If you find yourself in Oxford with a toddler, you might be wondering the best way to keep them entertained.
After all, while Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, many of its attractions — the university, bookshops, punting, pubs — are more of a grown-up flavour.
But don’t be discouraged — there’s actually a huge amount of things to do in Oxford with toddlers and young kids. Whether you’re after a park or a museum, a soft play or a farm, there’s more than enough to keep you busy in the city and its surrounds.
We’ve chosen a bunch of our top toddler days out in Oxford — let us know your recommendations as well!
- 18 Things to Do in Oxford With Toddlers
- The Story Museum
- Cutteslowe Park
- Millets Farm Centre
- Partyman World Oxford
- Bernwood Butterfly Trail
- Snakes and Ladders Abingdon
- Oxford Bus Museum
- Nine Acres Recreation Ground Charlbury
- Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary
- Blenheim Palace
- Cotswold Wildlife Park
- Jump Inc Bicester
- University Museum of Natural History
- Pendon Indoor Model Village
- Cogges Manor Farm
- Carterton Soft Play and Trampoline Park
- Oxford Botanic Garden
- Fairytale Farm
18 Things to Do in Oxford With Toddlers
The Story Museum
The Story Museum is undoubtedly one of our favourite ways to spend a day in Oxford with a toddler. It’s home to a number of rooms styled like the inside pages of some of the best children’s stories — you’ll be amazed at how lifelike the recreations are and your little one will be able to imagine themselves in their favourite fictional worlds.
Everyone’s favourite feature here is the Whispering Wood, a forest-themed room. Each individual tree hosts its own activity that little kids will love.
The Story Museum hosts an endless list of activities throughout the year, especially in the school holidays. It’s definitely worth checking their upcoming calendar so you don’t miss out on the fun.
When you and your child are hungry, the on-site cafe offers delectable treats with vegan and gluten-free options.
Cutteslowe Park offers much more than fresh air and well-kept grass. This fun park is perfect for all ages, which is surprisingly difficult to achieve.
On one end of Cutteslowe, children can enjoy a huge field to play tag, catch, or their favourite sports. On the other end is a playground overlooking the basketball court.
Between those two areas is a small lake to enjoy relaxing moments snacking and catching your breath, as well as a butterfly house. And best of all, there is a miniature train station where children can ride along the winding tracks.
Millets Farm Centre
Millets Farm Centre is another really popular option for a toddler day out in Oxford. It’s location just outside of the city in nearby Abingdon.
Explore the Sprouts Play Barn, which is a multi-level fun zone. The barn includes a floor piano for toddlers with musical aspirations, an exhilarating cow-coloured slide, and an area specifically designed for children ages five and under.
The Rose Cottage Cafe offers an extensive selection on the menu of meals for the perfect for toddlers and parents. The menu offers options for breakfast and lunch.
Millets Farm Centre also hosts activities that cater to a variety of interests. Take your toddler dancing for their Disco Evenings, introduce your tot to mini golf on their Ball, Beer and Burger Evenings, and enjoy family-friendly, animal-free, hour-long shows in John Lawson’s Circus.
Partyman World Oxford
Partyman World is an indoor soft play located in Littlemore, just outside of the city centre. It’s got everything you might want in a soft play, including a huge ball pit.
The activity center has exceptional group party events, including arts and crafts, building a stuffed bear, creating sand art, slime making, and either hosted or self-reliant parties.
See your little one get excited about building their stuffed teddy, as there are many fabrics, styles, and design options. Seeing your young one hugging their new teddy is reason enough to become a repeat visitor to this toddler-friendly play zone.
Bernwood Butterfly Trail
Bernwood Forest, on the outskirts of Oxford, is a great spot to get out and about with your toddler. And, it’s a free day out — you’re not even charged for parking.
The butterfly trail itself contains around 40 different species of butterfly, as well as gentle grazing wildlife passing by while foraging for food.
The walk is circular and 2 miles long — perfect for little legs. Dogs are welcome and encouraged as they can also benefit from a nice day out in nature, stretching their legs and getting in a good walk.
Snakes and Ladders Abingdon
This three-tier indoor playground features rope climbs, slides, and tunnels. These are excellent for capturing your child’s attention and making them want to stay as long as possible.
You can also encourage your little Einstein by taking them to the Science Discovery Centre.
Snakes and Ladders also promotes sustainability by encouraging families to bring reusable cups, use energy-efficient lighting, recycle, support local suppliers, and dispose of waste responsibly.
If you worry about how safe having your toddler play alongside the older children, Snakes and Ladders has an impressive five-and-under perfect play area.
Oxford Bus Museum
The Oxford Bus Museum is a surprisingly interesting attraction for the automotive-inclined tots in and around Oxford. This museum displays its treasured vehicles for everyone interested in a slice of history.
On the premises are two exhibition halls to explore the displays and vehicles that are a serious blast from the past. You can observe restorations taking place from a viewing gallery, and let your child’s imagination soar as they view iconic buses of years gone by.
The gift shop offers a wide variety of toy vehicles — a great way to remember your trip and cough cough possible serve as a bribe!
Boasting the highest food hygiene rating, the Oxford Bus Museum makes refreshing drinks and light snacks available to visitors.
Nine Acres Recreation Ground Charlbury
This park in Charlbury offers ample open fields for your child to enjoy the blue skies and green grass while they run and play.
On the ground is a massive playground, ideal for them to meet new friends and play games together. To add a challenge to the day, your toddler can try going through the obstacle course from the log balance beam to the tire bridge.
Tucked away, off to the side, is a massive wooden recreation of a tractor pulling cargo. You tiny tot can take the wheel of this giant reconstruction and pretend they are leading the way to drop off grains at the silo.
Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary
Enjoy a day in the fresh air at a refuge for rescued donkeys. While visiting, your toddler can also admire the sheep, goats, chickens, geese, and ducks that have begun calling Island Farm their new home.
This sanctuary relies on volunteers to lend a helping hand and donations from visitors to the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary. Although there are no admission fees, a donation is always appreciated and goes toward helping the sanctuary continue operations.
If you and your child want to adopt a donkey, the farm makes that option available to the public. This option can help you teach your child about tending to animals in need and allows you to support the sanctuary to continue aiding these docile creatures.
Blenheim Palace is a fantastic day out with the kids in Oxfordshire. Not only does it boast some amazing grounds to explore, but also the breathtaking interiors are sure to be a hit with young kids — they can even get dressed up as royalty and tour around!
Older children and adults will appreciate the incredible gilded staterooms that have been preserved in perfect condition from years gone by. The Churchill Exhibition is a must-see too — even if your toddler might not appreciate it quite yet!
Outdoors you’ll be able to explore the expansive grounds replete with fountains, fields, lakes and even the Marlborough Maze — a series of connected yew trees. You can hoist your toddler onto your shoulders to help navigate you to the other side!
Cotswold Wildlife Park
Cotswold Wildlife Park is another full day trip for the kids in Oxfordshire. Tickets aren’t cheap but this is definitely a fantastic day out.
There’s a huge amount to see and do here. Whether it’s lions, giraffes, zebras, red pandas, snakes or bats — to name just a few — your child will be amazed throughout the entire experience.
See the excitement grow on your toddler’s face while taking the train ride that loops around the grounds and offers views of the exhibits from the comfort of the slow-moving locomotive. During the trip, you and your little one can note which animals would be best seen up close.
Take a breather and get some food at the Oak Tree Restaurant before visiting the indoor Walled Garden, which houses penguins, otters, and prairie dogs. After which, wander over to the Adventure Playground to let your toddler play and run through some of their endless energy.
Jump Inc Bicester
Bouncy and inflatable are perfect adjectives to ensure your child remains safe while having fun jumping around this indoor trampoline park. Jump Inc Bicester boasts 18,000 square feet of bounceable fun as your toddler acclimates to the inflatable terrain in this mecca of high-altitude jumps.
To quell any apprehension about mixing toddlers, children, teens, and adults flying through the air in a contained area, the inflatable park has set aside separate days and times designated solely for Toddler Sessions.
During these times, toddlers and their parents can explore the grounds wearing hybrid grip socks to reduce falling and make the safest environment for your little one to have fun jumping around somewhere other than on their beds.
University Museum of Natural History
For more of an educational day out, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History is a great shout. Here you can observe and learn about fossils of the prehistoric animals and beasts on display — perfect to encourage any petite paleontologists!
Stroll through the butterfly displays to witness the myriad colours splashed across their delicate wings and marvel at all the sea creatures in their “Life, As We Know It” exhibit. There’s a new Japanese spider crab in town that’s sure to fascinate any mini marine biologists.
The Mineralogy and Petrology exhibit lets you behold dazzling crystalline minerals, view out-of-this-world meteorites, and visit the underground world of rock formations to mesmerise your pint-sized petrologist.
Pendon Indoor Model Village
A great way to spark your child’s imagination is by taking them to the Pendon Indoor Model Village in Abingdon.
No child can resist a miniature train winding through the scenic mountains and finally pulling into a station surrounded by lifelike representations of worn-down cottages. It’s impossible not to marvel at this sight.
After visiting the Pendon Indoor Model Village, your child will be clamouring for their own model train set. You can definitely get ideas to recreate these beautiful scenes upon returning home to make long-lasting models with your child.
Cogges Manor Farm
Cogges is found outside of the city in nearby Witney, and actually resembles some of the scenes on display in the Pendon model village! It’s definitely a rural idyll.
Your toddler will love visiting the goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, and chickens that reside on the farm. You can also walk the grounds in a guided tour of the premises (featured in Downton Abbey!) and learn its fascinating history, with the area dating back as far as the 13th century.
The Cogges Kitchen serves up delicious food, snacks, pastries and locally roasted coffee so you’ll be able to fuel up while you’re here.
Carterton Soft Play and Trampoline Park
This trampoline park is very similar to Jump Inc Bicester and both are great locations to bounce around on a budget. The major difference between Carterton Soft Play and Trampoline Park is that Carterton has ditched the inflatable areas for nearly all trampoline-covered play areas.
What’s the rest of the “nearly all”? The remainder of the area is occupied by a soft play obstacle course that helps your toddler fine-tune their motor skills by navigating a hanging bridge, climbing the uneven foam of a water-dwelling creature’s back, and other fun activities.
The fun continues as there is also an allotted time strictly for children under 5 to bounce, jump, and spring through the air and capture a picture of your soaring superhero in mid-air.
Oxford Botanic Garden
This botanic garden is spectacular from when you arrive to everywhere you explore. The grounds have been cultivated perfectly to inspire awe and provide a wonderful stroll through the picturesque landscape.
Set alongside the River Cherwell, this peaceful garden is home to over 5,000 different plant species, has a greenhouse on the premises, and will spark your child’s excitement for nature.
Furthermore, the Oxford Botanic Garden hosts several events held throughout the year. Bring your toddler to enjoy the greenery and fresh air.
Packed with an unbelievable variety of activities, the Fairytale Farm has everything under the sun to keep your little one busy and entertained for hours. Spending a full day with your energetic toddler will still not be enough time to cover all of the games and activities on this farm.
Divided into different areas, including Jack’s Yard, Fairy Dell, Enchanted Walk, Huff and Puff Adventure Playground, Alfie and Friends, and Wilderness Walk, grabbing a map can help you and your child navigate which activities to tackle first.
From the petting zoo to the sandpit to the dancing fountains to the rubber duck race and more, you and your little one will have a fantastic day sampling activities that pique their varied interests.
Looking for another location? Check out our Days Out section for more ideas.