This page is geared towards attractions for children but adults will enjoy most of these too!
Birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, many of them roaming the Cotswold fields near Burford. There is also a little train and a big restaurant selling fairly basic (eg. sausages and chips) but well prepared food.
Owned and run by country file presenter, Adam Henson. Rare breed animals on the farm in deep countryside, not far from Stow on the Wold. Farm-related activity for the children. There is a tractor and trailer ride included in the entrance price (but you may have to queue for quite a while at high season). This takes you all around the farm for a good overview and a rest as it is a big area to cover with excited children! A nice outdoor picnic area with some tables under cover. Also a restaurant.
In the village of Bourton on the Water. Over 500 birds to be seen. Dinosaurs as well!
At Batsford, near Moreton in Marsh. Demonstrations of birds of prey. And of course in the same place the famous Batsford Arboretum, interesting all year round and a recently greatly expanded plant nursery area with a tearoom.
Just by the Riverside Car Park. As well as butterflies there are other insects, also caterpillars and spiders.
Redwings Horse Sanctuary at Oxhill. Free to visit although of course donations are appreciated. See rescued donkeys and horses and there is a cafe there as well.
The RSC runs workshops for children in the holidays. These are very well run and popular so need booking in advance.
ArtBase runs art workshops in the holidays and half terms for children aged 5-15. I have personal experience of these with a grandson (and also myself at adult classes) and can highly recommend them. If they haven't got around to putting dates of classes on their website, contact Beth or Georgina and mention my name.
The MAD Museum in Stratford can fill a few rainy day hours. Even though it is tiny, there is lots of fascinating stuff to see. Try the marble run!
Warwick Castle is perfect for anyone interested in castles. Some liken it to a Disneyesque experience but children love it!
Most of the National Trust houses have something on for children, particularly in the summer, whether it be woodland trails in the grounds, Easter egg hunts, or finding particular features in each room of the house. Try Coughton Court (priest holes and a roof top view), Hidcote Gardens (lots of hedges, great for losing the parents), Upton House (woodland trail, billiards, lots of running space), Chastleton (deer park, stables), Baddesley Clinton (more priest holes and a moat) Packwood House (activities in the woodland for children at holiday times), Snowshill House (an eclectic collection of treasures on display, garden for playing in) and more...
Cogges Manor farm near Witney, Meet and stroke the farm animals. See bats, badger sets and wildlife. Make a den in the grounds, play on Cogges Castle - a timber fort with slides, zip wire, swing basket climbing frame and wobbly bridge.
Chippy Lido at Chipping Norton. Summertime opening for this recently restored open air pool.
Steam Railways - there are two Heritage Steam railways within easy driving distance -
The GWSR steam railway at Toddington and
The Severn Valley steam railway at Kidderminster
The Cotswold Motoring Museum and Toy Collection at Bourton on the Water
Mary Arden's Farm near Stratford. Experience the working day on a Tudor farm. Get up close and personal with the animals. Adventure playground too for the under 10s.