Disclosure: we were given free tickets to the grotto for the purpose of this post.
On Sunday morning we headed over to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to check out their Santa’s Grotto. Both Georgie and Lydia were very excited to see Santa (they can’t get enough of the big guy!), and we enjoyed a lovely lunch in the tea rooms afterwards, and spent some time in the Mini Museum too.
The museum’s grotto is in a room on it’s own this year, and there is shiny silver and faux snow everywhere in there, the kids loved it! My photos really don’t do it justice at all as the silver sparkly overload was sending my camera a bit nuts. It felt very festive and Christmassy, and very welcoming.
Santa and his elves were very friendly, and Santa chatted to the two girls before giving them (age appropriate) presents. We were given a print out of the photograph they took at no extra cost, which is a nice touch as so many grottos charge extra for this. We didn’t feel rushed at all and Santa was great with our timid Georgiana.
We followed directions given to us by the front desk to the grotto and found our way there ok, but it would have been good if there had been a few signs leading the way, as we weren’t sure we were headed in the right direction at one point.
We spotted the children’s craft area near the grotto, which looked fun – they had plenty of supplies on hand and it looked like they were busy making a reindeer face craft. The craft activity costs £2 per child – unfortunately we didn’t have any cash with us so couldn’t stop to join in.
It was almost lunchtime so we headed to the Edwardian Tearooms within the museum. I think the tearooms is a bit of a hidden gem in Birmingham; the food is really nice and not too expensive. We paid around £30 for lunch for the four of us, plus a little bit more for some cakes after we finished our meals.
The girls opened their presents while we waited for our food to be ready, and were delighted with some animal craft kits – Georgie spent some time on Sunday afternoon enjoying doing hers.
James and I both enjoyed their Christmas special roast dinner (2 for £20), while the girls both tucked into beans and toast from their children’s menu. They offer around 5 or 6 dishes for children, all of which are very reasonably priced. They have cartons of milk and orange juice available for children to drink, and Lydia also had a cup of water after finishing her milk.
While we were eating one of Santa’s helpers from the grotto found us and returned Lydia’s Ewan to her, which she had abandoned unnoticed in the grotto – phew! We hadn’t even noticed but it would have caused BIG problems at bedtime. It is a great example of how kind & helpful we always find the museum staff.
After lunch we spent some time enjoying the Mini Museum next to the tearooms, which are brilliant for small children. I read the girls some stories, and Georgie had a great time playing Little Big Museum which is a custom Little Big Planet level they have playable for children to enjoy – it was a brilliant playable representation of the museum and she loved it!
If you want a classic grotto experience without loads of bells & whistles, in a lovely location, for a low price, then the BMAG grotto might be for you. You can spend hours looking around the museum and galleries, letting your children explore the Mini Museum, and get delicious food & drink right there in the tearooms and bridge cafe inside the musuem. We had a lovely morning and definitely recommend this grotto.
The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery grotto is £5 per child and is running every weekend up to Christmas. Find out more on their website.