There are loads of family friendly days out in the West Midlands. Some of them aren’t open all year, so I’ve included website links. Do check opening times and dates before you visit. I’ve split the list by county to make it easier to pinpoint the areas you want to travel to. You may also be interested in my list of West Midlands dog friendly days out and free things to do in the area.
Family days out in Herefordshire
Brockhampton Estate (Bringsty)
Brockhampton is a National Trust owned medieval manor house located in a 1700 acre estate. It’s a great place to get out and about into the woods for a walk, dogs are welcome. You can also look around the house itself and children can discover the natural play trail. This is a walk just under a mile long with lots of activities to climb, balance and play on.
Website: National Trust Brockhampton
Croft Castle (Leominster)
Croft Castle is a lovely National Trust property in Herefordshire. It’s a great family day out with plenty of places to explore, fun playgrounds and a cosy, warm tearoom. The huge parkland and gardens are dog friendly, as is a section of the tearoom. Dogs aren’t allowed inside the buildings.
Eastnor Castle (Eastnor)
Eastnor Castle is always a great day out, with events on throughout the year. There is a big focus on being outdoors with an adventure playground, lakeside walks and exciting themed activities for children. The castle is only open on particular days, so do check their website before you go. Dogs are welcome here, even inside the castle. This makes it accessible in any weather but most of the activities for children are outdoors.
Goodrich Castle (Ross on Wye)
Goodrich is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the UK and it is owned by English Heritage. It is well worth picking up an audio guide so that children can immerse themselves in learning about the siege of the civil war and see the murder holes in the castle’s walls and learn what they were for. There is also an exhibition including a display of the only surviving civil war mortar.
Llama Trekking (Ewyas Harold)
Adults and children will enjoy this unusual experience. Help to call your llama from the field and put it on a tether, before leading it on a walk through the village. Unlike pony trekking, the llama walk is done in small groups with only one party at a time, so it would be a great way to spend time with just your family – along with a llama expert of course.
Website: Old King Street Farm
Newbridge Farm Park (Ledbury)
Newbridge Farm Park is a small family business based on a working farm near Ledbury. Children can collect eggs, ride ponies and go on tractor rides. Other activities include feeding pigs, llamas and ducks and getting hands on with small animals. There is an outdoor play area and an indoor play barn including a dedicated toddler zone.
Website: Newbridge Farm Park
Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre (Kington)
This is a sweet collection of miniature animals including horses, donkeys, sheep, cows, pigs and goats. They are joined by small animals, birds and owls. Adults are allowed to stroke an owl and all animals are displayed under cover during winter months. A small tearoom sells light meals, hot and cold drinks and snacks.
Website: Owl Centre
Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo (Symonds Yat)
The butterfly zoo is a large butterfly house that holds butterflies from all over the world. Heated by renewable energy, the zoo and its owners support butterfly conservation projects worldwide. A trip here can be combined with a visit to a maze and crazy golf, with discounts available for combination tickets.
Website: Butterfly Zoo
Family days out in Shropshire
Acton Scott Historic Working Farm (Church Stretton)
Acton Scott was the setting for the Victorian Farm television series. It is a working farm that has daily activities and special events. The land surrounding the farm is worked by heavy horses and they run courses in traditional trades and crafts. There are beautiful walks around the area and you can stay in their holiday homes to experience a prolonged step back in time.
Website: Acton Scott.
Carding Mill Valley (Church Stretton)
Carding Mill Valley is a National Trust attraction just outside Church Stretton in Shropshire. With 10 miles of tracks and bridleways, it is the ideal place for serious hikers. Shorter walks with some accessible paths make it ideal for families as well. However, this description doesn’t do it justice at all. Breathtaking landscape, wild ponies wandering the hillside, a small reservoir that welcomes wild swimmers and a cafe serving light refreshments all add up to a wonderful day out.
Cosford RAF Museum (Shifnal)
Aviation fanatics of all ages will be delighted with the 70 aircraft displayed at Cosford RAF Museum. Other exhibits include WWI paintings, a model room and a Cold War exhibition. Visitors can also enjoy a 4D Red Arrows flight simulator and a Fun and Flight interactive gallery. Annual events take place here including the esteemed RAF Cosford airshow. There are also special activities for families during school holidays. Best of all, this attraction is free to visit.
Website: RAF Cosford.
Hawkstone Park Follies (Weston-under-Redcastle)
Hawkstone Park Follies are built around sandstone cliffs in a lovely area of countryside with views stretching for miles. The walk between the follies is quite taxing, but you can take a warden safari in one of their jeeps if you’re not up to the walk. Events take place all year round including a popular Christmas event.
Website: Hawksone Park Follies
Ironbridge Gorge Museums
Several museums come under the Ironbridge Gorge Museums umbrella including Blists Hill Victorian Town, Enginuity, the Tar Tunnel, the China Museum and the Museum of the Gorge. Each is great for a visit to learn about local history. They all have different events on during the year, particularly during school holidays. A full list of the museums and what’s on at each can be found on their website.
Website: Ironbridge Gorge Museums
Ray’s Farm (Bridgnorth)
Ray’s Farm has a large collection of animals including sheep, pygmy goats, deer, rabbits and owls. Visitors can enjoy accessible woodland walks with wooden sculptures and a forest play area with ropes and scramble nets. Other activities include a mini-beach, log play area, soft play and a table tennis table. Events run throughout the year, particularly in school holidays so do check their website.
Website: Ray’s Farm.
Wonderland is a place where fairytales and nursery rhymes come to life. There are rides, a dinosaur walk, crazy golf and a year-round Christmas village. The location is within a large woodland area, but there is also a soft-play area indoors if the weather does turn against you. Wonderland hosts various events during the year so it is worth checking before you go.
Family days out in Staffordshire
Alton Towers (Alton)
Alton Towers, the largest theme park in the West Midlands, is home to CBeebies land which is ideal for young children. There are also numerous rides that teens and adults will love, as well as a treetop quest and water park. You can’t do the waterpark and theme park in one day, there’s just too much to do. They have their own themed accommodation that children love, including a new CBeebies themed hotel. It is well worth staying over if you want to do both waterpark and theme park.
Website: Alton towers. You can also read my review of a visit to Alton Towers theme park and water park with young children.
Ash End House Children’s Farm (Middleton)
Ash End House Children’s Farm is a hands-on farm where children can interact with the animals. Experiences take place at different times of the day, so check the website to make sure you’ll be there for your favourite. As well as farm animals, there is a shire horse centre with 15 to 20 horses that visitors can interact with. A large indoor play barn and a water-zorbing area are available for children aged between 5 and 12.
Website: Ash End House
Cannock Chase Forest
Cannock Chase Forest in Staffordshire is not only family and dog friendly, but it’s also free. In fact, if you bring a picnic like we did then the only thing you need to pay for is parking. There are paid activities available, but it’s entirely possible to have a great day out without them. Walking and mountain biking trails, children’s play areas and a dog agility course are all free to use. A cafe onsite serves hot and cold drinks, light meals and snacks.
Drayton Manor (Tamworth)
Drayton Manor is a relatively small theme park with lots of emphasis on younger visitors. There are a few large, fast rides that thrill seekers will love, plus the much tamer Thomas Land area for young children. As well as rides, the park boasts boat rides on the lake, a zoo and a dinosaur walk. Indoor areas include restaurants, a 4D cinema and a soft play area. It is always better when you have at least some dry spells to make the most of a day there.
Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre (Eccleshall)
Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre is a sanctuary and hospital for exotic animals and birds of prey. Animals here are rescued, sometimes from being kept in unacceptable conditions. The aim of the sanctuary is to rehabilitate them and care for their welfare. They also help wild birds of prey that have been injured although these are not on display. Children can complete an activity pack whilst visiting the sanctuary and regular talks and flight demonstrations take place too.
Website: Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre
Monkey Forest is the only place in the UK where monkeys roam freely and visitors can walk through their forest. There are 140 Barbary macaques in 60 acres of woodland. A a 3/4 mile long path is available for visitors to walk along whilst watching the monkeys. There are no cages or barriers so the monkeys behave as they would in the wild. This is a great way to spend half a day and can be combined with nearby Tretham Gardens (below) for a full day out.
Website: Monkey Forest.
National Forest Adventure Farm (Burton Upon Trent)
This is a lovely day out for young children with a small farm park and a tractor safari to see all the animals. There is also a JCB dig zone, crazy golf, an assault course and a bouncy slide and jumping pillows. Indoors there is a soft play area with various different slides, along with an area for younger children and a café.
Peak Wildlife Park (Leek)
Peak Wildlife Park has a large selection of animals from penguins to capybara to zebras and everything in between. The park has walkthroughs allowing visitors to get up close to the animals. They also run animal experiences for an even more hands-on approach. Children will love the indoor and outdoor play areas too.
Website: Peak Wildlife Park
The Snowdome is a brilliant West Midlands family day out. Visitors can learn to ski or snowboard there and spend many happy hours zooming down the slopes. As well as teaching skiing and snowboarding, the Snowdome have other activities that are ideal for families. Children will love sledging, tobogganing and tubing and you can even just enjoy playing in the snow. There is also an ice rink, pool, fitness studio and spa.
Trentham Gardens (Stoke on Trent)
Trentham is an award-winning garden that has an adventurous edge. As well as the beautiful gardens designed by Capability Brown, you can enjoy a lakeside walk with the fairies or take the children to the adventure playground and the maze. There’s even a barefoot walk and a miniature train. This is a dog-friendly attraction.
Website: Trentham Gardens
Waterworld (Stoke on Trent)
Waterworld is an enormous leisure swimming pool that is widely accepted to be one of the best in the country. There are assorted slides from enormous flumes to toddler slides and everything in between. You can enjoy the waves, ride the space bowl or the rafts, float on the rapids or play in the interactive jungle house. This is suitable for children of all ages and there are special parent and toddler sessions during off-peak times.
Family days out in Warwickshire
This is a predominantly outdoor attraction with lots of animals to meet and a treetop trail. For rainy days, there is also a Roman themed indoor soft play area. Mazeworld is made up of six mazes, each one themed around a different continent. Adults may enjoy a trip to the on-site Dobbies garden centre too. Head to their website to find out what’s on and what to wear for your visit.
Hatton Adventure World (Hatton)
This activity centre is ideal for families with children aged 13 and under. The programme of events changes with the seasons but includes interacting with farm animals, a bouncy castle and slide, a tractor safari, indoor soft-play, pony rides and an assault course. There are too many different activities for me to mention them all so do check out their website to see if they’ve got something that your child would love.
Website: Hatton Adventure World
Kenilworth Castle (Kenilworth)
Kenilworth Castle is one of the most impressive English Heritage owned properties in the West Midlands and is of great historical significance. Visitors can enjoy the tower views and the Elizabethan garden as well as looking around the castle and learning about its history. There are events on at different times that will make the castle more appealing to children such as falconry displays and adventures in archeology.
MAD museum (Stratford Upon Avon)
The MAD museum of mechanical art and design is a museum displaying interactive pieces of mechanical art with a particular focus on automata and kinetic art. They have sculptures from world renowned artists and each one demonstrates both movement and beauty. The museum arranges special activities for children during school holidays.
Website: MAD museum.
Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford upon Avon)
I never would have thought of the RSC for a day out with children until we visited The Play’s The Thing ourselves. This is an interactive exhibition for children and adults alike. It is one of many activities available for children at the RSC, as well as their regular theatre productions.
Website: Royal Shakespeare Company
Stratford Butterfly Farm (Stratford Upon Avon)
Stratford Butterfly Farm is a lovely way to explore nature even on a rainy day, since the attraction is indoors. As well as a butterfly flight area based on a tropical rainforest, there is a discovery zone to learn about butterfly life cycles. You can also see one of the largest insect collections in Britain at the Minibeast Metropolis.
Website: Butterfly Farm
Twycross Zoo (Atherstone)
Twycross is a primate centre renowned both in the West Midlands and around the world. They breed rare and endangered primates and young are often present with the breeding groups. Other animals on display include elephants, leopards and tapier. There are nearly 150 different species in total. Visitors can walk through a lemur enclosure and see tamarins in the treetop exhibit. The zoo has won awards for animal welfare due to the way the animals are kept.
Website: Twycross Zoo
Umberslade Farm Park
Umberslade is a really hands-on farm park experience where children can feed lambs and calves and hold chicks, rabbits and guinea pigs. There are two adventure playgrounds designed for different age groups, an indoor play barn and tractor and train rides around the park. Forest school sessions and pony rides are also available.
Website: Umberslade Farm Park
Warwick Castle (Warwick)
Since becoming part of the Merlin group, this has become so much more than just a castle. You can explore the castle and its grounds including the scary dungeon with actors and special effects. There is a Horrible Histories maze and stunning views from the towers over the Capability Brown landscaped gardens. There are regular shows and events on here, so do check out their website to find out what’s on.
Family days out in the West Midlands (County)
Acker’s Adventure (Sparkbrook)
Loads of activities are available at Acker’s Adventure and they are all pretty exciting! You can ski, snowboard, zipline, climb or kayak. There is also orienteering, archery and adventure trekking. You can visit for the day or stay over on a residential course. This experience isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Website: Acker’s Adventure
Baggeridge Country Park (Sedgley)
The 150 acre Baggeridge country park in the Black Country is a great place to see diverse wildlife, go camping or just pop into the tea shop for a cuppa. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you could try horse riding, explore the children’s adventure playground, go mountain biking or take a look at the miniature railway. Other activities are available so do have a look at their website.
Website: Baggeridge Coutry Park
Black Country Living Museum (Dudley)
The Black Country Living Museum offers a fascinating insight into the industrial history of the Black Country. It is an open-air museum set in 26 acres which has been constructed to simulate West Midlands life in the 1830’s. It boasts a village complete with residents, traditional games, trams, shops, a fairground, an underground mine and even a pub. Being immersed in history and experiencing life as it was then is a lovely way to learn.
Cadbury World (Bournville)
This attraction near Birmingham in the heart of the West Midlands originated as a self-tour attraction to learn about the making of chocolate. These days, there are loads of other activities on offer too. Including a 4D cinema, adventure play area and a mini theatre. There is a small area outside but the majority of the attraction is indoors so it’s ideal for a rainy day.
Dudley Zoo and Castle (Dudley)
Dudley zoo holds nearly 200 species of animals in the 40 acre castle grounds. The castle ruins are still present, making an interesting backdrop for the exotic animals. Dudley zoo are involved in animal conservation around the world. Anyone interested in architecture will enjoy the zoo’s collection of Tectons – the unusual enclosures that were originally designed to hold the animals when the zoo was founded in 1937. These are still in place, but have been joined by more modern animal housing and paddocks.
Website: Dudley Zoo
Inflata Nation (Stechford)
Inflata Nation is a huge room full of inflatables. Their website describes it as an “inflatable theme park”. I would say it was more comparable with a trampoline park. It’s done in the same style, whereby the whole room is a massive inflatable. So, even when you’re walking between the activities you’re on an inflatable platform. You can pay to bounce for either an hour or two hours so this isn’t a full day out. We found that an hour was plenty for us.
National Sea Life Centre (Birmingham)
For many local residents, the National Sea Life Centre is the go-to West Midlands attraction for rainy days. This enormous aquarium is home to fish, sharks, an octopus, penguins, seals, a sea turtle and otters as well as numerous other species. Various events take place during the year and children find something different that they love each time they visit.
Planet Ice – Solihull
Planet Ice is an ideal wet-weather activity. They are open 7 days a week and host birthday parties, give skating lessons and you can even learn to play ice hockey. This is in addition to public skating, ice discos and special events.
Website: Planet Ice
Thinktank Science Museum (Birmingham)
Thinktank science museum in the heart of the West Midlands is an ideal way to bring science to life for children. The popular West Midlands family museum offers everything from steam engines to robots. There is a planetarium, science garden and numerous hands-on exhibits and historical collections.
Family days out in Worcestershire
All Things Wild (Honeybourne)
All Things Wild is a nature centre with a variety of animals that are kept in an environment as close to their natural habitat as possible. Some animals are in paddocks so you can get really close to them, walking with lemurs and feeding the deer. There are indoor and outdoor dinosaur areas, a wild meadow where you can go pond dipping and a discovery zone where you can touch snakes, lizards and armadillos and play on the indoor beach.
Website: All Things Wild
Avoncroft Museum (Bromsgrove)
Avoncroft is a museum of old buildings from different eras that have been moved from various places and reconstructed here. There is even a section dedicated to phone boxes, including a Tardis. Children love the amount of space at Avoncroft, they can run and play as well as learning. We went to their traditional Mayday Celebration a few years ago and it’s a lovely family day out.
Website: Avoncroft Museum.
Cob House (Wichenford)
Cob House is free to visit and stroll around to see the reindeer, goats, alpacas, ducks and chickens. Visitors can also buy food and feed the animals. Cob house do expect visitors to eat in their café rather than bring a picnic as everything else is free. Children can enjoy a small outdoor play area as well as some toys and books inside the cafe.
Website: Cob House
Croome National Trust (High Green)
An impressive mansion with a fascinating history stands in vast grounds. Many child-friendly activities are available, including an outdoor playground with swings, slide and other play equipment. A natural play area is based around den building and climbing. Regular events take place at Croome for both children and adults. Two cafes serve up light meals, snacks and cake as well as hot and cold drinks. There are also plenty of places to stop for a picnic.
Website: National Trust Croome
The Firs (Lower Broadheath)
National Trust The Firs is located in the cottage in Broadheath where Elgar was born. Purchased by his daughter after his death, it is now the Elgar Birthplace Museum, dedicated to his memory. This is a surprisingly dog friendly and child friendly day out. The museum itself is full of fascinating exhibits and children can let off steam outside in the musical garden. Dogs are allowed everywhere except for the café and inside the cottage itself.
Go Ape Wyre (Bewdley)
There are numerous Go Ape sites around the country, this one is located in forest land on the border between Worcestershire and Shropshire. Enjoy a two to three hour treetop challenge with zip wires, rope ladders, Tarzan swings and other obstacles. Alternatively, the treetop adventure is only an hour long and is designed with younger visitors in mind.
Website: Go Ape
Hanbury Hall (Droitwich)
Hanbury Hall is a National Trust property that allows visitors to see what life was like in the 18th century. However, it has more to offer than just its interior. Set in beautiful gardens and orchards and surrounded by scenic walks, dogs are welcome in most areas. A play park and natural play area keep children entertained and events take place throughout the year.
Website: Hanbury Hall
Ice Quest (Malvern)
Ice Quest boasts an ice rink, four escape rooms for two to six people and a themed laser quest area. It is possible to visit as a group of friends or family or host a birthday party or work event here. Do check opening times online as the ice rink is only open at certain times of the day. Skating aids and bob skates are available for young children, skating aids should be booked in advance.
Website: Ice Quest
Knapp and Papermill Nature Reserve (Alfrick)
The Knapp and Papermill nature reserve near Alfrick is a beautiful, Wildlife Trust managed area of countryside. Walking trails around the reserve can be muddy and slippery. Beautiful Leigh brook runs through the reserve and visitors often spot kingfishers. Other wildlife to look out for includes adders, dragonflies, damselflies and even otters. Parking at the reserve is extremely limited so it is advisable to get there early and avoid busy times.
Website: Wildlife Trust.
Malvern Hills Geopark (Malvern and other areas)
The Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark is one of the most beautiful natural areas in the West Midlands. It stretches across five counties, covering a 1250 square kilometre area. On the Geopark website there are activities, places to visit and information about the geology, wildlife and heritage of the area. You can also find a variety of walking trails, with options suitable for any age and level of fitness. Here are my recommendations for Malvern Hills walks.
Severn Valley Railway (Kidderminster)
The Severn Valley Railway runs predominantly steam trains from Kidderminster to Bridgenorth. It is largely run by volunteers and doesn’t run every day so it is worth checking their website before you go. The trains run between their dedicated stations, where you can get off to stretch your legs, visit a local pub and learn more about the railway and its engines. They also run special events throughout the year.
Website: Severn Valley Railway
West Midlands Safari Park (Bewdley)
West Midlands Safari Park is a reasonably large drive-through safari park with a large variety of animals. Giraffes, zebras, camels and numerous other animals roam freely in the area that you drive through. There are also big cat and elephant enclosures but these are kept away from the cars to keep visitors safe. There is a small theme-park area with some rides and a walk-through dinosaur area at the end of the safari.
Witley Court (Great Witley)
Witley Court is an English Heritage property with woodland walks, formal gardens and a fascinating stately home that is completely in ruins. Not only is it an ideal destination for a family day out, but it’s dog friendly too. From the entrance, visitors can walk through the gardens, passing a beautiful lake and a couple of children’s play areas. Eventually, you come to the ruins. Near there are the fountains, a small tea room and Witley Church. The church is incredibly ornate and well worth a visit while you’re there.
Website: Witley Court
Worcester Woods Country Park (Worcester)
The Worcester Woods Country Park consists of 100 acres of both woodland and meadows. There are well defined paths with short trails ideal for young children, and longer trails that adults and older children will enjoy. At the Orchard Café, you can buy hot drinks, snacks and light meals. There is also a small play area inside for young children and a large park outside, as well as a sports field and miniature train and other attractions that run during peak times only.
Website: Orchard Cafe
For more family days out in the West Midlands, check out my comprehensive guide to things to do in the local area. Other family travel bloggers to check out include Mini Travellers, Otis and Us and Flying with a Baby.