19 fun things to do in and around Birmingham for Summer 2024

Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Birmingham bursts with vibrant energy in summer, offering a whole host of activities for families and visitors alike.

Whether you're seeking summer activities, family fun or exploring Birmingham events, the city and its surroundings promise an array of exciting experiences. From urban adventures to natural escapes, there's something for everyone in the UK's second city this summer. Here are 19 exciting and fun things to do for your 2024 summer itinerary:

Best for Young Kids

1. Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Spend summer days in the expansive 15-acre Birmingham Botanical Gardens, perfect for nature walks and family-friendly outdoor activities. Picnic under majestic trees, let the kids loose in the thrilling Adventure Playground or witness a butterfly explosion at the seasonal Butterfly House (open May 25th-Sept 2024). Summer bursts with even more life - family yoga, captivating theatre, free concerts and cinema, and talks by gardening gurus.

Nearest station: Five Ways

2. SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham

Rainy days getting you down? Explore the underwater world at the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham. Kids will go wild for playful penguins, toothy sharks, graceful sea turtles and a kaleidoscope of colourful fish. Step into the 360° ocean tunnel for an epic close-up, then explore 11 zones teeming with seahorses, jellyfish and even black tip reef sharks! It's the ocean's greatest hits, all under one roof. What better place when thinking about things to do in Birmingham when it's hot.

Nearest station: Birmingham New Street or Birmingham Moor Street

3. ThinkTank Science Museum (July 22nd –August 30th 2024)

Looking for fun things to do Birmingham way? Keep cool and ignite your child's curiosity at ThinkTank this summer 2024! Dive into the Olympics-themed science shows where kids explore the physics behind their favourite sports. Learn how Newton's laws of motion propel athletes to victory, whether they're sprinting on the track, soaring through the air, or defying gravity on the gymnastics beam. These 25-minute shows entertain and educate on weekdays at 1pm and 2pm in the Science Garden.

Nearest station: Birmingham Moor Street or Birmingham New Street

Top tip: Travel by train and get discounted entry to top attractions including Sea LIFE Birmingham , ThinkTank Science Museum and Birmingham Botanical Gardens .

4. F1® Arcade

Enjoy a complimentary kids' meal with every adult main course purchased at the world's first F1® experience venue. This offer runs from Monday to Friday, 15th July to 30th August. Little racers can choose from cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, plant-based burgers, pizzas, or macaroni cheese. For an extra cost, they can upgrade their meal with unlimited drinks or dessert.

Please note, this offer is for under-18s only and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Nearest station: Birmingham New Street or Birmingham Snow Hill

Best for Teens

5. Go Ape Cannock

Tired of hearing "I'm bored" on repeat? Go Ape in Cannock offers the ultimate remedy. Teens can soar to new heights as they swing and climb through trees on an exhilarating high ropes course, embracing the challenge and excitement of the outdoors. Whether they're conquering obstacles, zooming through the treetops or unleashing their inner Tarzan on the swings, it's sure to be a summer filled with high-flying adventure

Nearest Station: Rugeley Town

6. The Climbing Wall, Selfridges (July 25th – September 1st 2024)

Looking for a thrilling activity for teens looking to challenge themselves and have fun indoors during the summer holidays? Head to the Climbing Wall at Selfridges Birmingham where you can test your skills on a custom-designed, 10-metre indoor climbing wall right within Selfridges department store. Whether you're a novice or experienced climber, introductory sessions include a briefing and climbing.

Nearest Station: Birmingham New Street or Birmingham Moor Street

7. The Wave

Make a splash rain or shine at The Wave Water Park. The Wave Coventry is one of the UK’s largest indoor waterparks, featuring six thrilling slides. Highlights include the disappearing floor of the Torrent, the Cascade's plunge pool and the Colossus ride with high-speed rafts plunging through twists and drops. Families can enjoy a splash pad and lazy river. Open daily during school holidays, it’s the perfect spot for aquatic fun, especially with Summer things to do Birmingham area bound in mind.

Nearest Station: Coventry

Best for Sports Lovers

8. Edgbaston Cricket

Hear the crack of the willow and the roar of the crowd this summer at Edgbaston Cricket Ground . Go behind the scenes with a fascinating tour of one of England's most famous cricket venues, where you can immerse yourself in rich cricketing history. Cheer on Warwickshire County Cricket Club or witness international legends in action as England competes in Test Matches against top teams like Australia, Pakistan and the West Indies.

Nearest station: Five Ways

Best for Outdoor Enthusiasts

9. Roundhouse Birmingham

Unwind by the water this summer and discover Birmingham's rich canal heritage at the Roundhouse Birmingham , the gateway to the city’s waterways. Book a trip on a heritage canal boat, follow a guided walking tour or delve into history at the Coffin Factory museum. For something a little different, enjoy a gentle paddle with a kayak tour, offering a unique duck’s eye perspective of the city with more canals than Venice and Amsterdam.

Nearest station: Birmingham New Street or Birmingham Moor Street

10. Sutton Park

Escape the summer heat and find a shady haven in Sutton Park, Europe's largest urban nature reserve. Sprawling over 2,400 acres, it's perfect for a picnic. Hike or bike through diverse landscapes, from woodlands and heathland to lakes and wetlands. Keep an eye out for wild ponies grazing freely. Sutton Park also hosts events, such as the Birmingham Running Festival in July where participants can run up to a half marathon, running on the paths once pounded by Sir Mo Farah, Andy Vernon and many more GB greats.

Nearest station: Sutton Coldfield

Best for Music Lovers

11. Birmingham Jazz & Blues Festival (July 19th-28th 2024)

Enjoy 10 days of over 230 fantastic jazz and blues performances across 115 venues throughout the West Midlands, from Blackheath to West Bromwich. With nearly all events free to enter, Birmingham Jazz & Blues Festival ’s unique venues include trains, trams and canal boats, as well as libraries, shopping centres and parks.

Nearest station: Various.

12. Páirc Festival of Irish Music (August 24th-25th 2024)

Embrace the spirit of the Emerald Isle at the Páirc Festival . From toe-tapping jigs to legendary rockers and frothy pints of the black stuff, immerse yourself in a whirlwind of Irish craic in the outdoor grounds of The New Irish Centre, Kings Heath, Birmingham. Enjoy traditional Irish music, dance, food and festivities in a vibrant celebration of Irish culture which promises a grand weekend of Gaelic fun.

Nearest station: Bournville

Best for Foodies

13. Birmingham Restaurant Festival (August 1st-31st 2024)

Enjoy mouthwatering special deals across the city's eateries with Birmingham Restaurant Festival . With special offers and set menus at 42 of the hottest spots, you're sure to find something delicious that fits your budget. Even Michelin-quality restaurants are included, with some places starting at just £20. Some eateries are even dog-friendly, leaving you no excuse why you shouldn’t head to the city and enjoy a quality meal without breaking the bank.

Nearest station: Various

Best for Creativity

14. Jewellery Quarter Summer Festival (July 20th 2024)

Join in a gem of a day out at Birmingham’s glitziest street party, the JQ Festival in The Jewellery Quarter . Enjoy live music, performances, demos, tours and free jewellery-themed mini golf in Golden Square. Browse a market with 20+ local artisans and join free workshops in St. Paul's Square. Experience the dance hub on Vittoria Street, catacomb tours, plus special events like capoeira sessions and foraging walks happening.

Nearest station: Jewellery Quarter

15. Selly Manor Lego Lab (August 12th- 27th 2024)

Build LEGO houses at Selly Manor Museum’s Lego Lab during the summer holidays. For two weeks, help to build a miniature Bournville by adding your LEGO model to the village. The creation station will inspire you to build your dream home. Take on a building challenge and see what mischief the mini-figures are up to in the museum. This is suitable for all ages, with Duplo available for younger visitors.

Nearest station: Bournville

Best for Art & Culture

16. Barber Institute of Fine Arts: Family Festival (August 3rd-11th 2024)

Let your imagination run wild and connect with art through nature and play at the Barber Family Festival . This August families are taking over the Barber, one of Birmingham's finest collections of European art, all inspired by the current exhibition Hidden Lives of Plants: Botanical Illustrations from the V&A. Raid the Art Trolley for creative supplies, drop in and let your imagination soar as you engage with art in this beautiful Art Deco building.

Nearest station: University (Birmingham)

Best for Nostalgia

17. Birmingham Back to Backs

Witness history come alive before your eyes from the 1840s to the 1970s at Birmingham Back to Backs . Experience the lives of ordinary people with fires crackling in the grates, sights, sounds and smells recreated to evoke an intimate understanding of their daily lives. Until the end of August 2024, extra tours are available every Tuesday until 6pm. Book online.

Nearest station: Birmingham New Street or Birmingham Moor Street

18. Black Country Living Museum

Immerse yourself in history this summer at the Black Country Living Museum. Explore over 50 authentic shops, houses and works showcasing the area's industrial heritage. Special summer events include a 1940s Evening on July 13th 2024 and Summer Lates every Friday evening in August from 4pm onwards. Enjoy retro drinks, traditional Black Country food, live music and fairground rides for a truly immersive experience. Book your tickets online at the BCLM website.

Top tip: Travel by train and get discounted entry to top attractions including Black Country Living Museum .

Nearest station: Tipton

Best for Green Fingers

19. Shrewsbury Flower Festival (August 9-10th 2024)

Flower power awaits at the annual Shrewsbury Flower Show a blooming celebration of stunning floral displays and horticultural expertise in partnership with Visit Shropshire. Hop on the train for this premier flower show, filled with celebrity chefs, live music, spectacular arena acts and a delightful array of craft and food stalls. Be sure not to miss the grand finale, featuring a massed band performance and a breathtaking fireworks display lighting up the sky.

Nearest station: Shrewsbury