ParkLives is back in Birmingham this Summer

Following on from last year’s ultra successful Summer programme,  ParkLives is back in Birmingham, offering a range of free, family friendly activities in parks across the Birmingham area. This year, the activities are branching out, and include brand new and unusual family-friendly sessions such as Circus Skills, Vigor Boarding and even outdoor barn dancing.

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester Pictured Monika Meszaros 31 with son Kaniel 3 on the giant Connect Four

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester
Pictured Monika Meszaros 31 with son Kaniel 3 on the giant Connect Four

The ParkLives initiative is run by Coca Cola Great Britain in conjuction with Active Parks Birmingham, and is firmly committed to getting families fit, active and enjoying the beautiful outdoor space that we have in abundance in Birmingham. This year, 60 parks will be running programmes until 4th September, including Lickey Hills Country Park, Handsworth Park, Pipe Hayes Park and my personal favourite, Sutton Park.

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester Pictured Chloe aged 4 with parents Dave and Rebecca Coats

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester
Pictured Chloe aged 4 with parents Dave and Rebecca Coats

ParkLives offers 30 different activities including the rather intriguing laughter Yoga, Nordic Walking, Zumba and Tai Chi. Other highlights include:-

  • Woodland Activity [Mondays, 10.30am, Balaams Wood] – a chance to make friends with the city’s creepy crawlies on a guided hunt for ladybirds, spiders, beetles and more
  • Bushcraft [Alternating Thursdays from 11th August, 3.15pm, Muntz Park] – outdoor fun for creative families with young children including nature detective work, making mud pies, messy art and mixing magic potions
  • Free Family Fun [Taking place across 39 parks in Birmingham] – bitesize beginner sessions of traditional park games such as football, rounders, badminton, cricket, archery and tennis, as well as arts and craft sessions and large scale board games.

Birmingham City Council Deputy Leader Cllr Ian Ward says: “ParkLives offers a free, fun way to keep the kids entertained and active this summer. We’ve got loads of free sessions across the city and it’s not just about sport, there’s something for everyone. Birmingham is a city of beautiful parks and green spaces and these activities give you another great reason to make the most of your local park.”

Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain adds: “ParkLives is offering a whole host of free activities that won’t break the bank this summer.  We’ve got everything from traditional family games like rounders and cricket, to weird and wonderful activities like circus skills and woodland bug hunts to keep the kids entertained. The best school holiday memories are made on family trips out, and with 60 parks taking part in Birmingham, we’re offering this right on peoples’ doorstep.”

To view the full timetable and save a space online, visit the website at


Parklives – Use that local park!

Is there anywhere more wonderful than a local park? Free to use and enjoy, parks offer us a place to walk, whether we have a dog who needs exercise, or if we just want to enjoy the fresh air. They are a place to kick a football, throw a frisbee or have a picnic. In Autumn you can enjoy the beauty of the falling leaves, in snowy Winter you can build a snowman or have a good old snowball fight. As I said at the start of this post, is there anywhere more wonderful than a local park?

So you might be surprised to hear that new research, conducted as part of the Parklives initiative delivered by Active Parks Birmingham in partnership with Coca-Cola Great Britain, , has found that, in Birmingham, almost one third of families struggle to think of activities they can enjoy together in their local parks and green spaces. Furthermore, whilst 77% of parents and grandparents believe that a park is the perfect way to bring families together, 58% (3 in 5 families) don’t believe they make enough use of their local parks.


Since it was launched in 2014, the ParkLives programme has been aiming to change all this by offering a huge range of free and fun activities for families across the city. Parklives is focused on creating and sharing new ideas for making best use of local green spaces. From Tai Chi, Nordic Walking, tennis and Zumba, there are a whole range of activities taking place in 43 parks across Birmingham, all free of charge, all led by a locally trained activity leader and talking place every week throughout the Autumn. You can find a list of activities and the parks involved here.

One interesting piece of information that the research highlighted was that 72% of respondents claimed that being in the park with their family would make them happier. The Parklives programme, which is part of Coca-Cola Great Britain’s commitment to invest £20m between now and 2020 in programmes to encourage and support people to be physically active, offers families and individuals lots of new opportunities to utilise their local park.


Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: “It’s no surprise to see just how valued local parks are to families within Birmingham. With the days starting to get shorter and the new school term underway, it’s really important that families stay active together whenever they get the opportunity – the local park is the perfect place to do this. We know it makes everyone in the family happier so it’s really important that we make parents and grandparents aware of the free activities – for all ages and abilities – going on right on their doorstep in Birmingham’s parks and green spaces.”

To find out more about Parklives, visit the website at

Coca-Cola Great Britain Parklives – Super fun in Brum

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola Great Britain launched its Parklives programme, in partnership with Active Parks Birmingham. This is a programme that has created hundreds of fun and free activity sessions designed with getting people out into the great outdoors in order to get fit and active, whilst enjoying a little socialising too. Over this Summer there have been lots of super fun activities taking place in over 60 parks and green spaces in Birmingham, and this is set to continue well into September. Parklives activities run throughout the week and are free of charge. Yesterday I took Joe to check out one of the activities, with a little table tennis right in the heart of the city. I have to say, it was amazing fun!


For each Parklives activity, you can register on the website, but with the table tennis, it seems that people walking past just couldn’t resist a little bit of ping pong. Joe was very excited to see the table and was raring to have a go, and this is basically the crux of the programme – you do not need to be experienced at something, it is all about having a go at something new and just getting involved. The table tennis was great fun, I had a go myself and it really is addictive, and despite being a rather windy day, lots and lots of people wanted to get involved and play a game. (If you are interested in taking your table tennis a little further, has a great range of bats and equipment for the table tennis aficionado.)


I had a go too.

I had a go too.

The Parklives programme is proving to be very popular, with good turnouts at a range of Birmingham Parks including Aston Park, Calthorpe Park and Balsall Heath Park. (You can access a full list of the parks involved and a free activity finder here.) Activities are not limited to games like table tennis, there is Zumba, Tai Chi, Beginners running, tennis, canoeing on Edgbaston Reservoir and a women only led walking group – there really is something for everyone, whatever your age, with weekend family fun days an activity the whole family can get involved in.



The table tennis we got involved in will be running throughout September, so it is worth checking out the website to see when the next session will be. Joe loved it so much we spent a full hour playing and will definitely be making a return trip – it certainly breaks up a shopping trip!

A few sessions to watch out for next week.

  • Free Family Fun sessions taking place across the Bank Holiday Weekend at Aston Park, Balsall Heath Park, Ward End Park and Calthorpe Park amongst others. (Time and details here.)
  • Tai Chi at Calthorpe Park on Bank Holiday Monday.
  • Active Conservation at the Lickey Hills Country Park on Tuesday 1st September

Have you tried any Parklives sessions this Summer?