Events and activities to share with children
Oxford offers a huge range of activities, events and festivals for families with children of all ages. The resources below will help you find out the latest information on what's happening and where.
- Dailyinfo advertises many local events
- Netmums is an on-line parenting forum which has information about local activities
- Families magazine advertises events, classes, courses and clubs in Oxford
- Activities Oxfordshire is the County Council's portal allowing you to search for activities by type or location
- The 50 Things To Do Before You're Five mobile app includes suggested activities in Oxfordshire for younger children
- Day Out with the Kids suggests places to go and things to see and do as a family
Museums and venues for children
Many popular tourist venues in and around Oxford run dedicated children’s programs throughout the year, particularly during school holidays. The University's Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) website, mindgrowing.org, will help you to explore '7 Worlds of Wisdom worth a wander'.
Oxford University Museum of Natural History exhibits are very child-friendly, with many hands-on activities. It has a popular collection of dinosaur skeletons. You can walk in the dinosaur footprints at front of the museum, or look out for the Oxford dodo, which inspired Lewis Carroll when he wrote 'Alice in Wonderland'. Admission is free. The museum holds workshops and activities on weekends and school holidays.
The Ashmolean Museum, Britain's oldest museum, has plenty of exciting activities for younger visitors. You can turn your visit into a treasure hunt by following one of the themed trails - collect your trail guides and sketchbooks from the Information Desk. The Ashmolean also holds regular storytelling events for children.
The Pitt Rivers Museum, behind the Museum of Natural History, is full of weird, wonderful and amazing objects collected from all over the world. Many of the objects are very old and delicate, so the lights are kept dimmed. You can hire explorers' backpacks from the Information Desk to begin your adventure! They hold special events, object handling and trail challenges.
Oxford Playhouse Theatre runs a variety of performances suitable for families ranging from musical to dramatic to interactive play. If you have young children, you may prefer to attend the matinee shows in the afternoon shows. Look out for the pantomime around Christmas time, a very British tradition!
Pegasus Theatre hosts many family-friendly shows, workshops and courses for children of all ages, mostly focused on the performing arts.
The Story Museum in the centre of Oxford is dedicated to storybooks and their characters, including many books written in Oxford such as Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia. Come walk through the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, sit down at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party or listen to a bedtime story read by Granny Annie on a giant-sized bed. They organise the annual Alice's Day in July, with fancy-dress parades, tea parties and croquet games held all across the city.
Rural life and farming is an important aspect of British culture. Farms located both in and outside of Oxford offer opportunities for families to pick their own produce and learn more about local wildlife and crafts.
Millets Farm Centre offers a farm shop, small zoo, garden centre, fly fishing club and crafts shack. In the summer, test your navigation skills in their Maize maze!
Oxford City Farm is a community-based charity in Iffley which supports 'field to fork' growing programmes and distributes their produce to the local community. They offer drop-in events for families as well as an education programme with local schools.
Oxfordshire has over one hundred parks, playgrounds and open spaces maintained by local councils across the county.
The city of Oxford has a number of parks, open spaces and playgrounds maintained by the City Council and open year round to the public, including Port Meadow and Shotover Country Park with extensive walking trails and wide open spaces in the middle and to the south of Oxford.
Please refer to the following sites for parks and playgrounds in villages and towns neighbouring Oxford:
- Cherwell (including Banbury, Bicester, Kidlington)
- South Oxfordshire (including Didcot and Wallingford)
- Vale of the White Horse (including Abingdon and Wantage)
- West Oxfordshire (including Carterton, Chipping Norton, Eynsham, Standlake, Witney, Woodstock)
Disclaimer: Please note that the University does not endorse any of the external websites listed above, or elsewhere in this guidance
(University Museums activities guide)
- Activities Oxfordshire
(Oxfordshire County Council)
- Days out with the kids