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Summer holidays in Oxfordshire 2023: What’s on for kids

Summer holidays in Oxfordshire
28 April 2023

There are so many activities to do with kids over the upcoming summer Holidays So, I have created a What’s on Guide: Your ULTIMATE LIST OF ALL LISTS, so you don’t have to browse through many pages.

Whether you want an outdoor activity in the gardens, in the farms, in the National Trust properties or in an indoor space or a train, or even Puppets and live shows, I have it all covered!

If you are looking for Holiday camps and clubs instead, then check our dedicated post HERE.

Gardens and Stately homes:

  • Join Paddington™ LO-COMMOTION in an immersive outdoor adventure at Blenheim Palace (27th June – 3rd Sept 2023)
    🎟Price: Not FREE for annual pass holders (Standard tickets 3yrs+ – £25 / £23), Child 7 months to 2yrs – £5 / £4.60
    The much awaited, “The Lost Garden” has finally opened as well. Read our review HERE.  I have also written a children/ family focussed post on Blenheim Palace, which you can access HERE.
  • FREE Oxfordshire Association Play-Days Programme – find out more about the Oxfordshire Play Association.
  • Summer sculpture trail at Waterperry Garden: (15th July to 3rd September 2023) Orienteering family fun during the summer holidays from 15 July through to the 3 September. Enjoy exploring the ornamental gardens, using directions and clues to follow the sculpture trail!
    🎟Price: £4.00 per child with a prize (compass supplied), tickets available from the Gift Barn. Children must be accompanied by an adult for whom the standard garden entrance fee applies.

    (read our review of Water Perry gardens HERE)
  • Tumblestone Hollow, Stonor Park:
    🎟Price: Adult and child over 105cm £11, Child (92 to 105cm) £9, under 92cm- FREE
    Read our review from before HERE
    Gifford’s circus will be back at Stonor Park with its new show Les Enfants du Paradis (13th-24th July 2023)
  • Take part in the activities at Compton Verney on various days
    Read our review of Compton Verney HERE and HERE.
    🎟Price: General admission Adult £17.00, Children (aged 0-18) FREE
  • Woodland Tribe at Compton Verney: 1st – 4th August
    Compton Verney children will be given the chance to get hands on with the Woodland Tribe team and using real tools to build a large wooden structure on site. Maybe a bridge, or a tower, a pirate ship or even a castle! Recommended for children over the age of 6. Read our review of our adventure last year HERE
    Child – £12.50, Member adult – £5 (Discounts at checkout), Non-member adult – £10
  • Biggest summer in history at Warwick Castle 23rd July to 3rd September 2023- For a limited time only, Horrible Histories®- Wicked Warwick returns to reveal the terrible truth behind the turrets. Fill your day with fun with our full line-up of shows and activities. From The Realm of Zog to  War of the Roses LIVE!, there’s something for everyone. Dragon Slayer and Sundown Spectacular festival also returns on selected dates. Tickets from 34£pp
    Read our review form previous visits HERE
  • Legendary Joust (29-30th July 2023) and Knights tournament (26-28 August 2023) at Kenilworth Castle
    🎟Price: Entry to Kenilworth Castle FREE for English Heritage or CSSC Members, otherwise, adult £20.50, child £12.50£- Small charge 2-3.5£pp may apply for the events
  • Knight school at Oxford Castle and Prison 22/07 – 12/08/2023
    Don your armour, sharpen your sword and prepare to set out on a quest.
    🎟Price: 11£/child, under 2s free and Accompanying adults go free.

Family Theatre, Puppets and Live Music:

Museums and education centres:

  • Plenty going on for FREE at the Natural History Museum. Read our review from the previous visit HERE
    • On Science Saturdays, Meet scientists to investigate real natural history specimens from the collection
    • On Family Sundays, there are Family-friendly trails, crafts, and more, all provided by Museum volunteers.
    • Learn about some of the awesome animals in the Museum’s natural history collections on Awesome animals on Tuesdays and Fridays in August
  • The Story museum: In addition to the usual fun, there new immersive exhibition Brilli-ANT: How someone small changed a big story is starting from 26th May. Brilli-ANT gives children and their families the opportunity to put on a pair of ant antennae, before they travel through anthill tunnels, searching for clues and stories. On the way, you’ll meet a host of giant insects voiced by some of the UK’s best known actors and activisits. From dung beetles explaining recycling, to bumblebees showing the importance of helping others – each insect has a story to tell about how their species has adapted to climate change. Details HERE
    🎟Price: £12 per person
  • The Oxfordshire Museum has added a number of interesting events over the summer including Wicked Wednesday, Art Tuesday, Music to the ears and Art Thursdays. Link HERE
  • Wallingford library: Code Club: Are you are aged 8 – 13 years old and would like to learn about coding and make fun games and activities in code? The Club runs every 2 weeks on Saturdays, 11.40am to 12.40pm. FREE
  • Museum of Oxford:
    • Cushion Concert | Saturday 22 July | 10.30-11.20 | £4 per child |2+: Join local musician Hannah Brierley for an exciting woodwind concert for children, with music from the movies to Mozart! : Join local musician Hannah Brierley for an exciting woodwind concert for children, with music from the movies to Mozart!
    • Dig Into History! | Monday 24 July | 10.30-11.30/ 2.00-3.00 | £4 per child | 5+
    • Bin Goblins Puppet Show & Workshop on 27th July £10 pp
    • Dive In! Family Day on 31st July| 11.00-3.00 | Pay As You Can | 4+
    • Riverbank Art & Crafts with Art4Space | Thursday 24 August | 10.30-11.30/ 2.00-3.00 | £5 per child | 5+
  • Alphabets Alive Family Fun! at Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG:
    Activities each week will include a selection of ABC Poster, LEGO Printing, Long-lost Letter Hunt, Morphing Alphabets, Alpha-art and Exhibition Trail
    FREE on Wednesday mornings, July & August, 10am–1pm
  • River & Rowing Museum is re-opening from 1st July 2023. Read the review from our previous visit HERE
    🎟Price: Adult £9, Child £6, Under 4s FREE)
  • Enjoy FREE heritage bus rides @ Oxford Bus Museum  at 2.15 and 12.15 on first and third Sundays from April until September 2023 and also Bank Holiday Monday 28th August.The exhibits at the Oxford bus museum include a historic preserved horse-drawn tram, motor buses, coaches and a wide selection of artefacts – including bus stops, ticket machines, timetables, posters and staff uniforms.
    🎟Price: Adult £7, Child (aged 5 to 15 years) £4, Family (2 adults & 2 children) £15)
  • Vale and Downland Museum, Wantage. Tickets £4.50 per person (age 3 upwards)
  • Summer fun at the British Motor Museum from 22nd July to 4th September will uncover “Austn Seven’s” history and some of its exciting adventures! there is a NEW Austin Seven exhibition ‘Small car. Big history: 100 years of the Austin Seven’. Have fun with the interactives, meet the the Austin Adventurers for a fun family tour and complete your visit by making your own Austin Seven to take home with our brand new cardboard cut-outs! This in addition to the over 400 British classic cars from the vehicle collection, take part in themed trails, experience the touch screen exhibits and understand how a car works in our Interactive Zone.
    🎟Price: Adult £14.50 Child (aged 5 to 15 years) £9
  • ROBOTS at Banbury Museum explores the role Robots have played in popular culture and science fiction stories.
    🎟Price: Adults 5£ and child 2.5£

    • Brick Madness (Every Wednesday between 26th July and 23rd Aug 2023) £3.00/child or 12£ for all sessions
    • Build a giant junk robot on 22nd July. FREE
    • Junk Robots 27th July- £3.00/child
    • Toilet Roll transport on 25th July and 22 August- £3.00/child
    • Bath Bombs on 1st August and 29th August – £5.00/child
    • Make a Dinosaur on 3rd August- £4.00/child
    • Animal PenPots on 7th August – £3.00/child
    • Fabric Painting on 11th August- £4.00/child
    • Summer Scenes on 24th August- £3.00/child
  • Chiltern Open air museum have a number of events over the summer holidays like Viking Raid, Britain at war, Tudor courtroom etc- Ticket prices vary. Please check HERE
  • Mechanics Alive!  at Discover Bucks Museum (22 July – 2 September 2023) celebrates the fascinating world of automata (beautifully hand-crafted mechanical sculptures) and displays them alongside hands-on science exhibits that show how they work. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (and some Mondays and Fridays too) there will be special craft mornings inspired by the Mechanics Alive! exhibition for children to get creative.
    Read our review of Discover Bucks museum HERE
    🎟Price: Discover Bucks museum is FREE for children but admission prices apply for adults and extra activities

Farms, Indoor and outdoor play areas:

  • 6 weeks of Summer in the farm at Hogshaw farm and wildlife park: Plenty of great outdoor fun to be had, plus all the usual animal encounters, NEW sand & water play, and splash pool!
    🎟Price will be £13.45 adult / child (under 2’s free) but you can avail the EARLY BIRD OFFER – £10.95 for tickets purchased by 30th June, saving around 20% on summer prices.
    Summer Pass price of £29.95 per person, which allows up to 4 visits from 1 July – 30 August. Great value for anyone who may want to visit more than once over the summer.
    Read our reviews from the previous visits HERE and HERE
  • Millets Maze at the Millets Farm this summer (18th July- 3rd September 2023)
    This years theme not announced yet. The puzzling fun park includes our 3 maize mazes, a fort maze and 3 woodlands…Plus don’t forget we also have ride on tractors, pedal go-karts (for adults and kids!), sand pits, garden games and much much more…! Read our review of  the previous visit HERE.
    🎟Price: £8 adults, £8.5 for 3+,£4.5 for toddlers . (Under 2’s free of charge). PYO also open from 28th May
  • Teddy Bears’ Picnics in Sprouts playbarn on 1-3rd August 2023
    🎟Price: £24.99 per child which includes 1 accompanying adult.
    Read our review of Sprouts play barn HERE
  • Fairytale festival at Fairytale Farm: 22nd July to 3rd September 2023:
    With interactive fairy tale storytelling that will bring some of the most famous fairy tales alive, a puppet show workshop, crafts, summer games and challenges along the trail, fun interactions and petting with our friendly animals, there will be something for everyone.
    Read our review of  the previous visit HERE
    🎟Price: Adults and Child (2 to 16) £8.99 each (and £0.50 booking fee)
  • Flower Festival at Cotswold Farm park offering full access to the Flower Fields, Maize Maze, craft activities, and more (21st July – 31st August). Read our review from the previous visit HERE
    🎟Price: Adults: £14.95, child over 3: £12.95
  • Head to the Science Oxford Centre for a unique, science-themed day.
    🎟Price: £6 per person or £20 for a family ticket (4 people, must include 1 adult). Free tickets available for Under 3s. Read our review HERE
    They also have a week long holiday camp for budding scientists aged 9 to 12  in the summer holidays for some exciting hands-on science. Details HERE
  • This Summer holiday become a Nature Detective at Roves Farm (26th July – 31st August 2023):
    Head over to Discovery Wood, where you can take part in lots of different activities.  Help build a Bug House or go on the hunt for mini beasts.  Take part in some woodland crafts, build a den or enjoy a story and games. Plus everything else Roves farm has to offer. Read our previous review HERE
    🎟Price: £10.80- 15.80 £ pp (for ages 3 and above), 2-3 years old: 5-9.50£
  • Head down to Odds Farm park for acres of amazing outdoor adventures, splashtastic sand & water play, entertainment, animal encounters and stacks more fun! Summer adventures between 21st July – 4th September 2022
    🎟Price: for over 2 year olds £16.95
  • Wellington country park has plenty planned over the summer holidays including Dino take over, spectacular sports weekend and Bouncy castles etc
    Read our review from previous visit HERE
    🎟PRICE:£15.95- 18.95 £ pp (for ages 2 and above)
  • Summer for all the senses at Thrift Farm: There is a NEW Sensory Play,  NEW Messy Play, NEW Barefoot Walk and NEW Sensory Trail. Chicken Egg Collecting is back too
    🎟Price:  18 months and over  £7.95, adults 8.95£— read our review of  the previous visit HERE
  • Farmer Gow’s welcomes families to ‘hands on’ farm fun during summer holidays 20th Jul to Sun 4th Sep.
    🎟Price: Adults: £10.80, child 3-16 £9.80, 2 years old 5£
  • Beale Wildlife Park (Lower Basildon) have not revealed special activities for the school holidays period on their website yet but they do have all the usual animals, play activities and keeper talks.
    🎟Price: ADULT £14.50, CHILD (>2 years) £11.5.
    Zoo Academy runs from 25-29 July, 8-12 Aug and 30 Aug-2 Sept which can be booked HERE
  • Children’s play village Toddlers & Walking child ticket is £12.95, adult admission is £2.50, active babies & crawlers tickets is £5.95 and babies in arms are free– read our review of  the previous visit HERE


  • Plenty going on at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre: Read our review of  the previous visit HERE
    • Thomas & Friends™ at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre continues 22/23 July 2023
      🎟Price: Adults £19, Children (3-15) £15, Under 2s are free
    • Peppa Pig is coming to Buckinghamshire Railway Centre on 13th August
      🎟Price: Adults £14.50, Children (2-15) £10.50, Under 3s are free
    • August Bank Holiday Classic Vehicle Special ( 27th &  28th August)- prices not advertised yet
    • Children go for £1 to Bucks railway  centre on their non-special event steaming days (Under 3s are free anyway). Summer Holiday Steaming Days are most Sundays* and Wednesdays during school holidays – all dates included are listed HERE. (*Special events are not included – Day Out With Thomas, Peppa Pig)
    • On other selected days, you can still enjoy the steam railway, unlimited steam train rides and trip on the miniature trains for a small fee of £1.20 per person. 🎟Price: Adult £14.00, Child (3-15yrs) 10£, Child under 3: FREE
  • Paddington coming Didcot Railway Centre on 20th August 2023 (🎟Price: Adult £16.50, Child (3 – 18) £12.25)
    Steam days on weekends and Wednesday during the break. You can take unlimited rides behind an engine built for the famous Great Western Railway, explore the original 1932 engine shed, and see magnificently preserved locomotives on steam days. 🎟Price: Adult £15, Child (3 – 18) £11
    Discovery days on other days when Trains will not be running, but there’s the chance to get up close and see them at close quarters. 🎟Price: Adult £8.50, Child (3 – 18) £8
  • Cholsey and Wallingford railway have School holiday specials on 27th July, 3rd, 10th, 17th August and BUNKFEST on 1-3rd September
    🎟Price: Adult £12, Child (3 – 18) £5, Exclusive use of table of up to 4 passengers – £24
  • Kids-for-a-Quid on selected School Holiday dates for your travel between Chinnor and Princes Risborough or vice versa and infants and toddlers under 3-years of age (0-2) travel free!

National Trust and English Heritage properties:

It’s the perfect time of year for outdoor play at NT properties in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. They have lots of family-friendly things to do with the kids.

  • There are hills to roll down, exotic birds to spot in the aviary and a hillside playground in which to run, climb and swing at Waddesdon Manor. There is plenty to do at Waddesdon Manor for kids but there are other events taking place on different dates during the summer holidays e.g. Quantum Theatre adaptation of two of Beatrix Potter’s best-loved tales, The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny on 22nd July (Adult £17, Child £13), war or the worlds on 5th August (Adult £17, Child £11), Unbound Theatre: Robin Hood on 21st August (FREE with ground admission) and Chilli fest on 2-4th September (booked before 15 August (£3 adult/£1.50 child) for NT members).
    Our review of Waddesdon Manor is HERE.
  • Knights tournament (26th – 28th August 2023 ) and Legendary Joust (29 – 30 July 2023) at Kenilworth Castle. Admission to this event is in addition to the standard admission ticket price (2.5-3.5£ adults and £1.5-2 child)
  • Summer fun at Stowe: Re-wild the child this summer holiday. With acres of open space to play in, wooded areas to explore, and temples to play hide and seek around, Stowe has room for the whole family. There’ll be additional play activities and games dotted around the gardens. Find that perfect summer picnic spot and see if you can find our swing and skittles hidden in the Labyrinth.
    Read our review of  the Stowe HERE and HERE
    🎟Price: Free for NT members; otherwise entrance fee applies
  • Summer of Play at Hughenden: Explore the woods with geocaching. Compete against each other in our garden games or croquet on the lawn. Dress up in costumes for our performance stage area. Create in our crafting workshops.
    Also Meet the Beekeepers at Hughenden on 23 July and 28th August and Big Butterfly Count between  15 July and  7 August.
    Read our review of  the Hughenden grounds HERE
  • Summer evening Jazz at Upton House and Gardens
    The Great Central Big Band will perform a selection of hits from the swing era, with some classic songs you’re sure to recognise. The concert is open air on the lawn at Upton. Bring a picnic and a blanket and get ready to sing along! Tickets booked online in advance: Adult £16:50, Child £11:50, Family £50 On the night at the venue: Adult £18:50, Child £12:50 Family £52
  • Take the waymarked route in pink to discover Basil Den and see how many of the 50 things your kids can tick off their list today, including den-building and hunting for bugs at Basildon Park. Did I say you will love the ball runs scattered in the woods. Read our review HERE
    You can also take part in Den building workshops Friday 28 July, Friday 11 August, and Friday 18 August.
  • Get the whole family outdoors and closer to nature at Cliveden. Whether it’s taking a boat trip on the river, getting lost in the maze or simply reconnecting with nature through the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’; there’s lots of fun to be had come rain or shine.

Holiday Camps and other activities:

If you are looking for Holiday camps and other  activities instead, then check our post HERE

What else can you do?

If you think something needs updating on this post, please contact us HERE

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