitors can explore the cramped living spaces, narrow staircases, and communal courtyards, gaining insights into the daily lives of the working-class residents who inhabited these houses over the years. Guided tours take visitors through the furnished rooms, showcasing the evolution of living conditions from the 1840s to the 1970s. The Back to Backs tell the stories of the families who called these houses home and highlight the challenges and transformations in Birmingham’s urban landscape. The site includes a mix of domestic spaces, workshops, and commercial premises, offering a comprehensive view of the diverse activities that took place within the Back to Backs. The museum not only serves as a historical snapshot but also as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of communities facing changing circumstances. Tickets are £8.25 for adults and £4.25 for children. It’s worth exploring a national trust membership as we have several National Trust places close to Birmingham which could be added to your bucket list.
45. The Midlands Art Centre (MAC)
The Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) in Birmingham stands as a vibrant cultural nucleus within the serene surroundings of Cannon Hill Park. Boasting contemporary gallery spaces, theatres, and a cinema, MAC is a versatile venue offering a diverse array of visual arts, live performances, and film screenings. Beyond its cultural offerings, MAC is a hub for creativity and learning, hosting workshops and classes across various artistic disciplines. The centre’s commitment to community engagement is evident in its outreach programs, making the arts accessible to all. With its beautiful outdoor spaces and a welcoming café, MAC provides a dynamic and inclusive space where the arts converge with the community, contributing significantly to Birmingham’s cultural richness. For the latest updates on exhibitions, performances, and events, visitors are encouraged to check MAC’s official website. We always pause here to see the latest art exhibitions in the free to access public spaces and there’s a lovely café on site too.
46. Sanders Park
situated in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, is a beloved green haven for the local community. This expansive public park offers a diverse range of recreational opportunities and natural retreats. With a mix of open spaces and wooded areas, Sanders Park invites visitors to enjoy leisurely walks, picnics, and moments of relaxation amidst beautifully landscaped gardens. Families can delight in the well-equipped play areas for children, fostering a vibrant and family-friendly atmosphere. Sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the park’s facilities, including tennis courts, a skate park, and a bowling green, providing a dynamic space for various activities. The park’s picturesque lake adds a tranquil touch, attracting birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Sanders Park is not only a place for outdoor activities but also a venue for community events and festivals throughout the year, fostering a sense of togetherness. With a café on-site for refreshments, Sanders Park stands as a cherished destination, offering both active and serene experiences for its visitors. Stay informed about events and facilities by checking the official website or contacting Sanders Park directly.
47. Wythall Transport Museum
Nestled in the picturesque village of Wythall near Birmingham, the Wythall Transport Museum stands as a captivating tribute to the rich history of transportation. The museum’s expansive collection showcases an array of vintage vehicles, ranging from horse-drawn carts to classic cars and iconic double-decker buses. Beyond being a static display, Wythall Transport Museum is a dynamic space with restoration workshops where enthusiasts diligently breathe new life into historical vehicles. Visitors can witness ongoing projects and gain first-hand insights into the meticulous process of restoration. The museum goes beyond mere observation, incorporating interactive exhibits and displays that invite hands-on exploration of transportation history. Throughout the year, the museum hosts special events and themed exhibitions, creating a vibrant atmosphere that attracts a diverse audience. Adults tickets are £12 and children’s are £6
48. Becketts Farm
Nestled in the picturesque countryside of Wythall near Birmingham, Becketts Farm has blossomed into a cherished family-owned destination that seamlessly blends agriculture with a multifaceted experience. The farm’s renowned shop is a treasure trove of fresh, locally sourced produce and artisanal goods, showcasing the best of the region’s offerings. The on-site restaurant and café invite visitors to savour farm-to-table delights, prepared with ingredients sourced directly from the farm. We like to pause here to buy a lunch time meal deal or choose our own cupcakes from the bakery. Throughout the year, the farm comes alive with events and activities, fostering a sense of community and celebration. We love visiting their pop up farm animals experience at Easter and the Sunflower field during late summer.
49. Essington Farm
Based in the scenic South Staffordshire countryside, Essington Farm stands as a testament to the enduring charm of family-run agriculture. From its humble roots, the farm has blossomed into a multifaceted destination, offering a genuine farm-to-table experience. The heart of Essington Farm is its celebrated farm shop, a haven of fresh, locally sourced produce ranging from seasonal fruits and vegetables to artisanal delights. The on-site butchery ensures top-tier meat quality sourced from the farm and trusted local suppliers. Visitors can unwind in the inviting tea room, indulging in homemade meals crafted with ingredients directly from the farm. Essington Farm’s commitment to hands-on experiences is reflected in its Pick Your Own offerings, allowing guests to harvest their own fruits and vegetables seasonally. Throughout the year, the farm comes alive with events and activities, fostering a sense of community and celebration – This is the one to add to the pumpkin picking field list!
50. Droitwich Spa Lido
In the heart of Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, stands as a beloved outdoor swimming haven for the community. With its inviting atmosphere and heated main pool, the lido provides a refreshing escape during the warmer months. Families and visitors of all ages can enjoy the spacious pool or opt for the safe and shallow waters of the paddling pool, ensuring a delightful aquatic experience for everyone. The sunbathing areas with lush green spaces and deck chairs create a laid-back setting for relaxation and socializing between swims. The on-site café adds to the leisurely ambiance, offering refreshments for those seeking a break from the water. Adults tickets £8.50 and kids £6.50 – on anticipated heatwave days I advise booking ahead using the online booking platform.
We hope you find your own fabulous adventures, share your experiences with us on social media by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook and if you have any more suggestions let us know and we can add them to the blog!
For free days out to explore nature check out my guide to parks in Birmingham here
Last Updated on 1 week by Lavania Oluban