What to do in Oxford this May Half Term

May Half Term is here, which means a whole week of entertaining the younglings. But have no fear, venues across Oxfordshire have a wealth of activities to take part in, both indoors and outdoors.

A Barnstorming Time

Big Bale Play is back at High Lodge Farm for another year! This is a giant pop-up playground made from hundreds of straw bales, with the main play maze suitable for 5 to 12 year olds and a mini one for under 5s. Plus there’s a sandpit, wooden board games and snacks a-plenty.

Cogges Manor has welcomed new lambs to meet this half term. Plus there are craft activites, with the chance for junk modelling, baking and bug hotel making, and a nature trail in their meadow.

Over at Hogshaw Farm they are running Hogfest, where there will be big top workshops & performances, a miniature train that takes children past the donkey and sheep paddocks, and daily animal encounters.

The big top can also be found at Millets Farm, where the John Lawson’s Circus, voted Best Small Circus, is back with three shows a day. This all-human circus promises gasp-enducing thrills.

In The Country

A circus can also be found at Blenheim Palace with critically acclaimed Giffords Circus back with a brand new show. Plus Blenheim are running a food festival across the bank holiday, with tasty products to sample and displays from celebrity chefs.

Waddesdon Manor has a pair of events during the week. Over the bank holiday there’s face painting, crafts, and the chance to get to know birds of prey. Whilst during the week you can step into the interactive sound and light world of Celestial Sound Cloud. Plus there’s free entry to the house and grounds.

And while technically not a country house, Waterperry Gardens is a resplendent venue with a bunch of gnomes to be found throughout this half term.

Activities, Artefacts and Amusements

Museums can always be relied upon to while away an hour or two and there are activities across Oxford and beyond. The Museum of Oxford has an object handling session to give the chance to get a closer look at the items in the museum, and a craft drop-in workshop where you can make a leafy garland headband to take home.

Over at the Natural History Museum is the Evolution Revolution, with an afternoon of games themed around the theory of evolution. Or there’s The Medieval Mystery at the Oxford Castle & Prison, a puzzle-solving, code breaking adventure for people to take part in. And the Story Museum are marking Elmer Day with Storytelling with Mama G, which is focused on David McKee’s beloved story, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

Over the late bank holiday you can head to the Didcot Railway Centre and meet beloved characters Paddington the Bear and Bluey & Bingo. And Banbury Museum has daily activities including plaster bowl modelling, kite making and Lego building sessions.

And Science Oxford celebrate their fifth anniversary! Head to one of their Family Days, with an outdoor Water Lab, hands-on exhbits and a nature trail through their meadows and woodland. Plus they're running a Science Club session where attendees can make a Lego stop motion movie.

Theatre Time

The big family friendly show during the half term is Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book at the Oxford Playhouse, adapting Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book with puppetry and live songs.

In Didcot, The Bubble Show, at the Cornerstone Arts Centre, blends magic, storytelling, science and bubble art for a bubble-tastic hour of theatre with a Guinness World Record holder.

Bringing laughs to theatre is the Comedy Club 4 Kids, which rolls into Aylesbury Waterside with a quartet of comedians acting as a family friendly introduction to stand up.

Creation Theatre continue to run exceptional holiday workshops as part of their School of Creativity strand, and this May they've got both Put on a Play in a Day sessions and Fascinating Folktales, a masterclass for 6 to 9 year olds that focuss on folk tales and folk lore.

The Big Screen

There are a pair of offerings to draw families into cinemas at the end of May. Some 18 years after he last graced the big screen, the orange feline Garfield is back in The Garfield Movie. This animated instalment comes with an all star cast led by Chris Pratt and featuring Samuel L. Jackson, Hannah Waddingham, Ving Rhames, Nicholas Hoult, Harvey Guillén, Brett Goldstein and Snoop Dogg.

Or there’s IF, the latest from John Krasinski (A Quiet Place), set in a world of imaginary friends and following a duo who have set out on an adventure to save it. This starry cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Steve Carell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Sam Rockwell, Richard Jenkins, Awkwafina, Blake Lively, George Clooney and Bradley Cooper.

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