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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- Parks and Bury Knowle House are open all day every day (for all ages).
- Pirate play feature and Sand pits.
- Climbing rocks and timber frames.
- Sensory garden.
- Tennis courts.
Off London Road, Headington, Oxford
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
- Designed around needs of children with varying disabilities but open to everyone.
- Farm with donkeys, goats, pigs, birds, alpacas, miniature ponies, and rabbits.
- Enchanted Walk with sensory garden, weather areas, water play, & musical chimes.
- Animal handling, sandpit, adventure playground & birthday party venue.
- Giant rabbit burrow with a play kitchen, and a model village 'Mouse Town'.
Southcombe, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5QH
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
- Interactive water feature for all the family, especially younger children.
- Button-activated fountains and water sprays
- Open 9am - 7pm daily throughout summer.
- Picnic area.
- For 2016 it will be open until 2 October 2016.
Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8EB
- Indoor play activities for children of all ages.
- Huge indoor play frame, imagination play, and electric bikes to ride.
- Outdoor Adventure Assault Course.
- Under 5 years have dedicated zone. Weekly term-time pre-schooler sessions.
- Birthday party venue with various party packages.
Audlett Drive, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 3NJ
- Indoor Soft Play Barn includes slide, climbing wall, monkey bars and fun games.
- Pizza Café.
- Outdoor play area, and Nature Trail.
- Children's party packages available.
- Wheelchairs available and guide dogs are welcome.
Witney Road, Ramsden, Oxfordshire, OX7 3AS
- Outdoor play for children aged 7+ years, within a supervised playground.
- Free playground, open to everyone (under7's must be with an adult).
- Wooden fort, zip wire, wobbly bridge, tyre & rope swings, slides, den making area.
- Open every day after school (3:15pm - 5pm). Also an indoor area to play.
- Children over 7 years are welcome without an adult, once registered.
Whitehouse Road, Grandpont, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4PA