This section will help you to find great indoor places to entertain your children. Oxfordshire offers an impressive array of places to hide from the rain, or (thinking wishfully) the sun. While places local to you are a good place to start, others further afield may well be worth the journey. Some are free (have a look to see what’s on at museums and libraries as both often have excellent events and clubs) and many have activities to exhaust your child whatever the weather. My son has had enormous fun getting creative (and extremely messy) at some of the venues offering arts and crafts – and to be honest there have been days when I’ve been relieved that my living room carpet has been safe. We’ve also enjoyed bringing history to life and I think I’ve learnt just as much as the children through inspiring exhibits and trails. Another section which is proving particularly useful is the compilation of possible birthday party venues. If you’re reluctant to risk the weather and are looking for an indoor party, there are so many fantastic possibilities available. In the course of research, I’ve discovered places I had no idea offered such unique and enjoyable experiences for that perfect, memorable day.
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- 25m fitness indoor pool and leisure pool. Disabled access available to both.
- Runs 'Floatarama' sessions. (floats provided).
- Soft play and creche.
- Runs holiday activities such as water slides, swim & tennis courses, and holiday club.
- Children's swimming birthday parties packages available.
Broadshires Way, Carterton, Oxfordshire, OX18 1AA
- National Trust Jacobean country house and garden for all the family to visit.
- Family activity packs and trails for house and garden.
- Search for the 'Secret Room' and then picnic in the garden.
- Hip-carrying infant seats available.
- Braille guide and induction loop available - ask at reception.
Chastleton, Near Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxfordshire, GL56 0SU
- Swimming pool with retractable roof, for all ages and abilities.
- Children 0-12 years welcome during the day, and family sessions run after school.
- Swimming lessons and summer holiday intensive lessons available.
- Toddler splash sessions are held during the summer holidays.
- Available for swimming parties and includes the use of all pool toys.
St Andrews School, Station Road, Chinnor, Oxfordshire, OX39 4PU
- Possibly the smallest museum in Oxfordshire, for all the family.
- Set overlooking the site of the ‘lost’ village of Churchill, destroyed by fire in 1684.
- Touch screens telling the remarkable stories of two eminent sons of the village.
- Open March - September, please check website for opening times.
- Free admission.
Hastings Hill, Churchill, Nr Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 6NA
0871 200 2000
- 5 screen cinema with real D, 3D and 2D, offering weekly 'Movies for Juniors'.
- Audio described for blind/visually impaired cinema goers. Guide dogs allowed.
- Subtitled showings for deaf children and young people.
- Autism Friendly Screenings includes lights kept on at a low level & no trailers.
- Offer 'Big Screen Gaming' with surround sound speakers.
(Didcot) – 27 Station Road, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 7NE. (Witney) – Marriots Walks, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 6GW
A lovely family day out where you can enjoy the historic farmyard, feed the animals, explore the manor house and grounds. Every Monday children of all ages can enjoy their Monday Morning Storytime.
- Visit and feed the farm animals, check for times. Mondays am: Children's Storytime.
- Soft play for children under 5 years, in the stables. Dress up in the Manor house.
- Den making, nature play in the nature areas and sheltered sand pit.
- Adventure Playground with timber fort includes slides, zip wire, and wobbly bridge.
- Open March to November, check website for dates.
Church Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 3LA
- Mobile 'paint your own' pottery painting studio, for all ages.
- Decorate ceramics and pottery in the comfort of your own home.
- Clay imprints of kiddies hands and feet service is coming soon.
- Also offer a bespoke custom order service.
- Can accommodate for any children's birthday party size at any chosen venue.
Tetsworth, Oxfordshire, OX9 7BN
- Paint your own ceramics and craft studio, with free parking.
- Decopatch, pottery to paint, and take away home kits for all ages.
- Make your own mosaic, clay play, potters wheel.
- Party packages available and workshops coming soon.
- Free footprint coaster for babies under seven weeks old.
19 Crawley Mill, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 9TJ
- Fun indoor play equipment for children 0–11 years.
- Three levels with zip wire, slides, ball pits, rope bridges, and tunnels.
- Separate area for under 5's.
- Party packages include: 'Laser Storm' - use laser tag equipment through the levels.
- Open 9:30am–6pm, seven days a week.
Carterton South Ind Est, Black Bourton Road, Carterton, Oxfordshire, OX18 3EZ
- 25 meter swimming pool between 28–31 degrees celsius.
- Wave machine and indoor flume ride.
- Beach area.
- Swim School Programme.
- Holiday activity schemes, with themed weeks. Check website for details.
Newlands Avenue, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 8NX
- Two indoor heated swimming pools.
- ASA Swim School swimming programme.
- Teen fitness classes for ages 11–15 years old.
- Learner pool is available for private hire for children's birthday parties.
- Other packages include: 'bounce, skate, and sports hall hire parties.
Diamond Place, Summertown, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2 7DP
- 25 metre indoor swimming pool.
- Pool has fun float mat sessions aimed at children under 16 years.
- Children's swimming lessons, gymnastics, and performing art classes.
- Party packages include swimming, toddler football, rock-climbing & skateboarding.
- Offer intensive swimming course and holiday activities, during the holidays.
Gillotts Lane, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1PA