Places To Visit On A Rainy Day In Oxfordshire (And Beyond!)

kids sat on a bench in the china gallery on a rainy day in Oxfordshire

We all know what the Great British weather is like.  There are plenty of rainy days all year round and parents dread it!  The kids end up climbing the walls very quickly when we stay at home but where is best to head to on a wet day?  Here are my top places to visit on a rainy day in Oxfordshire and beyond.


  • The Oxfordshire Museum is full of everything you can imagine to do with Oxfordshire.  From history to wildlife and science, there’s loads to see and do!  It’s really hands on and has something of interest for all ages.  We love the new dinosaur room.  Better still, its free!!

Cody using the interactive screen at The Oxfordshire Museum

  • Right next door to The Oxfordshire Museum is the Soldiers Of Oxfordshire Museum.  We were really surprised by just how much there was to see and do in this museum.  We loved the headsets in the airplane where you could listen to veterans accounts of their experiences in the war.  The replica trench is another highlight!

Cody wearing army headset

  • If your kids are fans of Roald Dahl’s story books then you really need to take them to the Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre.  This place is like an Aladdin’s cave full of everything Roald Dahl, including his original writing hut!  You can learn about his life as well as his stories.  There are lots of activities to take part in at weekends and during school holidays too.

Models of Charlie and Willy Wonka at the Roald Dahl Museum

  • Milestones Living History Museum is one of my absolute favourite museums in the whole country.  It’s like stepping back in time on to the cobbled streets of the 1800/1900s.  There’s a real life sweet shop where you can get your war ration of sweets and a working Edwardian pub too!  This place is absolutely brilliant and as it’s all indoors you can go in any weather.

Waitress in the Edwardian bar at Milestones Museum

  • The British Motor Museum is absolutely huge and full to the rafters of every type of car you can imagine.  There are trails and activity sheets for the kids to have a go at plus some cars they can actually sit in.  The restaurant serves great food as well which is always a bonus.  And did I mention your ticket allows you entry for an entire year?!

British motor museum sports car and kids car

  • The River & Rowing Museum in Henley has all sorts of river related things to explore.  My favourite is the Wind In The Willows exhibition which is just lovely.  There’s often crafts or activities at the weekends and in the holidays.  Plus your ticket lasts a whole year!

wind in the willows exhibit at River & Rowing Museum

  • An amazing free museum to visit in Oxford is the Ashmolean Museum.  My favourite bit is the Ancient Egyptian exhibition.  It is absolutely incredible.  The whole museum is simply crammed full of thousands of amazing artifacts.  I don’t think it would be possible to look at every single item as there’s so much to see!  It’s a great place to visit if you’re child is studying a particular era at school.

Cody stood next to Eyqptian sarcophagus

  • Another fab free museum, albeit on a smaller scale, is the Vale & Downland Museum in Wantage.  This place is like a tardis, there’s so much more in there than I expected!  The kids enjoyed dressing up and trying to build a wheel.  I love the Williams Formula 1 car.  It’s a lovely little place to visit and has a great cafe with homemade cakes too!

kids stood in front of Williams F1 car hanging on the wall

Soft play

  • Our nearest soft play centre is Snakes and Ladders in Abingdon.  My kids love this place as its huge!  I love the fact there are separate play frames for under 5s and over 5s.  The comfy sofas for adults to sit and relax are also much appreciated!

Something a bit different

  • The Funky Teapot pottery place in Wantage is fab for getting creative.  You decorate all sorts of beautiful items that make great keepsakes.  Prices start from as little as £2-£3 for pocket money items.  We loved making our Christmas decorations for the tree which cost just £5 each.  Well worth a visit for all ages.

Cody pottery painting at Funky Teapot

  • Winchester Science Centre is a really hands on exhibition space with so many activities to have a go at.  You can make a tornado, use a fan to direct a boat, walk through your digestive system and more.   If you get the chance, go and watch a film in the planetarium.  It’s an amazing experience!

Lois doing a floating experiment at Winchester science centre

  • If you really want to burn off some serious energy then head to Red Kangaroo Trampoline Park.  We had so much fun at this place and are desperate to go back.  It was exhausting but we laughed the whole time we were there.  Fab place.

Red kangaroo trampoline park Reading

  • For slightly older kids (I would suggest over 8s but Cody enjoyed it at the age of 5) try a tour at Oxford Castle & Prison.  We enjoyed learning about the history of the castle and the prison was fascinating.  We even had our mug shot taken!  The tours are conducted by historical characters who have tonnes of knowledge abut the place.  We loved our visit in the summer.

oxford prison dress up

  • Another place I highly recommend is The Living Rainforest in Newbury.  There are lots of different animals to see there including the new dwarf caiman exhibition. 
The Living Rainforest

There are lots of places to visit on a rainy day in Oxfordshire so don’t let the weather stop you. Get out there and have fun!

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