Birmingham has put a lot of effort into becoming a fun, family destination. This Midlands city is the cultural and economic hub of Middle England, and mixes a proud heritage with some innovative attractions that appeal to children of all ages.

    Britain’s most famous chocolate factory is enduringly popular for a family day out in Birmingham, but there are also some excellent safari parks and aquariums within easy reach of the city centre. For some ‘edutainment’, consider a trip to the Birmingham Science Museum. Although popular throughout the year, if you visit Birmingham during the summer months, a trip to one of the city’s parks is also a great idea for staying active and enjoying a bit of nature. 

    Accommodation wise, there are plenty of family-friendly options in Birmingham, both in the city centre and its surroundings.

    What kid wouldn't be over the moon about a visit to a world devoted to chocolate? The various themed zones at Cadbury World will transport you and your family through its sweet history, from the rainforests of the Mayans to the creation of the first Cadbury's chocolate factory. You'll also see how chocolate is made, take a 4D cinema ride into molten chocolate, and of course there's plenty to taste as well.

    For those planning a visit, it's worth bearing in mind that Cadbury World is about 5.5 miles from the city centre. It's easily accessible for those travelling by car and there's plenty of public transport that will get you there, too. It might also be worth checking out the hotels in the area, that way you won't have to worry about the morning traffic to get there. Our detailed map will make it easy for you to select the perfect hotel based on its location.

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    Location: Linden Rd, Bournville, Birmingham B30 1JR, UK

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)844 880 7667


    photo by Elliott Brown (CC BY 2.0) modified

    This aquarium in Brindley Place has plenty of fascinating aquatic animal exhibits to explore. You can watch turtles being fed, penguins hopping around, and take a walk through a glass tunnel beneath the shark tank as the inhabitants glide over your head. Staff give detailed talks about certain species, which could be anything from clown fish to seahorses. National SEA Life Centre Aquarium is quite compact, but still offers a few hours of getting up close to a variety of wildlife.

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    Location: The Waters Edge, 3 Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HL, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)871 226 5999


    photo by Gp258 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    The Hippodrome has a diverse range of live performances taking to the stage, many of which are suitable for families. There are regular matinee performances on weekends. Popular shows on at Birmingham Hippodrome have included Matilda The Musical and Kinky Boots. Around the festive period, the Hippodrome hosts many Christmas pantomimes, which are great fun for kids of all ages. Located on Hurst Street, it’s walking distance from New Street station.

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    Location: Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)844 338 5000


    photo by Oosoom (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

    Thinktank is a science museum that combines learning with interesting hands-on exhibits. You’ll find a planetarium, several rooms devoted to natural history and exhibits of engineering feats from Birmingham’s proud industrial heritage. Located at Millennium Point, you can walk to Thinktank from New Street station in the city centre. 

    All in all, there are over 200 exhibits to discover. A few highlights include a section devoted to the steam engine, which was first deployed in the Midlands and is a source of pride to locals. The exhibit has a replica of the original design that allows you to use steam to power a piston.

    Location: Millennium Point, Curzon St, Birmingham B4 7XG

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)121 348 8000


    photo by Bs0u10e0 (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    West Midlands Safari Park

    West Midlands Safari Park is home to over 150 exotic species, including lions, tigers, giraffes and plenty of mischievous monkeys. The 200-acre park allows visitors to drive their own car through several distinct sections and habitats, named African Plains, Wild Asia, Carnivores, and Elephant Valley.

    Along with the safari park, you can visit an animatronic dinosaur exhibit and a small theme park with some thrilling rides and rollercoasters. West Midlands Safari Park is a 30-minute drive out of the city, so it’s best to have your own transport.

    Location: Spring Grove, Bewdley DY12 1LF, UK

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm


    Cannon Hill Park hosts a fantastic range of things to see and do, no matter the season. Toddlers will enjoy playing in the Fun Park or riding on the miniature train, while all ages can enjoy a game of tennis or get a cultural fix at MAC Birmingham gallery and exhibition space. A 36-hole mini golf course is challenging enough for the whole family.

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    Location: Russell Rd, Birmingham B13 8RD, UK

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 6 pm (open until 7.30 pm on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)121 303 1111


    Birmingham Botanical Gardens feature 15 acres of lush greenery and carefully manicured parkland. You should enter from Westbourne Road, just south of the city centre, and explore the glasshouses. The range of plants and flowers spans the globe. We particularly enjoy the many species of cactus in the Arid section.

    Children will most enjoy the Kingdom of Green Man section of the gardens. There’s a playground and a discovery garden aimed at little ones. If you get hungry, there’s a tea room that serves light meals throughout the day and a variety of lunch options. Accommodation wise, there's a few hotels near the gardens, if you'd like to stay nearby.

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    Location: Westbourne Rd, Birmingham B15 3TR, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm (open until 7 pm on weekends)

    Phone: +44 (0)121 454 1860


    Go karting

    Older kids – especially those with a taste for speed – will love pressing the pedal down at a go-kart track. Battle for family bragging rights and live out Formula 1 fantasies on winding tracks, as you jostle to be first to the chequered flag.

    There are 2 popular go-kart tracks in central Birmingham. Teamsport Go Karting Birmingham is a state-of-the art indoor track spread out over 2 floors. The other big track in Birmingham is Grand Prix Karting Birmingham. It’s an outdoor track with floodlights.

    Location: Teamsport Go Karting, Park Lane Ind Est, Park Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands, B69 4JX, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5.15 pm (closes at 3 pm on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)844 998 0000

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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