A Day Out In Birmingham City Centre – 5 Places to Visit

Papa Joe and Grandma Jacqui had a day out in Birmingham City Centre without The Mayhems!

We enjoyed wandering around the city centre and are sure that we will be back with them.  With this in mind, we made this list of suitable places to visit with children.

  1. The Pen Museum – free – suitable for 4+
  2. Explore the canals area at Brindleyplace – Take a canal trip from Sherbourne Wharf
  3. Visit Birmingham Museum of Art  free – suitable for 2 +
  4. Tour the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter – ideal for 8+ small charge  – under 16 free
  5. See the new Library of Birmingham – the largest in Europe free -suitable for toddlers +
Birmingham Moor Street

You can just imagine Thomas The Tank Engine pulling into the platforms.

We arrived at Chiltern Line’s Moor Street Station. We were delighted by the way it has recently been renovated in 1930s style.

Immediately opposite is the entrance to the Selfridges store and Bullring complex. Clad with 15,000 shiny aluminium discs the building has become an iconic landmark. There are plenty of child friendly restaurants and cafes here.

We walked from The Bullring up New Street which is mostly pedestrianised, stopping at the visitor information booth to get maps and leaflets, and then on to Victoria and Chamberlain Squares.

Chamberlain Square is surrounded by impressive buildings including The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Even if you don’t eat there you must see their Edwardian Tea Rooms. Birmingham Gallery Museum tea room

We enjoyed seeing the Birmingham History Galleries which had displays and interactive exhibits to appeal to all ages.

Birmingham Gallery Museum art

The Mayhems will love the little kitchen and the dolls house.

Birmingham Gallery Museum gunsmith

We visited Brindleyplace, a redevelopment alongside the canal network in the centre of Birmingham and walked along canal footpath. You can take a trip along the canal using the waterbus service. There are also canal boat trips that leave from Sherbourne Wharf. The trips take an hour so young children might find that too long.

Birmingham canal waterbus

We had lunch on one of the canal boats which is now a small cafe. Nearby there were other restaurants along the canal and by the link to the nearby ICC convention quarter.

The other area we went to was the Jewellery Quarter. It was here that we found the delightful Pen Museum. In the 19th century, over three quarters of the world’s pen nibs were made in Birmingham. The museum has more than 5,000 exhibits, including nibs and specialist writing machines as well as a reconstruction of a Victorian school room where children can dress up in Victorian clothes and write with old fashioned dipping pens.

Birmingham pen museum 3

In the third section, you can try your hand at writing with a pen nib, and there are tables with writing activities for young children.

Birmingham pen museum1

Finally at my 3rd attempt


The Museum of The Jewellery Quarter is near the Pen Museum. They have regular guided tours around the adjoining jewellery workshop which remains exactly as it was when the firm closed in 1981.  The tour takes about 40 minutes and is most suitable for children over 8.

We finished our day at the new Library of Birmingham. It was a great place to relax after a hard days sightseeing. The building is very impressive both inside and out. We went up the escalators (there are also lifts) to the terrace for superb views over Birmingham. There are 2 cafes and also lounge areas where you can eat your own food.

The children’s library has a large tiered area. When we were there, children were playing with the soft play furniture, while others were sharing books with their parents.Birmingham library 2

There are plenty of comfortable spaces to sit, read or do homework. There are also hands on digital activities using the Children’s Library iPads.

Birmingham library 1

Libraries were not like this in my day!

Birmingham has a lot to offer visitors with children/grandchildren.

We walked past The National Sealife Centre which is beside the canal near Brindleyplace. It can be expensive so look for 2 for 1 offers or book online for discounted prices.

ThinkTank, the Birmingham Science Museum, has a lot of hands on exhibits plus a planetarium and Giant Screen. Under3 go free – tickets are 10% cheaper on line. The ticket gives access to the interactive museum galleries, Science Garden, Family Science Shows, Gallery Activities, Storytelling and daily Planetarium shows


Share this post


  1. Mel

    Cadburys World is also great for kids and chocolate lovers 🙂

  2. Jacqui

    Great idea, next time we are in Birmingham we will check it out

Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *