Autumn is underway; the sun is setting earlier, temperatures are dropping and everyone is cosying up. But that doesn’t mean there’s no fun to be had. With awesome events such as Oktoberfest and Halloween taking place this month, it means we don’t have to remain indoors all October. So, without further ado, here’s our guide to the best things to do in Birmingham to make for an epic October.
1. Join the Bavarian celebrations of Oktoberfest with beer and bratwurst
Why go to Germany when Germany can come to you? Dust off your lederhosen, top up on the best Bavarian beer from ALDI and start blasting all the greatest German folk music hits. Because Bavaria is coming to Birmingham. Oompah! Technically Oktoberfest runs from September 16 to October 3, but the stein-swigging festivities keep flowing into this month in Birmingham. From Luna Springs to Bierkeller, check out all the Oktoberfest celebrations here. Did someone say: Wo sind die Hände?
2. Buy rare and retro shirts at this pop-up event
This four-day event (October 19 to 22) sees Mystery Football host its first-ever pop-up shop event in the Bullring. Here’s your chance to get your hands on obscure and sought-after football shirts from across the globe. Including national, rare and retro shirts from more than 30 countries and 50 leagues, past and present. Stock includes such gems as Mexico 2022 World Cup, Atletico Mineiro 2023, Red Star Paris anniversary, Borussia Dortmund neon limited edition, vintage Birmingham City, Aston Villa, West Brom and more. While, on each of the four days, visitors will also be able to play FIFA on a big-screen TV.
3. Sip on a warming mug of delicious hot chocolate
With autumn in full swing, it means the hot chocolate season has arrived. From sophisticated mugs of rich, chocolatey heaven, to goblets of milky goodness with gooey marshmallows and cream, there are plenty of places in Birmingham to grab a hug in a mug that is hot chocolate. Just what the doctor ordered! Check out our guide to Birmingham’s dreamiest hot chocolates where you can sip on the hot drink happily and escape the unpredictable British weather.
4. Have the fright of your life at this immersive scare maze
There are a lot of wicked Halloween events taking place in Birmingham this October. But the pick of the bunch has to be Luna Springs’ custom-built scare maze (October 18 – November 4). Designed around an abandoned nuclear facility, the Digbeth-based venue is inviting you to MELTDOWN. Expect this immersive horror experience to be filled with live actors hiding around every corner. Plus, there will be a fun fair, street food, DJs and a bar – which you can also enjoy without visiting the scare maze. To learn more about this scare maze head here.
If you know cinema then you have undoubtedly heard the name Hans Zimmer. Even if you haven’t heard his name you’ve definitely heard his work. The legendary composer has been moulding our musical experiences through film and TV since as far back as the 1980s, dusting his musical magic over Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean and even The Simpsons. Now on October 26, you have the chance to experience this in a way you never have before at Birmingham Botanical Gardens under the gentle glow of candlelight. Tickets are available here.
6. Go pumpkin picking to carve the perfect jack-o-lantern
Whether you’re doing it for the ‘gram or just absolutely love getting your carve on, there are a number of pumpkin patches near Birmingham you can visit this autumn. Whether you want to make Halloween-inspired jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin soup, these fields will not only be brimming with pumpkins but also plenty of activities to get involved in from carving to photoshoots with your produce. Check out the best pumpkin patches near Birmingham here.
7. Try your luck at winning prizes at Bongo’s Bingo
Award-winning Bongo’s Bingo returns to The Forum in Birmingham this month. Shows will take place on October 7 and 20, before a big Halloween special on October 28. If you’re looking for crazy things to do this October, Bongo’s Bingo combines the much-loved quaint pastime of bingo with rave rounds, dance-offs, and crazy prizes. Brace for a night full of madness, mischief and shared euphoria! To learn more head here.
8. Cosy up or cower with one of these spine-tingling movies
This year’s Halloween celebrations have to make up for last year’s sitting-in-the-house-avoiding-others, but there’s always space for some spooky films and popcorn. So, whether you’re going out or staying in on October 31, there’s plenty of time to squeeze in a few of these fantastic films. Check out our picks of the scariest movies and series, then bust out those skull-shaped sweets you bought on a whim from the supermarket and start chomping!
Autumn might be about cosiness but don’t miss out on one of the most beautiful seasons by staying indoors. Explore Birmingham’s canals and lovely surroundings by jumping on board GoBoat’s self-driving boat. Wrap up warm as you set sail and see Birmingham from a whole new perspective. These 1 to 2-hour cruises are the ideal things to do with friends this October in Birmingham. Get your tickets to GoBoat Birmingham here.
10. Get involved with Black History Month
There are a number of events taking place for Black History Month in the West Midlands. One of the highlights includes a photography exhibition of Vanley Burke’s work at Soho House (end November 4), one of the UK’s leading black artists of the Commonwealth generation. Other events include comedy nights, music events and in-depth discussions. To see all head here.
11. Watch the Rugby World Cup
England’s last group game in the Rugby World Cup against Samoa takes place on October 7. But here’s hoping that this won’t be our last game! If it is, well there’s plenty of great action to catch until the final on October 28. To catch every scrum, tackle and try live, check out the best places to watch the Rugby World Cup 2023 in Birmingham here.
12. Explore the city’s loveliest literary spots
October is a great time to cuddle up with a good book. But why not see the city jump off the page this month? Birmingham writing exploits aren’t just confined to dusty old bookshops. Be it JRR Tolkien’s fantastical tales of Middle Earth, or Henry Green’s realistic documenting of factory workers, Birmingham has inspired countless literary tales over the years. Just walk around the city and you’ll discover so many lovely places for book lovers to visit. See this guide to the most lovely literary spots in Birmingham.
13. Do the time warp at Millennium Point
Let’s do the time warp again this spooky season. Birmingham’s award-winning, 354-seat auditorium, Millennium Point is screening the musical comedy horror, The Rocky Horror Picture Show on October 21. Bursting at the seams with hits like Sweet Transvestite and Time Warp, expect a non-stop party, fancy dress and Rocky Horror-themed cocktails. You can also dress up and do the monster mash on October 28, for Millennium Point’s Halloween silent disco. Learn more here.