If you’re stuck for something to do this summer – whether it’s with your kids, your friends or your other half, museums are a great way to pass the time. We all know that the British weather – even during the height of summer – can’t guarantee unending sunshine, and when it is looking a little overcast and glum outside, museums are a perfect option for a cultural afternoon.
A little while ago, the girls and I spent a day in Birmingham, and I was really surprised by it. For some reason I’d imagined it as a very industrial city, but it is really beautiful and a lot of work has gone into making the city centre people friendly.
The Midlands city of Birmingham is also packed with stunning museums and galleries and over the summer months, there are plenty of events, activities and exhibitions that can keep people of all ages amused. Book into one of the Travelodge hotels in the city centre and make the most out of your time in Birmingham. Here’s some of what you can enjoy:
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery offers a wealth of craft activities for creative kids to enjoy. Fees apply, but it would be a perfect way to pass an hour or two with small people. There’s also a sensory gallery where you can experience a variety of artworks through touch, sound and light.
Step inside a 17th century painting, eavesdrop on Albert Einstein, or squeeze yourself into a chair in the shape of a 19th century corset.
There are also family fun trails which you can enjoy for free – it’s a great way to introduce children to a variety of art styles.
Thinktank is well worth a visit regardless of the additional events and temporary exhibitions that it may have over the summer period. Spend some time in the outdoor Science Garden – perfect on a sunny day – and get hands-on with some of the interactive displays and objects.
Gas Hall is home to incredible exhibition that features work by Rowland Emett, who was the creator of the contraptions in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It’s the largest exhibition of its kind, and will engross the imaginations of everyone, no matter their age.
If your kids like active challenges, take them to one of the Circus Academy workshops that are scheduled around the city throughout the summer. There are workshops being held at Soho House and Blakesley Hall in August.
Birmingham Sea Life
We actually never made it beyond the entrance of the Sea Life Centre, but even that was quite something, with huge fish tanks adorning the room. Very beautiful and the girls were thrilled with even just the 20 minutes we spent there.
If you’re planning on making more than one visit over the year, the Birmingham Museums Annual Pass (this doesn’t include the Sea Life Centre), set at £85 per year for families, gives you the chance to visit various museums across the city, as many times as you like.
I was pleasantly surprised by our day trip to Birmingham, and look forward to the next one!