Here is our top picks of the best things for your children and teenagers to enjoy in Oxfordshire, despite the problems of social distancing.

From outdoor cinema and live theatre to bushcraft and story-telling, music, virtual shows, eco musicals, museums, classic tales, food, bugs, walks, adventure trails, burgers and holiday courses, there’s something for all ages here.

  1. BUSHCRAFT, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, until September 6, 5-16 years old (5+ if accompanied by a parent or guardian)
    Budding Bear Grylls and mini Megan Hines will be able to hone their survival skills as part of a summer of bushcraft activities at Blenheim Palace.

Bushcraft Summer Entertainment features archery and axe-throwing as well as shelter building and the art of camouflage and concealment.

Taking place daily in Blenheim Palace’s walled garden, youngsters take part in one-hour sessions under the expert guidance of leading outdoor activity specialists The Bushcraft Company.

Running from 10am-4pm, seven days a week, the activities are aimed at youngsters ranging from five to 16 years of age, until September 6.

Places on the courses can be booked on the day, cashless payment only, and parents and carers do not have to stay for the session.

For more information on all the summer events and activities, opening times and admission prices visit


Celebrate National Burger Day, veggie, vegan or otherwise by pencilling August 27 into your diaries. Celebrate this glorious day by booking into one of The Westgate eateries for a fresh, delicious burger or takeaway. To mark this day, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite burger options available at Westgate Oxford…

Serving up New York-inspired comfort food, Dirty Bones unsurprisingly serves up an unbeatable burger. The Mac Daddy is made up of a double brisket and dry aged steak burger, topped with pulled beef short rib, mac and cheese and espresso-spiked BBQ sauce on a seeded brioche bun. Yum!


Famous for their flame-grilled chicken, Nando’s makes a mean, PERi-PERi spiced burger. If you’re feeling extra peckish, why not make it extra special by adding halloumi, pineapple or even doubling up?

Head to Tommi’s Burger Joint, where there’s choice aplenty when it comes to burgers – think steakburgers, BBQ pulled pork burgers, and chicken burgers with bacon. Don’t miss their deep fried veggie patty with lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard and mayo.

3) TEATIME WITH HATTER AND HARE, Oxford Botanic Gardens until 31 August. Suitable for all ages.

Don’t be late for this very important date! A socially distanced interactive performance by WhatNot Theatre for all the family in Britain’s oldest botanic garden. 

The Mad Hatter and March Hare take audiences on an adventure through Wonderland to meet some of everyone’s favourite characters in this fun outdoor performance for all the family.

WhatNot Theatre

Audiences take their seat on their own personal picnic blanket as Hatter and Hare take the stage. Expect games, competitions and audience interaction. 

Ticket price includes entry to the Botanic Garden so audiences can enjoy the Garden after the performance.
Running every day at 2pm with two performances on Sunday 30 and Monday 31 at 11am and 2pm until August 31.

Tickets at


Enjoy fun and games at the Harcourt Arboretum on Saturday August 29.

  • Go on a bug hunt in Palmer’s Ley Meadow with Oxford University Museum of Natural History (OUMNH) or settle down and listen to some insect storytelling. Check out some of the specimens from the OUMNH collection, make your own bug antennae and take home some brilliant bug-themed crafts   
  • Go on a scavenge hunt and discover the wonders of the Arboretum 
  • Build a den for our local Arboretum faeries and learn about den building animals at our Education Tent
  • Take part in several art and botanical activities at the education tent
  • Enjoy a tasty beverage with XT Brewery and tuck into delicious food with Supreme Sausages, SoleLuna Pizza and Nutmeg + Thyme, and treat yourself to something Lekker with Celia’s Cafe.
  • Roam through 67 acres of wildflower meadow and see how many wildflowers and butterflies you can spot with our spotter sheet
Celia’s Cafe dutch goodies

All activities are designed to be socially distant and you can bring your own seating and blankets with you. For tickets go to

5) CREATION’S A VIRTUAL THEME PARK until August 30. Suitable for all ages. Live performances at 4pm and 7pm

Let your computer become a portal to Wonderland. Combining live performers, death-defying stunts, incredible AI cats and even a chance to race your own handmade hedgehog, we can promise that this show isn’t like anything you’re expecting, or any show you’ve seen before!


And to make it even more fun, Creation has joined forces with St Anne’s College kitchens so that you can book a picnic to accompany the virtual fun, with all sorts of offerings including a cream tea. Read about it here:

St Anne’s College picnic

Book your tickets today and join Alice on her mad adventure!

6) WINK MURDER STORY MAKERS COURSE, The Story Museum, Oxford, ages 8-12, from August 26, 10am-4pm

The Story Museum has finally opened and has lots to see and do. Why not start by taking part in its three day course for ages 8-12 to hone their detective skills through story making activities including:

Story Museum staff. Photo (c) John Cairns
  • A visit to the Museum’s galleries before they open to the public, including the chance to play a giant game of Cluedo!
  • The opportunity to meet Sharna Jackson, author of High Rise Mysteries series in a special Zoom interview
  • The chance to create your own detective character
  • The opportunity to devise your own whodunnit story
  • The time to play plenty of versions of Wink Murder!

At the end of three days you will have earned yourself a Discover Arts Award and will be awarded with a certificate from Trinity Arts College, London.

These courses are operating on a bubble model. This means that capacity is capped at 10 participants to ensure social distancing.


7) BICYCLE BOY, Eynsham Music Room and Wytham Woods from August 27-29, family audience

Eco musical Bicycle Boy is at Eynsham Music Room and Wytham Woods from August 27-29 to entertain family audiences. Peddle in their pods to power the show and inspire a new generation to get excited about their bicycles and where their power comes from.

Created by writer/director Helen Eastman and composer Alex Silverman, this new, socially-distanced version will keep everyone safe.

Audiences will be seated in family/bubble groups with plenty of space between audience groups.

Rehearsal photos for the play ‘Bicycle Boy’, written and directed by Helen Eastman, starring Neil Urquhart and Clark Alexander, with music by Alex Silverman. Production design by Anna Bruder.

‘Bicycle Boy’, features Sam who is clearing out his family’s old bike shop, and discovers an old treasure hunt left for him by his grandfather. But there’s a problem! There’s no power and Sam needs electricity to unlock the clues. The audience comes to the rescue providing pedal power on bikes hooked up generators.

August 27, The Music Room, Eynsham at 11am, 2pm, 4.30pm. August 28, 29. Wytham Woods at 11am, 2pm, 4.30pm.
£30 for a family pod, for up to six audience members

8) UP IN ARMS OUTDOOR CINEMA, Marston until September 12. Age – film and start time dependent. 9pm

Teens will love Up In Arms Outdoor Cinema season ending on September 12. Films still to come include Bohemian Rhapsody, Clueless, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Midnight In Paris, Rocketman, Wall-E and The Greatest Showman.

Bring your own chair, stool or inflatable sofa, put on your silent disco headphones, order a pizza and drinks and sit and enjoy some top notch movies on the 14ft cinema screen at the Marston pub in Oxford.


The pub garden at Up In Arms

Bear in mind there is a 9pm kick off and parents need to check the films age guidance first.

9) OXFORD PHILHARMONIC’S AT HOME MUSIC SERIES FOR CHILDREN. 7+. Has your child always wanted to try an instrument or learn to play one in particular? Need some inspiration? Our friends at Oxford Philharmonic have launched an At Home series of YouTube clips for children featuring their musicians demonstrating different instruments, complete with quizzes and other fun. It’s a great place to start.

Jamie Hutchinson

Just click on our OP banner ad at the top of the page or read our piece about the special project here

10) FAMILY FUN at THE ASHMOLEAN, Oxford. All ages.

From drawing and tracing to video games and puzzles, learn to draw videos and virtual tours, the historic Oxford museum has bent over backwards to accommodate youngsters and engage them in their wonderful collections, whether at home, or socially distancing inside.

Self-portrait 1630 – Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Make sure you catch current exhibition Young Rembrandt virtually or onsite, and check out the full menu of ‘things to do at home’ section on the website. Hours of educative fun. Go to for more info or to book a slot online.