April 12 is the proposed date for when we can start to enjoy days out again, as part of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.
The Prime Minister has warned this date could be pushed back if Covid infections are not under control. Further announcements on reopenings will be made on April 5.
We’ve been checking the reopening plans for all your favourite places, and have put together this guide to help you plan some lovely days out as the weather starts to get warmer.
Remember to check opening times and booking requirements ahead as they are likely to be different to normal, be sure to social distance and wear a face mask when necessary. Always stay at home if you have any coronavirus symptoms.
Go for a pub lunch in a beer garden
Lots of pubs have introduced outdoor spaces so that you can enjoy a drink and a meal with friends and family when they hope to reopen on April 12.
Some, like Craft in Brindleyplace, have introduced pods for people to sit in, whilst restaurants like Chung Ying Cantonese in Chinatown have built sheltered terraces for diners. The Physician in Edgbaston has erected a huge teepee at the front of the garden.
Many venues have added marques to enable guests to sit outside, even if it rains. And most are now running a booking system to ensure there is enough social distancing between tables.
There are lots of al fresco cafe options to enjoy too. Check out our guide to family friendly pubs and cafes with outdoor spaces here.
Have fun at a theme park
Theme parks across the Midlands are set to reopen on April 12 in line with government guidelines.
Selected rides will remain closed and tickets will be limited each day to ensure safe social distancing measures can be followed. Booking is essential.
You’ll probably have to have your temperature taken on arrival and to use the hand sanitisers available. One way systems are likely to be in place in some areas.
Cafes and food outlets will be open as takeaways, and bookings will have to be made in advance online.
Drayton Manor is reopening with a controlled entrance for Thomas Land will have a controlled entrance and Sodor Railway will operate a one way system. Find out more and book tickets here
Alton Towers is reopening with temperature checks on arrival, enhanced cleaning, one-way systems, and social distancing markers in ride queues, shops, restaurants and more. Find out more and book here Selected self-contained accommodation will become available to guests again too. Check out our guide to family attractions reopening here
Hit the Midlands beach!
The ‘secret beach’ near Brum reopened on March 29, and is welcoming guests to enjoy some fun in the sun.
Bosworth Water Park’s inland lagoon beach in Nuneaton will be open throughout the Easter holidays and on into the summer.
Elsewhere, outdoor pools have been given the green light to reopen, although many are choosing to wait until May to reopen their doors to guests. Watch this space.
Go skiing, snowboarding or ice-skating
The SnowDome is planning to reopen from April 12, offering sport-based activities including recreational skiing and snowboarding, ski and snowboard lessons, climbing and swimming.
There will be temperature check stations on arrival, one way routes, limited tickets, free-of-charge face tubes to be worn on beginner ski and snowboard lessons and sanitation stations throughout the building. Find out more and book here
Planet Ice is reopening from April 12 – but not for everyone. Following government guidance, the Solihull ice rink is opening for under 18’s educational activities. That means you can book your kids in for lessons and private hire only. Find out more and book here The rink bosses are hoping to reopen to everyone from May 17.
Visit a zoo or safari park
It’s been a long time since we were able to see Sutton the not-so-baby elephant at West Midland Safari Park! The Worcestershire attraction plans to reopen on April 12 and you can book ahead for tickets now.
There will be specialist cleaning of all facilities and rides and all tickets must be booked in advance online, including annual pass ticketholders. Indoor exhibits will remain closed and there will be takeaway options only from the restaurants. Find out more and book tickets here
Tickets are on sale for Twycross Zoo too ahead of its reopening date of April 12. You need to book an arrival timeslot then scan a QR code via your mobile phone on arrival for NHS track and trace purposes. Indoor areas will be closed but outdoor play areas (excluding Wet ‘n’ Wild) will be open with rules that hands must be washed or sanitised well before and after using the equipment. Find out more and book here
And Dudley Zoo is also reopening on April 12. Find out more and book tickets here
Yearning for a bit of retail therapy? Non-essential shops will be reopening from April 12, providing Covid targets are met.
This means that high street chains at Bullring, The Fort and intu Merry Hill can open their doors to shoppers again.
Opening times are likely to be different to normal and additional social distancing measures are being put in place as these centres are expected to get busy. Shops have just been given the go-ahead to stay open until 10pm.
There are click and collect and home delivery options available for those who would prefer not to queue.
Meet friends at a park you’ve never visited before
So, we’ve done all the walks on our doorstep, right? From April 12, you’re allowed to drive further afield and to meet up with friends and family so long as you follow the rule of six or two households.
Why not visit one of these parks with cafes so that you can picnic with friends or family members? Or you could try one of these lovely 16 spring walks in places like the Malvern Hills, Kinver Edge or Kingsbury Water Park.
Or you could try something entirely different, like going on one of these waterfall walks in places like the Peak District or Church Stretton.
Go on a staycation
Maybe you’re looking for a couple of days out rather than just one?
The government is still advising people to be cautious and to not travel too far or mix with another household so why not book something fun close to home?
There are plenty of cool places to stay within 90 minutes drive of Birmingham and the Black Country – including thatched Cotswold cottages, treepods with hot tubs, glamping tents and more.
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We’re talking more than just the trees in your local park here! Go Ape has been given the green light to reopen from March 29 under government guidelines.
There are Go Ape centres in the Wyre Forest, Coventry and Cannock. You’ll be able to enjoy treetop challenges and more under strict Covid safety measures. Find out more here
You can also take on the high ropes challenge at Bear Grylls Adventure from April 14. The rest of the activities at the NEC site, including the assault course, will not reopen until May 20. Find out more and book here
Head to a castle
Whilst museums remain closed for the time being, it is possible to enjoy a bit of historical culture at an outdoor historical location.
Warwick Castle & Knight’s Village will reopen on April 12 with additional hygiene and safety measures in place throughout the attraction, including temperature checks on arrival, enhanced cleaning, one-way systems and social distancing markers.
You must pre-book your tickets prior to arrival. Find out more and book here
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Book tickets to an outdoor event
It’s great to see that outdoor events are being planned again. You can book tickets for events from April right through into the summer and beyond.
Highlights include a panto-style Horrible Histories that’s being billed as a ‘Car Park Party‘ as you can watch from the comfort and safety of your car. It’s happening at New Meadow Stadium in Shrewsbury on April 16 at 2pm and 5pm. Book here
From July 2 to 4, there’s Timber Festival in the National Forest, which features three days of music, art and ideas. Book here.
And there’s also the Just So Festival from August 20 to 22 at Rode Hall near Stoke-on-Trent. This festival is filled with magical family fun from theatre and puppetry to traditional sports days and live music. Book here.
Play a round of mini golf
Under government guidelines, you can enjoy a round of crazy golf from March 29. That’s the date that Golden Putter Mini Golf is reopening in Cannon Hill Park in Edgbaston. This large course has water features, bridges and obstacles to tackle. Find out more here
Four Ashes Crazy Golf in Solihull is reopening that day too, as is Mini Pro Golf Parks, which is set in a pretty location in Wolverley, near Kidderminster, next to a river, a church and traditional pub. Check out our guide to the best places to play mini golf here
And, there’s a new Mountains of the World themed mini golf attraction being built at Planters Garden Centre in Tamworth too. Bosses hope it will be open on April 17, the final weekend of the Easter holidays.
Head to the beach – but be sensible!
You can drive further afield from April 12 although people are being advised to be sensible and make sure they do everything they can to avoid spreading infection. It’s worth bearing in mind that some beaches may get very busy if the sun’s shining.
The ‘hidden beach’ near to Brum – Bosworth Water Park – is set to reopen from March 29, and you can take a look at our guide to Birmingham’s nearest Blue Flag beaches here. There’s also our guide to hidden beaches too, if you’re looking for something a bit quieter.
You can also look forward to the manmade beach returning to Planters Garden Centre in Tamworth in the summer too. Other manmade beaches in the area are expected to be announced soon.
See baby animals at a farm or petting zoo
Spring is a great time to visit a farm or petting zoo as there are likely to be lots of cute baby animals to meet.
Hatton Adventure World is reopening on April 12. The farm features more than 450 creatures set in 100 acres of countryside and has a daily entertainment programme of activities whatever the weather. Find out more and book here
Ash End Children’s Farm is reopening on April 12 too, with most activities available except for the tractor trailer ride. The Play Barn won’t reopen until May 17.
What’s not reopening as yet
You’ll have to wait a bit longer to return to the following attractions as no announcements have been made yet as to when they reopen:
- Black Country Living Museum – planning to reopen from May 17
- Rush Trampoline Park, Stirchley, Birmingham – planning to reopen from May 17
- Children’s Play Village, Warwick – planning to reopen from May 17
- Imagination Street, Redditch – planning to reopen from May 17
- Big Play Barn, Tamworth – planning to reopen in May
- Neverland Funhouse, Erdington, Birmingham
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – will remain closed until 2022 whilst essential electrical upgrading takes place
- City council swimming pools
* Is your cafe, attraction or club reopening soon? We’d love to hear about it. Let us know via our Brummie Mummies Facebook page or by emailing email@example.com