I’m really excited about the summer holidays, but they come with their own set of challenges. It’s a lot of time to all spend together and it costs an awful lot of money. To help out here’s my guide to the best free and cheap things to do with the kids and family days out in Oxfordshire.
There’s so much going on I’ve split the counties into separate blogs otherwise this post would be really long. Oxfordshire in particular is full of great things to do with the kids and cheap family days out. If you want to know what’s on in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire just click the links. Keep checking the website or subscribe to get the updates right to your inbox.
If you think I’m missing somewhere either leave a comment below or get in touch via email@example.com
This is just a guide to the summer events. You can find all of my reviews of family days out and activities in Oxfordshire here.
What’s on in Oxfordshire
There are loads of archaeological events happening in the early summer holidays. On the 27th July there’s a family archaeology day at the Wallingford Museum.
RAF Benson is holding a FREE play and activity day on the 31st August from 11 – 3. There will be face painting, body zorbing, giant bubbles, tricky trails biking and archery tag. If you don’t have military ID then pre registration will be required.
There’s a truly unique chance to help re-chalk the White Horse at Uffington (read my review here) on the 25th and 26th August from 10 – 4. Admission is free, parking charges apply. No need to pre-book, just turn up on the day.
There will be a family foraging and campfire cooking session at the Earth Trust in Little Wittenham on the 7th August. It’s a drop-in session. £5 suggested donation per child, Adults are free. They’ve got lots of different events going on – check out their Facebook page for the full listing.
What’s on in Oxford
Oxford’s Museum of Natural History (the review is here) has got a packed and varied program of free or cheap family activities over the summer. There are family friendly Sundays, Caturday Saturday, the opportunity to handle fossils from ancient marine reptiles, play family friendly science board games with University scientists, specimen handling opportunities and dedicated Autism friendly openings (must be pre-booked). Don’t forget to pop into the Pitt Rivers Museum (the review is here) at the back as well.
If you fancy a day out in London don’t forget that up to two children travel for free with a full paying adult on the Oxford Tube!
Waterperry Gardens are running a weird wildlife adventure orienteering trail over the summer holidays. Stomp, slither, hop and prowl into a magical adventure. Follow the clues and compass directions to find the strange creatures hidden around the gardens to complete your adventure. £3.50 per child includes compass and prize! Waterperry Gardens are running a weird wildlife adventure orienteering trail over the summer holidays.
Harcourt Arboretum will be holding a Geocache treasure hunt on the 1st-31st August. £5 per family. Every Wednesday in August there is a summer family craft for £2 per person.
Science Oxford are hosting a family open day on the 13th August from 10 – 5. Visit the exploration zone with lots of hands-on exhibits, try out lots of experiments and explore the woodland. Session times apply. £20 per family. Book online.
what’s on in AbingDon
Millets Farm (reviewed here) have got a free beach open all summer. Whilst you’re there have a look at the animal walkway, play area and Phoebe’s woods. There’s also a Maize Maze (£20 per family, approx 2 hours), Sprouts play barn, PYO and Falconry Centre £20 per family) (reviewed here)
The Dalton Barracks play and activity day is on the 27th July from 11 – 3. There will be biking, zorbing, archery tag, bright sparks science and much more as part of the station cultural day. Free entry.
What’s on in Witney
Cogges Manor Farm (read my review here) have got a busy summer planned. There’s lots of things for adults including scything workshops for anyone who wants to channel their inner Adrian Turner! For children there’s the Sound of Science with Science Oxford on the 31st July at 10:30 and 12:15 (£2 per child + admission) and Discover Materials with Science Oxford on the 7th August at 10:30 and 12:00 (£2 per child plus admission). They also have their interactive house days, a beer and cider festival, Shakespearean show and the Over the hill festival. Everything can be found on their events page.
The Witney play and activity day is on the 1st August from 11 – 3. Entry is free. There will also be a quiet hour from 10 – 11 for those who would find the main event too loud.
What’s on in Banbury
Upton House (reviewed here) are running several summer activities. Every Wednesday from 11 – 3 they’re hosting Wildlife Wednesdays with pop-up stands and nature trails all about badgers, bees, hedgehogs and more (free), if the kids are driving you crazy there’s family Monday Meditiation on the 29th July and 12th / 26th August. (£3 per adult, £2 per child. Pre-booking required.) Finally there’a family friendly “give it a go art workshop” on the 1st August. (It’s a three hour session and costs £15 adults / £10 children but all materials and refreshments are provided. )
There’s a FREE family play day on the 25th July at Peoples Park, Banbury. Entrance and all activities are included.
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