The Museum Of Oxford

gallery 2 in the Museum Of Oxford

The beautiful Victorian Town Hall in Oxford city centre is also home to the Museum Of Oxford. This is a small museum with 2 brand new galleries. The galleries depict the history of Oxford, from football to business, festivals to food. As two of the kids had a day off school for the teacher strikes, we decided to check it out!

We arrived at the museum via the gift shop and were met by the staff who gave us some trail sheets to complete as we explored the museum. There also Henry Hare Explorer backpacks you can borrow too. These contain clues and cards to use during your visit to the museum. The selection of trail sheets had something for everyone, regardless of age.

museum trail sheets at Museum Of Oxford

I was surprised to find that the museum is really family friendly and contains lots of interactive features. The first thing we came to was a digging pit. The kids used the child-sized tools to dig through and find hidden artefacts. This turned out to be Baby Bear’s favourite part of the museum!

two children digging in archealogical pit in a museum

After a bit of time spent digging we had a look around the rest of the gallery at the various different artefacts on display. It was interesting to read about the Cuttleslowe Wall which I didn’t know about. We also looked at the history of various pubs in the city and the car manufacturing industry. There was an interactive map which you could use your finger to move the magnifying glass over to zoom in on buildings. Of course this is at a low level so that it is accessible to all.

Another interactive screen that I was really impressed with was in fact a large desk. You could choose an artefact from the shelf and place it in the box on the desk to make the desk come to life! A video plays telling you all about the place associated with the artefact you chose. It was really good!

interactive screen on desk in museum

Following this, in the next gallery I really liked the Capes Counter Victorian clothes shop. You could try on the outfits or pretend to be the shopkeeper – great fun! Then again, we do love a bit of dressing up!

Victorian outfits hung up behind shop counter

Another part of this gallery that we really enjoyed was listening to the different stories about the Town Hall. It was interesting to hear how different people use the hall in different ways. The ear piece was really easy to use and there is also a padded seat so you can sit down.

child listening to ear piece in museum

The Museum of Oxford is free to visit and is open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. It’s particularly family friendly with lots of interactive exhibits and the staff were lovely. The museum is really accessible too with a lift for wheelchair access and sensory backpacks available to borrow free of charge. You can expect to spend around 1-2 hours visiting the museum, or alternatively make a day of it. Museums such as The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University Museum of Natural History and History Of Science Museum are all within walking distance and also free entry! There are regular special events at the Museum of Oxford so firstly check the website before you go. In conclusion, we recommend it’s worth a visit.

lift for wheelchairs in Museum of Oxford

Facilities Checklist

  • Toilets / Disabled Toilet Yes
  • Pushchair / Wheelchair Friendly Yes
  • Disabled Access Lift access for wheelchairs, wheelchair available to borrow, large print labels available, induction loop in the gift shop, sensory bags (including ear defenders, fidget toys etc) to borrow, dementia friendly tours and touch tours available for the blind.
  • Dog Friendly  No, assistance dogs only.
  • Refreshments available Cafe on site
  • Car Park No
  • Gift Shop  Yes
  • Baby facilities Baby changing

Address: Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1BX

Price Band: FREE (Donations welcome)


Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with the Museum Of Oxford. All words, opinions and photos in this review are that of my own.

To find more places free places to visit in Oxfordshire check out this post: Free Places To Visit In Oxfordshire

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