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25 Enchanting Things to Do in Oxford with Kids

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If you’re dreaming about the natural charm of Oxford but wondering if it’s possible to enjoy the city with kids, I’m here to tell you all of the wonderful things to do in Oxford, England with kids so you can rest assured that you won’t spend the whole day trying to reassure them that “it’s not boring.”

In fact, Oxford is anything but boring.

Between the gorgeous architecture, the green space, the kid-friendly museums in Oxford and more, finding things to do in Oxford with children isn’t a game of “what is there to do” but “what isn’t there to do.”

Hey! Sidenote! Traveling in the UK? For tons more advice, beautiful photos and friendly help, click here to join my UK Travel Facebook group to carry on the conversation with fellow travelers and UK experts.

Outdoor Things to Do in Oxford with Kids

Sometimes, no matter how old your kids are, you just want them to go run around for a while and tire themselves out.

Or maybe they’re 14 and so over you and so you need the most space possible between you.

No matter what your reason is, here are the top outdoor things to do in Oxford with kids.

Punting

Ah, punting.

A classic Oxford pastime that involves paddling your way down the river while someone stands at the back and, well, punts!

This isn’t punting like American football, this is punting like a flat wooden boat lazily drifting down the stream, and it’s a great way to get the whole family involved in things to do in Oxford.

I prefer doing this with kids because they find sheer delight in being able to steer the boat, and if you bring a change of clothes, there’s no harm, no foul if someone falls in…

My favorite place to rent self-drive punts is from Magdalen Bridge.

There is a long-standing punting rental place that I’ve used for the past three years and they’re super helpful in teaching you how to do it before you set off.

Oxford Botanic Gardens

As one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world, the Oxford Botanic Gardens are a great place to take the kids.

In addition to their regular greenhouses, gardens and activities, they also have kid-specific activities.

For instance, there are multiple trails including the Garden Eye Spy trail for young kids and a trail for older children that gets them learning about plants in an age-appropriate way.

You can also sign out botanic backpacks that your kids can take around with them, which include tools and fun learning games.

There’s also a fantastic café in the summer months if you want to stop by for an ice cream to give the kids a rest.

Port Meadow

When you want a lot of land to spread out in, Port Meadow is it.

This vast expanse of open grass is just a great place to bring a picnic, bring a ball or some other toys, and enjoy the Oxford sunshine.

It’s also one of my favorite free things to do in Oxford, because you can spend a ton of time here just appreciating the roaming cows or lush grass and not pay a dime.

It’s not some crowded park in the middle of a city, but a really fantastic bit of countryside right nearby the heart of Oxford.

Cutteslow and Sunnymead Park

As the largest park in Oxford, kids are going to fall in love with the activities they can participate in in Cuttleslow and Sunnymead Park.

For instance, there are multiple playgrounds and regular children’s play area that feature slides, climbing equipment and colorful landscapes.

In addition, there’s a splash pad open in the summer for kids to refresh and cool off when it heats up in Oxford, and there’s even a miniature golf course.

For the active kid, you’ve got beach volleyball and an obstacle course to help them with their orienteering skills, and the kid who wants a bit more calm will enjoy watching the ducks in the duck pond.

Oxford University Parks

Whether you’re watching a show put on by Creation Theatre in the park (you would think Hamlet wouldn’t appeal to kids, but trust me – when it’s put on in a park, it becomes a lot more interesting) or you’re just walking along the lake, Oxford University Parks are some of the most beautiful parks in Oxford and a great place to take the kids.

In addition to just walking through the flower gardens, you’ve got plenty of walking, scootering and biking trails so they can zip themselves around the greenery, and there are also places where you can take a soccer ball or other sports equipment and kick or throw a ball around for a fun afternoon in the sun.

Museums to Do in Oxford with Kids

The best museums in Oxford for kids range from ones dedicated to children’s storytelling to world famous museums with ancient history.

The one thing they all have in common though is that kid-friendly museums in Oxford cater to a younger generation with special exhibits, events, or activities that help keep them learning even when they don’t realize it.

Oxford Museum of Natural History

The Oxford Museum of Natural History is a perfect fit for kids, as the interactive trail map helps guides families towards particularly interesting exhibits for the little ones, and there are hands-on exhibits that let you touch a meteorite, stroke a black bear and use interactive displays to learn about the future of technology and natural history.

You can also pick up pencils and paper from reception for kids to sketch what they see if they’re old enough to stand still for that long!

Story Museum

While the Story Museum is currently renovating its exhibitions, you can still stop by for some kid-friendly activities including storytelling, kid’s comedy and sketching workshops.

This museum is geared entirely for kids, so you can be sure that whatever event is on will be of interest to your clan!

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