Free things to do with children in Birmingham
Kids. They're great aren't they? Bit expensive though.
Yup, keeping your wee ones entertained can be a bit of a drain on the ol’ coin. So with that in mind, here are our top picks for absolutely free of charge things to do in Birmingham and the region…
#1 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
My kids love it at BMAG and I can’t walk past it without being pulled inside. Maybe it’s the labyrinthine layout and the colourful paintings - I think the gift shop also helps (N.B. this is not free!).
There’s always something new to see with an ever-changing display of inspiring art. The latest 'Birmingham: its people, its history gallery' is great for the little ones with plenty of interactive displays to well…interact with I guess.
You may be surprised by this, but Birmingham is greener than someone who’s eaten a greasy pork sandwich on a tempestuous voyage. Yup, we have more trees than you can shake a stick at - our choices of park are incredible.
Picks for me (with kids in mind) would be Cannon Hill Park and King's Heath Park (my local) – I’ve spent many, many…many hours pushing my kids down the zip slide here.
#3 The BBC
The BBC offer two exciting activities that are to you sir/madam?..... £0
The BBC Public Space
Got a budding journalist? Take them to BBC's Public Space where they can view BBC WM and BBC Asian Network presenters live on air. Budding dancers can pose behind the Strictly Come Dancing desk and budding erm... Time Lords can have their photo taken with Doctor Who's Tardis.
BBC Blue room
A free interactive exhibition, which shows the best of current and upcoming content and innovation from the BBC. Luckily for us all I have written this blog from a previous peek inside.
#4 Walk around
Walk around!? Say you? Yes say I! - Birmingham is very compact for such a large city and there’s plenty to see (make up your own tour and if you don’t mind lying to your own children - stories too). I recommend heading towards Brindleyplace - the canals are great.
There’s so much free stuff being handed out around the city you can probably get a full meal as well!
* If it starts to rain please see #1, #3, #5 or #6
#5 Ikon Gallery
Another gallery that my kids enjoy. The singing lift* is simultaneously the most exciting thing ever/stuff of nightmares for children – make life exciting, roll the dice and see how yours react. My experience was one of each. BWA HAA HAAAA (sorry Lois!). Ikon also run free Family Saturdays, there’s no need to book and you can stay as long as you like!
*Don’t fret there’s also stairs at Ikon!
#6 The Library of Birmingham
Another location that I can’t seem to pass without been pulled into by tiny hands. My offspring love grabbing a book and chilling out on the big foam cushions on the steps of the fantastic Children’s Library (it’s on the lower level, on the left).
When they’re through with reading, you can take them on an expedition up the escalators to the outdoor terraces. They’ll love it and it’s FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! CHA-CHING!
#7 Plane spotting at Birmingham Airport
When I was a kid we always used to go and watch the planes take off and land – Why spend money on an expensive holiday when you can watch other people flying away to exotic climes? If you’re lucky you might spot the humongous Airbus A380 which has recently started flights to Dubai from here. (FACT: I almost failed my driving test when this steel beast flew over). Hint Sheldon Country Park is a good spot to spot. Cost – Naaaaathing!
With all that money you’ve saved you can hire a sitter and go and enjoy all the other stuff Birmingham offers – read our blog on how the adults can have as much fun as the kids this summer - you deserve it parent!
If I've omitted something fantastic then tell us all about it using the comments below...
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