Family Fun Events
Family Fun along the River Thames – Summer Events
The River Thames offers great family events this summer, here’s a selection to enjoy:
26th July and 2/9/16/23rd August Hobbs of Henley Wildlife Cruise
Join the Chilterns Conservation Board and Hobbs of Henley for a ‘wildlife watching cruise’. The river’s wildlife provided the inspiration for Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’. The cruise travels between Henley and Hambleden and is ideal for families.
Various dates River & Rowing Museum
The River & Rowing Museum always has a range of holiday activities to choose from:
• 24 June – 25 September Picture This – Children’s Illustrated Classics Pack a suitcase and join Paddington Bear and his friends at the River & Rowing Museum this summer. Explore the magical world of children’s book illustrations, design your own sweets for Willy Wonka’s factory, join Peter Pan on his adventures and lots more!
• 4 August – 31 October Designing the Olympics
With 100 years of Olympic Posters, programmes, costume and souvenirs, see how they provide a record of changing society and culture. Relive the excitement of London 2012 with costume, models and drawings from the torch relay, opening ceremony and games. Enjoy dressing as an Olympian and collect a medal on the podium.
• 28 Jul, 18 Aug Family Days
Carnival! Celebrate the Olympics in Rio and go carnival crazy! Samba like a local, make your own maracas and pose in our selfie station with your magical masks. The Henley Games, can you beat Mr Toad in a Tug of War? Fancy playing cricket with Mole? Join Henley’s local sports clubs for our Sports Day and try rugby, cricket or golf.
• Various days during July and August Children’s Workshops
Felt Making or Secret Garden, Irresistible Pick ‘n’ Mix!, Here be Dragons! Planet Paddington, The Magic Tree
• 3 Aug, 17 Aug Taylor Tugs Holiday Happenings
Cliveden National Trust
27Jul and 3/10/17/24/31 Aug Wild Wednesdays
Wild Wednesdays run every Wednesday in the local school holidays from February to October. There's a different theme and outdoor activity for each session: Make your own raft, Peter Pan & the Pirates, Bugtastic, Natural Treasure Hunt, Mud Kitchen. Families typically spend 45 minutes to an hour completing Wild Wednesday activities. Designed for children between the ages of 4 and 11 years.
12/12/25/26 Aug 2016 - Tree climbing with the Big Tree Climbing Company.
Ever wondered what it is like to be high up in the tree tops? Now's your chance to explore a whole new side of the woodlands.
25-26 Aug 2016 Children's Outdoor Theatre - Danny Champion of the World
An afternoon of outdoor theatre for the whole family .Presented by Illyria. Nine year-old Danny lives with his father in an old gypsy caravan. When Danny learns his father’s darkest secret- a love of pheasant poaching, they hatch a scheme together!
Hampton Court Palace
23 Jul – 2 Oct Gnomes Unearthed
The new Magic Garden has roused our ancient gnome Umbriel. Mysterious Umbriel is rarely seen but he has many stories to tell of the gardens’ lost secrets… if you can find him. Take care and tread lightly, and he might come out of hiding to share a tale or two. Pick up a daily programme leaflet from the ticket office and look for the map of the gardens. This will show you the areas of the garden that Umbriel appears in, but you’ll have to look hard to actually find him! He will look different in each garden area, as he’s decorated himself with the story he has to tell. You can press the button on his arm and he will tell you more. Also look out for guest stories written by poet Michael Rosen, novelist Francesca Simon and our own Lucy Worsley. Installation free with palace entry.
New for summer 2016 Horsedrawn Charabanc
When Queen Victoria opened Hampton Court Palace’s gardens to the public in 1838, visitors flocked to the gardens, keen to experience the Maze, the Great Vine and the formal gardens. Horse-drawn charabancs like the Tudor Rose would have been a common sight during the Victorian period, bringing visitors to the palace. Today visitors can tour the gardens in Victorian style.
Adult £6 Adult Member £5 Child £3. 11.00 – 17.00 daily, July – September and October half term. Wheelchair space available at 10.45 daily. Tour is approximately 15-20 minutes.
30 Jul -21 Aug and 27 Aug Fair Ladies & Noble Knights
Step back into the days of fearsome battles and secret romances. Discover what life was really like for knights at Windsor Castle in medieval times, with our exciting array of activities and events, including mail armour demonstrations, trying on armour, art workshops and a special activity trail, with tiny knights hidden in the State Apartments. 11:00-16:00 Incl. in a standard admission ticket.
Houses of Parliament
Mon-Fri 26 Jul – 2 Sep (except 29 Aug) Family Audio Tour
The audio commentary brings to life this tour through the House of Lords and House of Commons. This self-guided tour takes around 60 to 75 minutes and features leading Parliamentary figures such as Mr Speaker and Black Rod.
6-28 Aug Punch & Judy Shows
This show is a traditional performance including all the memorable characters; Mr Punch, Judy, baby Marmaduke, Joey the clown, the policemen PC49 and forgetting Mr Punch's nemesis the crocodile. Look out for some special royal twists too! Free shows will be performed in the wonderful setting of The Savill Garden at weekends in August. 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm
Take a 2.5 hour round trip taking in views of Iffley Lock and Port Meadow passing through Osney Lock, into Port Meadow. Departing Folly Bridge at 12:30 Adults £17.50, Children £10.00
3 Sep Cookham Regatta
An annual fun event for families, friends and organisations alike. It includes a variety of boat races and challenges that anyone can enter and a wide range of land side activities that will appeal to all ages.
Explore the beautiful, relaxing and inspiring
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.
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...
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...