The Reach Out project offers all of it’s trips and activities free of charge. However, if you wanted to recreate our trips yourself, without needing the big group and St Vincent’s staff, here are some tips for travel and how to keep the cost down!
(We’ve also added a Parent’s Recommend section – places Reach Out haven’t been yet but some of our users have and think other families would enjoy.)
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Museums aren’t always good for a family trip. Children can find museums really boring. Not all museums and not all children, but mostly, children like doing not looking which makes museums difficult.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has it’s fair share of not-to-be-touched art work. But it has a lot more too! There are children’s play sessions, arts and crafts, even computer game design. They have family sessions every weekend and add family activities during the summer holidays.
BMAG is walking distance from Nechells (25-30mins), which means no travel costs and the museum is free to enter. (Though they do ask for a £1 donation)
Most of the summer activities are free, or between £1 and £2 per child.
This is a day out which could cost you nothing at all but could easily take up your whole day. In the summer, you can do as Reach Out did and take a packed lunch to eat in Victoria Square (just outside the museum).
If you would prefer not to walk, you can get the train from Duddeston Station to New Street. The Museum is a 5 minute walk away from New Street Station. An adult return ticket from Duddeston to New St is £2.20, Child £1.10.
Cadbury World is a fantastic family day out, but it is a little bit expensive! It can be reached easily by train from Duddeston and New Street, but for a family of four for the day, over all cost is likely to be around £65.
The Cadbury World tour is great for children and adults, there is good access for pushchairs and people with disabilities, there is a cafe and shop available and a large outdoor play and picnic area. There is also a 4D cinema exhibition which is included in the cost of a ticket.
For one adult is £17.00, one child aged 4-15 is £12.50. A family of four, with a maximum of 2 adults, is £51.00.
If you are travelling by train, you can get 30% of tickets by booking online here: https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/cadbury-world
(This makes the adult price £11.90, children £8.50. For a family of four with two adults would be £40.80.)
Train from Duddeston or New Street to Bournville: Adult ticket £2.20, Child £1.10.
This trip may not be for everyone, as there is no access for public transport. If you can drive up, however, it is an amazing day out for the family! Cost for a family of 4 is £35.95 for the day, which is a little bit expensive, but there is so much to do you can spend a whole day there without getting around to everything.
There are miles and miles of open woodland and lakes, dotted all the way through with things to do, from little mini play areas, musical instruments, to huge adventure trails for children and adults. There’s the barefoot walk, where if you’re brave enough, you walk barefoot around an outdoor trail of mud! There is a train in the park, which takes you to a second sight where there is a large outdoor playground. There’s a maze, a viewing tower, peddle cars, water play, animals, a 4D cinema, a large indoor learning zone and play area…too many things to list!
You can book tickets here: www.visitconkers.com
Driving Directions: Rawdon Rd, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Swadlincote DE12 6GA
Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham
Newly opened in 2018. Legoland Discovery Centre is a lot of fun. It packs lots of little details into quite a small space and there are things to do for all ages.
However, the cost of entry is £20 per person, adults and children. Once you’re in, you can’t leave and return later, which means if you want to stay for the day, you have to eat in the onsite cafe, which will add to the cost considerably. You can get a £5 discount if you buy online and there are a number of other money saving options, like a group ticket, but for the cost of entrance, participants should be aware that the attraction is quite small and it may be difficult to keep children entertained for an entire day.
Based on the same site as the Barclay Card Arena, it’s a fifteen minute walk from Birmingham New Street.
Library of Birmingham
Just like the Museum, LoB can be walked to from Nechells in about 30mins. LoB has a brilliant children’s library, with space to read, free internet access and books available in 50 different languages. Children can get a library card on the day and borrow up to 10 books for four weeks – completely free.
The Library and the Museum are very close to each other, so it’s easy to visit both in one day.
During the summer holidays, LoB runs lot’s of children’s clubs and activities. You can find the details of these on the website nearer the summer, or you can call 0121 242 4242, or go in and ask.
Reach Out took the coach to London, which is not an ideal way to do it! It’s much faster to get the train, but that can be expensive. Once you get into London, food and drink especially is very expensive as are many of the events and activities available there.
But there are some less expensive options.
Activities in London: Victoria Station is within walking distance of the Natural History Museum, The Science Museum and Hyde Park. All three are free to visit. Both museums are very child friendly, lots of hands on exhibitions and noise!
You can also walk to the River Thames, Westminster Palace, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace from Victoria station.
Food: There are places to eat all around the museums and the park, but these are not cheap! You wouldn’t struggle to find a McDonalds for something easy, but the best recommendation we can give is that you bring a packed lunch!
For 1 adult and 2 children, booking in advance, you can get a return train ticket to London for £32.50. This is for a train leaving from New Street, arriving in London Euston and includes tube, tram and bus travel in London itself.
Pretty good, but still quite costly.
The Megabus is another option. Megabus leaves from Hill Street in Birmingham City Centre and goes to London Victoria. It takes approximately 3 hours each way (which is the same time it takes by coach). For 1 adult and 2 children, return travel to London by Megabus is £18.00. This does NOT include travel in London.
You can book megabus travel HERE
Puzzlewood – Forest of Dean
This trip may not be for everyone, as public transport access is limited. If you’re driving, this is a lovely and unique day out for good weather days and admission far cheaper than most attractions at £25.00 for a family of four.
The forest walk is absolutely stunning. Walking straight through, it takes about an hour, but the venue offers games for children and things to find on your walk. There are indoor and outdoor picnic areas, there is a small cafe but a picnic is recommended. There are also children’s play areas, animals, and an indoor maze.
Puzzlewood does not allow prams or wheelchairs on site – there is no access for these in the forests unfortunately.
If you don’t drive, but are feeling adventurous, there is a public transport option, but this is only recommended for those willing to walk and who feel confident navigating trains and buses. It is a beautiful little attraction and very different!
Driving: (Recommended) Perrygrove Road, Coleford, GL16 8QB
Public Transport: Train from Birmingham to Gloucester Railway station. Walk to bus station (4 mins), almost directly opposite train station, to Bay J. 23 bus service to Coleford. Coleford is a 10-15 minute walk from Puzzlewood. Buses come every 60 minutes so careful planning is needed for this option!
Rock Up! Broadway Plaza
Rock Climbing fun for all ages. This one has a set cost, but it’s very reasonable for the experience.
Children have to be 4+ to climb at Rock Up, but there is a soft play area for little ones. There is a cafe inside and plenty of places to eat in Broadway Plaza, but as always, the option of a packed lunch will be the least expensive!
Costs for climbing and soft play are:
Adult Climb: £12.00
Child Climb: £8.00
Soft Play: £4.00
The best way to access Broadway Plaza is by train from Duddeston to Five Ways station. It is possible to walk from Nechells, but it’s not an easy walk especially for children. It’s approximately 2 miles and would take roughly 45 mins.
Duddeston to Five Ways train tickets are £2.20 return for adults and £1.10 for children.
Stratford-Upon-Avon is a beautiful place. Famous for being Shakespeare’s birthplace, there are lot’s of Shakespeare related museums and houses to see. I do highly recommend these, but mostly for adults. On a family trip, these might not be the best places to visit, they’re not very child-friendly and most of the houses have no pushchair access.
But there are plenty of child and family friendly options! On a sunny day, you don’t need anything more than the riverside. The parks around the river have plenty of space to play and bring a picnic. You could easily spend a day here and not spend any money at all!
If you did want to visit any of Stratford’s museums, there are two nearby the river which are great for families.
The Butterfly Farm – Where you can see butterflies and other mini-beasts up close in a fake-tropical environment.
Family Ticket (2 Adults 2 Children) = £22.50 (Add extra child = £3.50)
Adult = £7.25 Child = £6.25 (Under 3’s = Free)
The MAD Museum – The Mechanical Art and Design (MAD) Museum is an entirely sensory museum – so everything in it can be touched and interacted with. It’s small but full of things to do. Our children loved it.
Family Ticket (2 Adults 2 Children) = £22.00 (Add extra child = £3.50)
Adult = £7.80 Child = £5.20 (Under 5’s = Free)
You can take the train to Stratford from Birmingham Moor Street, which is a 15 minute walk from Vauxhall Road.
For 1 adult and 2 children, a return ticket booked in advance, is £15.60. You can book online HERE.
OR, you can take the X20 bus from Birmingham City Centre. The X20 leaves from Carrs Lane, just opposite Moor Street and drops you outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford. They go roughly once an hour and are £2.00, for a return adult ticket and 90p for a return child ticket.
There are lots of things to do in Sutton Park – Canoeing, Sailing, Horse Riding, the Donkey Sanctuary… all of these things can be found using the Park Map and all have their own costs and prices.
But with two lovely playgrounds, ponds and lakes and huge open spaces, you don’t need to spend anything at all to have a fantastic day. Take a picnic and a ball and you’re set for the day!
You can get a map with walks and attractions from the Visitors Centre just by the Town Gate entrance, which is the closest entrance to the train station.
You can get the train from Duddeston Station to Sutton Station, which a five minute walk from the park.
For 1 adult and 2 children, a return ticket, is £5.20.
You can also get the X3 bus from Corporation Street in Birmingham city centre, to four Oaks road in Sutton, which is a ten minute walk from the park.
Group ticket, up to five people (adults or children) all day = £8.00.
The POD (and Library)
Nechells POD has so much going on, all year round, just for Nechells residents. They have activities for adults, for children, for families and have now added a library, where you can borrow books without needing to go to the city centre!
The POD is right here in Nechells so a nice easy walk – you can look at their website for activities HERE, or pop in and ask what they have going on.
You do need to register for most activities at the POD, so please check and ask before you go!
Meridan Park – Chelmsley Wood
Free all day – Adventure playground, lake and stream, skate park.
Moorend Avenue, B37 5TB
You can get the 94 bus from Windsor St South, straight to the park. A group ticket for the whole day, up to 5 people, is £8.00.
(All information on this page is based on group visits taken by Reach Out from 2016 onwards. Information may be out of date, or no longer accurate, so please check websites yourself before visiting. All opinions expressed are reviews from participants and leaders who have visited each site. They are meant to help advise, they are not official views of any individual or organisation and should not be taken as fact.)