We always enjoy a day out to Birmingham and the girls are particularly excited by the fact that we go on the train. It does often turn out to be quite an expensive day out though, what with paying to get in to places and buying lunch.
My usual trick for bringing down the price on a day out is to take a picnic. But with rather unreliable weather at the moment, I decided we’d do free activities and treat ourselves to lunch.
So today we went for a different sort of picnic, with the girls taking part in the musical picnic at Symphony Hall. This takes place one Wednesday and one Saturday every month.
The host is a jazz singer named Sara Colman who did a stunning job of engaging both the children and the parents. Sara played the piano and sang classic songs that the grown ups knew and nursery rhymes for the children.
She even allowed some of the kids to go up to the microphone and do some karaoke. It was a really fun way to spend an hour and completely free.
All the children had wrist bands with parents’ phone numbers written on them just in case they escaped, but the staff did a good job of making sure that none of them got loose.
As we walked around the town, Libby insisted on having her photograph taken with all the big hoot owls that she saw. Which actually, was quite a few.
They’re pretty fabulous aren’t they? These are in Birmingham until 27th September, after which time they are going to be auctioned off to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
We didn’t manage to get to the Birmingham library today but have had a good look around in the past and we love it. There are dedicated children’s areas where they’re not expected to be quiet. A great idea for any library in my opinion.
There is also a café, outdoor areas and fabulous, unusual seats dotted about the place. I love the atmosphere that is clearly well thought out to encourage children to spend some time reading without feeling that it is a chore.
No visit to Birmingham would be complete without at least a little walk along some of the canals. The girls love seeing the boats, ducks and geese and Libby is now desperate to go on a canal barge.
What free activities do you do in Birmingham? We’ll definitely be heading back to the musical picnic again soon and I’d love some more ideas of other things to do while we’re there.