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24 free events to enjoy this summer in Birmingham

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Here’s how you can get out and about this summer for free

There are lots of great events happening that won’t cost you a penny this summer.

From bear hunting The Big Sleuth art trail to sampling some jazz and blues concerts, there are free things to do for all ages and interests.

 Maybe you’d like a day at the beach in Solihull or Northfield or to watch some free open air films in Brindleyplace?

Or, if you’ve got the Wimbledon bug, why not try out some free tennis sessions?

And there are free festivals to head to across the city as well.

Be sure to check timings beforehand to avoid disappointment.

1. The Big Sleuth

Big Sleuth bear trail

Where: Birmingham city centre and suburbs

When: July 10 to September 17

The Big Sleuth is the sequel to the Big Hoot, the public arts trail that was full of those lovely owls.

This time it will feature more than 100 bear sculptures in the city’s streets, parks and open spaces.

People will also be able to go hunting for The Ink Detective, Picnic Time for Teddy Bears and Bee Kind as part of the 10 week trail.

What’s more it’s completely FREE!

2. Birmingham and Solihull Jazz & Blues Festival

Birmingham & Solihull Jazz & Blues Festival 2016
Birmingham & Solihull Jazz & Blues Festival 2016 (Image: Birmingham Jazz Festival)

Where: Various venues across Birmingham

When: July 14 to 23

The Birmingham and Solihull Jazz and Blues Festival brings together artists from all over the world for a series of gigs in restaurants, bars, museums and public spaces.

What’s more most of it is free.

Acts include King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, Alarn Barnes, Pepper and the Jellies and Django’s Castle.

3. Touchwood Beach

Touchwood is bringing the beach to you once again this summer. Pictured is Kalia Smith, 18 months, with parents Louise and Kyle Smith at a previous Solihull event

Where: Touchwood, Solihull

When: July 15 to September 3

Touchwood is once again offering to transport you to sunnier shores this summer with the return of its popular Costa del Solihull urban beach.

It’s one of a selection of manmade beaches in the area and will run from July 15 until September 3.

What’s more, it’s free!

There will be deckchairs, buckets and spades plus lots of events for families to enjoy throughout the summer.

Look out for Titan the Robot, and the chance to travel back in time with Tiny, a young dinosaur brought to life by the wonders of modern science.

Theatre Square, Touchwood, Solihull, B91 3RG

4. Wild Parks

RSPB Wild Parks events

Where: Sutton Park and Cannon Hill Park

When: Every Wednesday and Thursday in the school holidays

Discover nature in a series of free and interactive Wild Parks sessions with the RSPB and Aldi.

There will be mini-beast hunting and pond exploration in the sessions throughout the summer holidays every Wednesday in Sutton Park and every Thursday in Cannon Hill Park from 11am to 3.30pm.

Activities also include treasure hunts for items to collect and use as natural art materials.

There are wildlife booklets to help identify wildflowers or creatures, and even Wild Bingo!

All sessions are drop-in with no need to pre-book.

5. Brindleyplace Film Festival

Brindleyplace Film Festival (Image: Stewart Writtle)

Where: Brindleyplace Birmingham

When: July 17 to 23

The annual Brindleyplace Film Festival will return with a selection of FREE films shown outside, with deckchairs and bean bags provided and even some free popcorn.

More than 100,000 people took part last year.

The list has just to be finalised as it’s the public who decides what they want to watch.

Brunswick Street, Birmingham B1 2JF

6. Simmer Down Festival

Simmer Down festival 2015 at Handsworth Park

Where: Handsworth Park

When: July 23

This free open-air event celebrates Birmingham’s rich cultural diversity through live performances, arts workshops, kids areas, craft stalls and street food.

Running from 12.30pm to 7.30pm, this family friendly festival promises something for everyone.

Handsworth Park, Birmingham, B20 2BY

7. Northfield Beach

Despite the very changeable weather, kids from Northfield and beyond have great fun digging and building sand castles at the Northfield Beach/Culture Mash at Victoria Common.

Where: Prices Square

When: July 26 to 30

The man-made beach is returning to Northfield to kick off the start of the summer holidays.

It will run from 10am to 4pm, and organisers are promising live music, stalls and a space to relax and picnic.

What’s more, most of it is free!

Prices Square, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 2NG

8. JQ Festival

The Helter Skelter at Jewellery Quarter Festival 2016

Where: Jewellery Quarter

When: July 28 to 30

The third annual Jewellery Quarter Festival is back this summer.

There will be lots of free activities, entertainment and opportunities to explore the studios of creatives who all call the Jewellery Quarter home, including graphic designers, leather workers, glass makers and etchers, film makers, photographers, jewellery makers, and architects.

Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter

9. Moseley Arts Market

Moseley Arts Market

Where: Moseley Village Green

When: July 29

Go shopping with a difference. This is a street market where you can buy ceramics, jewellery, metalwork, woodwork, textiles, sculpture and paintings whilst chatting to the artists and designers who’ve made them.

The market starts at 9am and entry is free.

Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8HW

10. Summer Golf Camp

Warley Woods Park (Image: Graham Young)

Where: Warley Woods

When: August 2, 3, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 25

There are free golf sessions with Greg Lynch, PGA Pro at Warley Woods Golf Course on these dates in August.

Sessions for 5 to 8 year olds run from 10am to 12pm and sessions for 9 to 14 year olds run from 12.15pm to 2.15pm.

Spaces are limited. Call 0121 429 2440 to reserve any two sessions per child.

11. Lunchtime Guitar Concert

The Round Room at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Where: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

When: August 4

Set in the museum’s beautiful Round Room, this series of free concerts feature exciting guitar music from the Spanish, Latin and Classical repertoire.

It starts at 1.10pm, admission is free and there is no need to book.

Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH

12. Soundlounge Festival

Project Soundlounge Festival

Where: Birmingham Town Hall

When: August 5 at 5.30pm

Project SoundLounge brings you a free, one day festival focused on bringing people together to celebrate great music.

The line-up features Victories At Sea, The Americas, Tantskii, The Real Cool,Normanton Street, Byron Hare, Slick Don, Lycio and it all starts from 5.30pm.

Victoria Square, Birmingham B3 3DQ

13. Free Tai Chi

Steve Randell and Ian Hay who will be leading a sunrise Tai Chi session at Lickey Hills as part of ParkLives 24 hour Summer Solstice
Tai Chi session at Lickey Hills

Where: Lickey Hills Country Park

When: August 6 and 13

Enjoy an hour’s free Tai chi in the Lickey Hills as part of the Park Lives programme.

It combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle movements to help improve balance and stability.

Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Check for other venues like Cofton Park on alternative dates too.

Beacon Hill, Lickey Hills Country Park (car park is off Monument Lane)

14. Big John’s Birmingham Mela

Where: Cannon Hill Park,

When: August 6

This annual free family event is back with live music, food and entertainment.

More than 40,000 people are expected to turn out to see music performances, funfair rides, an Asian bazaar with clothing, jewellery and music stalls and plenty of food.

15. Circus Skills Workshop

The John Lawson's Circus at Webbs, Wychbold
The John Lawson’s Circus at Webbs, Wychbold

Where: Webbs Garden Centre

When: August 5 from 12 to 2pm

John Lawson is bringing its summer circus to Webbs from August 8 to 13.

You have to pay for tickets but there’s a free circus skills workshop taking place there on the Saturday before.

Worcester Road, Wychbold, Droitwich WR9 0DG

16. Journey into Alice in Wonderland



Where: Oak House Museum

When: August 8 to 10

Journey into Wonderland with crafts, trails and quizzes based on the classic book.

Children are encouraged to go dressed as their favourite characters.

The event runs from 12pm to 5pm with last entry at 4.30pm.

There will be a small charge for craft activities.

Oak Road, West Bromwich, B70 8HJ

17. Mega Mela Family Fun Day

Where: Ward End Park

When: August 13

This annual cultural event is free and fun for all the family.

There will be a funfair, live music, Kabaddi, horse tent pegging, volleyball, a food court and a wide variety of stalls from midday until around 7.30pm.

Ward End Park Road, Birmingham B8 3PH

18. Lichfield Food Festival

Lichfield Food Festival
Lichfield Food Festival

Where: Venues across Lichfield city centre

When: August 26 to 28

There will be a huge selection of food and drink stalls, free cookery demonstrations and pop-up coffee and cocktail bars at this year’s event, which is taking place across the whole Bank Holiday weekend,

You can also check out live music, a brewers event, free children’s activities, and much more!

What’s more, entry is free.

Market Square, Lichfield WS13 6LH

19. Free tennis

(Image: Daniel Graves Photography)

Where: Sutton Park

When: August 27

Got the Wimbledon bug?

Enjoy an hour’s free tennis in Sutton Park from 2pm as part of the Park Lives programme.

Suitable for all ages and abilities, this is an ideal session for beginners.

Check for other venues like Brookvale Park and Aston Park on alternative dates too.

Sutton Park Town Gate entrance to the park

20. Storytelling in the Courtyard

Aston Hall in Aston Park, Birmingham at dawn - spooky!
Aston Hall

Where: Aston Hall

When: August 30

An enthralling folklore story of knights, chivalry, romance and bravery for children and grown-ups alike is promised at Aston Hall at noon and again at 2.30pm.

This event takes place outside in the courtyard.

It’s completely free to attend, however if you wish to visit the Hall usual admission prices will apply.

Trinity Road, Birmingham B6 6JD

21. Middle Earth Festival

Middle Earth Festival 2015 at Sarehole Mill
Middle Earth Festival 2015 at Sarehole Mill

Where: Sarehole Mill

When: September 9 and 10

There will be Medieval combat displays, living history camps, kids activities, archery and crafts at this festival.

It runs from 11am to 5pm on both days and admission is free.

Colebank Road, Hall Green, B13 OBD

22. Edgbaston Tricentenary Festival

Birmingham Botanical Gardens with ice cream van
Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Image: Dale Martin)

Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens

When: September 17

Calthorpe Estates is hosting a day of celebrations and a community event to mark its 300 year anniversary.

There will be live music from local bands, including The Glamaphones, vintage rides, a treasure hunt trail, craft activities, demonstrations and stalls, and ‘gastro’ food and drink.

Free to attend, visitors can register to get their tickets here

Westbourne Road, Birmingham B15 3TR

23. Birmingham Weekender

Square Dance at Birmingham Weekender 2017

Where: Birmingham city centre

When: September 22 to 24

The city’s biggest arts festival is coming back, with a mechanical elephant parading through the city centre, a square full of dancers and a drumming and firework spectacular.

Birmingham Weekender will feature a evening of drumming and pyrotechnics, an alternative village fete and pop-up performances from Birmingham Royal Ballet.

And the team behind Moseley Folk Festival, will be creating a special dance experience for people to try out everything from bhangra and disco to Northern Soul and folk as they get together to eat and drink in the heart of the city as part of this free event.

Various locations across the city

24. Birmingham Caribbean Festival

The opening day of The Caribbean Food Festival in Centenary Square.
The opening day of The Caribbean Food Festival in Centenary Square.

Where: Centenary Square

When: End of September

This will return to Centenary Square again this year but the date is yet to be confirmed.

There will be plenty of Caribbean food, drinks, arts and culture along with live music and performances.

Zoe Chamberlain, 24 free events to enjoy this summer in Birmingham, (2017, July 12) Birmingham Mail.


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