Do something different

Five alternative things to do in Birmingham.

Birmingham has always been in the shadow of London. It’s nicknamed the second city, but why? It’s second in population, second in size and second in economics. Therefore, it’s only logical that it’s also secondary to the capital in culture, things to do and history, right?


Hidden around the city is a massive wealth of activities, a vibrant art, food and culture scene and a rich history, from the gangsters that spawned one of Britain’s most popular TV dramas to the 35 miles of canals that carve through the city.

While a trip to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery or a peruse of the shops in The Bullring are staples of the Brummy experience, there’s so much more to do in the city than meets the eye, including these five slightly less mainstream activities:

Unleash your anger in the Rage Room

For a fun trip out, smashing a load of glass bottles, computer monitors and office equipment might not be the first thing that springs to mind.

However, that’s exactly what you can do at the Rage Room – whether you’re a busy mum, young couple looking for an alternative date night or a company trying to revitalise team building nights, you can get kitted out in a boiler suit, safety goggles and gloves and swing baseball bats at random objects to your heart’s content.

Face your fears at the Bear Grylls Experience, the NEC

A high ropes course, indoor skydiving and a snorkelling experience with sharks are just a handful of the things which await you at the Bear Grylls Experience. Located in the NEC, a stone’s throw from Birmingham international station, you can spend the day running, climbing and swimming. Each activity zone offers something different, with one-of-a-kind opportunities to put yourself to the test. Get outside of your comfort zone and run the Royal Marines-inspired assault course or tackle the indoor climbing walls modelled on the sheer rock faces of El Capitan.

Discover the unknown history of the Jewellery Quarter

From the pen museum to the coffin works, Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter has a rich and storied history. While the history of the JQ lacks the danger and infamy of the Peaky Blinders, Europe’s largest jewellery hub is the perfect place to spend an afternoon revelling in the history of more than 450 years. Take a calligraphy class at the Pen Museum, enjoy a guided tour around the JQ’s townscape heritage sites, or revel in the historic building that once housed the UK’s busiest casket factory.

Put your palate to the test with a wine tasting session

Take your taste buds on a tour of Spain, the south of France or Italy with a wine tasting event from Loki. Located in the stunning Great Western Arcade, the trendy nook of a shop and tasting bar regularly plays host to tasting evenings, themed around a certain country, flavour or occasion. Discover which wine pairs best with a mince pie at the Christmas tasting session, become an expert in matching wines to different dishes or simply pick up a bottle for a special occasion. There’s something for everyone and who knows – perhaps you’ll find a new talent and take one of the qualifications it offers.

Get your dancing shoes on for a silent disco at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

A trip to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery might not seem all that different, but the halls and artefacts seem even more interesting during one of the silent disco nights the venue hosts. Silent Noize brings three DJs and genres to the museum’s Edwardian Tearooms, allowing guests to dance the night away to indie anthems, pop and even 80s power ballads.

Despite the vast array of activities to do in and around Birmingham, new research by Ch!tzo, a recently launched life-planner tool, has revealed that nearly half of consumers have advised they can’t remember the last time they tried a new hobby.

In addition, 46.2% of respondents advised they regularly look for things to do last minute, with 27.6% advising they often struggle in finding activities at short notice. Ch!tzo is a new and sophisticated tech tool designed to help its users plan, promote and find events, with businesses or ‘listers’ currently able to use the platform free of charge to promote social activities online.

For more details, visit