The ten best things to do in Birmingham over the summer

From street food to sculpture and cinema to cycling, here are ten essential events to light up your summer
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Made Birmingham

Made Birmingham

Birmingham’s biggest music event is back at the Digbeth Triangle with live performances, DJing and street culture. Taking place in The Rainbow Venues, drum and bass, grime, house and garage sounds will be filling the air as revellers party and enjoy a feast of street food. 

www.made-festival.co.uk

Running feet
Wikimedia Commons

Shape Youth Festival and the Blind Dave Colour Run

In partnership with Shape Youth Festival, this London Midland-sponsored event at Sandwell Valley Country Park returns as a vibrant celebration of health, community and achievement. Black Country legend Dave Heeley leads this fun, family event around the parkland for a 5k walk, crawl, skip or run, wearing silly, colourful costumes.

www.thealbionfoundation.co.uk

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The Big Sleuth

The Big Sleuth

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity presents a free, ten-week public art trail of bear sculptures on the streets of the city, in its parks and other open spaces, with satellite trails in Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Sandwell and at Resorts World. There will be lots of fun activities linked to the festival to raise money for charity. The Big Sleuth is proudly sponsored by London Midland.

www.thebigsleuth.co.uk

Birmingham Barber Institute
Wikimedia Commons

Birmingham & Solihull Jazz Festival

As well as headline live shows, free shows and workshops, there are lots of great side events, like Edwardian Tearoom Late: Cocktails and Jazz at the Museum & Art Gallery (July 15, 6pm-10pm, free). The action takes place at various venues around the city, including the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, pictured above.

www.birminghamjazzfestival.com

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RSC Stratford upon Avon
Wikimedia Commons

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony Byrne and Josette Simon head up a powerful cast for this major production at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon this summer, with Iqbal Khan directing and music by Laura Mvula.

www.rsc.org.uk

Gin Festival Birmingham

Gin Festival Birmingham

Meet distillers and sample new gins, then enjoy live music and great food as you sip at the cocktail bar at this celebration of over 100 different gins. Taking place at Market Hall, Custard Factory.

www.ginfestival.com

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Velo Birmingham
Dan Milner

Velo Birmingham

Sponsored by London Midland, Velo Birmingham offers the freedom of 100 miles of closed roads as 15,000 cyclists join this major event. Open to riders of all levels of experience, including newbies, the ride starts from Broad Street Birmingham and is the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors – heading through the picturesque Worcestershire and Herefordshire countryside before returning to Birmingham.

www.velobirmingham.com

Birmingham Weekender

Birmingham Weekender

The city’s biggest arts gathering is back for music, dance, parades and a huge mechanical elephant... really! Say a final farewell to summer with a feast of free outdoor theatre, music and art at multiple venues across the centre of town. Highlights promised include a drumming and firework spectacular and a festival of social dancing in Victoria Square.

www.birminghamweekender.com

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Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon

The dazzling new production of this classic stage musical, based on Puccini’s opera ‘Madama Butterfly’, comes to the Brum Hippodrome.

www.birminghamhippodrome.com

MAC Birmingham

Sundown Cinema

Enjoy classic movies under the stars this summer, with cocktails in hand and your singing voice at the ready, as Mac Birmingham presents a series of fab films in its outdoor arena: ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (Aug 11), ‘Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit’ (Aug 18), ‘This is Spinal Tap’ (Aug 25) and ‘Bridesmaids’ (Sep 1).

www.macbirmingham.co.uk

Where to eat in Birmingham

Restaurants

The best restaurants in Birmingham

Birmingham's restaurant scene is pretty much second to none. But with so many opportunities for fulfilling repasts, which to try first? We've put together our favourite venues right here, so some of these might be good places to start.  

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