8 Great Things for Families to do in Coventry: The UK City of Culture 2021

It’s time for Coventry to step into the spotlight, as it dons the crown of UK City of Culture for 2021! We reveal the best eight places to visit with children...

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Sent to Coventry

This resilient city, which rose from the ashes of bomb devastation during the Second World War, is now neatly positioning itself as a hip, thriving arts hub – with The Turner Prize soon taking up residency and the opening of the hip new Telegraph Hotel providing a very stylish place to kip.

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The yearlong city cultural celebration runs until May 2022, with a jam-packed schedule of pop-up exhibitions, music and dance events, theatre runs and large-scale installations. With so much going on, here’s Junior’s round-up of the best Coventry must-visits for families this year:

The UK City of Culture 2021: 8 Great Things to do in Coventry with the Family

VISIT: Coventry Transport Museum

1. Coventry Transport Museum. Credit Andrew Brooks
Coventry Transport Museum (Andrew Brooks)

Transport-loving kids should hotfoot it to this awesome specialist museum, which runs the gauntlet of the history of British transport manufacturing. Many of the models on show were made right here in Coventry, including the traditional London taxi cab – who knew?! The collection includes everything from penny-farthing bikes to the world’s fastest supersonic car.

1. Coventry Transport Museum. -@garryjonesphotography-83
Coventry Transport Museum. (CTM-Bloodhound @garryjonesphotography-83)

STAY: The Telegraph Hotel

3. The Telegraph --274
The Telegraph Hotel

Fresh off the press, this newly opened hotel is set in the former newsroom of the Coventry Telegraph newspaper. Inside, the interiors are very Mad Men chic, with mid-century furnishings and plenty of original features from the hotel’s former life. Families are well catered for, with spacious suites featuring pull out sofa beds. The onsite restaurant offers a hearty breakfast and the hotel is also positioned right in the heart of the action, so the cultural sights of Coventry are within walking distance.

Bespoke Hotels - The Telegraph Bespoke Hotels - The Telegraph
The Telegraph Bespoke Hotel, Coventry

SHOP: FarGo Village

4. FarGo Village. Credit Andrew Brooks and British Council
FarGo Village (Andrew Brooks and British Council)

This creative hub, just a short walk from the centre of Coventry, is the place to find unique gifts and crafts from independent businesses in the local area. Made up of restored warehouses and former shipping containers painted in a rainbow of colours, you’ll find everything here from vintage clothing and up-cycled furniture to bowls of steaming hot noodles, plus a micro-animation studio called Let’s Animate that runs workshops for children.

EAT: Commonground Art Space and Restaurant

5. Comminground exhibition space and restaurant
Comminground exhibition space and restaurant

Also situated in the FarGo Village is Commonground, a gorgeous multi-purpose art space which a cool gift shop, dinky print studio, exhibition space (free entry) and dining area, serving up coffees and small plates. This welcoming space is run by enthusiastic young creatives and is an ideal spot to drop by for a bite to eat and to view some local artwork.

SEE: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

6. Turner Prize 2021 will arrive in Coventry at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
Turner Prize 2021 will arrive in Coventry at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

This contemporary gallery is just steps from Coventry Cathedral and has won awards for its family-friendly offerings. There are plenty of hands-on displays for younger kids in the collection, which spans from the medieval times to the present day, via Lady Godiva. The gallery also has a fantastic temporary show on until September 2021 highlighting Coventry’s 2 Tone music scene, which included local legends The Specials.

From late September 2021 until January 2022, the Turner Prize will be taking up residency in the Herbert Gallery, showcasing this year’s four finalists.

  • Entrance the Herbert Gallery is free and the gallery is open Mon-Sat 10am – 4pm, 12-4pm Sunday.
  • www.theherbert.org

VISIT: Observations on Being Installation

7. Coventry UK City of Culture, Observations on Being by Marshmallow Laser Feast, Death Becomes Life takes audiences on first person guided meditation from specially designed resting beds to explore the natural cycle of life and death ©David
Coventry UK City of Culture, Observations on Being by Marshmallow Laser Feast, Death Becomes Life takes audiences on first person guided meditation from specially designed resting beds to explore the natural cycle of life and death

This mostly alfresco exhibition is situated in Coventry’s listed cemetery and arboretum, with seven immersive artworks dotted across the grounds. Expect to recline under trees while listening to mind-expanding soundtracks and see some large-scale video installations within the chapel. This is probably one for older kids, as it tackles all the big themes and does at one point involve being led around whilst blindfolded!

VISIT: Coventry Cathedral

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 This awe-inspiring cathedral is worthy of a Coventry trip in its own right. There are actually two parts to this visit; the original cathedral building that lost its roof in the Blitz, and the new cathedral, a modernist masterpiece crammed with gallery-worthy art works and stained glass windows.

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8. Coventry Cathedral new. 46512799704_d261ca757b_o
Coventry Cathedral

>> For further information on events taking place during Coventry City of Culture see: https://coventry2021.co.uk/