Kids.  They're great aren't they?  Bit expensive though.

Yup, keeping your wee ones entertained for seven weeks 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 their kids travel for £1 offers - this combined with our top picks for absolutely free of charge things to do in Birmingham will ensure you'll have a great 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 with 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.

#2 Parks

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 fab. 

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 BBC Birmingham

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.

#4  Walk around

Walk around!? 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, #3, #5, #6 or #8

#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 Family Saturdays, School Holiday Workshops and Art Explorer for the kids during the summer hols!

*Don’t let this be a deal breaker - 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 flies in and out of here. (True story: I almost failed my driving test when I was distracted by this huge flying beast).  Hint Sheldon Country Park is a good spot to spot. Cost – Naaaaathing!

#8 MAC Birmingham

We've already mentioned Cannon Hill Park where the MAC is situated.  It's a fantastic artistic hub and there's always an exhibition to take the kids around.  When they ineviatebly get bored, there's a large park and plenty of beautiful picnic space outside.

#9 Tolkien Trail at Moseley Bog

A childhood haunt of author J.R.R. Tolkien's, the bog is said to have inspired The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit author's depiction of Middle Earth.  Nearby Sarehole Mill is another location that is said be have had an influence on Tolkien's work. You'll have an Orc-some time!  Don't worry we've finished now.

With all that money you’ve saved you can hire a sitter and go and enjoy some Birmingham nightlife. You deserve it parent!

If we've omitted something fantastic and FREE then tell us all about it using the comments below... 





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