The clocks have changed and sadly the nights are getting shorter (hello, darkness from 4pm- we’ve missed you!) but as tempting as it is to retreat inside from the cold and curl up under a blanket, there is plenty of things to do in Birmingham this November. This month will see old and new events arrive in the city like the long-awaited Christmas markets and festivals to the latest outdoor activities such as ice skating at Luna Springs and West Midland Safari Park’s lantern trail. So, it’s time to wrap up, explore the city and beyond, as well as tuck in to some comforting food and drink- it’s the only way to do November in Birmingham. And to give you plenty of inspiration, check out our guide to the best things to do in Birmingham to make for an unbelievably fab November.
1. Discover a range of culinary specialities from across Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Persia, and India at this new restaurant
Inspired by the heart of soulful Qawwali culture, Qavali is an Indo-Persian restaurant with a difference and it’s heading to Birmingham this month. Qavali is an exclusive concept that features exciting dishes inspired by a diverse region, which remains relatively unexplored in terms of cuisine. Exploring the Ottoman Empire, the menu features culinary specialities from across Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Persia, and India, with many halal options. You’ll find the likes of biryanis, stews and curries as well as deliciously tender meats cooked on the charcoal grill on the menu. Plus the desserts and cocktails at this restaurant opening at Brindley Place are rather special too.
2. Sip on gluhwein at Birmingham’s popular Frankfurt Christmas Market
Following its cancellation last winter, Birmingham City Council is bringing back the city’s popular Frankfurt Christmas Market this year, returning with its numerous stalls in the city centre. Coming to Victoria Square and New Street, Brummies and visitors will be able to enjoy the event at full scale, with tons of food traders, gift stalls and pop-up bars from November 4 to December 23. Bringing the festive cheer back to the city centre in the run up to Christmas, there will be stalls selling a tempting array of food and drink such as gluhwein and spicy sausages, traditional toys, ornaments and gifts.
Set to make Digbeth even cooler this autumn and winter is a brand-new outdoor ice rink that’ll provide you with all the festive feels. From October 23, this 20m x 10m rink will be based where Luna Springs’ al fresco stage once sat and will offer ice skating, ice zorbing and curling. Don’t fancy your skills on the ice? There’ll be ice skating lessons available too. Book your 60-minute ice-skating session here.
4. Get up close with these roaming dinosaurs at Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens
Birmingham is getting a taste of the Jurassic Park experience with a touch more mechanical puppetry and a lot less life-threatening peril. Giant animatronic dinosaurs are set to pop up among the wilderness at the city’s botanical gardens, brought to life by robotic movements and realistic sound effects. The aptly-named Jurassic Encounters will be available to visit from October 23rd until November 7th and during your walk you’ll encounter everything from an 18-metre tall T-Rex, complete with a swaying tail and rumbling breaths, to a towering brachiosaurus steadfastly guarding her eggs.
5. Enjoy top European beers and bratwurst at this new Bavarian wünder-bar
Joining the likes of Dishoom and Rosa’s Thai Cafe at the Paradise development by Chamberlain Square this November is Albert’s Schloss. It will be Birmingham’s first bohemian pleasure palace and it’s a firm favourite in Manchester which serves incredible beers, food and entertainment. The bier haus describes Schloss as “a castle, palace or manor house: built as a retreat for recreation, indulgence, pleasure, and debauchery”, so expect plenty of live music and wild entertainment on stage in the Bavarian party palace such as gospel choirs, drag acts, brass bands, cabaret and more.
6. Visit West Midland Safari Park for their new and glowing Lantern Festival
Things are about to get wild at West Midland Safari Park from October onwards. Well, wilder than usual, as the park is launching a brand new event offering an “an after-dark illuminations experience like no other.” ‘Lantern Festival’ will be kicking off the park’s autumn and winter season with an epic lantern trail taking place from October 22 to December 5, where guests can enjoy mesmerising lighting displays, discover a ‘wild’ range of breathtaking lanterns and explore the walk-through areas of the park like never before. The 3km trail will feature magical lit-up landscapes, dinosaur lanterns, glowing animal installations, a giant interactive piano keyboard, rainbow tunnel and many other creations.
7. Listen to the leaves crunch as you wander through these local woodland areas
In need of a change of scenery? Why not take a trip out and switch off from the world within a woodland blanketed with leaves, with a ton of beautiful routes right on our doorsteps? With around 20 woods recorded by the Woodland Trust within a five mile radius of Birmingham, there are a ton of beautiful routes right on our doorsteps. Whether you want to stay nearer the city or head a tad further afield for some stunning sights, there are plenty of woodland walks brimming with shades of auburn and earthy tones for you to explore near Birmingham this autumn. Check out the best woodland walks near Birmingham here.
It’s the end of an era for celebrated French electronic duo, Daft Punk, and while the news may have proven saddening for many a music fan – we have just the thing to soften the blow. Providing the ultimate tribute in the wake of their split, Fever’s best-selling Candlelight series is back in town – and this time, their world-class musicians will be performing stunning renditions of some of Daft Punk’s biggest hits. Taking place at architecturally gorgeous St Paul’s Church, the venue will be completely bathed in candlelight – providing an intimate and ambient atmosphere as the quartet steals your heart with the sounds of their instruments. Find your tickets here.
9. Head to this festive market at Cathedral Square
Another event to get you into the festive mood is Christmas in Cathedral Square taking place in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral between November 17-December 19 and offering 30 craft, gift and food and drink stalls. Delivered in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Cathedral and Danter Attractions Limited, the market will provide a platform for local businesses, producers and craftspeople in the area surrounding St Phillip’s Cathedral and Pigeon Park. Traders will be able to showcase their goods in the run up to Christmas, complimenting other established festive events in the city centre like Birmingham’s German Christmas Market.
10. Watch brilliant dance performances in celebration of Deepvali: the Festival of Light
Heading to Midland Arts Centre this November is Deepvali: The Festival of Light; an evening of South Asian dance such as Bollywood, Kathak, Bharatanatyam to Bhangara and Dandiya Raas, in celebration of Deepavali also more commonly known as Diwali. One of the most popular Indian festivals globally, Deepavali celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. This performance taking place on November 6 features some of the best British South Asian Dance artists, companies, and community groups from the West Midlands and across the UK.
Perfectly combining ice skating and bottomless brunch, Bottomless Brunch on Ice will get you in the Christmas spirit this November (which after last year, we just can’t tell whether it’s too early or not). The session takes place on selected Sundays and will kick off with 30 minutes of ice skating to electric beats, played by live DJs, followed by a bottomless brunch. You’ll have a choice of burgers, and unlimited bubbles or beer, set under Christmas decor to really get you in the festive mood. Ho, ho, ho, head here to book your tickets.
12. Take a day trip to Manchester to discover this twinkling winter island
We know it’s not quite the same as Birmingham, but this winter wonderland might just be enough to convince you to leave the city and head north. Winter Island, presented by Escape to Freight Island at Manchester’s Depot Mayfield, is set to kick off from November 5 until the end of the year. The winter wonderland will have no shortage of festive entertainment to keep you busy over the next two months and best of all, it’s only an easy hour and half by train away from Birmingham New Street. There will be firework displays, delicious food and drink, a bottomless champagne brunch, Christmas tree forest, comedy nights, DJ sets, live karaoke and more.