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 Birmingham attractions for families guide 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.
Things to do in Birmingham for autumn 2023
Cocomelon at SEA LIFE Birmingham
Embark on a musical journey with CoComelon at SEA LIFE Birmingham from November 6-24. The lyrical adventure takes visitors through the underwater wonderland, where you’ll encounter a host of fascinating sea creatures. Along the way, your mission is to discover the missing song words that will complete an exclusive song. There’s special photo opportunities and a creative colouring station where the little ones can let their imaginations run wild.
Ghost Tours at Aston Hall
Step into the shadows of one of Britain’s most haunted buildings for a spine-tingling After Dark Ghost Tour at Aston Hall (selected dates throughout October and November). Expect a blend of laughter and spine-chilling scares as the secrets of the Hall’s enigmatic past are revealed. The one-hour tour of hair-raising tales is suitable for children aged 12 and over.
Or you could make something inspired by Aston Hall and its incredible history at Aston Arts Club. A completely free, drop-in club open to all to relax and create together during Saturday mornings. Suitable for adults and children alike. This event runs on the first Saturday of the month from 12 noon – 3pm.
The only kind of bored allowed at Chance & Counters in the Custard Factory in Digbeth are classic board games.
With over 500 in stock, including family-friendly options like Battle Sheep and Ice Cool, this bright and friendly board game cafe can keep kids entertained for hours. Order drinks and food like wings, loaded fries, tacos and burgers and get playing. Find out more from www.chanceandcounters.com
Nest at Birmingham Rep
Prepare to soar high with M6 Theatre’s production of Nest at Birmingham Rep on Saturday October 21. Follow the tale of two adventurous birds in search of a new home for two precious eggs. But, as the world below bustles with life, their nest starts to fill up with unexpected treasures. This enchanting tale of feathered adventure and life lessons blends clowning, original songs and shadow play.
Makers and Machines at Thinktank
ThinkTank, Birmingham Science Museum unravels the surprising, centuries-long history of coding in its Makers and Machines: Creativity in the Computer Age exhibition. The immersive journey features local weavers, knitters, mathematicians, scientists, artists and gamers, showcasing how coding threads through the fabric of their work. There’s rare artifacts too, including one of the world’s oldest surviving electronic HEC computers, as well as an array of digital and analogue devices.
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. And Treetop has now launched a VIP party package for special occasions, family get-togethers and birthdays. Head to their website to find out more.
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, one of many indoor Birmingham attractions for families for those rainy days.
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
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.
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.