Half-term trips in Birmingham with the family

Thursday, 16 May 2024

School's out for the holidays and you need to fill the time to stop the kids being bored. But you don't need to break the bank or spend hours in the car for an epic adventure.

Get the train in the West Midlands

Ditch the day-to-day routine during the school holidays and spend quality time with your family as you explore exciting locations, captivating attractions and charming towns across Birmingham and the West Midlands. From adrenaline-pumping adventures to cultural experiences, feel the thrill as you walk, paddle or climb together, discovering historic sites, encountering wildlife and challenging yourselves along the way.

West Midlands Railway offers fantastic off-peak fares, making train travel perfect for exploring family-friendly attractions.

1. Bear Grylls Adventure

Ignite your family's adventurous spirit at the Bear Grylls Adventure. With a mix of physical challenges and mental puzzles, excitement awaits around every corner. Work together to conquer escape room puzzles that foster teamwork, or perhaps experience indoor skydiving. Feeling brave? Tackle the Royal Marines-inspired assault course, while the boldest members of the family can attempt cage snorkelling surrounded by sharks - not for the faint-hearted.

Cost: Be sure to check out West Midlands Railway’s discounted offers to make the most of your visit to Bear Grylls Adventure by train.

Travel tip: The nearest station is Birmingham International station, a 10-minute walk away. See more on Trains to Bear Grylls Adventure.

2. Black Country Living Museum

Step into a bygone era at the Black Country Living Museum . Explore cobblestone streets bustling with costumed characters, bringing the early 20th century to life. Kids will love riding vintage trams while big kids will enjoy a trip down memory lane buying old-fashioned sweets. Witness live demos of blacksmithing and glassblowing, or even tour a recreated 1850s mine. With classic fish & chips and pub fare, it's a fun-filled day out steeped in industrial history.

Cost: Be sure to check out West Midland Railway’s discounted offers to make the most of your visit to Black Country Living Museum by train.

Travel tip: Hop on a train to Tipton to visit the Black Country Living Museum. See more on Trains to Black Country Living Museum.

3. Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park & Cannon Hill

Go wild with the family at Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park . Here you can watch animal feeding and come face-to-face with red pandas, European Lynx, monkeys, tamarins, lemurs, snakes, lizards and more. Make it an action-packed day out by also visiting Cannon Hill Park with activities like mini golf, swan boats and a fun park. Refuel with treats from the tearooms, and hop on the land train for a relaxing finale - perfect for weary legs!

Cost: Family tickets: £19.80 (1 adult and up to 3 children aged 3 - 15); £27.50 (1 adult and up to 3 children aged 3 - 15). Fun Pass for Cannon Hill attractions: 30 credits -£24.00.

Travel tip: The nearest station to Cannon Hill Park is Birmingham New Street, a 17-minute bus ride away.

4. National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

Penguins waddle and otters play while sharks glide overhead in the UK's only 360° underwater tunnel. National Sea Life Centre Birmingham ’s 11 zones are filled with majestic green sea turtles, mesmerising jellyfish and a vibrant coral reef teeming with tropical fish. Witness the feeding frenzy of nurse sharks and explore the colourful Clownfish Kingdom. It's an enchanting undersea journey that the whole family will love!

Cost: Be sure to check out West Midlands Railway’s discounted offers to make the most of your visit to the National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham by train.

Travel tip: Catch a train to Birmingham New Street station and Sea Life Centre is about a 15-minute walk. See more on Trains to National Sea Life Centre Birmingham.

5. Thinktank Birmingham

Spark your kids’ curiosity and let their imaginations run wild at Thinktank Birmingham with more than 200 hands-on exhibits. The whole family can discover Birmingham's industrial past with steam engines, vintage trams and a Spitfire aircraft, while MiniBrum is a mini city for tots to explore. Journey through the cosmos at the 4K Planetarium, and then head outdoors to the Science Garden, where kids can create science while playing with water jets and robots.

Tickets: Be sure to check out West Midland Railway’s discounted offers to make the most of your visit to Thinktank by train.

Travel tip: The nearest station to Thinktank is Birmingham Moor Street station, a 10-minute walk away, or a 15-minute walk to Birmingham New Street station. See more on Trains to Thinktank.

6. Paddle on Birmingham’s Canals

Take to the waters and explore Birmingham from a different perspective – on its historic canals. Once vital routes during the Industrial Revolution, these waterways now offer a refreshing journey through Birmingham's past. Glide beneath bridges and past red-brick warehouses in a kayak or on a stand-up paddleboard from Roundhouse Birmingham . Learn something new together as you head out on a guided tour for both beginners (aged 8+) and seasoned paddlers.

Cost: Kayaking £8-£10 Taster sessions. Paddleboard £20-£40.

Travel tip: The nearest station to The Roundhouse near Brindley Place is Birmingham New Street station, a 20-minute walk away.

7. Sheldon Country Park

Get up close to both animals and planes at Sheldon Country Park , a rare spot where nature and industry coexist. Spanning 300 acres, the park's diverse landscapes include wetlands, woodlands and grasslands. First, watch planes landing from the viewing point beneath Birmingham International Airport's flight path. Then, get to know animals like pigs, donkeys, cows and geese at the free-to-enter Old Rectory Farm with their delightful cafe and a picnic area.

Cost: Free.

Travel tip: The nearest station to Sheldon Country Park is Marston Green. From there, cross the pedestrian bridge to the end of the park.

8. Telford Town Park & Exotic Zoo

Pedal around Telford Town Park , named the UK's Best Park in 2015, with a hired bike (available 10 am - 4 pm) – the perfect destination for families. Daredevils can tackle the Sky Reach , a high rope course, while competitive families challenge each other down below to a round of Adventure Golf or Disc Golf . Afterwards, head to the Exotic Zoo where kids will go gaga cuddling rabbits, feeding goats and watching meerkats – heartwarming moments to cherish.

Cost: Sky Reach: Adult £16.50, Child £14.50; Adventure and Disc Golf: Adult £5.40, Child (3-15) £3.80; Zoo: Adult £8, Child £7, Under 2s free, Concessions £5.

Travel tip: The nearest station to Telford Town Park is Telford Central. From there, it’s a 15-minute stroll.

9. Warwick Castle

Climb the ramparts at Warwick Castle , one of the UK's finest medieval fortresses. Experience tournaments, bird of prey displays and aerial acrobatics that transport you back 1,100 years in time. Little ones love the enchanting storytelling of Zog's Quest for the Golden Star, while older kids brave the dungeons which come to life through sight, touch and even smell! Extend the medieval escapade by sleeping over in the Knight’s Village or poshing it up in a VIP Tower Suite.

Cost: Be sure to check out West Midland Railway’s 2FOR1 offers to make the most of your visit to Warwick Castle by train.

Travel tip: Hop on the train to Warwick, the nearest station. From there, it’s a 15-minute stroll. See more on Trains to Warwick Castle.

Get out exploring

Book Off-Peak Tickets online or through the West Midlands Railways app for a stress-free and wallet-friendly family adventure. Alternatively, the flexible Daytripper ticket allows unlimited train, bus and tram travel within designated zones after 9:30 AM on weekdays.

Maximise savings with the Family & Friends Railcard - get a third off rail fares for up to four adults and 60% off for up to four children aged 5-15. Plus, you can share the benefits with two named adults on one card.

For more fantastic family day trip ideas to keep toddlers entertained in the West Midlands region, check out Days out with Toddlers in the West Midlands.