Saturday 25 May – Sunday 2 June
MiniBrum leads the half term at Thinktank as children can explore their very own mini city. The excitement continues across Birmingham Museums Trust with a celebration of James Watt’s development of the steam engine at Soho House and a week of Staffordshire Hoard themed happenings at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG).
Hoard Half Term at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Celebrate the Staffordshire Hoard at BMAG with activities galore. The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found. Nearly ten years on since it was first found you can see many of the pieces on display at the museum, including a glittering replica of the Staffordshire Hoard Helmet, and discover more about the Anglo-Saxons with hands-on activities.
Handle some real Anglo-Saxon objects, have a go at decorating your own helmet mask, and help build a Saxon village in an interactive storytelling session.
On 28 and 30 May there’s also the chance to get up close with exotic animals in Zoolab:
Meet the Animals. Tickets must be booked in advance to secure a place at these popular sessions.
While you’re at the museum don’t miss Superduperspective by Patrick Hughes, a 3D artwork, which needs to be seen to be believed! And enjoy a bite to eat in the award-winning Edwardian Tearooms.
Visit www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on for details on individual activities.
Celebrate Steam Engines at Soho House
Full steam ahead for family fun at Soho House for the Soho Steam Fair on Bank Holiday Monday (27 May). Watch a working traction engine in full steam, have a ride on a miniature steam locomotive in the garden and learn about the sources of power throughout time in an interactive show.
This family fun day celebrates James Watt and the development of his steam engines and is part of the Watt 2019 bicentenary programme. Adult tickets are £5 and children get in for £2.50. Pre-booking tickets is advised at www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/soho/whats-on/watt-2019-soho-steam-fair.
Half term at the Heritage sites
Visit Aston Hall on Saturday 1 June for the Whodunnit? Family Friendly Mystery Trail. From 11am – 4pm step back in time and interview suspects and collect clues to try and solve this most perplexing mystery, involving a tiger, in the magnificent surroundings of Aston Hall.
Visit throughout the week for your chance to explore this grand hall and the beautiful gardens.
At Blakesley Hall it’s Public Services Day on Bank Holiday Monday (27 May). Fun for all the family, have a go on the giant climbing wall with the Army, develop your football and rugby skills in the outdoor activity area with the RAF, and see a camp set up by the local Scout Association and try out your camping skills. This free event is from 11am-4pm. Don’t miss out!
The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is gearing up for its Family Fun Day on Thursday 30 May. Enjoy a family-friendly tour of the historic Smith and Pepper jewellery factory, followed by a special craft activity.
Over at Sarehole Mill take part in Handling Week from Tuesday 28 – Friday 31 May and find out what’s eating the museum. Get up close and hands on with real objects and learn about conservation in museums. Hear about the insects that can pose a threat to museum collections and how museums protect objects from damage.
Get creative at Weoley Castle on Friday 31 May and use a variety of craft materials to make a colourful bird. When you’re done you can explore the castle ruins and see what birds you can see.
MiniBrum comes to Thinktank
MiniBrum, a major new mini city attraction where children are in charge, opens at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, on Saturday 25 May, ready for May half term.
This exciting, interactive child-sized world has been created in collaboration with schools, families and community groups, and allows children to explore and question their understanding of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) world around them. Through play, the city gives children the confidence to think like scientists in real-life scenarios where they will be testing their ideas, problem solving and being creative.
MiniBrum has different play zones including a home area where children can build their own dens, a burrow where children can find the hidden animals, a race track inspired by Birmingham’s upcoming Commonwealth Games, a construction zone with a climbing tower and a slide, a Post Office, and a salon.
Elsewhere at Thinktank, the new 4K Planetarium is open and ready for visitors to adventure through the solar system with brighter sharper imagery and crystal-clear surround sound.
Thinktank’s new-look cafe, Signal Box Cafe, is also open, with a tasty new food menu for when families need refuelling. The cafe is inspired by the City of Birmingham steam engine which can be seen while visitors enjoy their food.
Entry to MiniBrum is included in the ticket price to Thinktank. To find out more visit: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/thinktank.