Free Birmingham and the West Midlands
Birmingham is the second largest city in the United Kingdom, the hub of the West Midlands region, and has multiple amazing attractions for a day out such as Dudley Zoological Gardens, Drayton Manor Theme Park, Cadbury World, National Sea Life Centre Birmingham and more. However, if you are feeling like a day with the children but don’t wish to spend money on an entry ticket, there are a surprising number of fun, interesting and inspiring places to go and explore from Industrial Revolution-era landmarks to canals, links to J.R.R Tolkien and further out of town plenty of things to do where there is no ticket price or admission charge.
Located within the Grade II listed Aston Webb Building, which retains the original Edwardian features, the Lapworth Museum of Geology dates back to 1880, and is one of the oldest specialist geological museums in the UK. It’s 2016 re-development has transformed it with state-of-the-art galleries and a range of innovative and interactive exhibits from dinosaurs to rocks and fossils, volcanoes and earthquakes.
The Museum will capture the imagination of all ages and wonderfully, it is free.
Although there is an entry fee to Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, the Science Garden, located on Level 0, directly in front of Thinktank and part of the Eastside City Park, is free to enter every day from 3pm, with varying closing times.
Free Museums and Art Galleries
In the city centre, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is free, including the world’s largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art and the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. There are also local history collections, plus art and relics spanning back to Ancient Egypt.
The Ikon Gallery is free to enter too and is an internationally acclaimed contemporary art venue that has temporary exhibitions of work by artists from around the world in many different mediums. It is closed Mondays except bank holidays.
Parks and open spaces
Birmingham and its surrounds have many wonderful parks, in fact Birmingham City Council looks after nearly 600 parks and public open spaces, plus over 200 play areas so there’s got to be one to tempt you on a family picnic or to see spring bursting into life.
Visit the Tardis for free
Do your children fancy presenting the news or the weather? Seeing presenters live on air? Then head to the Public Space at BBC Tours Birmingham on Level 7 of the Mailbox. Admission is free to the visitor centre; just turn up, it is open seven days a week and have a photograph taken with Doctor Who’s Tardis.
If you want to go on the 90-minute tour and peek behind the scenes, book in advance but charges apply.
Find Tolkien inspirations
Many parts of Birmingham are connected to Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, who grew up in the city. Parts of it inspired the imaginary people and places in his epic fantasy tales, one of which is Sarehole Mill. Go and take a look; the visitor centre, cafe and gardens are free, though there is an admission charge to get inside the mill house.
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