Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery | Kidadl

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

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Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines

  • Part of the Birmingham Museums Trust, the Museum & Art Gallery is a free, Grade II listed landmark in Birmingham city centre.
  • Across more than 40 galleries, the centre documents history, fine art, the natural world, ceramics, jewels, archaeology and much more.
  • Highlights include the renowned Pre-Raphaelite gallery, the treasure of Staffordshire Hoard, the Faith in Birmingham exhibit and explorations of the city's local and industrial history.
  • The BMAG also hosts tons of diverse temporary exhibitions on its grounds every year and offers interactive Family Museum Activity Packs.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is the city's main cultural and historical exhibition space in the heart of the town centre. The focal point of Chamberlain Square, this West Midlands museum features over 40 galleries covering every aspect of art and history in its Grade II listed building.

Since opening in 1885, the BMAG has showcased the best of Birmingham's cultural history as well as showcasing hundreds of creators and thinkers across the world. In its vast permanent galleries, set in an iconic clock-tower landmark, visitors can explore the integral role Birmingham played in the UK's Industrial Revolution; discover British art from the Baroque to the present day; and uncover tons of fascinating artefacts from natural history, engineering, ethnography, jewellery and more. Birmingham Museums cares for the most acclaimed collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the whole world that can be marvelled at in the Pre-Raphaelites Gallery, which features over 3000 paintings, prints, drawings and design pieces from this revolutionary period of art. Visitors can also discover the dramatic portraits, still-life paintings and landscapes of Europe's Baroque art, learn about the most progressive pieces produced right here in the city in the Birmingham School of Art gallery, and revel in the vibrant and abstract Contemporary & Modern Art collections of today. Elsewhere you can explore Birmingham's role in the Cold War and World Wars, trace the development of metalwork, jewellery and ceramics in the West Midlands and unpack some natural history through the archaeological artefacts. Alternatively, discover the eclectic range of cultures and religions that make up this diverse city in the Faith in Birmingham gallery. Don't miss the two-metre tall Buddha statue that dates all the way back to the 7th century and was one of the first-ever pieces to be donated to the Birmingham Art Gallery.

The Baroque gallery room of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

As well as its acclaimed permanent galleries, there are also plenty of temporary exhibitions that are hosted in the Museum and Art Gallery throughout the year. This includes the stunning Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, the Birmingham Revolutions exhibition, which documents the city's rich history of activism and protest, and the fabulous Dressed to the Nines gallery featuring the most dazzling ball gowns and party clothes from across the years. There is also tons of interactive and hands-on fun for families to get involved with at the BMAG including immersive Photo Studio activities, fascinating talks and lectures for artistic teens, and a wonderful Family Activity Pack for younger kids to get the most out of the museum, which features drawing challenges, discovery hunts, nature trails, mazes, storyboards and more. To wind down after a day of learning and exploring, be sure to stop off at the gorgeous Edwardian Tearooms on-site for a delightful afternoon tea, coffee break or relaxed lunch in a stunning historic setting.

The Museum and Art Gallery is one of the best free things to do in Birmingham for families and a must-see landmark whilst you're visiting the area. For even more museums in Birmingham city centre, make sure you check out the inspiring Thinktank science centre and mouth-watering Cadbury World chocolate factory experience.

What to know before you go

  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is currently open from 10am to 5pm on Wednesdays to Sundays.
  • Entrance is free, but Birmingham Museums Trust ask you to consider making a small donation if possible during your visit.
  • We recommend allowing at least one and a half to two hours for your visit to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
  • The museum is fully accessible for visitors with mobility issues with lift access available at the Edmund Street Gas Hall entrance and seated rest areas in all spaces of the gallery.
  • Accessible toilets can be found on all levels of the museum in the Waterhall, Gas Hall, Round Room and the beginning of the Birmingham History Galleries.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome in all areas of Birmingham Museum, and Art Gallery and water bowls can be provided for free from the Edwardian Tearooms.
  • The Birmingham Museums Trust provide Social Stories guides to assist visitors with autism.
  • Baby changing facilities can be found throughout the venue as well as a baby changing room off of Gallery 20. Breastfeeding is welcomed throughout the Museum and Art Gallery.
  • For eating and drinking on site, you can head to the beautiful Edwardian Tearooms on Level 2 of the museum, which serve a range of brunches, lunches, cakes, hot drinks and popular afternoon teas. They offer great children's menus, facilitate all dietary requirements and have highchairs available for you to use. Look out for the special 'Press For Champagne' service and regular special food and drink offers available throughout the week.
  • There is also a picnic area near to the Gas Hall reception if you prefer to bring your own food.
  • There are also tons of family-friendly eateries nearby off of New Street such as Wagamama, Byron Burgers, Bella Italia, Bodega Cantina, Las Iguanas and many more. We also recommend Birmingham specials Yorks Café & Coffee Roasters, Medicine Bakery and Damascena Middle Eastern restaurant off of Cathedral Square.
  • The Birmingham Museums Shop on Level 2 by the Round Room offers a wide range of gifts, books, toys, stationery, postcards, jewellery and home produce from local Birmingham traders.
  • Be sure to pick up a Kids and Family Museum Activity Pack for a small fee during your visit which features trails, drawing activities, challenges, badges and more.

Getting there

  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is located in the heart of this West Midlands city centre in Chamberlain Square.
  • If you are travelling via car, the museum can be accessed from the M6, M5 and M42 and the nearest parking can be found at Town Hall Car Park, just a 5-minute walk away. Parking charges apply here.
  • Birmingham City Council provides free Blue Badge holder parking spots on Margaret Street.
  • You can also park at the NCP Birmingham Grand Central car park or NCP Birmingham Newhall Street car park.
  • Several city centre buses service the museum via Colmore Row including the routes 9, X10, 82, 87, 89, 120, 127 and 128.
  • The nearest tram stop to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is Birmingham Town Hall, just a 2-minute walk away.
  • Both Snow Hill Station and Birmingham New Street station are less than a 10-minute walk away and service most major cities within England. Birmingham Museums are signposted around the city centre.
  • Bike racks are available in Chamberlain Square.
     

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