My children, like a huge number of others, went through a period when they were obsessed with vehicles and ‘things that go’! If you find yourself in the middle of this phase at the moment with your little one (or perhaps just fancy a day out somewhere different) here are some ideas for you:
Birmingham has always been a city in motion, but what made it such a major hub of transport during the industrial revolution? Find out first hand by seeing some of the remarkable machines that made it all happen. Learn about the complex web of canals, roads and railway networks that connected Birmingham to the rest of Britain and hear from the people who made, used and, ran them. See the iconic Spitfire and Hurricane hanging above your head. Over 11,000 Spitfires were built in Birmingham during World War Two. Stand behind the controls of the massive City of Birmingham Steam locomotive and find out how it works. See the amazing Railton Land Speed Car and, watch a film of it travelling at 394 miles per hour on its final record-breaking run.
With over 25 rides and attractions, there’s so much for Thomas fans to explore on The Island of Sodor at Drayton Manor. Whether you fancy a trip down Sodor Railway with Thomas, Rosie or Percy or you’d like to fly high with James, Harold and Jeremy, there are plenty of Thomas and friends themed attractions to explore.
The Polar Express Train Ride leaves Birmingham Moor Street Station and takes place on board heritage carriages hauled on the return journey by a real steam engine. The performance offers the magic and charm of the 2004 motion picture on a selection of dates in November and December.
This event offers a magical holiday experience for families. Step into the world of the beloved Christmas tale as you board the Polar Express train. The adventure begins with hot cocoa, cookies, and cheerful dancing chefs. Children can wear their comfiest pyjamas and enjoy the classic Polar Express story while the train meanders through a winter landscape. Keep an eye out for a special visitor, Santa Claus, who surprises each child with a sleigh bell. With festive decorations, carol singing, and a joyful atmosphere, Churnet Valley Railway’s Polar Express event is an opportunity to create lasting holiday memories with your kids. Don’t miss this enchanting journey to the North Pole, where the spirit of Christmas comes to life!
Coventry Transport Museum houses the largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles on the planet and tells the story of a city which changed the world through transport. Visitors can expect captivating displays, interactive galleries, and highly immersive exhibitions – a day to remember.
This family-friendly Museum offers a colourful insight into the British motor industry – from the popular ‘Time Road’ to the ‘Under the Skin’ interactive zone, adults and children alike will find displays and exhibits to surprise and enlighten. From its earliest days the British motor industry has been a vital part of the economy and the lives of people living in the Midlands and it is still a hub for automotive creativity today. The Museum tells the story of the birth, decline and rebirth of the motor industry and the cars it produced, as well as celebrating the skills and creativity of the people who designed and built them.
If you want an opportunity for the kids to see aircraft up close, Birmingham Airport’s free viewing area could be just the thing you are looking for. The area is located at Car Park 5, open 24 hours, and provides picnic benches and a great view of the runway. Remember that if you are arriving by car and parking here, normal car park rates apply. Alternatively, you can visit the designated viewing area at Sheldon Country Park. It lies just under a mile away from the farm buildings and can only be accessed on foot (no motor vehicles).
The Royal Air Force Museum Midlands offers a fun, free, award-winning day out for all the family. Visit the National Cold War Exhibition with its eye-catching architecture and design. Discover Cold War stories in immersive Hotspots; explore thrilling displays of aircraft, iconic cars, models, tanks and even life-sized Russian dolls. Come and marvel at the world’s oldest Spitfire and several other classic aircraft in our War in the Air Hangar.
Take the kids out for a day in the countryside. On our event days they’ll just love riding on the miniature steam railway and the old buses. On school holiday Saturdays and Wednesdays, the trains also run and there’s two bus rides into the countryside. On sunny days, you can enjoy a picnic on the grass.
The Severn Valley Railway is a 16-mile long heritage railway in the Midlands, running regular passenger steam trains, heritage diesel trains and special events throughout the year. Whether it is the beautiful English countryside, fabulous engines or the many interesting places to stop on the journey, the Severn Valley Railway will thrill all – young or old.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is a volunteer operated heritage railway in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire offering a round trip of 28 miles. It uses part of the route of the former Great Western Railway’s main line from Birmingham to Cheltenham which used to run via Stratford-upon-Avon. It now operates steam and heritage diesel trains between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cotswolds. The line commands wonderful views of the nearby sleepy hamlets and villages, with outstanding outlooks across to the Malvern Hills and beyond.