Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published July 19th 2015
Fun Family Days Out Ideas In The West Midlands
Keeping the children entertained during the school holidays is no easy feat and sometimes you just run out of ideas.
Fear not. Here is an easy guide of places to take the kids in and around Birmingham and the West Midlands. It ranges from keeping them sporty to their brain ticking, but they are all sure fire ways to keep those young spirits entertained.
It's fun for children as the grounds are full of hidden corners with ponds, glass houses with wonderfully exotic plants and even a grand old aviary with chirping parrots and exotic birds that totally enthrall.
Take a picnic on a sunny day and spread out on the immaculate lawns or head to the on-site tea shop for a treat.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens also houses the National Bonsai Gardens with dozens of the miniature trees in a Japanese environment.
Large grounds to explore or have a picnic with the family at Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Bring out the Rory McIlroy in your little ones and take the children to play mini golf. There are plenty of indoor centres around the West Midlands, like at Star City, but if the sun is out, there is a mini golf site with a difference between Kinver and Kidderminster.
It's in a beautiful location, amid green countryside and in the shadow of a towering church.
It's plenty of fun for children as they have to get the ball round features like a windmill, or through the legs of a wooden wizard. It's right next to The Lock Inn, which is handy to grab some food or toilets as the one loo at the site is very basic.
Mini Pro Golf and Parks Wolverley
Adults £5.95, children under 14 £4.95, family ticket - 2 adults and 2 children costs £18.50 miniprogolfparks.com/
3. Go Exploring
Bring out the explorer in your child with a visit to Snowshill Manor, south of the region in the Cotswolds. It's about a 40 minute drive from south Birmingham and well worth the trip.
Snowshill Manor is very child-friendly with lots of things to see and do in and around the grounds
This National Trust house had an eccentric owner called Charles Wade who left the property packed to the rafters with weird and wonderful objects. In fact, he owned so many objects that he ended up living in the barn next door, and you can visit these charming quarters as well as the bizarre house.
Its grounds are also vast with adventure peeking out of every corner. The winding path to the house is a treat on its own and very family-friendly with signs for children to look out for different animals, flowers and more. Signs like pointing out the ant mounds.
There's plenty of room to wander and there's also a miniature village by the pond and other hidden delights just waiting to be found. One of them is a working dovecote - a place where doves live that you can go inside and get close to the birds.
The dovecote at Snowshill Manor is an exciting treat for children
Snowshill, near Broadway
Telephone: 01386 852410 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowshill-manor/
Adult £10.20, child: £5.10 or family ticket £25.60 for the house and gardens.
There is a reduced price for the gardens only, which may suit families with young children. This is priced at adult £5.50, child £2.80 and family £13.70.
4. A Fun Museum
Finding a museum that will keep children happy can be a chore but Birmingham's Thinktank science museum is very hands-on and made with children in mind.
A robot at the exciting Thinktank Science Museum in Birmingham City Centre
Among the exciting attractions at Thinktank are robots, a CSI crime lab where visitors have to use all the evidence to solve a crime themselves and huge steam machines from Birmingham's industrial heritage, one of which pumps away and still amazes.
Full size trains, a spitfire aeroplane and even an original tram feature on the ground floor, while there is also a car cut in half to see how it all works.
Little fingers can get busy with most of the exhibits that are all about working out how many of the machines around us actually work.
Lively and hands-on make Thinktank a fun museum for children
There's also an outdoor section where children can use up some of their spare energy.
0121 348 8000
Adult price - £12.75, child ticket £8.90, children under 3 go free.
5. Learn About The Region's Creative History For Free
The Glass Quarter in the Black Country was once a hive of activity with glass furnaces as far as the eye could see. The industry may have declined but one of the towering furnaces remains at the wonderful Red House Glass Cone in Stourbridge.
The Red House Glass Cone is a free attraction for all the family
The Red House Glass Cone lies at the heart of what was once the glassmaking industry. There is a free museum, which takes families right into the heart of the 'cone' building where the glass furnace once was. Surrounding the museum are various studios where artists make wonderful, innovative glass products to this day.
Glass making at the Red House Glass Cone in Stourbridge
Towering 100ft high, the cone is the only complete Glass Cone in the area and one of only four left in the UK. With the aid of film, audio guides, exhibits and live demonstrations, you can now explore the Cone's 200 years of glass-making history. There's extraordinary facts, like did you know that wine goblets for The Titanic were made at the glass works in Stourbridge?
During the day, there are also glass-blowing sessions when you can watch an expert explain how glass is made from sand and watch them do it from start to finish. An amazing sight, well worth waiting around for.
There's also a charming little coffee shop on site with value for money cakes, sandwiches and more, packed with Black Country hospitality.