Here are our pick of things to do in Birmingham with teens to earn serious parenting points.
Birmingham is Europe’s youngest city. As a result, it is full of things to do with teenagers that will deliver a stress-free weekend break or staycation. Or even just a day out!
Parents in the Staying Cool team often bring their teens to stay and get the thumbs up every time. Why? Our serviced apartments are always a hit with the young folk as they’re very sleek and very modern plus there are a lot of nearby teenage attractions in the city centre, so they’re never bored.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay then check out our Rotunda aparthotel. It makes a great start to any visit with teens of any age, not least because of its Instagramability! Otherwise, read on!
Birmingham is HUGE on shopping. We have every high-street brand you could wish for and a wide range of trendy independent brands too, plus some seriously high-end department stores and gold standard beauty halls. Shopping In Birmingham is a fantastic resource for any retail obsessed teen who wants to plan their shopping like a military campaign.
Keep an eye on Shopping In Birmingham for special events – Selfridges is particularly hot at organising mini-festivals. It also has a jaw-dropping food hall downstairs, which is a good place to grab a bite to eat or grab gifts to take home.
Birmingham offers a huge range of shops including the world’s biggest Primark and the world’s biggest Lush (right next door to our apartment hotel at Rotunda on New Street). Indeed Rotunda is a part of Bullring so it’s perfectly placed for dropping your shopping or having a quick pit-stop.
At the other end of the scale, there’s also a strong independent retail scene in Birmingham that often appeals to teens. Our quirky teens are fans of:
The Custard Factory a great place to track down groovy indies. If your teens are into sustainable fashion then check out nearby Cow Vintage on Digbeth High Street. We’ve also produced a more detailed Guide to Digbeth if you’re going.
Liquor Store on Colmore Row is a great place to source hard-to-get fashion brands.
The Bullring’s outdoor and indoor markets (just down from the Bullring shopping centre) are great value for the vintage-style teen.
Vinyl is Back in a big way. Swordfish Records survived during the lean times when digital was king. This is a place that music-obsessed teens and their parents can love. The shop is at 66 Dalton Street in Birmingham city centre.
The Library of Birmingham
The Library of Birmingham was rebuilt in the last decade and it is one of the most visited tourist attractions outside London for good reason. It’s an extraordinary (and hugely Insta-genic) building. Obviously, there are thousands and thousands of books to look at, but it really is such a stunning building that even if that’s not appealing an idea we’d recommend having a look around.
If your teen is fascinated by media, then let them know about the BFI Mediatheque. It is a free service based at the Library of Birmingham that gives access to an astonishing film and TV archive.
GOLF (BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT)
For over 18s only but, if your teen is old enough, it’s definitely a winner. Head down to the Custard Factory for crazy golf 21st-century style. We’re talking DJs, cocktails, street food and an indoor space smothered in graffiti.
Not just for teenagers, Teamworks Karting on Fazeley Street will have you unleashing your inner Lewis Hamilton at one of the country’s fastest indoor karts circuits.
Featuring laser tag, an F1 simulator and a challenging indoor race track, Teamworks also offers a well-stocked café and bar overlooking the track – perfect for a pit-stop from the speedy action.
If your teen laughs in the face of clean eating then this is bound to be a hit. Over 16s can enjoy a chocolatier experience (which must be pre-booked), which is a chance to learn the art of chocolate making. All ages can enjoy Cadbury World in its full chocolatey glory and there’s plenty of history and science packed in there too. It can be a fun day out.
Treetop Adventure Golf
Ever met a talking toucan? Or conquered a Bug Canyon? Gather your big or little ones for a tropical adventure at Treetop Adventure Golf at our neighbours Bullring, where trees chatter, thunder rumbles and cheeky monkeys become mini golf champions.
Treetop also features fantastic dining options in the Jungle Buzz Café including great coffee, sweet treats and beers from the brilliant Birmingham Brewery Company.
ART & CULTURE
We’re very proud of the culture in Birmingham. The city is pulsating with it. Some of our favourite spots that might appeal whilst you are in Birmingham with teens are:
The IKON gallery is all about contemporary art and a great place for inspiring creativity. This is another popular Birmingham spot with free entry and a rather lovely café. Yes, we are obsessed with the latter! IKON also provides excellent workshops, so it’s well worth checking out their website before your visit to Birmingham to see whether there’s something scheduled that your teen might love.
Birmingham’s Science Museum is also home to a Planetarium and a museum specially designed for the under fives which could be handy if you are travelling en famille and trying to cater for all ages. You do have to pay to enter.
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has partially reopened for 2022 with a series of ‘pop-up’ exhibitions telling the stories of Birmingham in a new and unique way. The building will close again during 2023 when ongoing electrical maintenance work is carried out. When it fully re-opens you can see the largest collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings in the world, the Anglo-Saxon Staffordshire Hoard and some really cutting-edge contemporary exhibitions, so it should definitely be on your list. If your teen is resistant to museums and galleries then lure them in with the promise of seriously good cake in the Edwardian Tearooms (much, much cooler than the name might suggest).
The Newman Brothers Coffin Works
One of Birmingham’s more unusual museums can be found a lovely city centre walk away from our apartment hotel at Rotunda – The Newman Brothers Coffin Works on Fleet Street, a unique and wonderfully preserved time capsule example of Victorian craft and industry.
The shelves and workbenches at Newman Brothers are full of original stock and tools of the trade. You can experience how this old Jewellery Quarter firm once operated on a day-to-day basis, producing some of the world’s finest coffin furniture, including the fittings for the funerals of Joseph Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother.
Film is huge in Birmingham. We have a big ODEON multiplex just seconds away from our apartments on New Street and a swish Everyman at the Mailbox.
Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen
You should also check out the intimate Mockingbird Cinema at the Custard Factory, which runs some great events and is a very cool spot.
The Birmingham Hippodrome
A beautiful theatre and the place to see huge West End hits without huge West End prices (or the need to book a decade in advance…).
If musicals are not your family’s thing then the Hippodrome also offers plenty of alternatives with Birmingham Royal Ballet, opera, contemporary dance, comedy…the list is long!
Find out more about the latest stellar events aimed at young people such as pantomimes and musicals, as well as Hippodrome’s selection of free events.
A more intimate theatre, right in the centre of the city. It stages plenty of drama that’s suitable for teens and might inspire them to greatness in their drama exams…
Birmingham’s food and drink options are as good as anywhere in the UK, with menus to cater for the pickiest teens in the family.
Head to the Indian Streatery on Bennetts Hill for wonderful tapas-style Indian street food that started life at the famous Digbeth Dining Club six years ago.
Or at the Custard Factory try the wonderful Baked in Brick with its classic Brum-built Mini bursting through the wall above your table – perfect for Instagram – and a menu of pizza and Sunday roasts that are becoming the stuff of city legend.
The kids will love Dishoom over at Chamberlain Square, which pays loving homage to the old Irani cafés that were once part of the fabric of life in Bombay.
If you don’t fancy leaving your apartment (we fully understand why!) you could try the restaurant’s Bacon Naan Roll Kit, which provides all the ingredients and know-how for recreating this café classic in the comfort of your Rotunda serviced apartment.
More teen-friendly food options can be found at brilliant burger independents Original Patty Men (Shaw’s Passage, near Selfridges) or The Meat Shack (Thorpe Street, Southside).
Both have rightly won numerous awards for their ‘dripping filthy goodness’ burgers with plentiful kids’ options.
WHERE TO STAY IN BIRMINGHAM WITH TEENS?
We have the perfect teen-friendly accommodation in Birmingham.
Our two-bedroom Maxi apartments give you 760 square feet of space to spread out in. This includes a large lounge/kitchen/diner and en-suite bathrooms. Or why not book a penthouse with a large wraparound balcony and an amazing 1,100 feet of indoor and outdoor space? Alternatively you could book a Clubman one bed apartment and put your teenager next door in their own Mini apartment!
Enjoy an unbeatable city-centre location; fast, reliable free Wi-Fi during the whole stay; loads of plugs to recharge tech; a Poggenpohl kitchen to help you satisfy the endless hunger of teens. We also provide board games in every apartment if you’d like some old-fashioned quality time. Make Birmingham with teens a positive pleasure by booking in with us.