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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- 28°C swimming pool for able-bodied and disabled people of all ages.
- Free Swimming Programme is offered to City Residents 16 years and under.
- Learn to swim programme to suit all levels and abilities.
- School holiday activities.
- 'Big Day Swim' birthday party packages.
Waynflete Road, Barton, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX3 8GA
- 6 lane 10 pin bowling alley.
- 25m swimming pool for all ages.
- 15m learner and fun pool.
- Children's birthday party packages available.
Queens Avenue, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 2NR
- Excellent sports facilities available to the public, for all ages.
- Indoor pool, squash courts, gym & fitness classes, climbing wall and tennis courts.
- Climbing wall runs tasters sessions and courses.
- Offer either a monthly membership per facility or you can pay as you use.
- Aqua Zumba classes Wednesday evenings 8pm–9pm, £5 per class.
Dewey Sports Centre, off Barley Close, Bloxham, Oxfordshire, OX15 4NJ
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 25 metre indoor swimming pool.
- 'Tots Bounce', soft play and bouncy castle for 0–5 year olds (Tuesdays & Fridays).
- Jump & Jiggle soft play; créche; and party packages available.
- Offer 'Active Teen Fitness' the new membership for 11–15 year olds.
- Run swimming lessons, and 'Disabled Swim' sessions.
Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 2NU
- 8 lane 25 metre indoor pool, and learner pool (0.9 metres deep).
- Créche and toddler's soft play.
- 'Aspires Academy' is a fitness initiative for 11–15 year olds.
- Jet ski sessions for children under 9 years, and Short Tennis for 4–10 year olds.
- Birthday party packages including: pool inflatables, jet skis, and skating.
Pegasus Road, Blackbird Leys, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX4 6JL
- Baby Bounce - soft play and bouncy castle for pre-schoolers.
- Junior activities -'Spice Up Saturday', 'Junior Gym', 'Balanceability', and 'Sway Dance'.
- Fitness and sports activities. Roller disco on Saturdays.
- 25m swimming pool and learner pool. Crèche.
- Birthday party packages.
Cherwell Drive, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 2BW
- Indoor 6 lane, 25m Swimming Pool with a depth of 1.8m.
- Offer swimming lessons. Swim times for people with disabilities.
- Swimming pool 'Mats & Balls' inflatable sessions.
- Creché. Run children's activities during school holidays.
- Birthday party packages available for ages 1–16 years.
Portway, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 9BY