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We’ve sourced a great selection of things to do in Birmingham. What better excuse to plan a night away with us soon? You’re in for a great time.

In light of any Covid restrictions that may still be in place, please check opening times and guidance from venues before visiting.

1. Van Gogh Alive

Birmingham Hippodrome is welcoming us back with the enormously successful Van Gogh Alive until Sunday 11th July.

This is no ordinary art exhibition. Described as the world’s most visited immersive, multi-sensory experience, Van Gogh Alive is a digital art experience using stunning projections and classical music. It gives you the unique opportunity to step on to the Hippodrome’s main stage and venture into Van Gogh’s world. Pre-booking is essential.

A promotional photo of the Van Gough Alive exhibition that will be hosted by the Birmingham Hippodrome between 25th May and 11th July 2021.
The Van Gough Alive Exhibition

2. Digbeth Funfair Birmingham

Our Rotunda serviced apartments aren’t the only way you can see the city centre from a completely new perspective. Take a seat at Digbeth Funfair’s Big Wheel to get another classic view of Birmingham soaring above the skies.

Other attractions at the Moseley Street fair include the Wild Mouse rollercoaster, kids’ bungee jumps, the 60-metre high Sky Flyer and traditional rides including dodgems, waltzers and cups & saucers.

Due to run throughout April, May and June, opening times and covid safety information is available on the Digbeth Funfair website.

Digbeth Fun Fair as seen from Staying Cool's serviced apartments at Rotunda Birmingham
Digbeth Funfair views from our Rotunda serviced apartments

3. Chamberlain Square

In the heart of the city centre and surrounded by glorious buildings such as the Town Hall and Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square has been given a new look.

The Memorial Fountain looks like new and it’s now surrounded by places to sit and new bars and restaurants in among the Paradise development buildings, such as Rosa’s Thai Café and a favourite of the Staying Cool team – Dishoom Birmingham.

It’s the perfect place for people watching, just a few minutes’ walk from Rotunda.

A view of Birmingham's Chamberlain Square in May 2021
The newly renovated Chamberlain Square in Birmingham

Ikon Gallery in Brindleyplace has reopened after lockdown by devoting its galleries to an exhibition of artworks for sale by over 250 Birmingham artists.

Submitted through an open call, work in a range of media is presented both in the gallery and on Ikon’s website from to 31st May. 100% of the proceeds from artwork sales go directly to the artists. What a great way to welcome back Birmingham’s creatives!

The interior of Birmingham's Ikon Gallery at Brindlayplace with artwork on the walls and a sculpture in the forefront.
Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery at Brindleyplace

5. Reuben Colley Fine Art

Horace Panter’s new collection Cassettes 2021 is now on display at Reuben Colley Fine Art, Colmore Row until Saturday 29th May. Also known as the bassist from The Specials, Horace has always been fascinated by the humble cassette, which played such a pivotal role in the dissemination of music in the 1970s and 80s.

Taking inspiration from Pop Art traditions, Horace has created iconic works of art from these everyday objects.

Artwork of a yellow casette tape piece from Horace Panter’s new collection 'Cassettes 2021'
A piece from Horace Panter’s new collection ‘Cassettes 2021’

6. Jewellery Quarter

Did you know 40% of all UK jewellery manufacture takes place in Birmingham’s world-famous Jewellery Quarter?

If your visit to Staying Cool is a celebration of a special occasion, visit the Quarter for a beautiful memento. While you’re there you can visit a whole host of new restaurants, bars, coffee shops, see Birmingham’s Banksy artwork and the restored Chamberlain Clock, looking splendid again after a £150,000 refurbishment.

A photo of the church and it's gardens in St Paul's Square at the centre of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.
St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter

7. Shop, Drink and Dine

Birmingham city centre is home to department stores – Selfridges is our corner shop! – independent boutiques, award-winning restaurants and welcoming bars.

Take a stroll to John Bright Street for new pavement cafes including Cherry Reds, Turtle Bay or Brewdog. Head towards the Victoria Square side of New Street and you’ll find new outdoor dining areas for Medicine Bakery (the freshly-baked sourdough is the stuff of local legend and we often treat guests to sugary delights from here), Second Cup Coffee and La Galleria Italian Restaurant.

If you’re here to shop, visit Great Western Arcade or Piccadilly Arcade for a selection of brilliant independent gift shops, salons and fashion stores.

An image of Medicine Bakery's outdoor dining space in the sunshine on New Street in Birmingham. A short walk from Staying Cool's Rotunda serviced apartments.
Drink and dine al fresco at Medicine Bakery on New Street

8. Take a Seat with Rock Royalty

Birmingham proudly claims to be the home of heavy metal, thanks largely to the impact of local rock gods Black Sabbath.

The band’s place in rock’s halls of fame is celebrated in the city with a recently installed Black Sabbath Bench, on Broad Street.

It’s the perfect spot for a Sabbath selfie for any super-fans in your life!

The Black Sabbath bench located on Birmingham's Broad Street
The Black Sabbath bench located on Birmingham’s Broad Street

9. National Sea Life Centre & Legoland Discovery Centre

The Merlin-managed National Sea Life Centre and Legoland Discovery Centre are two of the most popular attractions in the city centre.

Visitors to the Sea Life Centre will be able to see Ozzy (see heavy metal reference above!) and Ola, the UK’s first and only sea otters, as well as enjoying the colony of Gentoo penguins, an interactive rock pool, jellyfish, piranhas, a 4D Cinema and the UK’s only 360° Ocean Tunnel.

Legoland Discovery Centre is full of creative Lego fun aimed at three to 12 year olds, with a 4D Cinema, two interactive Lego rides and Brum-based Miniland.

A lego replica of Birmingham's Moor Street Station from Legoland Discovery Centre in Birmingham.
A lego replica of Birmingham’s Moor Street Station, located next to Rotunda

10. Treetop Adventure Golf

A brand new mini golf experience is set to tee off in the heart of Bullring and Grand Central on the 31st May, right on our doorstep!

Treetop Adventure Golf reveals its mighty rainforest to coincide with the post-lockdown return of the leisure and hospitality sector (YAY!).

Situated on the southern side of the Bullring centre, the former Forever 21 unit is undergoing an expansive £2.4 million refurbishment to transform it into an immersive mini golf experience for all.

Children plaing miniature golf inside the Treetop Adventure Golf complex.
Treetop Adventure Golf

When Birmingham’s Wine Weekend came to Rotunda

We joined forces with the wonderful team behind Birmingham Wine Weekend to bring you the ultimate Wine Weekend Staycation on Saturday 17th October. Guests enjoyed all the fun of the original Wine Weekend but from a socially-distanced stance with an overnight stay.

It was a night of fantastic premium wines, served in the comfort of guests’ own stylish serviced apartment here at the iconic Rotunda.

If you are looking for another special occasion then check out the Wilderness private dining event on Bonfire Night.

The schedule

Check in at Rotunda from 3pm, unpack, relax and enjoy those Insta-tastic views.

Starting at 6:30pm, join Tony Elvin of the Wine Events Company live on Zoom, streaming from the Rotunda Penthouse, as he introduces you to the grape adventure ahead of you. You’ll be tasting six premium wines, starting with a glass of Grand Cru Champagne. You can also expect some delicious cheese pairings from local indie Arch 13.

You will learn about the wines from our two experts with plenty of optional online interactivity – and plenty of giggles too.

Your wines & cheeses will be delivered directly to your apartment door in real time so you can enjoy the fun of an interactive wine tasting from the comfort of your stylish Staying Cool serviced apartment. The ultimate socially-distanced wine experience!

We’ll be drawing proceedings to a close by 8:30pm to give you time to either cook some food in your apartment, order delivery from a local restaurant, relax and enjoy the views or head out for dinner in the city. Whatever floats your boat.

The experts

Hosting proceedings from the Rotunda penthouse is Tony Elvin (WSET Advanced Distinction). Formerly Hotel du Vin General Manager, Tony is co-owner of The Wine Events Company. He has a passion for making wine accessible and fun through innovative tastings, wine dinners and even movies paired with wine. The Wine Events Company are events partner for Birmingham Wine Weekend and specialise in collaborations with the city’s finest venues including Birmingham Museums, The Electric Cinema, Millennium Point, and more.

Joining via Zoom is Nigel Wilkinson (MS DipWSET), Brand Ambassador & Senior Wine Educator for Boutinot (vineyard owners and wine producers in England, France, Italy & South Africa). Nigel became a Master Sommelier in 2005 and now teaches and examines for both the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the Court of Master Sommeliers. Before entering the wine trade, he was named ‘UK Young Wine Server of the Year’ and was twice runner-up in the ‘UK Sommelier of the Year Competition’.

Nigel is a certified sherry educator, a graduate of the École du Vin d’Alsace and is an academician of the Champagne Academy. He has been awarded by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin Bourgogne, is an Honorary Ambassador of the Grand Conseil du Vin de Bordeaux, an Honorary Fellow of the AFWS and is a Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Maître Sommelier. Oh là là!

HOW MUCH WILL THE BIRMINGHAM WINE WEEKEND STAYCATION COST?

Tickets are £150 per person. The price includes:
• a one night stay in either a studio or two bedroom apartment including breakfast of cereals, juice, espresso coffee and teas
• the Wine Weekend experience, including six wines and paired cheeses served as part of the virtual tasting including a glass of Grand Cru Champagne. Please do get in touch if you have any special dietary needs.

How do I book?

Click the BOOK NOW or SEARCH button on the website. Select Saturday the 17th October and the apartment type you would like to book (studio, one bed, two bed or penthouse) and use the code BWW2020 in the promo code box. Or email [email protected] and we’ll make the reservation for you.

YOUR COVID-19 MEASURES?

We have put in place measures to protect against Coronavirus, endorsed by hospitality industry bodies. More detailed information will be included in your pre-arrival email too.

TERMS & CONDITIONS?

The fine print (the usual Staying Cool T&Cs apply) and in addition:

• Remember to speak to us about food allergies or preferences – email [email protected] or add a note to your booking.

• All guests must be age 21 or over

• Maximum two people in a studio apartment (£300 in total for both of you)

• Maximum four people in a two bedroom apartment (£600 total for all four of you).

• Payment is taken at the time of booking.

WHAT HAPPENS IF LOCKDOWN RETURNS?

If government restrictions on travel or overnight stays at hotels or aparthotels return, or a second lockdown is imposed in Birmingham, we will move the event to another date. You can either choose to cancel for a full refund or transfer the booking to the new date. The current restrictions in Birmingham only relate to domestic households and not to hotels, bars and restaurants where it’s business as usual. All of our apartments only sleep two to four people – and we are very strict on that – so the rule of six isn’t relevant either.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

You will receive an email confirming your booking.

What to bring?

Be sure to pack a laptop, tablet or phone that can access Zoom in order to fully enjoy the evening.

How to get to Rotunda

You can travel by train, plane or car. Full information on parking and the three minute walk from both New Street and Moor Street Stations and more is in our Travel Tips section.

The Birmingham Wine Weekend Staycation organisers

The event has been organised by Birmingham Wine Weekend and their longstanding events partner, The Wine Events Company with food from local indie Arch 13.