Free things to do in Birmingham - May half-term

Friday, 8 March 2024

A free activity a day to keep the kid's May half-term blues at bay.

Half-term holidays are a great opportunity for some wholesome family fun. But entertaining the kids on a budget can feel like an impossible task.

Thankfully, West Midlands Railway (WMR) has compiled a list of free things to do along their network, so you can still enjoy days out with the kids without breaking the bank.

Library of Birmingham

  • Closest station: Birmingham New Street

Located in Centenary Square behind the spectacular dancing water fountains, the Library of Birmingham is well worth a visit. As well as two outdoor terraces with panoramic views of the city, there’s a dedicated children’s library with a vast array of books to feed little imaginations. The library also holds regular craft sessions, rhyme time, nursery phonics and live readings.

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The Donkey Sanctuary

  • Closest station: Sutton Coldfield

The Donkey Sanctuary Birmingham forms part of the wider national charity, which was set up to rescue and transform the lives of donkeys worldwide. Nestled in the stunning Sutton Park, kids can meet the docile creatures in person, while learning all about the charity and its mission. Tickets are free but must be pre-booked in advance. To support the charity, you can either make a donation or adopt a donkey.

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Dudley Museum at the Archives

  • Closest stations: Tipton & Dudley Port

If you’re looking for an interesting and totally free place to visit in the West Midlands, then look no further than Dudley Museum at the Archives. Filled with fantastic fossils and guaranteed fun, your little ones can enjoy a whole host of displays - including geology, dinosaurs, historic finds from Dudley Castle, local heroes, and glass and artwork. It’s the ideal choice for families looking to learn whilst also making the most of the week off school.

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The Science Garden at Thinktank

  • Closest station: Birmingham Moor Street

Located on Level 0, directly in front of Thinktank, the Science Garden is free to enter every day from 3pm. With 30 interactive exhibits to explore, kids can get hands-on as they learn about engineering, mechanics and transportation in a fun and engaging way. With a water play area, eight-metre-high clanging ‘Terminus’ machine and a human-sized hamster wheel, the Science Garden is an incredible way to fill a sunny afternoon (yes, we’re holding out for some good weather!).

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  • Closest station: Stratford-Upon-Avon

A trip to Stratford-upon-Avon makes for a great family day out. After wandering the cobbled streets and watching the boats go by on the river, head over to The Recreation Ground – or ‘the Rec’ as it’s known to the locals. It’s a huge complex with different play areas for kids, including swings, slides, climbing frames and a zip wire. There’s also a sandpit, mini pool, and pirate ship water feature. The surrounding fields are perfect for picnics or why not head back to the riverside for a packed lunch by the water.

Discover more things to do in Stratford-Upon-Avon .

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Cannon Hill Park

  • Closest station: University

With 80 acres of parkland and 120 acres of conservation and woodland, Cannon Hill Park is a free open space that’s perfect for kids of all ages. It boasts two children’s play areas, picnic areas, mini golf, a mini funfair, and a land train that little ones will love. If you’re looking for something active, you can make use of the free tennis courts and equipment. Or if you fancied getting your cultural fix, the MAC has crafts and workshops throughout the year.

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There are so many free things to see and do along WMR’s network. If you’re travelling as a group, WMR’s GroupSave discount could be just the ticket (see what we did there). Ideal for groups between three and nine people, the GroupSave ticket gives you a 1/3 off your off-peak train ticket for any journey across the network.