Planning a trip to the UK’s second-largest city? Whether you’re staying for one day, a long weekend, or even longer, there’s no shortage of things for kids to do in Birmingham. From family-friendly museums and art galleries to play areas and more, there’s enough to keep you occupied for days. So book those train tickets to Birmingham International and read on to find out everything you need to know about the best things to do for the ultimate day out.
Sea Life Centre Birmingham
Kids (and adults!) of all ages will love the National Sea Life Centre in the heart of the city centre, with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life. Don’t miss Ozzy and Ola, the very first pair of sea otters to make their home in the UK, or Mo, the 20-stone green sea turtle. The centre’s ocean tank has a capacity of 1,000,000 litres of water and the only fully transparent 360-degree underwater tunnel in the UK.
You should plan for roughly 1.5 -2 hours for your trip to the centre, but it could well take much longer, as you’ll be amazed by the penguins, black tip reef sharks, colourful tropical fish, giant octopi and more. As well as the walk-through tunnels, kids will love the opportunity to get up close and personal with marine life in the rockpool zone with the opportunity to reach in and touch starfish, anemones and urchins.
The Sea Life Centre is within walking distance from Birmingham New Street station so you can even head straight there as soon as you jump off the train!
LEGOLand Discovery Centre
Not far from the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham city centre is this colourful world of creativity (and maybe a little bit of building chaos) designed for children aged 3 to 12. It’s a must-do for any LEGO fans. There’s a wealth of different zones to discover, from MINILAND, an interactive city built from 1.5 million LEGO bricks, to the Kingdom Quest ride where you’re tasked with helping the kidnapped princess!
Plan to spend 2-3 hours in the Discovery Centre to make the most of all the attractions. There are in total two rides, a 4D cinema, MINILAND, several LEGO-themed play areas and Master Model Builder workshops.
Cannon Hill Park
If you happen to get good weather when you’re in the West Midlands, head straight for Cannon Hill Park, with 80 acres of formal parkland and a further 120 acres of woodland and conservation areas. Hop on the Land Train, which takes a route around the park so you can see all the sights and sounds, and scope out the best picnic spot. Work up an appetite with a trip on the boating lake in one of the swan pedal boats, which come as two or four-seaters. Then after lunch head to the Fun Park which is packed full of rides and activities for younger children. You can even buy a Fun Pass to make the most of all the fun things on offer -or simply enjoy the play park, relax on the grass, or visit theMidlands Arts Centre (MAC) which is located within the park. Here you can check out the shows and courses on offer and maybe even learn a new skill during your time in Birmingham.
Thinktank is one of the best Birmingham museums for kids. In this science museum, you’ll find plenty to keep curious minds occupied with over 200 interactive science and technology displays, including MiniBrum for little scientists aged 8 or under. Don’t miss the Spitfire Gallery, which tells the story of this innovative plane that played a key role in the Second World War and had a lasting legacy on the city, and make sure to swing by the planetarium for a fascinating exploration of astronomy, planets and the night sky.
The museum is located at Millenium Point, a 15-minute walk from New Street Station.
This one's for you just as much as it is for the kids... Cadbury World, located just a couple of miles outside Birmingham city centre, is a homage to all things milk chocolate. You’ll discover the history of the Cadbury company, witness chocolate making in action, and you’ll even get the opportunity to have a go at piping chocolate yourself. There’s also the world’s biggest Cadbury shop and an outdoor adventure play area, so with the self-guided tour, a visit to the shop and cafe, and time spent in the playpark, most visitors spend around 3 -4 hours here.
Birmingham Donkey Sanctuary
In Sutton Park, a 2,400-acre park located 6 miles north of the city centre, you’ll find the Birmingham Donkey Sanctuary. If you’re a family of animal lovers, it’s absolutely one of the best things to do in Birmingham with kids. The donkeys have lots of space to roam around in, and you might get lucky enough that they’ll come up close to nuzzle you.
Whilst you’re there, be sure to spend some time exploring Sutton Park, most of which is a National Nature Reserve and one of the largest urban parks in Europe. The park is home to seven lakes, woodlands, wetlands and marshes, and you’ll see cattle and wild ponies roaming free and happily grazing on the land. There is free entry to both the park and the sanctuary.
Getting there by train
If you’re ready to plan your Birmingham days out, you can get there with Avanti West Coast. Book any train journey through our Journey Planner, even if the stations and services aren’t run by Avanti West Coast, and enjoy your days out with the kids!