Best Things to do in Birmingham with Kids (UK) + Birmingham City Break Travel Guide

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Taking a Birmingham city break is a great experience, and the kids will love the diverse activities the city has to offer. Birmingham is home to over 570 parks, beautiful canals, fun attractions, interactive museums, wildlife parks and even a chocolate factory!

Whatever season you visit, you will find many family-friendly attractions and a perfect location for a UK city break with the kids. If you’re asking ‘What’s there to do in Birmingham’, look no further, here are the very best fun things to do in Brum with kids.

birmingham city centre

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Top 10 Things to do in Birmingham with Kids 

There are many fun things to do in Birmingham with kids. If you are visiting on a day trip or a weekend break with the family, there is plenty to explore and enjoy for toddlers up to teenagers. Here are the top 10 family things to do on a Birmingham, UK city break.

#1 Birmingham Back to Backs

 A unique day out in Birmingham for families is visiting the Back to Backs museum. A truly great Birmingham museum for kids that takes you back to life in the 1840s through to the 1970s via a guided tour of back-to-back houses. Pre-booking is essential for the tour, and check for any upcoming craft events held across the year.

#2 Winterbourne House & Gardens

winterbourne house and gardens, birmingham with kids
By Tony

 This hidden gem is located just a few minutes from Birmingham city centre and was one of our favourite days out in Birmingham. Winterbourne is a Grade II listed Edwardian house with seven acres of beautiful botanical gardens.

winterbourne botanical gardens, things to do in Birmingham with kids

Take a tour of the house, which has lots of interactive exhibits for the kids, and learn about the families that have lived there. The gardens are stunning, with woodland areas, tunnels, a Japanese Bridge, a play area and plenty of open spaces. There is also a tearoom and gift shop on site.

#3 Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum

thinktank museum, birmingham
By Paul Hudson

 This award-winning museum is one of the best things to do in Birmingham city centre. There are four floors with over 200 interactive and fun displays, including steam engines, vintage machines, dinosaurs, marine life and talking robots! The 4K planetarium hosts daily shows about space (extra £2.50 per person), and there is also an outdoor Science Garden play area.

If you are looking for a place to take toddlers in Birmingham, the MiniBrum area is ideal, with a transport zone, shops, homes, parks, construction sites, and baby sensory areas.

#4 The Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

 Located in the Edgbaston area, this conservation park is home to many unique animals worldwide and an interesting Birmingham day out. You can see red pandas, spider monkeys, lynx, gentle lemurs, meerkats and otters, as well as snakes and iguanas.

The park has a great playground area for the kids, and check out the daily feeding times on arrival.

#5 Legoland

Legoland, birmingham
By Metrogogo

 The Legoland Discovery Centre is one of the great family attractions in Birmingham, especially on a rainy day. There are six zones to enjoy, including a 4D cinema, Lego Duplo farm, mini version of Birmingham, fun rides, soft play and racetrack where the kids can build their own Lego cars.

You can book free STEAM workshops for the kids to enjoy (aimed at children aged from 5 to 11 years), which run daily, and the Lego shop is well worth a visit. Legoland is arguably the best thing to do in Birmingham with kids.

#6 Cannon Hill Park

cannon hill park, Birmingham parks
By Elliot Brown

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park is a great place for kid’s activities in Birmingham on a nice day, with beautiful gardens, lakes and playgrounds, as well as plenty of ducks, geese and squirrels to see. There is a crazy golf course, a fun park area with rides for smaller children and swan boats on the lake.

The MAC Birmingham is a great cultural centre located in the park, offering shows, films, exhibitions and art courses/workshops, as well as a lovely café to visit.

#7 Birmingham Library

Birmingham libary
By Paul Sutton

 This unique ten-level library with stunning architecture and great views over Birmingham is well worth visiting. The kids enjoyed the fountains outside the library, outdoor garden terraces (particularly the Secret Garden), and a viewing gallery at the top of the building. The young reader’s section is lovely, with many activities and events held across the year. Birmingham library is one of the best things to do in central Birmingham with kids.

#8 Cadbury World

 Learn how chocolate is made in the Aztec Jungle themed area, take the Cadabra ride, visit the 4D chocolate adventure zone and cinema and enjoy fun chocolate making activities. We visited the Bournville Museum, which you can look around before or after the Cadbury World tour, as well as the world’s biggest Cadbury shop to stock up on chocolate treats.

#9 The Bear Grylls Experience 

Adventurous kids will love a visit to this indoor/outdoor activity centre (suitable from 8 years). These include archery, high ropes, climbing, iFly, escape rooms, shooting, snorkelling and shark diving!

The Royal Marines inspired assault course is included with the entry ticket with unlimited access, including monkey bars, climbing nets, traverse beams and a-frames. The other activities you need to book, pay a small charge and check the age suitability.

#10 National Sea Life Centre Birmingham

sea life centre, birmingham, shrimp
A shrimp at the Birmingham SeaLife centre (By Lee Haywood)

 The kids loved the Sea Life Centre, particularly the 360° Ocean Tunnel where sharks and rays were swimming around us and seeing the Gentoo penguins.

The centre has 15 zones and 60 displays of freshwater and marine life to enjoy, with the opportunity to stroke a starfish, find crab shells in the rock pool and visit the 4D cinema.

Check out the daily talk and feeding times, and you can also book a behind the scenes tour in advance.

When is the best time to visit Birmingham?

A Birmingham city break is an excellent option as the weather is usually consistent and moderate across the year. However, the best time to visit Birmingham with kids would be in Summer to enjoy the warm weather and outdoor activities. December is also a great time to visit to enjoy the magic of Christmas.

Birmingham in July

This is a great month to visit Birmingham as the weather will be warm so you can enjoy outdoor activities and many festivals are held in July. TILT Festival is a two-week event held in the Cultural Quarter of Birmingham, featuring an aerial circus and physical theatre. Summer in the Square, with many food vendors and events, takes place in Victoria Square from June until August.

Birmingham in December

This is a fun time to visit the city as, while the weather is inevitably cold, the kids will love the Christmas entertainment in Birmingham city centre. Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is held in Victoria Square in December and is recognised as one of the largest authentic German markets in the UK. 

How to Get to Birmingham

how to gwt to Birmingham, UK map

Birmingham UK Airport is located about 13Km east of the city centre and is easily accessible by train, taxi, bus and hire car. Taking the train from the airport to Birmingham New Street station takes only 15 minutes, and services run every hour during the day. Booking train tickets online is recommended.

If you are travelling with tired kids and luggage, then a taxi is a great, hassle-free option to get to Birmingham city centre but a bit more expensive. There is an official Birmingham Airport taxi rank outside arrivals with various vehicles, and these cabs will have a metered fare. You can also pre-book transfers with Get Transfer.

Where to Stay in Birmingham UK with Kids 

Birmingham city centre is a great place to stay with kids as there are great amenities, attractions and cultural highlights, and transport links if you wish to explore further afield. The East Side and Jewellery Quarter areas have great hotel options and are close to the city centre.

Budget: Novotel Birmingham Centre

The Novotel is a perfect family hotel located in Birmingham and a short walk from local amenities and attractions. This hotel is modern and comfortable with an indoor play area, books and board games, and a child-friendly buffet. Cots and extra beds are available on request.

Mid-Range: Aloft Birmingham City Eastside

Located in the Eastside area of Birmingham, about 10 minutes from the city centre, this stylish hotel has large-sized family guest rooms, so there is plenty of space for the kids to play. The hotel has a great snack bar, a restaurant with kids’ meals, live music, and various evening entertainment options. Cots are available on request.

Splashing Out: The Grand Hotel Birmingham

This stunning five-star hotel, centrally located near Birmingham Cathedral, with fabulous large rooms, super comfortable beds, and the ballroom, is a must-see! There are two restaurants on-site serving French and American cuisine, including child-friendly options. The rooms have excellent facilities, and cots are available on request. 

Where to Eat in Birmingham for Families 

There are many restaurants in Birmingham serving traditional British food and lots of different cuisines from across the world to try. Birmingham has a wide range of kid-friendly spots to enjoy great food in a relaxed environment. Here are some family-friendly options.

  • The Plough, Harborne is a lovely gastropub with excellent food, a relaxed atmosphere and a great garden area. They have a three-course kids’ menu at a very reasonable price and serve homemade, stone-baked pizzas that the family can share.
  • Loco Lounge, Kings Heath is a family-friendly café serving all-day menus with lots of options for the adults and a great kid’s menu (including a free healthy snack pot). There are also plenty of toys, books and colouring activities to keep the kids entertained.
  • The Barn at Berryfields is located just 20 minutes outside of Birmingham near the market town of Solihull. This family-run, award-winning restaurant is set in beautiful countryside, serves fresh and locally sourced food and has a great kid’s menu so well worth a visit.

2 Days in Birmingham UK Itinerary

If you are visiting Birmingham for a short city break, it’s important to balance what you want to see as adults with lots of fun activities for the kids.

Day 1: 1 Day in Birmingham UK

Take the kids for some fun at Legoland, which is just a five-minute walk from the Library of Birmingham via Cambridge Street. You will cross the canal here, so there is an opportunity to see the canal barges, walk along the towpaths, take a boat ride or stop off for a break at one of the many restaurants. Round the day off relaxing with marine life at The Sea Life Centre, which is located a two-minute walk from Legoland.

Day 2: 48 Hours in Birmingham with Kids

Take a tour of Winterbourne House and Gardens to see this stunning Grade II listed house and huge botanical gardens.

The Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is close by (five minutes via car), so worth a visit to see the unique animals, and the park is ideal for smaller children as not too big. The wildlife park is in Cannon Hill Park, so lots of play opportunities and the Loco Lounge is five minutes from the park for lunch.  

3 Days in Birmingham Itinerary

Book a tour at Birmingham Back to Backs museum located in the city centre and explore what life was like living in these 19th Century houses. This National Trust treasure is about five minutes’ walk from the famous Bullring Shopping Centre, with plenty of cafes and restaurants if tired legs need a break. Visit Birmingham Library, which is only 10 minutes on foot, or you can hop on the No 23 bus from St Martins Queensway next to the Bullring Shopping Centre (15 minutes).

4 Days in Birmingham Itinerary

 Head to the Thinktank Science Museum for lots of fun for all the family, including baby sensory activities, mini-Birmingham for younger children and lots of interactive exhibits for older children and adults.

Family Days Out Near Birmingham

Birmingham is centrally located in the UK, with great transport links, and there are plenty of options for a day trip in the West Midlands area. Whether you are looking for an adventurous, fun-filled day trip or a slice of history, there are plenty of options for days out around Birmingham.

Drayton Manor Park & Zoo

Fun family attraction near Birmingham, with over 100 rides and attractions, zoo and Thomas the Tank Engine land. You can stay at the on-site hotel (including Thomas-themed rooms!) or caravan/camping site. The park is north-east of Birmingham and can be reached by car in 30 minutes. Arriva offers bus services from Birmingham to just outside Drayton Manor, or you can take a train to Tamworth Station then a short taxi ride (both journeys take about one hour).

Warwick Castle

wawrick castle, uk attractions

 This stunning medieval castle is located on the River Avon and developed from a wooden fort built by William the Conqueror in 1068. The castle is located about 40 minutes southeast of Birmingham via car and 50 minutes by train from Birmingham Moor Street station. The kids will enjoy the Time Tower, Princess Tower, dungeons, horrible histories maze and 64 acres of gardens. The annual summer War of the Roses live event features stunt riding, jousting and special effects.

Black Country Living Museum

The Black country living museum is an open-air museum with reconstructed historical buildings across 26 acres and costumed staff who recreate life from the Victorian era, First World War, the 1920s and 1930s.

The kids enjoyed exploring the shops, houses, workshops, canal-side village, and underground mines.

The museum is located between Dudley and Tipton, just 17 minutes via car, or you can take the train from New Street Station to Tipton with a short taxi ride (1 mile) from the station, which takes 30 minutes.

How to Get Around Birmingham

Birmingham has an excellent public transport network, including buses, trams and trains. The tram line runs from Bull Street to Corporation Street, New Street Station and Birmingham Library on Broad Street.

Walking or cycling around Birmingham was just as popular, as there were plenty of things to see and enjoy along the way. eBikes are now available to rent in Birmingham, so this is a great family activity and fun way to explore the city. 

Plan Your Trip to Birmingham with Kids

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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.

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