Choose from 2 Fun Things to Do in Birmingham
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Part zoo and part theme park, Drayton Manor opened in 1949 as a kiddie heaven, with a whole host of fun-filled, themed rides and activities for toddlers.
Thomas Land features the steadfast favorite character Thomas the Tank Engine and is expressly aimed at small children. Attractions include carousels, soft-floor adventure playgrounds, Winston's Monorail and Bertie Bus; kids can also sing along with the Fat Controller at live musical shows. All children will love the zoo for its colorful parrots, meercats, tigers, kangaroos, monkeys and reptiles, while other family-centric sights include the Dino Trail, penny slots and crazy golf. But there's plenty for older kids too: water rides and adrenaline-pumping roller coasters include the Bounty Pirate Ship, Pandemonium and Shockwave.
Indoor attractions for rainy days include a 4D cinema, bumper cars, haunted houses and a pirate adventure. A chairlift transports families across the 247-acre (100-hectare) park, while the Polperro Express trundles around the grounds. Catering outlets dot the park, along with the Thomas the Tank Engine souvenir store, and there's even luxury accommodation at Drayton Manor Hotel.
The park is open daily from mid-May through October from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thomas Land also opens at Christmas. Travelers can take the train to Tamworth and then grab a taxi, or take Arriva bus No. 110 from Birmingham. Height restrictions operate on some rides.
Address: Drayton Manor Drive, Fazeley, Tamworth, Staffordshire, West Midlands B78 3TW, England
Hours: Mid Mar"“Oct daily 9.30am"“5pm; Thomas Land also opens at Christmas
Admission: Adults: £39, Seniors: £27, Children 4-11: £29, ages 2-3: £6.
From $ 51
With more than 1,000 machines from 170 manufacturers, the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham has the world’s largest collection of British motorcycles. Visitors can gain insight into British engineering, learn about the vehicle’s history, and see motorcycles from classic models to 21st-century superbikes up close.
At the National Motorcycle Museum, exhibits chart the motorcycle’s development from 1898 to the modern day, with a range of classic models by manufacturers such as Triumph, Ariel, and Norton, as well as examples of working bikes and military machines. Highlights include the 1938 Brough Superior Golden Dream and a 1912 Wilkinson Luxury Tourer. Most visitors tour the museum independently, though guided tours are available for a fee by reservation.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The National Motorcycle Museum is an absolute must-see for motorcycle enthusiasts, as well as those interested in engineering.
- The museum is fully wheelchair accessible.
- Don’t forget your camera, as the museum encourages photography.
- A family-friendly restaurant and a coffee cart are on-site.
How to Get There
The National Motorcycle Museum is located in Solihull, on the outskirts of Birmingham, just off the M42 motorway. Driving is recommended as the site is a short taxi ride away from the nearest public transit options, Birmingham International train station and Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. Free parking is available.
When to Get There
The National Motorcycle Museum is open daily, and its size means it never feels overcrowded. One of the liveliest times to visit is in October, when the museum celebrates the anniversary of its opening with a day of free entry, live music, and celebrity guests. Antique fairs often run on Sundays throughout the year.
The Home of Mechanical Engineering
Still known as a manufacturing city today, Birmingham played a significant role in Britain’s industrial past. It was here that Boulton and Watt came up with the first steam engine that used a separate condenser, an invention central to the technological innovations of the Industrial Revolution. Learn more about the city’s science and industry and see the world’s oldest working engine at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum, about 20 minutes west of the National Motorcycle Museum.
Address: Coventry Rd., Solihull, Birmingham B92 0EJ, England
From $ 13