10 best fun family days out in The Cotswolds with kids

Ryan Chart
7th June 2021

Find fun family days out in The Cotswolds to fill short breaks and longer holidays this summer. They’re all packed with the fun kids really deserve and every one is open and easy to book online right now.


10 best fun family days out in The Cotswolds with kids

A true original The Cotswolds covers an incredible 800 square miles and includes some of England’s loveliest countryside, as well as its prettiest villages and several of the country’s most historic towns. That’s before we even mention the grand stately homes and magnificent palaces, dense forests, slow flowing rivers and world famous gardens. The National Arboretum is in The Cotswolds and so is the UK’s only crocodile zoo. Kids can get up to all sorts here, from learning bushcraft to staring giraffes straight in the eye. Just about everywhere is open and up for fun this summer. And tickets are available to book online right now.

It wasn’t easy to select just a few family days out in The Cotswolds – there are so many to choose from. But with help from the local experts at Cotswolds Tourism we managed to pick 10 of the best, then point you in the direction of plenty more. Take a look.


10 best fun family days out in The Cotswolds with kids

Cotswold Wildlife Park, Burford

Wild family days out in The Cotswolds are a promise you can make to kids and exceed beyond their wildest expectations at Cotswold Wildlife Park. This is where rhino roam free on the manor house lawns and even tiny explorers are toweringly tall on the Giraffe Walkway. First opened in 1970, the 120 acre park is now home to more than 260 different animal species including meerkat, giant tortoise, lions and penguin. Aim to catch penguin or lemur feeding time (or both) and don’t miss a ride on Bella the Train. Older kids and teens might like to know that the park’s also home to one of the UK’s largest reptile collections. Younger ones will love the goat petting area at the Children’s Farmyard. And all ages are up for excitement in the park’s adventure playground – if you aren’t begged for  interconnecting treehouses back home, consider yourself lucky.

Where: Bradwell Grove, Burford – 20 miles west of Oxford.

When: Open from 10am. 7-days-a-week. Closes at 6pm from April to October.

Good to know: Tickets for Cotswold Wildlife Park must be booked in advance and booking is now open.

Visit Cotswolds Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds to book right now

10 best fun family days out in The Cotswolds with kids

Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power

You could easily fill several family days out in The Cotswolds with Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park. Right in the heart of the country, it’s an unforgettable experience and you can expect kids to be talking about the Muddy Kitchen, den building, bee watching and feeding Highland Cattle long after you leave. Follow the Rare Breeds Trail and meet enormous Suffolk Punch Horses. The playful Adventure Barn is made for young explorers. And dragging older kids off the Bouncy Pillows (like trampolines, only better) could prove a challenge. Outdoor play for all ages is more thrilling than ever this year – the log-walk alone tests nerves of steel. And if you need to catch your breath, go wander the Wildlife Walk for a mile or two: even little legs can manage the hike and there’s so much to see you’ll want to take it slow anyway.

Where: Guiting Power – 15 miles east of Cheltenham.

When: Open from 9.30am to 5pm. 7-days-a-week.

Good to know: Tickets for Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park must be booked online and booking is open now.

Visit Cotswold Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds to book right now

10 best fun family days out in The Cotswolds with kids

The Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water

If you imagine The Cotswolds is packed with prettiness in real life, just wait till you see The Model Village. It’s everything that’s charming about this part of the world, only in miniature. The detail’s incredible on every scaled down, honey-coloured stone house. There are perfect village greens and teeny-tiny bridges over meandering little rivers. Pint-size plants grow in pocket-size gardens. And the best part? Kids get to feel like absolute giants. Don’t forget to nosey at windows: insides are just as astonishing as out here. And take your time, this is the only Grade II model village in the UK and deserves some thorough exploring.

Where: Bourton-on-the-Water  – 16 miles east of Cheltenham.

When: Open from 10am to 5pm. 7-days-a-week.

Good to know: You can buy tickets for The Model Village and temporary exhibitions on arrival.

Visit Cotswold Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds

10 best fun family days out in The Cotswolds with kids

Fairytale Farm, Southcombe

The Cotswolds isn’t short on enchantment, but Fairytale Farm takes it to a whole new level by immersing kids in an entire magical world of classic fairy tales, friendly (real life) animals and fun daily activities. The Farm’s divided into different spellbinding areas for young visitors to explore, including an Enchanted Walk and a Fairy Dell. Dino Valley and Rapunzel’s Kingdom indoor play zone are both brand new for 2021. And not only is everyone welcome, Fairytale Farm is the first visitor attraction in the UK to make disabled children a priority in its design and layout.

Where: Southcombe  – 2 miles east of Chipping Norton.

When: Open from 10am to 5pm. 7-days-a-week.

Good to know: Tickets for Fairytale Farm are only available online. There’s no animal petting at the moment.

Visit Cotswold Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds to book right now

10 best fun family days out in The Cotswolds with kids

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

It’s probably no surprise to discover Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is in The Cotswolds – where else would you put such a treasure apart from this lovely part of the UK? The 600 acre arboretum is undeniably beautiful and contains more than 2500 different tree species, yet also manages to be amazingly good fun for families. Kids can download the Gruffalo Spotters 2 app and gently track down their favourite characters. The STIHL Treetop Walkway is now open for stunning, aerial views in every direction. And don’t forget to pick up seasonal trail guides at the Welcome Building when you arrive; then go discover more about specific tree species, handpicked by Westonbirt’s team of experts.

Where: Westonbirt  – 16 miles west of Cirencester.

When: Open from 9am to 5pm. 7-days-a-week.

Good to know: Tickets for Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, must be booked in advance to reserve a time slot.

Visit Cotswold Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds to book right now

Crocodiles of the World Brize Norton

Crocodiles of the World, Brize Norton

Stunning tree collections you might expect on family days out in The Cotswolds, crocodiles probably not so much. Welcome to Crocodiles of the World in Brize Norton. This is the UK’s only crocodile zoo and currently has over 80 of earth’s most fearsome predators in residence, including enormous Nile and rare Siamese Crocodiles. Bold kids can try out as keepers for the day or just be there at feeding time to see how it’s done. And crocs aren’t alone at this incredible zoo. Don’t miss the amazing Komodo Dragon. Or if you want a break from fierce, there are meerkats, giant Galapagos tortoise, Tamarin monkeys and otters here too.

Where: Brize Norton  – 22 miles east of Cirencester.

When: Open from 9am to 4pm. 7-days-a-week.

Good to know : Tickets for Crocodiles of the World must be booked online in advance and booking is now open.

Visit Cotswold Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds to book right now

Blenheim Palace The Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

One of the most remarkable stately homes in England, Blenheim Palace is a must-do in The Cotswolds. If you can persuade kids indoors, you’ll be amazed at how much there is to engage even the youngest, at least for a little. But it’s the glorious 2000 acre grounds that really impress. A combination of Capability Brown landscaped formality and satisfyingly untamed places, the parkland’s a perfect natural playground. And if you head to the Pleasure Gardens aboard the Palace’s miniature train you’ll find a maze, Butterfly House, outdoor games and a brilliant manmade adventure playground.

Where: Woodstock  – 9 miles north of Oxford.

When: Open from 9.30am to 5pm. 7-days-a-week.

Good to know: Tickets for Blenheim Palace must be booked online in advance and booking is now open.

Visit Cotswold Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds to book right now

Birdland Park and Gardens Bourton-on-Water

Birdland Park and Gardens, Bourton-on-the-Water

From a Pandemonium of Parrots to the only breeding colony of King Penguins in the UK, Birdland Park and Gardens makes an unforgettable day out for kids. Not only is it home to country’s largest collection of exotic birds – more than 500 at the last count – it has 50 plus aviaries and themes which fly across continents and cover all sorts of feathered wonders from English river fowl to rare ibis. The stunning six acre woodland setting is perfect for exploring – just watch out for the life-size dinosaurs lurking in the Jurassic Journey area. And if all that isn’t quite exciting enough, Birdland has just introduced its very first Parliament of Owls and that’s exactly as fascinating as it sounds.

Where: Bourton-on-the-Water  – 16 miles east of Cheltenham

When: Open from 10am to 5pm. 7-days-a-week.

Good to know: Tickets for Birdland Park and Gardens must be booked online in advance and booking is now open.

Visit Cotswold Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds to book right now

Cogges Manor Farm

Cogges Manor Farm, Witney

Between meeting miniature Shetland Ponies, playing historical dress-up and walking round islands and moats, there’s pretty much no end to the family adventures at Cogges Manor Farm. Kids can even try cooking in the traditional Victorian kitchen at weekends – safely alongside local volunteers, of course. Cogges has featured everywhere from the Domesday Book to Downton Abbey, so the house is packed to the rafters with stories. The beautiful 17 acre grounds are great fun just to ramble around, but make sure you leave time to meet the friendly farm animals – pigs and goats are particular stars here. And be prepared to spend at least some of your visit at the adventure play area, it’s incredibly well designed and irresistible to kids.

Where: Witney  – 13 miles west of Oxford.

When: Open from 9.30am to 4.30pm. 7-days-a-week.

Good to know: Tickets for Cogges Manor Farm must be booked online in advance and booking is now open.

Visit Cotswold Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds to book right now

Fat Squirrel Outdoor Co. North Leigh

Fat Squirrel Outdoor Co., North Leigh

Skills have to be the best take-home from a short break in The Cotswolds and Fat Squirrel Outdoor Co. teach quite a few that could last a lifetime. Learning traditional bushcraft mixes up an enormous sense of achievement with good fun. And who knows? Fire lighting and shelter building talents might come in handy one day. Apart from lessons, there are plenty of adventurous activities to try from soft archery and axe throwing to rifle shooting. Experienced instructors are on hand at all times to teach kids and give them plenty of encouragement too. You can match experiences to children’s ages. The atmosphere is warm and friendly. And no one ever forgets the magic of sitting round a woodland campfire, toasting marshmallows in the heart of The Cotswolds.

Where: North Leigh  – 13 miles west of Oxford.

When: Open all summer, hours vary depending on experiences.

Good to know: Tickets for Fat Squirrel Outdoor Co. must be booked online in advance and booking is now open.

Visit Cotswold Tourism for more fun family days out in The Cotswolds to book right now

Thinking about a short break with kids in The Cotswolds this year? Visit Cotswolds Tourism for everything you need to help plan your perfect family holiday in this lovely part of England.

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