Ahh, the British weather! There’s a reason why we all talk about it so much, because it’s so unpredictable and there’s far too much rain. After what’s been a rough year for everyone we’re moving into autumn and winter, which means more time indoors for us all! To help you I’ve put together a list of things to do indoors with the kids in and around Buckinghamshire. You’ll find ideas of things to do in Bucks, Beds, Oxon and Herts.
Obviously this year is different from normal, and some of the places I’ve mentioned may have limitations due to covid-19 in place. You may need to pre-book and numbers will be limited. Always double check the website of any attraction before visiting.
Visit a Museum
Most museums are free to visit and there are so many in and near Buckinghamshire that this had to be top of my list of things to do with the kids. If you’re looking for something quick then there are museums like Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury or the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden. Milton Keynes Museum has got a huge range of things to do and is easily a full day’s visit or how about a trip to Bletchley Park; home of the Code Breakers.
Oxfordshire is a real hot spot for museums as well and there are several good ones you can easily to get to from Buckinghamshire. The Oxford Museum of Natural History, Ashmolean Museum and the History of Science Museum are all in central Oxford and free to visit. The Soldiers of Oxfordshire museum is a little bit further away but I’ve heard great things. Whilst you’re in Oxford, why not have a look at some of the other free things to do with the kids in the city?
Climb the walls…
The problem with being stuck indoors is that all too often the kids end up climbing the walls. Why not take them somewhere they can quite literally do that!?! We recently visited Clip ‘n Climb in Bicester and the kids LOVED it, partially because it’s a bit different from your usual climbing centre. Within Bucks though there are climbing walls at the Wycombe Leisure Centre, and in Milton Keynes such as Big Rock Climbing. There’s also one in Hemel Hempstead.
…or bounce off them
If you’re not a fan of heights then you can always try a trampoline park to wear them out. There’s Rush in High Wycombe, Bounce and Gravity in Milton Keynes. Most parks have dedicated toddler and family sessions if you’ve got young ones.
Have a go at go-karts
They might not be old enough to drive a car yet, but they can still experience the trill of driving. You’ll certainly be able to go a lot faster than you can around Aylesbury these days!! Rogue Leisure is Aylesbury’s only karting track but there’s Formula Fast in MK, Absolutely Karting in Maidenhead and Team Sport in Dunstable.
When I was a kid I used to go bowling all the time (and was rubbish at it anyway) so it was sad when Aylesbury’s only alley shut down several years ago. Luckily Rogue Bowling (read my review here) stepped up to replace it. Huzzah. Hollywood Bowl are the big players around here though. They have bowling alleys in Milton Keynes, High Wycombe, Oxford, Stevenage and Watford.
Have a splash around
Going swimming is one of my favourite indoor things to do with the kids and in Buckinghamshire one of the best leisure pools is apparently Aqua Vale in Aylesbury. I’m not sure it qualifies as “one of the best” in some respects but it does have some good facilities. Pretty much every town has at least one swimming pool so it’s a good option wherever you are.
Brave a soft play
On wet days, especially during the holidays these can get pretty busy and some are better than others! Realistically, if I’m doing a list of things to do with the kids indoors in Buckinghamshire it has to include soft play. It’s a go-to solution for many of us. If you’ve got little ones then ‘Lil Rogues in Aylesbury is a good shout because it’s a decent size and only for under 7’s. There’s also the new Stay ‘n Play Aylesbury which is my favourite soft play now. It’s awesome!!! Milton Keynes has got SafariPlay and 360. In High Wycombe there’s Playtrain and the new Ruby at Red’s soft play at Rush. At Bourne End there’s Jungle Mania. DJ’s have three soft play centres; one in Berhamsted, one in Hemel Hempstead and one in St Albans.
See a movie
OMG cinema tickets are astronomical these days! Luckily there are ways to pay a hell of a lot tell for your cinema tickets. Kids Pass* members and Tastecard* holders can both get massive discounts on tickets at several cinema chains. It’s also worth keeping an eye out on Groupon* as they’ve offered 2 for £10 a couple of times recently.
*denotes affiliate link. I earn a small commission for any purchases made through these links, but there is no cost to you.
Play crazy golf
Mr Mulligan’s indoor crazy golf was one of the first things we did this holiday. I have mixed feelings about this particular course but you may have something similar locally. If you’ve got older kids then this is still a good shout.
Make your escape
Escape rooms are everywhere now, but some are better than others! There’s Vire in Aylesbury, Milton Keynes has a couple and Oxford has a few too. My favourite has to be the Harry Potter themed escape room at The Works in High Wycombe. You don’t need to know the story to enjoy it and it was brilliant.
and finally, go for a family meal
Eating out isn’t always the cheapest way to spend time together, but look around for discounts and deals. Again, Kids Pass* members and Tastecard* holders can both get massive discounts on family meals.
What other things are there to do with the kids indoors in Buckinghamshire?
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook