The benefits of time spent in the fresh air are clear: freedom, space to roam, a boost of vitamin D and a happy, tired child by the end of the day. There is a vast selection of places to choose from for an outdoor excursion, including the perennially popular wildlife parks and zoos, some of which allow your child to get up close and personal with the animals. If you are looking for something physically challenging, there are adrenaline-filled tree-top adventures on offer, or if you are in the mood for a picnic, explore the list of playgrounds and parks which includes some lesser-known hidden gems. In addition, look out for lidos, watersports, tree-top high ropes, mud painting, strawberry picking, ghost tours, imaginative birthday venues and beach play areas (always a winner in our house).
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0207 558 8706
- Walking tours in Oxford for all ages.
- Combined bike and walking tours.
- Includes: 2 hour free walking tour, Oxford University and City tour.
- Private Family Tours: tailored specifically for ages and interests.
- Harry Potter Tour of Oxford: inside Hogwarts Hospital & down the halls of Hogwarts.
5 Broad Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 3AJ
- Outdoor play group sessions using real tools, fire and building dens.
- For children walking - 4 years old.
- Themes include stick man, bears in the woods, and fairies.
- Fridays (term time) mornings (9:30am–11:30am) and afternoons (12:30pm–2:30pm).
- Woodland parties, team building, and training available.
Newbottle Woods, Near King Sutton, OX17 3DB
- Wakeboarding, wakeskate and wakeskis.
- Water Skiing
- Ringo Inflatables and kayaks
- Waterspots activities available April - October. Booking is essential.
Downs Road, Standlake, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 7PZ
- 40+ obstacles made from wood, rope and wire. Minimum age 10+ years.
- Tree-Top High Ropes adventure, set high in the trees in 50 acre woodland.
- Rope bridges, tarzan swings, zip slides, & 42ft Drop Zone Parachute Descender.
- Seated picnic area and spectators area.
- Offers 'Summer Adventure Days' for children (Lasergaming & High Ropes).
Culham Adventure Park, Furze Brake Woodland, Rear of Culham Site 1, Off the A415 (Abingdon Road), Oxfordshire, OX14 3DA
0844 893 3222
- Outdoor heated swimming pool has a shallow end and is 1.5 metres at its deepest.
- Sun loungers available for hire.
- Offer a 'Free Swimming Programme' to City residents under 16 years.
- For all ages and abilities.
- Cafe open daily 10am - 6pm.
Lake Street, Off Abingdon Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4RP
- Visit rescued donkeys and other animals, including horses, chickens, geese and ducks.
- Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.
- You can sponsor a donkey.
- Cafe open most weekends and school holidays.
- Open daily (except Christmas Day) 11–4pm.
Old Didcot Road, Brightwell-Cum-Sotwell, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 0SW
- Floodlit 360 metre outdoor circuit, with hair pin bends.
- Cadet Karting for children over 8 years.
- Must be pre-booked.
- Family sessions, for children over 8 years (requires a minimum of 6 drivers).
- Parties (for children 4-10 years) available with a full mobile Junior Karting facility.
Oxford Stadium, Sandy Lane, Cowley, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX4 6LJ
- Outdoor lasertag adventure activities for children and adults.
- Minimum age 8 years, although if booking exclusive use 7 year olds can attend.
- 7 different gaming guns to choose from, plus machine guns, & missile system.
- Safe infra red - no Paint, no masks, no pain, no bruises.
- Authentic live combat gaming experience birthday parties packages available.
Furze Brake Woodland, Rear of Culham 1 Site, Station Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX14 3DA
- Heated 25m outdoor swimming pool and toddler pool with slide.
- Open April - September. (Please see their website for dates).
- Swimming lessons Monday - Friday for the 1st four weeks of the summer holidays.
- Offer one-to-one lessons.
- Available for private hire for parties.
Fox Close, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5BZ
- Outdoor nature play for all children from 1+ years.
- Mud painting, find a frog, snail races, treasure dig, crafts, storytime & bubbles.
- Family Adventures: term time - Mon, Tues, & Thurs (1–4 years olds and parents).
- Run 'Holiday Adventures' (children of all ages), and workshops (6+ years).
- Woodland birthday parties for all ages from February - November.
Henley Knapp Woodland, Near Enstone, Off the B4022, Oxfordshire, OX7 4EN
- Hire a traditional Oxford punt, rowing boat or pedalo.
- Hire a boat for an hour or make a day of it and take a picnic.
- Punts can take up to 5 people and prices start at £22 per hour.
- Chauffeured punt ride £30 per 30 minutes. (Pre-ordered picnic hampers available).
- Open 7 days a week from 1st February through to 30th November.
The Old Horse Ford, High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4AU
Countryside Farm Centre open seven days a week perfect for all the family with animals, playground and indoor Sprout Playbarn. Throughout the summer months, there's a beach area (with outdoor games), PYO and Maize Maze.
- Fun for all the family. Animal Walkway includes pigs, alpacas, cattle, and ponies.
- Sprouts Indoor Playbarn with multi-level activities, slides, ball pits and education play.
- Children's play area: swings, slides, play diggers, little sit-on tractors, & carousal.
- Pick You Own: June to September. Over 30 different fruits and vegetables.
- Phoebe Wood is 10 acres of woodland and wetland walks and picnic areas.
- Children's ballet, tap and art classes. Birthday party packages coming soon.
Kingston Road, Frilford, Near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX13 5HB