Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Louise
We live 10 miles out of Birmingham and often travel into the city centre and surrounding area for activities and days out with my 14 year old son.
It can feel difficult to find things to do in Birmingham that teens will love, but I have now become an expert in finding the best activities.
Read on for our choice of top 20 activities for teenagers to do on a visit to Birmingham.
Table of Contents
The library isn’t the first place you’d think of when trying to entertain teens. But Birmingham library is well worth a visit. Plus it’s free!
It has a 4.5 rating on trip advisor and when you take a visit you will see why. It’s the biggest public library in Europe. The architecture is unique and it’s pretty stunning inside too.
But what teens will really love is the climb to the top where there is a secret outdoor garden and amazing views of the city.
The library is the most visited tourist attraction outside of London! So, well worth a visit if you’re in Birmingham.
Treetop Adventure Golf
If you pop into the Bullring for a spot of shopping, why not break up your trip with a spot of treetop adventure golf? There are two, 18-hole courses – Tropical Trail and Ancient Explorer – together with themed bars and cafes.
Find out more at Treetop Adventure Golf website.
Birmingham Back to Backs
If you want to educate your teenager with some history, this National Trust property has 5 star reviews on trip advisor and is definitely worth a visit. You’ll still be in the middle of Birmingham but you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
The stories of the working classes of the 19th century and much of the 20th century are revealed. They are places of echoes and memories, where ordinary people lived extraordinary lives.
You need to book in advance. Be aware there are lots of narrow doorways and steep stairways so it’s not accessibility friendly.
Visit The Kitty Cafe
If you have a teen who loves animals, a visit to Birmingham’s Visit cafe at Grand Central Station is the perfect activity.
Enjoy a hot chocolate and piece of cake while watching and socialising with some cute kitties.
The cats are rescue cat, strays or have medical issues. The cafe takes them in and looks after them until they find their forever home.
Book your table at the Kitty Cafe.
Think Tank Science Museum
Spitfire Gallery at Think Tank Museum, Birmingham (Image: Stephen Lightfoot)
The Think Tank museum is aimed at all the family and there is plenty to occupy teens.
One part not to miss is the Planetarium. The show lasts 30 minutes and is well worth the small extra cost to attend. Book the Planetarium at the ticket desk as soon as you arrive. The tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis and at busy times the shows are booked up quickly. In school holidays, there are often lots of shows and extra events to book onto as well and these are lots of fun.
If you have a mixed age family with young teenagers this is an excellent choice. Adults, teens and kids will enjoy the interactive galleries and the exhibits at the science garden.
Top money saving tips
1.) You can access the science garden for free every day after 3pm. These exhibits are best for kids but young teens may enjoy some of them!
2.) You can also Tesco Clubcard vouchers to pay for entry at this attraction.
3.) If you travel to the Think Tank by train you can get a 2 for 1 voucher for admission. You need to book online with the 2 for 1 voucher code before you go. (check out the details here)]
Find at more at the Think Tank Science Museum website
Like most city centres, Birmingham is great for shopping! If your teen likes shopping, check out the Bull Ring (an iconic building in Birmingham) for over one hundred shops from high end (such as Gucci and Selfridges) to all the High Street names.
The Bull Ring has been the ultimate shopping hub in Birmingham for 800 years. Small market traders used to sell their goods here. There are indoor markets next door to the Bullring where you can also have a good browse.
The High Street
Birmingham is home to the biggest Primark in the country which you will find on the High street.
Grand Central is above New Street Station. It’s full of cafes, restaurants and shops. It’s perfect to look round for shopaholics especially if you are waiting for a train.
Teens will also enjoy a visit to iconic mailbox for luxury (and a range of exclusive restaurants). Why not break up your shopping trip with an afternoon tea at The Ivy on Temple Row or Malmaison at the Mailbox?
If your teen likes independent shops, visit the independent and vintage shops in Digbeth, the Red Brick Market in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Digbeth is about a 10 minute walk from the city centre.
If your teen loves chocolate, why not visit Cadbury World? It’s a short 15 minute train ride out of the city centre to Bournville (or you can drive). The whole visit takes approximately 2 to 3 hours but is informative and fun. Many of the activities are aimed at kids but I think if you have a young teenager who loves chocolate, Cadbury World is still worth a visit, especially if you do have younger kids too. Read some reviews on trip advisor here.
Start your chocolate adventure with a couple of free chocolate bars. Smell the chocolate as you walk through – the site is a factory too. Take a trip into the past and discover the fascinating history of chocolate. Jump on the Cadabra ride (a short ride – aimed at young kids but still fun). See how different chocolate bars are made, experience the 4D cinema and have a go at some interactive fun at the end. You can also get hands on at the “have a go zone” where you can doodle your name in chocolate and practise your chocolate piping skills.
You need to book tickets online at Cadbury World before you go.
Meetspace VR Birmingham host several virtual reality experiences that teenagers are going to love. Battle zombies, killer robots and even each other during brilliant immersive game experiences. Or have a go at the VR Escape room or VR arcasde
Find out more at Meetspace VR
Teamworks Karting in Birmingham City Centre has a few different activities to keep teenagers happy. Obviously there’s the karting but why not have a game of laser tag or a simulator experience as well? When you need to relax grab some refreshments from the cafe and bar.
Book your experience on their website: Teamworks Go Karting
Take a Kayak Tour From Roundhouse Birmingham
Many proud Brummies will tell you that Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice. With 35 miles in total, it seems that a visit to Birmingham isn’t complete without at least one walk along the canal.
If a walk sounds boring to your teen, why not take a kayak tour along the canal instead? You can take a guided Kayak tour from the Roundhouse and no previous kayaking experience is required. The Bustling Birmingham Kayak Tour goes towards the city centre and is designed to help you see the city from a different perspective.
There is also the Green Escape Kayak Tour which takes you to some of Birmingham’s many green spaces. The Green Kayak tour is slightly longer at 5 miles. You can do this one with no previous experience but if you are a newbie they recommend doing the Bustling Birmingham tour first.
Find more information at their website.
Take a Canal Boat Trip or the Waterbus.
If Kayaking is not your teenagers cup of tea, why not try a relaxing canal boat trip? Daily boat trips depart from the International Convention Centre Quayside, opposite Brindley Place, in the heart of Birmingham. Each trip takes about 65 minutes. The trips are daily from Easter until the end of October but only on weekends in the winter months.
If the boat trip is too long, an alternative is a waterbus. You can take the water bus as an exciting way to get from Brindley Place to the Mailbox. There’s a waterbus every 30 minutes.
Take a Guided Football Stadium Tour
If you have a teenage mad football fan, a tour of one of Birmingham football stadium’s is a must.
We took a guided tour of Aston Villa stadium with our 11 year old son (Our teenage son isn’t a football fan so happily skipped this one). The tour was brilliant for football fans (for adults, teens and kids!). Diane was our guide and a passsionate Aston Villa fan. She shared lots on stories about the history of the club and football. We saw inside the away and home changing rooms, walked down the tunnel, went pitchside and sat in the dugouts. We even sat on the manager’s seat. There was plenty of opportunity to take photos too!
With 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor (in fact at the time of writing, it’s the number 1 thing to do in Birmingham), it’s a great tour for teenage football fans. You can Book your Aston Villa Stadium tour here.
Birmingham is also home to Birmingham City and Blues fans can partake in a tour of St. Andrew’s Stadium too, although they aren’t as frequent. Check out the Birmingham City website to see when the next one takes place.
West Midlands Police Museum
Discover what life was like in a Victorian lock up as both a criminal and a police officer. Teens will love finding out about some of Birmingham’s notorious criminals who were held in the lock up including the real Peaky Blinders. There’s many interactive activities. Investigate and solve crimes in the forensics lab and get your mug shot taken. See the real police box, motorcycles, pictures and memorabilia.
It’s a great day out. Find the museum in the heart of Birmingham, only a short walk from Snow Hill station and just 10 minutes walk from New Street Station.
Sea Life Centre
Penguins at the National Sea Life Centre (Image Gp258)
The sea life centre is a good option if you have other children that need to be entertained as well as young teenagers during a visit to Birmingham. They will appreciate the opportunity to walk in the UK’s only 360 Ocean Tunnel where sharks, rays and a giant green she turtle will be swimming right by. There’s 60 displays of freshwater and marine life, featuring over 2000 creatures. Don’t miss the chance to stroke a star fish, see an octopus and visit the playful Gentoo penguins.
Money Saving Tip
If you travel to Birmingham by train, you can get a 2 for 1 ticket for this attraction. Unfortunately it doesn’t apply during certain dates which seem to include the school holidays.
Find out more at the Sea Life Centre, Birmingham.
Enjoy a Show at the Birmingham Hippodrome
Birmingham Hippodrome. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
If your teen loves the theatre, why not watch a show at the Birmingham Hippodrome? With a varied calendar of shows throughout the year there’s something for everybody. Performances include comedy, drama, panto, ballet and lots more!
Check out the Birmingham Hippodrome website to see what’s on.
Bear Grylls Indoor / Outdoor Activity Centre at the NEC
The High Ropes at Bear Grylls Adventure. Photo Credit: BGA Facebook page
For adrenaline filled action, head to the Bear Grylls Adventure Centre. From climbing to archery, assault courses to escape rooms, high ropes to indoor sky diving – there’s tons of activities to choose from.
The nearest train station is Birmingham International – it’s just a 10 minute walk from there and occasionally you can get 2 for 1 on the activities when you buy a train ticket.
Alternatively, you can drive and park your car.
Escape Hunt – Birmingham
In need of an idea for a rainy day? Share the adventure of an escape room with your teenagers at Escape Hunt Birmingham Central! There are 4 thrilling experiences are designed to be fun for the whole family.
Choose between themed adventures including Doctor Who, The 4th Samurai, Our Finest Hour and Blackbear’s treasure.
On arrival you’ll be met by your Games Master in character who’ll brief you on what you need to do.
This escape room has 5 star reviews on trip advisor so it’s well worth a family visit. They also do outdoor games.
Find out more at Escape Hunt Birmingham Central
A Visit To Digbeth
Digbeth is a very up and coming area of Birmingham. It’s less than 10 minutes walk from the Bull Ring and Grand Central. There are some fun attractions for teenagers to explore and try at Digbeth. Here are some ideas:
Visit Matrix Virtual Reality
Matrix Virtual Reality is A VR gaming arcade with sit down racing games, shooting zombie games, archery games, skyscraper vertigo and lots more.
Visit Chance and Counters Board Game Cafe
Chance and Counters, the board game cafe – based in Birmingham’s iconic custard factory, Chance and Counters is a brilliant venue, particularly for a rainy day. Try out one of the 500 plus board games and enjoy some lunch or tea and cake. They’re pretty busy on evenings and weekends so book in advance if you can.
Visit the Independent Shops
If your teen enjoys shopping this is an ideal activity at the Custard factory. There are more than 30 unique shops to visit and explore. There are also restaurants and cafes.
Watch a movie at the independent Mockingbird cinema.
Self Guided Smart Phone Treasure Hunt Birmingham
Encourage teens to discover Birmingham on foot with fun treasure hunt. Explore Birmingham with a predesigned route, treasure maps and cryptic clues to solve. See things you wouldn’t have noticed and learn some interesting facts.
You’re led by an interesting character and the treasure map and clues are sent to your phone. This means you can do the treasure hunt at your own pace and stop off enroute for refreshments or a break.
Book Your Smart Phone Treasure Hunt in Birmingham
Electric, Birmingham is the UK’s oldest working cinema and a fun place to watch a movie. It dates back to 1909. The seats are super comfortable and you can text your drink and snack order and it’s brought to your seats.
Find out more at the Electric Cinema.
If you want bowling, ice skating indoor crazy golf, restaurants and the cinema – head for Star City. It’s only a 10 minute drive from Birmingham City Centre. This unique family entertainment destination is home to one of Europe’s largest cinemas, the largest indoor adventure golf complex, a 22 lane ten pin bowling alley and a purpose built all-weather 5 a side football centre.
There really is something for everybody. You can spend all day here or treat the teenagers to an evening out.
Find out more at Star City
Axe throwing involves throwing axes at a target in a controlled and safe environment. There are venuse popping up all ove the country as it has become a popular activity over the last couple of years. It’s great for adults and families with teenagers or older kids.
In most venues, trained coaches show you how to safely throw an axe at the beginning of your session. Teens will then love having a go!
Axe throwing is a great activity for a rainy day!
There are a few axe throwing venues that have popped up in and around Birmingham. Here are a few to check out.
NFP Bassett’s Pole is 20 minutes from the Centre of Birmingham and provide axe throwing as well as a variety of other activities that will appeal to teens including quad trekking and outdoor lazer tag.
Boom Battle Bar – situated in Five Ways, this Boom Battle Bar provides augmented reality axe throwing. There are lots of other fun activities at the Boom Battle Bar which include Electric Darts, shuffleboard and crazy golf. However, please note that after 7pm it’s a strictly over 18s venue.
Bear Grylls Adventure – Axe throwing is another activity you can do at Bear Grylls Adventure.
More Fun Things To Do…
Here is a round up of more exciting activities to do with teens in Birmingham:
Climbing and Vertical Challenges at Rock Up – with 26 climbing walls this makes a good choice for families with tweens and young teenage kids.
Climbing at Redpoint Climbing Centre – if your teen is more serious about climbing head to Redpoint Climbing Centre.
Table Tennis Drop Shot – if you teen likes a game of table tennis, Drop Shot activity bar in Digbeth has lots of tables. You can also play pool and shuffleboard. It’s great for kids during the day but it’s strictly over 18s after 8pm.
Bowling at Lane7 – located in The Cube is a great place to take teens bowling.
The Friends Experience – if your teenager likes “Friends” take him or her to the Friends experience which is coming to the NEC in Birmingham on 8th July.
Try an Outdoor Activity at Ackers Adventure – Ackers Adventure is about a 20 minute drive from Birmingham city Centre. There are tons of outdoor activities that teens will love to try here including disc golf, snowsports, kayaking and canoeing.
Christmas In Birmingham
November and December are some of the best times to visit Birmingham as there are lots of festive attractions and events. The biggest of which is the annual German market.
Birmingham German Market (image Tony Hissget)
The German Christmas market happens between the beginning of November and the end of December most years.
It’s the largest authentic German market outside to Germany or Austria. The very festive atmosphere and beautiful lights are appealing to all ages. It can be best to go on a weekday evening as it can get quite busy on weekends especially on Saturday nights.
Find out more at Frankfurt Christmas market Birmingham.
Big Wheel and Ice Skating
Another top attraction in Birmingham during Christmas (that teens are going to love) is the big wheel and outdoor ice skating rink.
Lickey Hills Country Park
Venture out of the city to the Lickey Hills. It’s about a 30 minute drive from the city centre but it’s worth a visit to get some fresh air and experience some green areas around in the city. The views at the top of Beacon Hill stretch for miles and you see the city of Birmingham from the top. Also if it snows in the winter months it’s one of the best place in the area to go sledging which teenagers love.
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