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Birmingham, once an industrial titan in the 18th-century West Midlands, is now a buzzing city teeming with history, culture, and unforgettable experiences.
As the largest city outside London, Birmingham is a magnet for global travellers, making it a treasure trove of adventures just waiting to be discovered.
So, if you’re hunting for family-friendly things to do in Birmingham, you’re in luck! We’ve curated a detailed list of the best activities you can dive into while exploring this vibrant metropolis.
1. Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum
Address: Millennium Point, Curzon St, Birmingham B4 7XG
Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum is an award-winning, family-friendly destination packed with interactive exhibits and exciting displays.
Nestled in the heart of the city, this exceptional museum hosts a delightful mini-city called MiniBrum, designed exclusively for children under eight. This play area is filled with recognisable landmarks inspired by Birmingham, providing a captivating environment for young minds to explore and learn.
In addition, the Science Museum also houses a Planetarium equipped with a 4K system, offering incredibly vivid images and crystal-clear surround sound. This unique facility allows your family to delve into the mysteries of space, traverse the human body, and even dive under the ocean.
Sadly, at the time of writing, the Science Garden, an outdoor space brimming with fun things to do in Birmingham, is closed for maintenance.
2. National Sea Life Centre Birmingham
Address: The Water’s Edge, Eleven Brindley Place, Birmingham B1 2HL
Located in Brindleyplace, the National Sea Life Centre Birmingham is an aquarium like no other. Housing over 60 captivating marine life displays, the Centre features the UK’s only 360 degrees Ocean Tunnel.
Walking through this immersive tunnel is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Birmingham, giving you a mesmerising view of full-size green turtles, the Centre’s colossal giant green sea turtle, Molokai, and an array of other sea animals.
The National Sea Life Centre also presents the Penguin Ice Adventure, an enthralling exhibit where you can witness the whimsical antics of Gentoo penguins. Another must-see zone is the Jelly Invaders, where you get to discover the enigmatic lives of jellyfish, including Sarlac Jellyfish, Moon Jellyfish, and Sea Nettle Jellyfish.
3. Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park
Address: Pershore Rd, Birmingham B5 7RL
The Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is a charming zoo managed by Birmingham City Council. Hosting an array of unique creatures, the zoo gives you a chance to meet lemurs, red pandas, reptiles, meerkats, birds, and an assortment of monkeys.
Though some animal houses like Loris House, Moonlight World, and Reptile House are currently closed due to COVID-19 safety measures, the zoo remains one of the most engaging things to do in Birmingham for nature lovers.
4. Cadbury World
Address: Cadbury World, 69 Linden Rd, Bournville, Birmingham B30 1JR
Just a short distance from Birmingham’s city centre lies Cadbury World, a paradise for chocolate lovers of all ages. This unique attraction takes you on an immersive journey through the history and making of the world’s favourite chocolate.
Highlights of Cadbury World include a nostalgic trip down Bull Street to witness the very first Cadbury shop, a self-guided tour of the factory, and even a 4D chocolate adventure.
The interactive exhibits and a chance to craft your own delicious treat make Cadbury World one of the sweetest things to do in Birmingham.
5. Birmingham Back to Backs
Address: 50-54, 55-63 Inge St, Hurst St, Birmingham B5 4TE
Experience history come alive as you step into the Birmingham Back to Backs, also known as Court 15. It is a tribute to the 19th-century working-class society, presenting a deep dive into their lifestyle, struggles, and cultural shifts from 1840 to 1977.
The Back to Backs stand as the last surviving court of such houses in the West Midlands, their walls echoing stories of Birmingham’s industrial past.
The Back to Backs, as the name suggests, were houses constructed back-to-back around shared courtyards. Built during the 19th century, these houses aimed to provide accommodation for the city’s rapidly growing population.
However, after the passage of the Public Health Act 1875, their construction was halted due to subpar living conditions. Instead, the city saw a rise in byelaw terraced houses.
Today, the National Trusts maintain the Birmingham Back to Backs as a historic house museum. It comprises three pairs of back-to-back houses on Inge Street, along with a terrace of five blind back houses on Hurst Street. As part of the guided tour, you’ll delve into the lives of different occupants hailing from four distinctive time periods.
6. Bear Grylls Adventure
Address: National Exhibition Centre, Marston Green, Halls B40 1NT
Bear Grylls Adventure presents an array of exhilarating activities designed to push your limits. Be it archery, indoor skydiving, high ropes or escape rooms, every experience here is crafted to test your mettle, courage, and teamwork.
One of the main attractions includes escape rooms where you must crack codes and solve problems against the clock. Geared with a full briefing from the team, the participants embark on this adventure that’s a true test of wits and agility.
For the fearless, a 120-minute shark dive offers an intimate rendezvous with these fascinating underwater creatures. Providing all the necessary safety and dive equipment, the attraction ensures an unforgettable dive experience.
If you prefer staying closer to the surface, a 60-minute snorkel adventure lets you marvel at a tropical reef teeming with over 1,000 species.
Regardless of your chosen adventure, every ticket grants access to the Royal Marine-inspired Assault Course – a true challenge of strength and endurance.
7. Cannon Hill Park
Address: Russell Rd, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8RD
At Cannon Hill Park, you’ll find a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy. Whether you’re playing mini-golf, visiting the wildlife centre, or exploring the boating lake, this vibrant park promises a day filled with fun and laughter.
Start your visit with a round of mini-golf at the Golden Putter, followed by a visit to the Fun Park packed with exciting rides and games tailored for kids under ten. From the Spinning Coaster to the Circus Circus Tower, there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained.
For a more relaxed experience, opt for a tranquil trip on the Boating Lake, exploring the park’s verdant surroundings. The Nature Centre and Land Train are additional attractions that offer engaging learning opportunities and close encounters with diverse wildlife species.
8. Birmingham Botanical
Address: Westbourne Rd, Birmingham B15 3TR
Nestled amidst native woodlands, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a 15-acre urban oasis offering a verdant retreat within the city. With two dozen spectacular garden spaces and four unique glasshouses simulating different forests, it’s a destination for nature enthusiasts.
The Tropical House is particularly noteworthy, housing lush tropical vegetation, tree ferns, and exotic orchids. A comprehensive tour of the gardens will take you through the Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Cottage Garden, Herb Garden, and Rhododendron walks, where you’ll encounter a collection of more than 200 tree species.
The large lawn adjacent to the glasshouses, adorned with assorted shrubberies and beds, lends a Victorian-era charm to the gardens. Other amenities include a children’s playground, gift shop, and tearoom. Visitors are requested to pre-book tickets and wear face masks in designated areas.
To wrap up, Birmingham is a great city to visit with a mix of history, nature, and fun things to do.
You can learn about art at the Birmingham Museum, explore the city’s history at the Back to Backs, and have exciting adventures at Bear Grylls Adventure.
Don’t forget to check out the beautiful Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and the city’s canals. There’s something for everyone in Birmingham, so come and see for yourself!