Cracking Culture in Birmingham this Easter

By on 15/04/2011 in Culture, News

From St George to steam engines, Vaisakhi to Shakespeare, there are plenty of cultural family events and activities in the city centre, museums, parks and libraries during the Easter holiday, and many are either free or low cost.

On Saturday 23 April the annual Birmingham's St George's Day will take place in Victoria and Chamberlain Squares between 11am - 5pm.  There will be free summer fête style celebrations, a chance to meet St George, live music, interactive games, Morris dancing, traditional English food and drink and plenty of activities for children.

There will also be a Celebrating England Concert at Symphony Hall starring Gary Wilmot in the evening.  Booking for this very popular event is essential, Please call 0121 780 3333 (Symphony Hall Box Office) or visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/st-george.

On Sunday 24 April, one of the world's largest Vaisakhi celebrations will be returning to Handsworth Park.  The celebrations start at 11.30am on Sunday as two huge processions set off from Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) in Hockley and Smethwick.  The free event in Handsworth Park (12 noon – 6.30pm) will include live music, sports, entertainment, a children's inflatable play area, Punjabi food and craft stalls

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said, “The Easter Holidays provide imaginative and diverse events and activities in the heart of Birmingham's communities. I’m delighted that we have been able to offer such a great range of events for local people and visitors alike that are affordable.”

There are plenty of entertaining events at Birmingham's unique museums.  At Blakesley Hall on Saturday 23 April there will be a Shakespeare Day.  Visitors to this free event will get the chance to meet the Bard on his birthday as he works on a new play (12noon - 4pm)

At Soho House on Easter Monday (25th April) there's a free Family Fun Steam Day (12noon-4pm) featuring a working traction engine in steam, the chance to ride on a model steam railway in the garden (50p per ride) and storytelling, inspired by Soho’s gas light pioneer and engineer William Murdock, for all to enjoy.

Throughout the holiday there will also be daily Easter Egg Hunts at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter from 10.30am-4pm(nb except 17 - 18 April when the MJQ is closed),  Family Craft Activities at Sarehole Mill (Wednesday 20th April), and a Tea Cup Surprise children’s craft activity at Soho House (Friday 22nd April).

There are lots of free exhibitions to stimulate the imagination at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in the city centre, including 'In Touch' and 'How Art is Made',  specifically designed for young people.  During the Easter weekend there are themed activities such as an Easter Bug Parade (19-21 April) where visitors can handle a range of exotic mini-beasts, including snakes, bearded dragons, giant snails and stick insects.  More details at 0121 303 2834 or www.bmag.org.uk

The Nature Centre has come out of hibernation in time for the Easter Holidays.  The six acre site is home to wallabies and lemurs, meercats, Goeldi's monkeys, snakes and the latest arrivals – four squirrel monkeys!  For little ones there's a play area in Lilliput Village - home to guinea pigs and maras, one of which has recently given birth.  Admissions are: £4 adults, £2.50 concessions, £1.50 children aged 5-15, under 5 years free.

Birmingham's Libraries are a great source of free entertainment for young and old alike, with many local libraries running craft and story time sessions over the Easter holidays.  Contact your local library for details or call 0121 303 4511.  www.birmingham.gov.uk/libraries

Young people (aged 8-16) can keep fit at any of the ICE Youth Gyms throughout the city, contact 0121 464 2012.for details. Children under 13 years can play golf for free with a paying adult at any of the city's seven beautifully landscaped golf courses.  Golf is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise so try a round this Easter and maybe you'll get the golfing bug!  www.golfbirmingham.co.uk

For more information about events and activities taking place at Birmingham City Council's museums including Museum and Art Gallery visit www.bmag.org.uk or call 0121 303 2834.

-ends-

Media Contact: Jason Lewis 0121 303 4266
jason.lewis@birmingham.gov.uk

Events

St George's Day – 23 April, 11am - 5pm
Celebrate England's patron saint's day
Victoria and Chamberlain Squares
Free
0121 303 3008
www.birmingham.gov.uk/st-george

St George's Day Concert – 23 April, 6 – 9pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Tickets £10 (Grand Tier £8)
0121 780 3333 (Symphony Hall Box Office)
www.birmingham.gov.uk/st-george

Vaisakhi – 24 April
Processions at 11.30am from Sikh temples in Hockley and Smethwick.
Handsworth Park from 12 noon – 6.30pm
Free
303 3008
www.birmingham.gov.uk/vaisakhi

Museums

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
Easter Egg Hunt
until Monday 25th April (except Sunday 17 April and Monday April as closed)
10.30am-4pm
Follow the clues on our eggsciting Easter egg hunt around the museum.  Complete the hunt and win a prize!
Admission: Adults £4
Concessions £3
Children under 16 FREE
Further details: 0121 554 3598

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
The Easter Bug Parade!
19th – 21st April
11am – 4pm
An event for the whole family in the Learning Zone. For £1 per person, visitors can drop into our Learning Zone to get up close to and handle a range of exotic mini-beasts, including Archie the snake, Basil the bearded dragon, and many more unusual creatures like giant snails and stick insects!  There will also be a chance to make your own bug badge to take home with you.  No booking is required, but during busy periods visitors may be asked to join a queue.

This event is run by experienced educational company, Natural World Experience Ltd. You may have seen them at Hatton Farm Village, Hatton Country World.  Have a look at their website to find out more: www.naturalworldexperience.com
Further details: 0121 303 1966

Sarehole Mill
Family Craft Activty
20th April 2011
1 – 3pm
Make an Easter artwork to take home
£1 per child
Admission: Adults £3
Concessions £2
Further details: 0121 777 6612

Soho House
Tea Cup Surprise!
22nd April 2011
12.30-3.30pm
Make a pop-up mouse puppet. Cost £1 per child.
Admission: Adults £4
Concessions £3
Further details:  0121 554 9122

Full Steam Ahead!
Easter Monday Family Steam Day
25th April 2011
12noon – 4pm
Admission: Adults £4
Concessions £3
Further details:  0121 554 9122

Blakesley Hall
Shakespeare day
23rd April 2011
Meet the bard as he works on his new play. Free event
12 noon – 4pm
Further details: 0121 464 2193

Parks

Birmingham Nature Centre
Admissions: £4 adults, £2.50 concessions, £1.50 children aged 5-15, under 5 years free.
0121 472 7775
www.birmingham.gov.uk/naturecentre

www.birmingham.gov.uk/parks

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