Family Friendly Events at the Garden

Picture plant labels at 'Get Growing' April 2014


The Garden runs a series of fun, family friendly activities throughout the year including drop-in holiday activities, family backpacks and insightful trails around the Garden. Join us for craft activities, sowing and growing as well as exploring the beautiful Garden and Glasshouses.  Free with entry to the Garden.  All of the Oxford University Museums and Collections offer Family Friendly Activities.  Download the current leaflet here.

Most of our family friendly activities are suitable for primary school age children, however we also run activities specifically for the Under 5's.  Details of all upcoming events can be found below, and details of past events can be found here

We have full toilet facilities, including disabled access and baby change facilities.  We are also able to provide seating for breast-feeding mothers if required.  All family friendly events are both wheelchair and buggy friendly.


Family Friendly Events 2014


Saturday 11th October to Friday 28th November

Biology Week Trail 2014     During opening hours

Celebrate National Biology Week with a trail around the Garden to spot wildlife habitats from trees to ponds and meadows.

Free with entry to the Garden.


Saturday 29th November to Tuesday 6th January

Green Christmas 2014     During opening hours

Come and see the Botanic Garden's Christmas tree, decorated with natural materials.  Take a festive trail and find Christmas plants from around the world.

Free with entry to the Garden.


Saturday 13th December

Crafty Christmas     11.00 am - 1.00 pm

Get in the festive mood and make mini Christmas wreaths and decorations from natural materials.  Hang some on our tree and take some home with you.

Drop-in session.  Free with entry to the Garden.



Family Friendly Events 2015


Saturday 10th January to Sunday 1st March

Winter Wonders Trail     During opening hours at weekends

The Garden may appear asleep, but take our trail to find early signs of spring, looking at leaf buds, blossom, bulbs and evergreens.

Free with entry to the Garden.


Monday 16th February to Sunday 8th March

Fabulous Fairtrade     During opening hours

Explore the Glasshouses and Exhibition space to discover more about Fairtrade crops and the people who grow them.

Free with entry to the Garden.


Wednesday 18th February

Fabulous Fairtrade Fruits     11.00 am - 1.00 pm

Help us to decorate our giant rainforest vine with collage fruits and funky leaves.  Find real tropical fruits growing in the Glasshouses.

Drop-in session.  Free with entry to the Garden.





Available throughout the year...

Family Trails and Big Botanic Backpacks

Look and Find Trail     * New for 2014 *

Practice your looking, finding and counting skills with the help of our brand new "Look and Find" trail!  Look carefully around you as you explore the garden, and see if you can spot 1 sparkling fountain, 2 trimmed yew trees, 3 arches...

This trail is aimed at families with children aged 2 to 7 years.  The "Look and Find" trail is available  from the ticket office, or alternatively you can download it here.


Nature's Numbers Trail     * New for 2014 *

Our brand new "Nature's Numbers" maths trail will be launched at the beginning of March, and will be available daily until Friday 10th October.  Explore the Garden from a new angle, and see how much maths you can find amongst our beautiful collection.  From symmetry to Fibonacci, our new trail will help you examine and appreciate our plants from a new perspective.

This trail is aimed at families with children aged 7 years and above.  The "Nature's Numbers" trail is available from the ticket office, or alternatively you can download it here.



Big Botanic Backpacks

Available from the ticket office daily (9 am - 4.15 pm) from March until the end of October, and at weekends only (9 am to 3.15 pm) from November until the end of February.

The Big Botanic Backpacks give families lots of ideas and equipment for exploring the Garden and having fun together.  There are currently two different backpacks to choose from "Looking" and "Plant Hunter".  Backpacks can be signed out without charge from the ticket office and used for the duration of your visit.


Looking Backpack

Explore the Garden with your eyes wide open!  Use a magnifying glass to look close up at leaves, match the colour of plants to those on a wheel of colour and find your favourite view in the whole Garden.

Suitable for family groups with children aged 5 - 7 years.



Plant Hunter Backpack

Our plants and trees come from all around the world.  Use this backpack to help you discover the range of countries our plants have come from, and see the diversity of plant life we have growing here.  There's even a Plant Hunter hat to help you get into character!  This backpack was developed in collaboration with pupils from St. Kenelm's CE (VC) Primary School in Minster Lovell, near Witney.

Suitable for family groups with children aged 7 - 11 years.