Last weekend we enjoyed a family day out at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens for an afternoon of rolling down hills, gawping at fish, eating cakes and playing on swings.
The Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston has 15 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens and is just one mile from the city centre. And there is lots to entertain children of all ages including the glasshouses full of exotic plants; butterfly house (open in the summer); aviary; fabulous playgrounds; hills to roll down and a tea room that serves ice cream and cake (and Costa coffee for parents).
Let’s start with the parking. There isn’t much! Although there is a medium-sized car park and the school next door opens its playground in the summer at the weekend for visitors to park in, I always feel there isn’t as much parking as the venue needs. However, on a cloudy Saturday in September, we were fine. There is a new car parking system in place now where you have to key in your registration plate details at reception to take advantage of the free parking.
It is £22 for a family ticket, £7 an adult, £4.75 a child and under 5’s go free.
After walking through reception you will enter the glasshouses, which are home to exotic plants, so very humid. There are walkways along the sides for pushchairs. In the first glasshouse there is a pond with huge fish in which come up to the surface to stare! There are also cacti and amazing plants and flowers to look at.
After the glasshouses you will walk out on to the patio and see the sweeping lawns in front of the band stand and aviaries. The banks are rolling down and every kid I know loves rolling down the embankments. In the summer the lawns are covered in picnicking families and it is great to be able to relax and let the children race around. Every Sunday between March and September there is live music at the bandstand which are great to listen to.
There is a large aviary to the side of the lawns surrounded by gorgeous smelling rose gardens. Then leading down are various walks and gardens which are great fun to wonder through.
The gardens opened in the 1830s and apart from the glasshouses which were added a bit later have not changed, so they have a real Victorian day out feel.
At the bottom is a large children’s playground with equipment for all ages. They have recently extended the playground with another area added around the back which is suitable for older children (although my 3 year old was happy to climb unaided).
Then you can cut back through and find yourself back in the main grassy lawns – surely you have earned an ice-cream or cake by now? Good news is that the Pavilion Tea Room serves Costa coffee!
So all in all – a lovely place to spend a day exploring!
Child Friendly Events
The Botanical Gardens hosts lots of child friendly events throughout the year, and for £1.50 you can grab an educational trail to follow from reception.
From 23rd November to 2nd January the Botanical Gardens is home to the Magical Lantern Festival which look amazing and is definitely on my Christmas outings list! (image courtesy of Magic Lanterns Festival)