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What to do in Oxford May Half Term 2022

The May Half Term is just around the corner. Which, of course, means finding something do with school-free children.

This half term is a bit of an odd one, as it merges with the extended Jubilee weekend and all the events that come with this. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t activities, events and clubs to help entertain the younglings. And Daily Info has picked out the best of the crop for you.

Booking ahead

Something for everyone

Many of the activity providers offer a range of options to cater to all different interests. House of Fun have gained a strong reputation and once again are providing everything from sports to cookery to arts and crafts, with camps in Oxford and Abingdon. Oxford Active are in Summertown and Headington with a mix of sports, arts and crafts, games and other outdoor activities.

Also in Headington is KIDACTIVE for 4 to 11 year olds, with crafts, toys, dance and sports, whilst Vicky’s After School Club are over in Aston and have everything from cooking to forest school to games. All these offer something for your child, whatever their interests are.

Sports and outdoors fun

As we get closer to summer, the weather becomes a bit nicer (though rain is never too far away) and we can all head outdoors. Wild Ways Woodland Clubs combine all the fun of the forest with a variety of activities. Get stuck in with bushcraft skills like shelter building, fire lighting, woodland crafts and tool use over the course of two days. Or maybe you want to take to the waters for a nautical endeavour. The Oxford Boat Adventure are offering a two-day escapade for children aged 7 to 13.

And with outdoor fun often comes sport, and there are a trio of providers to meet childrens’ needs. Full Circle Sports run holiday camps for 4 to 14 year olds with venues in Wallingford and Steventon, Ignite Sports run their sessions at the Oxford City FC, with sessions on Multisport, Football Fun and Game Tech, whilst Ultimate Activity Camps are running athletic classes at the Abingdon School Sports Centre.

For those more interested in specific sports, why not check out Oxford Sports Lawn Tennis Club, whose holiday club revolves around the ever-popular court-based endeavour. Or you can take in Club Energy Sports, which offers football and fun this half term.

Arts, crafts and science

Then there are the holiday activites tailored towards more specific interests. Codeninjas is all about coding and is offering day camps covering Minecraft, robotics and Roblox. This half term, Bright Spark Events’ Science Holiday Camp will be covering space exploration, with locations in Woodstock, Oxford and Abingdon. And finally, With camps in Abingdon and Oxford, Next Thing Education will be focusing on tech and coding.

There's a pair of options for the future artists out there who would like to continue to improve their skills. ArtWorks School of Art have classes for 8 to 11 year olds and 12 to 16 year olds, covering textiles, printmaking, painting and drawing, whilst Lisa Jayne Art Studio are running two-hour sessions for 5 to 7 year olds and longer ones for 8 years and up.

And finally, for the theatrically minded you can’t go wrong with the ever-wonderful Creation Theatre, with their School of Creativity running a week-long project, with sessions for 6-8s and 9-12s. The equally-great Story Museum are running a pair of skills courses, with each day focusing on a different theme and offering fun for 8 to 12 year olds. And while not a full day course it may be worth booking ahead for Medieval Fool School at the Oxford Castle & Prison, for an hour of juggling, plate spinning and the chance to make your own hat.

Fun on the day

Museums

Museum of Oxford

Having returned recently after a sparkling refurb, now would be the perfect time to visit the Museum of Oxford, especially for either their Jubilee-themed Kings & Queens Family Day or Sounds of Science event, which partners with Science Oxford to explore how we make, hear, and use sound. There’s also a host of exhibitions to explore in the rest of the museum.

The other museums in Oxford also have plenty going on. You can make a sundial at the History of Science, celebrate one of the most important female scientists at the Museum of Natural History, or take part in a wooden mouse trail with Pitt Rivers’ Half-term Squeaktacular!

Outside of Oxford, there’s still time to check out the Imagining Fantastic Mr Fox exhibition at the Roald Dahl Museum, or you can explore our life on the river bank at the River & Rowing Museum.

Theatre & cinema

The Secret of Kells

With no new family cinema releases this half term, the Ultimate Picture Palace deserves extra points for programming three family friendly masterpieces. There’s munchkins, witches, and red shoes in Technicolor marvel The Wizard of Oz, time-travelling teens interacting with their parents in Back to the Future, and an Irish folk tale brought forth in beautiful 2D animation in The Secret of Kells.

Or you could take a trip to the theatre, with a number of cracking shows on offer. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World at the Oxford Playhouse promises a lyrical exploration of some incredible women throughout history, and is followed at the venue by the stage version of Judith Kerr’s beloved tale The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

The Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot has Rhymes Live, a musical adventure where the audience explore the sounds and songs of various instruments. Rhubarb Theatre’s Dustbin Doris brings puppetry, dance, and song to the Pegasus Theatre stage, whilst the interactive musical show, You Choose at the Story Museum looks set to be a colourful delight. The Story Museum also sees the opening of their new exhibtion, exploring the proccess of creating comic books.

Other venues

Colourscape, Waddesdon Manor

Then there are the events outside of museums, theatres, and cinemas that are absolutely worth your time. Offering something unique to visitors, Colourscape returns to Waddeson Manor, a colour, music, and light experience across 56 interlinked chambers. Also whilst at the Manor, why not make a day of it and check out their Birds and Beasts trail. Clue the Looking Glass takes teams on a trail and adventure around the city on the hunt (as the name would suggest) for Alice. And Fairy Tale Farm have a whole host of unicorn-themed activities on this half term.

And for those looking for some free child care, the South Oxford Adventure Playground runs days for children aged 7+ who are registered with them to play there without parents, supervised by play supervisors.


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