Pretty much as far removed from the traditional image of a stuffy old museum as possible, The Story Museum is heaven for children (and big kids too!) With a changing programme of vibrant exhibitions and fun interactive installations (including live story readings on a giant starlit bed), the innovative museum celebrates stories and storytelling in its own unique way.
Rochester House, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford +44 01865 790050
Slow down the pace with a trip on the water with Oxford River Cruises. Take your pick from a 30-minute sightseeing highlights tour (probably your best choice for younger kids), a longer 50-minute or a two-and-a-half-hour cruise taking in all the sights of the city. The boats have covers, so perfect for keeping off the strong summer sunshine (we’re being optimistic here!) or rain, plus you can pick up snacks at The Folly Café to take on board with you.
The Folly, 1 Folly Bridge, Oxford +44 08452 269396
Whether you’re visiting for the day or an Oxford local, there’s no better way to explore the city than on foot. This self-guided, themed, walking treasure hunt can be downloaded directly from the Treasure Trails website for you to follow at your own pace. To complete the mission, you just need to follow the route and answer a series of clues involving some of the sights you’ll pass along the way.
There’s something about sitting on the top deck of an open-top bus that transforms a day of sightseeing into a real adventure for children and teenagers. This ‘Hop on, Hop off’ bus tour means you can choose to just sit and enjoy the commentary as you are driven around the city, or enjoy the freedom to make up your own itinerary and jump off at any of the attractions you want to explore.
Park End Street, Oxford +44 01865 790522
Watch the 1,000 years of Oxford Castle’s history come to life on a tour around the building and grounds by one of the costumed character guides. The kids can burn off some energy by climbing the Saxon St George’s Tower, one of Oxford’s oldest buildings, with incredible 360 degrees panoramic views over the city. Then, if they’re feeling brave, you can all head underground into the 900-year-old crypt before exploring the ancient prison cells.
44-46 Oxford Castle, Oxford +44 01865 260666