Free things to do with children in the region
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. Have a cheap day out with West Midlands Trains by using Advanced Fares, Off Peak tickets and kids travel for £1 combined with our top picks for absolutely free of charge things to do in Birmingham and the region you'll be sure to have agreat day out without breaking the bank!
#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! Although will all the money you have saved you could splash out on a rubber...).
There’s always something new to see with an ever-changing display of inspiring art. The '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 the West Midlands 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. Take a picnic maybe treat yourself to a 99 and treat your kids to the 'I remember when these actually did cost 99p' story, at least they haven't gone up as much as Feddos!
Picks for me (with kids in mind) would be Cannon Hill Park, Brueton Park and King's Heath Park (my local) – I’ve spent many, many…many hours pushing my kids down the zip slide here.
#3 Digging for dinosaur bones (ish) in Dudley
Why not try and hunt for fossils at Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve?
The Reserve dates back to the Silurian era of 400 million years ago (it didn’t open then, obviously!). Over 700 different fossils have been found at the reserve; and if you don’t manage to find one, why not head over to Dudley Museum and Art Gallery to see the fossils that other, more successful people found. Let them get a fossil from the giftshop! You have saved loads of money so far (especially if you have taken the train...)
#4 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.
#5 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.
* If it starts to rain please see #1, #4, #6, #7 or #8
#6 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!
#7 See the fastest car on earth… standing still
In 1898 the fastest car in the world drove at just under 40mph today it’s just over 760mph!
Why not visit the Coventry Transport Museum? Unfortunately you won’t see the fastest car on earth moving although you can (pay) and try the Land Speed Record simulator where you can experience what it is like to drive faster than the speed of sound.
#8 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!
#9 Visit horses at Redwings Horse sanctuary
Redwings is a charity that rehomes and cares for neglected horses and donkeys.
You can bring the kids, roam the grounds, play in the play area and visit the restaurant (it doesn’t serve horse meat)! It free to visit but as Redwings is a charity any donation you can make is always appreciated and with the pennies in your back pocket you could afford to treat the horses to a carrot or two...
#10 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. 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 - you deserve it parent!
If we've omitted something fantastic then tell us all about it using the comments below...
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