Indoors or outdoors, there’s so much for you and the family to see and do in Birmingham, with events and attractions for visitors of all ages.
Our family guide to Birmingham brings you some great ideas of things to do in the city. Most of the events we’ve picked are just minutes away from Staying Cool’s aparthotel at Rotunda, part of the famous Bullring, while some are a little further afield and are a great way of spending a family day out.
See Animal Farm at Birmingham Rep
Reimagined by an award-winning creative team, Animal Farm is a contemporary take on George Orwell’s timeless fable of revolution and its aftermath, receiving its world-premiere at Birmingham Rep from Saturday 22 January-Saturday 5 February 2022 prior to a national tour.
Presented by The Children’s Theatre Partnership (recommended for ages 11+) and Birmingham Rep, Animal Farm is directed by Robert Icke, whose version of 1984 (co-adapted and directed with Duncan Macmillan) was a hit in the West End and on Broadway.
Play a round of golf at Bullring
The Bullring is not just about shopping and eating. How about challenging your family to a hole in one at Treetop Adventure Golf?
Putt your way through rainforests and ancient ruins at this mini indoor golf experience on the Ground Level.
Then attempt to win a free round by scoring a hole in one on the Bonus 19th hole.
You can argue over who ended up in the most bunkers over Pigs ‘n’ Blankets Pizza, Espress Snowtinis and Ho Ho Hot Chocolate from the bars’ festive menu.
Jersey Boys at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham
The award-winning smash hit musical Jersey Boys is on stage at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham until Saturday, January 1.
It follows the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Season’s rise from the streets of New Jersey to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and is a treat for families who love music.
Visit Centenary Square Birmingham
If the kids need to stretch their legs, how about a walk over to the beautifully revamped Centenary Square?
Home to the Library of Birmingham and the Symphony Hall, the squares beautiful water fountains are the perfect spot to stop for a coffee and let the little ones have a run around.
The Library of Birmingham is good for families too
Inspire your kids with their homework by visiting the home of the largest Shakespeare collection of any public library in the world.
The Shakespeare Memorial Room, at the top of the Library of Birmingham, houses one of the most significant collections of The Bard’s material, including books, photographs, films and theatre programmes.
This treasure trove explains why the very first collected edition of Shakespeare’s works, the famous First Folio, is stamped as belonging to ‘Birmingham Free Libraries’.
With its beautiful wood panelled walls the Memorial Room, which was created in 1868, is worth a trip on its own.
You can also enjoy the views from the Library’s gorgeous rooftop gardens, a hot drink and food from the café or just choose a book and snuggle up in one of its cosy reading corners.
Symphony Hall hosts shows for children
If your kids have never heard a live orchestra before Symphony Hall’s family concerts are the perfect introduction.
They’ll be taken on a whistle-stop tour of the orchestra and explore the world of music from the sounds of the deep blue sea to a fantastical musical journey through time.
There’s plenty of audience participation to add to the fun too.
If you have toddlers in tow Notelets are relaxed mini-concerts at the CBSO Centre which combine music and stories. Don’t worry about fidgety feet. Dancing and jumping around are encouraged!
Explore the canals of Birmingham
Legend has it that Birmingham has more canals than Venice. You won’t spot any gondolas here but take a wander through the ICC off Centenary Square and you’ll reach the heart of Birmingham’s Brindleyplace and lovely canal network.
Take a boat trip or just wander along the towpaths and explore by foot. Brindleyplace has a range of pubs and cafes to pop into for refreshments along the way.
Kids will love spotting the colourful narrow-boats around Gas Street Basin and you can follow the towpath over to the Mailbox, which is home to restaurants, cafes, an independent cinema and shops including Harvey Nichols.
The Roundhouse kayaking trips
Enjoy a chance to see Birmingham from its world-famous waterway network as the recently-refurbished Roundhouse in Sheepcote Street hosts seasonal kayak tours and trips on heritage boats.
It’s also a starting point for themed walks too.
Although its guided tours wind down in winter you can still pop into this historic building’s visitor centre and exhibitions or check out a self-guided trail and discover how this unusual building once served as stables and stores for Birmingham Corporation’s Public Works Department.
Brindleyplace is a great place to dine with children
With its tree-lined squares, international cuisine and canal-side location Brindleyplace is a lovely spot to sit and relax with the kids.
You’ll find the National Sea Life Centre here which is the ideal indoor activity for families on a rainy day.
Get up close to more than 2,000 sea creatures, including penguins and sharks, and walk ‘under’ water through the UK’s only 360-degree Ocean Tunnel.
You can create the ultimate day out and save money with a multi-attraction ticket which gives entry to the Legoland Discovery Centre just around the corner too.
Art lovers can pop into the Ikon Gallery which holds Family Saturday art workshops. The activities are free but you need to book in advance.
A day in Digbeth for teenagers
Teenagers will love the colourful street art, shops, bars and restaurants in Digbeth, which is just a short walk from Staying Cool.
At its heart is the The Custard Factory, originally home to Bird’s Custard, but now a place to find independent businesses and the Mockingbird Cinema.
Look out for Red Brick Market on Floodgate Street which is a treasure trove of unique vintage clothes, homeware, art and antiques.
If you’d like to explore more of Digbeth, check out Staying Cool’s Guide to Digbeth blog.
Thinktank Science Museum is great for all ages
Big kids and little kids will love Thinktank – Birmingham’s science museum at Millennium Point with its steam engines, talking robots, gurgling guts and chocolate wrapping machine.
Discover four floors of hands-on exhibits and historical gems, including an interactive mini city for under 8s called MiniBrum and a 4k Planetarium.
You can also make a splash in the Science Garden.
Events and attractions’ opening times and entry requirements may be impacted by coronavirus guidelines. Please visit the venue’s website to check latest information.
THE ULTIMATE FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION
With so much going on in and around Birmingham for you and your family to experience, you may need a few days to take it all in. So why not take advantage of our spacious serviced apartments at Rotunda, the super central base in the heart of it all.