This blog post focuses on a couple of categories and prices of things to do in the West Midlands. We have tried to cover as many different types of activities as possible to accommodate everyone from single mothers to full families.
The West Midlands is full of exciting things to do and is bursting with culture right on people’s doorstep.
Museums in the West Midlands
There is an abundance of museums scattered throughout the West Midlands in Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Dudley. All are easily accessible via both public transport and by cars.
This section of the blog features both free and paid experiences so everyone has an option.
The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is completely free and is open 7 days a week 10am-5pm. It is perfect for single parents who want easily accessible culture for their children. The museum is housed in a grade two listed building in the centre of Birmingham, just a 10-minute walk from the train station.
From one room to another, visitors can stare in awe at the history and artefacts of Asia, South America and Africa; the famous Staffordshire Hoard is also housed at the Birmingham Museum. The Museum also hosts a variety of galleries for those with an artistic streak. It features a mix of both permanent and popup galleries in over 40 galleries.
You can view the museums current exhibitions on their Whats On page.
Thinktank Science Museum
Thinktank Science Museum is one of the best museums for children in the United Kingdom, many schools across the West Midlands take their pupils there every year. The Thinktank encourages children to interact with their exhibits in order to learn about various science topics.
It is located in the Millennium Point complex close to New Street. This Museum has a wide range of exhibitions varying from the Spitfire to Marine Life. Entry costs adults £14 and children £10.25 if booked online in advance, this covers all exhibitions apart from the Planetarium which costs an additional £2.50 but is well worth the experience.
They also run an Adult and Toddler (3-5 years old) ticket offer for just £15 on Wednesdays to Fridays during Birmingham term time.
One of the best exhibitions in the ThinkTank is the MiniBrum, a interactive mini city aimed at ages 8 and below with multiple play zones spread throughout that encourage easy learning about various different topics.
The Coventry Transport Museum
The Coventry Transport Museum provides an interactive history of Coventry’s and the United Kingdom’s automotive past, giving visitors a trip down memory lane as the exhibition moves from the very first bicycles all the way to modern Jaguar’s.
Transport Museum focuses on both modern and historic transport and has an interactive blitz exhibition. Coventry was one of the main targets in the Blitz because of its manufacturing power during World War Two. They call it the Phoenix city because of this.
The original Delorean used in the Back To The Future films is housed here. Alongside the Delorean, the museum also gives visitors a chance to look at the vehicle which formerly held the World Land Speed Record! Visitors can ride on a simulator that allows users to experience the thrill of breaking the World Land Speed Record. The simulator is currently closed for maintenance.
Although this museum is no longer free to enter, annual admission can be purchased for £14 in advance for adults and £7 for children over 5 (younger children still go for free). If you and each family member hold a Coventry citizen exclusive Go CV card you can enter the museum for free.
The Black Country Living Museum
The Black Country Museum is an open-air living museum that shows visitors the history of the West Midlands industry. Although this museum is slightly more expensive than the others on offer – costing £19.95 for adults (16+) and £9.95 for children (3-15). A great money saving tip for those with a Tesco Club Card is that you can use your Club Card points to pay for your entry to the Black Country Living Museum
At this museum you get an interactive and immersive experience like no other. The Black Country Museum is housed in historic industrial buildings and takes visitors through the ages. You can go on a short, guided tour of a mine, enter historic homes with actors inside them and visit the Hobbs & Sons Restaurant which serves chips cooked in dripping, a historical rarity which most requires a special license.
Another appeal of The Black Country Living Museum is that a fair amount of the television series Peaky Blinders was filmed.
The museum’s website lists multiple ways to get to the site, including by road, rail, bus and bicycle.
Affordable days out for all the family in the West Midlands
All of the suggestions for an affordable day out have free entry, parking or access by public transport, providing great days out that will only cost you the price of getting there and back!
Lickey Hills Country Park
Our first suggestion is the Lickey Hills Country Park. Situated just 10 miles south-west of Birmingham, the Lickey Hill’s are a great option for those living in Northfield, Longbridge, Rubery or Rednal area.
The Country Park possesses a variety of wildlife and woodland for families to explore as well as its famous viewpoints where you can look out over the city of Birmingham. With 524 acres there is lots of fun to be had. Why not try out their adventure playground, Table-tennis facilities or try your hand at Tri-golf.
Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are located at the Visitor Centre.
If you are travelling without a car, the number 19 bus can get you to Frankley, the rest of the journey can either be walked or accessed via the 202 to Bromsgrove, just hop off by Lickey Church!
Car parking is free!
The Earlswood Lakes is another great option to explore and spot local wildlife with your family. Created to supply the local canals, there are three lakes and canal towpaths to stroll around. Those living in Acocks Green, Hall Green, Small Heath or Tyseley areas can access the lakes direct by train via the North Warwickshire Line. Visitors can get off at The Lakes station, but don’t forget to let the conductor know as the station is a requested stop only!
The Crackley Woods are an option for those living in Coventry, Leamington or Kenilworth. Those visiting can check out the ancient woodland itself, or alternatively head through the woods to the Kenilworth Greenway Project. This former railway line is now a paved cycle route which is an excellent place for your kids to let off some steam on their bikes. You can park for free on Crackley Lane or get close by bus via the X17 to Warwick.
If you live in the Wolverhampton area why not give West Park a try. The park is considered to be one of the best, unspoilt examples of Victorian parks left in England and is Wolverhampton’s premier open space.
The park is roughly 43 acres in area including its lake and provides a beautifully landscaped green space within a ten-minute walk of Wolverhampton city centre. Live outside the city centre why not jump on the train or tram to Wolverhampton or hop on the 525 bus.
The park offers great places for picnics; Children’s play areas, along with Tennis courts and a lovely tea room.
This park also offers disabled access.
Coombe Abbey Country Park
Coombe Abbey Country Park is located on the outskirts of Coventry and is frequented by its citizens. The grounds span 500 acres and features a big country hotel, bird watching hut and a huge lake filled with ducks, deer, fish and turtles. There is now a Go Ape centre at Coombe Abbey where you can fly through the forest on ziplines, however that does cost.
The park itself does not cost to attend, however if you are driving you will have to pay for car parking. Other ways to gain access to the park are by foot from Walsgrave or Binley. You can get public transport from Coventry city centre to Walsgrave, where you’d have to walk the rest of the way. The walk takes around 45 minutes and is for the majority on a public footpath. You can catch the 8, 8a, 9, or 9a busses to Walsgrave.
Paid things to do in the West Midlands
The Sea Life Centre
National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham in Brindley place possesses an unparalleled range of marine life and underwater adventure right in the centre of Birmingham! Penguins, giant sea turtles and reef sharks to name but a few can all be seen by you and your family all under the same roof.
The Days Out Guide – in associated with National Rail – can offer adults 2 for 1 entry when they travel to the centre by rail. Five Ways is the closest train station to the centre, but it can also be accessed from Birmingham New Street or Snow Hill, both of which are under a mile away. You can also use Club Card points to gain access to The Sea Life Centre.
Another option great for families are the Dudley Zoological Gardens! Based in the grounds of an 11th Century castle, the gardens possess a ranging animal collection linked to international conservation efforts.
All daily admission prices can be paid with or without an extra donation, which can save you a few pounds if you would prefer not to pay it. Disabled children can enter the Zoo on a discounted rate, and free admission is granted for one adult carer.
West Midlands Safari Park
The West Midlands Safari Park is based in Bewdley, Worcestershire and offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with lions, tigers and elephants all from the safety of their own car! The Park has 165 species, the UK’s largest walk-through lemur enclosure and a small theme park too!
The Safari Park has an offer throughout August which offers a discount of either 25% or 30% on online bookings. Visitors can also benefit from free return tickets whereby the registered car and visitors can return to the park again for free on a specified date.
Based in Bourneville, which itself was built around the factory, Cadbury World offers visitors the chance to learn the history of Britain’s world-renowned chocolate company. The exhibition ranges from the ancient early history of chocolate itself, to the role of the Quaker Cadbury family in the local area and further on to how Cadburys products are made and advertised today.
Visitors will also be given complementary Cadbury chocolates at the start and end of the tour! Similarly to the Sealife Centre, Cadbury World can offer 30% discounts to those who travel by rail; to add to this, Bourneville Train Station is located right next to the factory!
The Wave is a water park located about a 10-minute walk from Coventry Train Station. It is a new addition to Coventry City Centre and features 6 incredible waterslides and an area called ‘The Reef’ targeted at the littlest swimmers. You could relax and put your feet up while the children are swimming in the lazy river.
The Wave offers multiple types of tickets, including off peak, peak, and parents and toddlers, although the parents and toddlers’ ticket only allows access to the Reef and Lazy River. Go CV card holders can access The Wave at a discounted rate.
We hope you’ve found something you and your family can enjoy at a price that is right for you, you can find some money saving tips on our blog.