Birmingham is a city packed full of fabulous museums that offer something for every taste, passion and interest. Equally, they represent fantastic, ad-hoc days out if you fancy doing something different in this wonderful city.
Thankfully, the days of stuffy, bland museums where visitors are expected to be silent as they wander around exhibits are gone. Today’s museums are vibrant, interactive and exciting places where one can learn new skills and take a peak into bygone eras. If you’ve got some time to spare in Birmingham and fancy a trip to a museum, this blog post will come in handy. We’ve decided to list what we believe to be the museums that demand a visit.
They’re all located conveniently in and around Birmingham, but we recommend checking opening times before making the trip to avoid disappointment.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Address: Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH
Located in the heart of Birmingham, this famous and very popular museum and art gallery is a brilliant day out for the entire family.
With free family trails on offer and a mini museum for children situated conveniently near the cafe, you’ll love visiting this free museum.
Birmingham Back to Backs (Southside)
Address: 50-54 Inge St, Birmingham B5 4TE
Another fantastic museum for kids, the Back to Back Houses enable youngsters to take a journey into the 19th century. Once there, they’ll find back-to-back homes, and everything synonymous with that bygone Birmingham era.
This is the perfect chance for kids to see what it was like to be a resident in Birmingham from the 1840s to the 1970s. It even features sounds and smells from the past! They’ll love the last part, too, where they get to visit a proper 1930s sweet shop to stock up on old-fashioned goodies.
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
Address: 75-80 Vyse St, Birmingham B18 6HA
Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is a stunning mix of modern cuisine, funky nightlife and a rich history of jewellery manufacturing. It’s obviously the perfect place to find that all-important ring, but the museum really is worth a visit when you’re done shopping.
A guided tour will take you around the sights and sounds of a real jewellery factory and give you the opportunity to experience a working environment that is largely unchanged since the early part of last century. Lots of family workshop and events means you can also take the kids, if you like (particularly when you consider that their entry is free!).
As you’d expect, an on-site shop means you can finish off this fascinating tour through history by purchasing jewellery that’s been handmade by local designers and craftspeople.
Ikon Gallery (Brindleyplace)
Address: 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS
Located in the heart of Birmingham, the Ikon Gallery offers a family trail, art explorer bags and loads of free activities that are perfect for young visitors and families.
You can make a day of it here, too, thanks to the on-site shop, cafe and baby changing facilities.
Entry is free, and with special events for kids regularly put on during the school holidays, there’s little excuse not to pay the Ikon Gallery a visit.
Avoncroft Museum (Stoke Heath)
Address: Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove B60 4JR
Home to more than nineteen acres of beautiful countryside and thirty historical buildings, the Avoncroft Museum features period gardens, a wildflower meadow and traditional cider and Perry orchard. If you decide to take the kids, they’ll fall in love with the modern railway and national telephone kiosk collection, but it’s worth downloading the activity sheet that’s available on the museum’s website to ensure you don’t miss out on the cool stuff.
An Edwardian tea room offers the perfect end to a brilliant day with refreshments fit for all of the family.
Much like Tudor House, you’ll find themed events taking place during school holidays that feature living history camps and historical re-enactments.
Oak House Museum (West Bromwich)
Address: Oak Rd, West Bromwich B70 8HJ
This timber framed building dates back to the sixteenth century and offers a brilliant children’s playground within the grounds of the museum (that’s free to visit!). This is a particularly good option for families due to the number of activities on offer for kids to enjoy all year round. You can even take a picnic in the warmer months on the terrace of Oak House itself.
The Transport Museum (Wythall)
Address: Chapel Ln, Wythall B47 6JA
Anyone with even a passing interest in vehicles of any kind will love the Transport Museum, situated just outside of Birmingham. It’s backed with vehicles from long ago and also offers a ‘Kids Kabin’ that features a pirate ship, castle, wooden railway, toys and even a milk float cab for the little ones to enjoy.
Open every weekend between March and October, this petrol-powered museum is a great option for the whole family.
Black Country Living Museum (Dudley)
Address: Tipton Road, Dudley DY1 4SQ
You don’t get much more realistic that the Black Country Living Museum. Situated in the heart of the Black Country, this stunning recreation of a bygone era enables visitors to walk through cobbled streets and meet costumed characters from the past. Featuring a pub, lovely cafe and the famous Hobbs fish and chip shop, this is a living museum you absolutely have to experience.
Lapworth Museum of Geology (Edgbaston)
Address: Aston Webb Building, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT
Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?
This free university located at the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston is a must visit for kids and adults alike. Lapworth museum is actually one of the oldest geological museums of its kind in the UK and was recently extensively redeveloped.
Cadbury World (Bournville)
Address: Linden Rd, Bournville, Birmingham B30 1JR
Chocolate tickles the tastebuds of most people, which is probably why Cadbury World remains one of the most visited attractions in Birmingham. This unique tour enables visitors to take a look behind the scenes at the famous Bournville factory by visiting fourteen different zones that tell the story of one of the world’s most recognised brands of chocolate.
You’ll start by learning about the early drinks made from cocoa by the Aztecs and end up in a stunning 4D cinema where you can watch that infamous drumming gorilla.
Sarehole Mill (Hall Green)
Address: Cole Bank Rd, Birmingham B13 0BD
Fan of Lord of the Rings? Then, you’ll love Sarehole Mill!
This 250-year-old watermill isn’t just idyllic – it’s also linked to none other than JRR Tolkien himself.Just download the Tolkien Trail leaflet before you visit and you’ll be able to follow his childhood footsteps and visit the places that influenced his famous books.
A cafe on-site offers fresh, homemade cake and bikes can be hired for those looking to get a little bit of extra exercise while touring the grounds. Of course, if you simply want to visit the tea room and gardens, entry is free.
Thinktank (Millennium Point)
Address: Millennium Point, Curzon St, Birmingham B4 7XG
This award winning science museum is a popular Birmingham tourist attraction that features a Spitfire gallery and planetarium. There’s loads of stuff for families to explore, with talking robots, chocolate wrapping machines and steam engines just a few of the sights to be found across the sprawling four floors of hands-on exhibits.
As you’d expect, there’s also a cafe for those all important refreshments, and baby changing rooms are also on-site.
See? Birmingham really does have a huge number of museums on offer! There’s something for everyone above, so why not take time out to learn and become inspired by visiting one of these fabulous venues?