Keeping The Kids Entertained This Summer

Keeping The Kids Entertained This Summer

It’s week 2 of the summer holidays (or 1 if you only broke up last week) and the weather has been somewhat changeable so far. How to entertain the kids for the rest of the summer as it stretches ahead of us? Well although we would always encourage kids to use their imagination with a good book or playing outside making up their own games, and we have a plethora of toys to help that along,  we also know that organised activities, particularly those that are for the whole family are very welcome. So here’s a bit of a guide to what is happening around Oxford that you might find useful.


Art & Craft Activities

You probably have a range of art & craft materials at home but sometimes there's nothing like being taught a new skill or playing with others to spark inspiration.

Unique Creations

Based on Banbury Road Unique Creations are a pottery company that allows you and your family to hand paint their ceramics and you get to keep them too. They also have a craft area for those more interested in fabric and sewing or decopatch. Open 7 days a week 10am - 5.30pm.

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Modern Art Oxford entrance

Modern Art Oxford

Although the exhibitions and Modern Art Oxford are aimed at adults they always provide activities for children, often related to the exhibits making it a great stop in Oxford for the whole family. Parents need stimulation too you know. Yet again our insatiable need for caffiene is covered with a family friendly cafe.

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Reading & Story Activities

Books aren't just for when it's raining, although admittedly they are a great way to get outside at least in our imagination. We have great bookshops and Museums in Oxford catering for our literary needs at whatever age.


Our venerable neighbour up the road has a whole season of activities this summer from theme days, story telling & games.

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Barefoot Books

Barefoot Books in Summertown are running a lot of activity events that would fit as neatly into our other categories as here. Particularly arts & music. In addition they are running a Summer Reading Program. As they say "According to research, reading just 6 books with your child over the summer can help prevent Summer “Brain Drain” and preserve learning from the preceding year."

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The Story Museum

As you would expect the Story Museum keeps up its aleady healthy events schedule during the summer. We particularly like the emphasis on creative writing. The Thursday book club about teenage fiction is open to adults as well as children.

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Oxford Central Library

Every Wednesday & Thursday at 10.30am the library runs Rhymtime a fun session for the under 5s singing & rhyming away.

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Science & Nature Activities

The Pitt Rivers Museum & Natural History Museum. 

On the itinery for many a family over the summer, especially if you have visitors. Two of Oxford's must see attractions in the same place, with the marvels of nature and mankind on display in engaging & fascinatiing ways. There are always child activity sheets available & this summer there is a Summer Holiday trail to follow.


Museum of The History of Science

With a focus on communication technology the kids and parents can have lots of fun in the Signals & Semaphores workshops and learn a new life skill with morse code.

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Science OxfordScience Oxford

Creative science workshops, summer spy & science schools! What's not too like. Well perhaps the kids learning how to bug the living room....but sounds like a lot of fun.

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Performance & Music Activities

Oxford’s Creation Theatre & Inspiring Drama courses

For anyone looking for a longer term activitiy for the whole family (and admittedly a bit of money to spend) try the;

"Put On A Play Workshop" by Oxford's Creation Theatre Hurry though as it is on next week. Workshops run 10am - 4.30pm, drop off anytime 9am - 10am and pick up 4.30 - 5pm. The play is performed for family & friends at the end of the course.

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Or the "Summer Comedy Course" by Inspiring Drama based in Summertown. For ages 10-16 years. Students form production teams and can be in front or behind the camera for this short film course by professional crew.

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Room on the BroomThe Oxford Playhouse

Each summer the Playhouse ensure they have a child friendly play on & this year's is the magical, musical adaptation of Room on the Broom, based on the bestselling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Olivier Award-nominated, it has songs, laughs and scary fun for young children and their grown-ups – the perfect summer holiday treat!

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Nick Cope's Early Years Music Sessions 

Based in different Oxford locations on different days of the week Nick provides entertaining music sessions singing his own songs that are as much fun for adults as the kids and importantly original. We all know how difficult the 1000th rendition of the "Wheels on the bus" can be...

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Physical Activities

Running around in the park or garden is all very well but an organised activity can be educational, have the proper equipment and let the adults join in too.

The Ice Rink

Oxford's ice rink deliberately run their "Skate Basics Course"  over the summer so you can start from scratch and be more than competent after a few sessions. Particular good if the weather heats up again. Suitable for ages 5 to 16. The fees include skate hire.

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Youth Zone

This is Oxford City Council's website timetable listing of sports activities in Oxford. Including information on the Bungee app which gices up to date information right to your phone. The site covers all our leisure centres, swimming pools including the free swimming lessons.

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Lasergaming & High Ropes

Based in Culham Adventure park you can get 2 adventures in one with Summer Adventure Days. The full day combines the Lasergaming Battlefield Live experience with the Tree Top, High Ropes Tarzan Assault course. Suitable for 10 years old and up with a height requirement.

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Build a bikeTrax

Trax is a charity that helps young people develop skills and improve education where the youngsters have struggled in the standard school environment. As a result they run a great range of practical and adventure activities that are also suitable for younger children. We think the bike maintenance and restoration is particularly useful!

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Exploring Oxford

Oxford is a great city to walk around but the younger audience may need something more than the nice buildings to keep them engaged so here goes.

Oxford Castle Unlocked

Kids go free until September 2nd so this summer is the perfect time to discover more about what used to be a prison and somewhat less recently was at the heart of England's medieval civil war. Let the actors in historical dress enchant the younger ones and inform everyone.

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The Oxford Visitor Information Centre

Not just for tourists! This is where many of the various walking tours in the city start & end as well as a great way to get up to date information on attactions in one place. The family walking tour which includes a free activity sheet can be booked here.

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Treasure Trails logoTreasure Trails

If you'd prefer a walk around Oxford without the guide then the Treasure trails company provides trails of various lengths & themed on Spies, Murder Mystery & Treasure Hunt. The trails are charged for but once you have them can be used multiple times and double as a map.

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Science Bubble Set


Not Going Out

Whether it's a rainy day and you can't face it or everyone is tired from having such a good time it can be great to have time at home. We have plenty of great gizmo's, puzzles, art and experiments that you can do indoors. 

28th July 2015

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