Story Museum credit Andrew Walmsley

With schools breaking up and a long summer holidays stretching in front of you, come rain or shine we’ve collated a packed schedule of family-friendly fun for you and your children to enjoy.

  1. Paddle-boarding, rowing and kayaking at Blenheim Palace’s Great Lake until September 3, seven days a week, from 10am-5pm with LiveFree Adventures. You will have the opportunity to see the Palace, the Grand Bridge and the Gardens like never before, as you set off from the Lake House. It’s a first for Blenheim but pre-booking is required. Day or annual passes to Blenheim a prerequisite. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult and there is a ratio of 1:3 for adults with young people.
Boating at Blenheim

2) Mind The Monsters, until Sunday 30 July, BT Studio. Meet Joy and Hope. Together they are Planet Brain’s weather-watching mind-mappers. Join them, complete your monster training, and help them ward off worries from the Head Goblin. A family show promoting mental well-being, in an interactive and accessible way. Ages 5 to 11. BOOK HERE

Kate Spencer and Heather Porte aboard Anxious Airlines in Mind The Monsters Photography Geraint Lewis

3) The Story Museum‘s summer of fun, activities, and story inspiration. Open seven days throughout the summer, there’s plenty to enjoy for all the family. Drop in to ‘The Grand Bug Pest Hotel’, a new interactive exhibit by artist Ruth Piggott and its free craft sessions. With an all-day ticket families can enjoy live storytelling in the Whispering Wood, choose their own adventure in the Enchanted Library and meet giant cardboard insects in exhibition Brilli-ANT. 

Story Museum credit Andrew Walmsley

4) Football Freddie, The Mill, July 22. The story of Freddie Farren, a little girl who loves football but is too nervous to join in. With Uncle-Fred’s encouragement, she renews her confidence and enthusiasm and everyone joins in a good old-fashioned kick around. Featuring playful storytelling and friendly audience participation. Age 3-7

5) Creation’s Much Ado About Nothing may be Shakespeare, but not as you know it. READ ABOUT IT HERE Think Elvis impersonators, police shoulder pads and a banging 80s soundtrack to bring this much loved comedy to life this summer. So bring a picnic and rug to South Oxford Adventure Playground off Abingdon Road and enjoy. July 12 July – August 19. Age recommendation 7+ BOOK HERE

Much Ado About Nothing by Creation

6) The Big Feastival, Kingham, August 25-27. Packed full with family friendly activities, acts, art, food and entertainers from the M&S Food Little Cooks Kitchen Garden tent where children can learn about food and get stuck into cooking, to skateboarding, story-telling, dancing, family yoga, music, comedy, circus, axe throwing, Feastival’s Got Talent, farm animals and of course the fair, plus big names from Justin Fletcher to PAW Patrol and CoComelon JJ. Find out more details at

Big Feastival

7) Bad Dad, Cornbury Park, August 17. A warm-hearted, open-air adaptation of the David Walliams classic brought to you by The Theatre Chipping Norton. Pack your picnics, grab your wet weather gear, sun-cream (or both), something to sit on, and join Frank and Gilbert as they navigate their way through car chases and convicts in the struggle to escape the clutches of the local crime lord and clear Gilbert’s name.   Perfect family entertainment. BOOK HERE

8) Shakespeare at Oxford Castle, until July 29 – The brilliant Wild Goose Theatre is back, with a brand new production of William Shakespeare‘s iconic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, READ ABOUT IT HERE at the historic Oxford Castle Courtyard. As relevant today as when Shakespeare penned it over four centuries ago. BOOK HERE

Wild Goose’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Oxford Castle last year

9) The Living Room Cinema in Chipping Norton has opened this month and has some fantastic blockbusters to tempt you along from the new India Jones, Mission Impossible and Barbie. BOOK HERE

The Living Room – an artist’s impression

10) Dancin’ Oxford, in conjunction with Justice in Motion, is showcasing the world premiere of CODE at its Summer Dance Festival in Oxford on August 19-20 using trials bikes, parkour, physical theatre and live rap music to establish a narrative that delves into the crime, and its effects on young people.


11) Museum Activities Galore – Ashmolean – Festival Of Archaeology – Jul 23. Family Tours on July 16 and 30 and August 15,22 and 29) BOOK HERE History of Science Museum Family Friendly Weekends – Jul 29-30 and Aug 26-27. BOOK HERE Pitt Rivers Object Handling – every Saturday and Summer Art Challenge – every Wednesday and Thursday from Jul 26 to Aug 31 BOOK HERE

Ashmolean Family Egypt Gallery Tour

12) Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour, August 15-26, Oxford Playhouse. The ultimate curiosity adventure so come and dance, sing, and learn with Blippi and special guest Meekah as they discover what makes different cities unique and special. Ages 2 to 7. BOOK HERE


13) PADDINGTON LO-COMMOTION at Blenheim Palace until Sunday September 3. Join Paddington in an immersive outdoor adventure complete with live performance, puppetry, and outdoor adventure. Meet your favourite characters from the Paddington stories, search for ‘buried treasure’, hop on board a real locomotive and more. Age 4 – 10. BOOK HERE

Paddington Lo-Commotion-

14) The Snail & The Whale, The Mill, Fri 11 August – Sun 13 August. Join an adventurous young girl and her seafaring father as they reimagine the story of a tiny snail’s incredible trip around the world, inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved picture book. A heart-warming adventure for everyone aged 4+. BOOK HERE

The Snail & The Whale

15) Around the World in 80 Days, Tuesday 25 – Sat 29 July. Oxford Playhouse. Sit back and enjoy as skilled performers traverse every country, embrace each character and navigate each mode of transport as fact clashes with fiction in this madcap adventure around the globe. BOOK HERE

16) Ashmolean – Don’t miss Labyrinth, Knossos, Myth & Reality READ ABOUT IT HERE which finishes on July 30 after a six month run to a rapturous reception. Discover the palace of Knossos, and the search for the labyrinth in this major exhibition. BOOK HERE

The Cretan Labyrinth, after Mathjis Cock © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

17) Body Politic is running an action-packed Summer Camp at Pegasus Theatre for young people aged 8-16 years. Free spaces are available for anyone in receipt of benefit-related free school meals. July 31 – August 4. Book at