Home to a world-famous University with a 1,000 year history. A large choice of museums, galleries and superb architecture, no wonder that Oxford attracts around 9 million tourists each year. But which activities are best for families? Where can you satisfy both a parent’s lust for history and child’s love of Harry Potter?!
So without further do, let’s explore our top Things to Do in Oxford with Kids.
1. Oxford University Museum of Natural History
This museum was founded for scientific studies at the University in the 19th century. Today it shows a large collection of natural specimens, from the dinosaur to the dodo. The spectacular Grade I listed, Neo-Gothic architecture of the building adds the wow-factor too. Follow one of the family trails, where kids are encouraged to touch the exhibits. In addition, check out the regular free child-friendly activities, listed on their website.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm
2. Oxford Castle
Step inside a piece of history and let a costumed character guide, lead you on a 45 minute tour. Climb the tower and admire 360 degree panoramic views. Descend to the 900 year old crypt and learn all about the castle’s history as a prison. The guides are excellent with children, and there are special family events throughout the year such as archaeology digs.
After the tour you can explore the grounds at your own leisure, there’s a gift shop and a cafe. That is to say, this activity is best suited for ages 5 and above. Younger children cannot climb the tower for safety reasons.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 4:30 pm
3. The Story Museum
This wonderful museum is certainly a celebration of children’s literature. Therefore your kids will meet their favourite book characters, enjoy storytelling sessions and attend unique events and workshops. In other words, a fantastic place to spark their imagination and creativity.
The museum’s exhibitions are currently closed for a major redevelopment. However the Changing Room and Story Cafe are open for regular story sessions and events.
Opening Hours: Check the website for current events and story sessions.
4. Visit a College
A visit to one of the University’s 39 colleges is a must when you are in this historic city. You can walk the same corridors as Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde and Sir Walter Raleigh. Furthermore, you can admire beautiful grounds and gardens too. Most of the colleges are open for the public and there are numerous companies offering guided tours too. Check also the individual college websites below for entry times and fees.
5. Thirsty Meeples
A board game cafe is certainly the perfect place for your family on a rainy day. A huge range of games are available, from nostalgic classics to the newest releases. All age ranges are provided for. There are Game Gurus on hand to help you pick your perfect game, get it set up and explain the rules. The food and drink menu offers light bites such as sandwiches and cakes alongside great coffee, craft ales, shakes and smoothies.
Booking ahead is recommended – call 01865 244 247.
Opening Hours: Monday toFriday 11am – 11pm, Sat & Sun 9am – 11pm
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