The leaves are changing colour and the nights are getting darker, but there's no better time to explore Birmingham than the autumn. The next few months are going to be full of spooky and seasonal fun. Here’s our pick of the best things to do before Christmas takes over.
Things to do in Birmingham this autumn
Get ready for the freakiest night of the year with a visit to the Halloween ‘Spooktacular’ at Cadbury World. Perfect family entertainment, it provides plenty of chances for singing and dancing as you watch Witchy Woo Woo, Wolfy the Wolfman, Frankie Frankenstein and other fun characters compete in ‘The Scream Factor’. More scary milk than Dairy Milk… Sat Oct 21-Sun Oct 29.
Calling all vinyl lovers! The best selection of rare records in the UK heads to Birmingham's Custard Factory this November. With sellers from all over the country set to trade, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a hardcore enthusiast or a casual crate-digger, you’re bound to find something to augment your collection. With music ranging from prog rock and punk to hip hop, soul and reggae, it’s the ideal way to find your groove. Sat Nov 11.
Petrolheads and auto-enthusiasts, get ready to start your engines – this exhibition at the NEC will put you in top gear with 240 nationwide bike and car clubs showcasing over 2,500 vintage vehicles. Expect special guests – in the past, everyone from Chris Evans to Steve Coogan has made an appearance – and a whole host of events from auctions to try-outs. If you’ve ever wanted to drive a classic E-type Jaguar, this is your chance. Fri Nov 10-Sun Nov 12.
We know that pretty much every pub offers craft beers these days. But if you really want to brush up on your brews, you’ve got to visit the Birmingham Beer & Cider Festival. With more than 200 different real ales, ciders and perries on offer, this is the place to sample stouts, porters, IPAs and other truly memorable concoctions. Smooth Hoperator or Dartford Wobbler anyone? Thu Oct 26-Sat Oct 28.
Find out more about the Birmingham Beer & Cider Festival.
Cheese fans rejoice: Cheese Fest UK arrives in Birmingham for a day of dairy at the Custard Factory. Featuring some of the best cheese traders and street-food stalls from around the country, there will also be wines and craft beers to match. Dubbed ‘the most important day of cheese Birmingham has ever seen’ – now that’s a claim – it promises to indulge your cheese dreams with everything from melted raclette to cheese wheels and gooey mozzarella sticks. Sweet cheesus! Sat Nov 18.
A live comedy gameshow that’s as up-to-date as the iPhone 8. Log in with your smartphone or tablet, and compete with the audience around you in a range of quizzes, games and challenges. Hosted by comedian and regular videogames commentator Steve McNeil, it offers two sessions: one at 2pm for families and children aged seven-plus and another at 7pm for over-12s. Perfect for parents who can’t get their kids unglued from their screens – if you can’t beat them, join them (especially when there are prizes up for grabs). Sat Nov 18.
Moseley Farmers' Market
There are farmers' markets and then there's the Moseley Farmers' Market. Three times voted 'Best Farmers' Market in the UK', it features more than 60 stalls selling everything from fruit and veg, to cheese and wine, to pies and beer. With the produce all fresh, high quality and locally made, you can rock up to do the weekly shop or just grab a bite for lunch. The market, which takes place on the last Saturday of every month, also ploughs its profits back into the community, making your support even more welcome.
Find out more about Moseley Farmers' Market.
The hugely popular Netflix show 'Stranger Things' returns for its second series at the end of October, with more spooky adventures promised for Eleven and co. Get in the mood with this series of inspirational movies at the Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen, including a free screening of ‘The Goonies’, a ‘Stranger Things’ quiz coupled with a showing of ‘Beetlejuice’, and a chance to catch Steven Spielberg’s seminal ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’. Don’t miss these classics on the big screen. Throughout Oct.
The days of playing mini-golf on freezing cold putting greens are long gone. For a seriously twisted indoor round of 18 holes, head over to Ghetto Golf at Birmingham’s Custard Factory. Walls and floors decked out with graffiti and luminous artwork, a cocktail bar and DJs will help transform this holiday camp activity into the coolest thing you’ve done all year. We can’t promise you’ll improve your handicap, but you’ll have a blast.
Find out more about Ghetto Golf.
What a way to usher in Halloween. The foyer of Birmingham’s impressive Town Hall will be transformed to host a double bill of silent horror movies: a 1910 version of 'Frankenstein' and FW Murnau’s 1921 classic 'Nosferatu'. If that wasn’t shiver-inducing enough, it’ll be accompanied with live organ music from musician Nigel Ogden. You’re also encouraged to dress up, with a prize for the best spooky outfit on the night. Boo! Tue Oct 31.