Family Fun on the River Thames
As the Summer holidays approach, enjoy the improved weather with an adventure along the river, you don’t have to head far to enjoy outdoor fun or keep dry and take a passenger cruise with Hobbs of Henley, French Brothers or Salters Steamers. Visit Thames has some great ideas for families (PDF - updated June 2014). For a rainy day visit one of the Thames Valley Museums or we have some great family events to choose from.
Explore Henley-on-Thames or Windsor and discover how much there is to do. Check out the Daily Express's 10 Things to Do in Windsor. Looking for something different to do this summer, take a family activity break on the River Thames.
Children’s Party Cruises with MyRiverCruising
Why not book a Pirate cruise or a Swallows & Amazons cruise or even a Princess cruise and give your child a birthday party to remember? Ideal for children aged six to 11 and catering to a maximum of 12 people, your ‘skipper and captain’ will take your party on an exciting cruise, where you can stumble upon a treasure trail, eat a hearty captain’s feast and maybe even explore your own island.
Ideas for the Spring and Summer on the River
The simplest way to explore the river is a rowing boat, or if you are looking for an adventure why not hire a boat for the week or a few days and create some great family memories.
Hobbs of Henley provides rowing boats and a variety of other self-drive options available for hire by the hour or by the day including diesel, outboard and electric launches. Take a picnic and enjoy a lazy summer's day boating. For a special family occasion book an Edwardian launch for up to12.
French Brothers offers a variety of cruise options and at this time of year the most popular one is the 40 minute trip from Windsor travelling upstream to Boveney Lock. The view of the castle from the river is undoubtedly the finest there is and the trip is a good length for children. Home Park is close by providing excellent playground and picnic facilities.
Why not try punting? Salter Steamers offers punts, day-boats and other small craft for hire from Oxford, for a more hands-on experience. Children are welcome on any of the self-drive craft and life jackets are available for those who wish to have them.
The following provide boats for Boating Holidays, why not make 2014 the year to have a holiday afloat?
- Hobbs of Henley – the ultimate luxury Linssen cruiser
- Calmer cruising - A luxury Self-Drive 60ft by 11 ft Widebeam with the style of a Canal Boat
- Kris Cruisers - 15 cruisers ranging in size from 29ft-48ft, 2-10 berth motor cruiser
- Myrivercruising - River Thames Day Cruises and Boating Holidays
If you’re feeling lazy join one of the popular cruises on all-weather boats, ideal for families, along different sections of the River Thames offered by:
- Hobbs of Henley (Henley)
- French Brothers (Windsor and Runnymede)
- Salters Steamers (Various lcoations from Oxford to Staines)
- Thames Rivercruise (Caversham, Reading)
Also hire boats from:
Hire a boat and enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of these riverside restaurants:
- Macdonald Compleat Angler, Marlow
- Runnymede on Thames, Runnymede
- Beetle & Wedge, Moulsford-on-Thames
- The Swan at Streatley, Streatley-on-Thames
Museums are fun places these days and great for rainy days...
Voted one of the top museums in the world by The Times, The River & Rowing Museum, Henley shows what a great time can be had in a museum. There are interactive displays such as Row Together, visit the magical Wind in the Willows exhibition, which brings to life the much-loved story with 3D models, lighting and music. Why not visit on one of the Family Days which offer extra activities for your admission price.
The River & Rowing Museum is only one of over 70 museums in the Thames Valley. A new website ‘Thames Valley Museums Group’ lists many of these, providing lots of options for rainy days. Museums offer a variety of ways to engage as a family, from free Family Trails or activities. One of the best for families is the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.
• Pitt Rivers Museum offers free family friendly fun every Sunday 14.00 – 16.00
Make a bee-line to the Pitt Rivers and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History for a relaxing afternoon. Try our activity backpacks, sorting boxes, trails, colouring sheets, story corner and craft activities. Suitable for all ages.
Explore the beautiful, relaxing and inspiring
Fun on the River Thames doesn't always have to cost you. There are plenty of free ways to have a cheap day out with the kids on the River Thames. Take a stroll, get on your bike, catch a fish or play Pooh Sticks...
There really is so much to do on the river and nearby, that a day is not long enough. There are plenty of family-friendly places to stay nearby or on the river. Make your base at one of our family friendly hotels and you can discover history or enjoy a spot of camping...
Don’t forget there are endless ideas for adventure on the river. Check out our ideas for Great Family Days Out. The simplest way to explore the river is a rowing boat For a rainy day visit one of the Thames Valley Museums.