Families at the Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden is a great place to visit with little ones. Ask at the Welcome Centre to borrow a trail or Explorer Backpack. Come and join us for one of our family-friendly events to learn about the wonders of the plant world, and get involved in crafting activities.

Botanic backpacks

Our family-friendly backpacks will open up a world of exploration and investigation during your visit. There are usually two differently themed backpacks filled with hands-on equipment and suggestions for activities. Backpacks can be signed out without charge from the Welcome Centre on a first come, first served basis, and can be used for the duration of your visit.

Build A Plant! (aimed at children aged 4 to 6)

Can you travel around the Garden finding all the parts you need in order to build a plant? Find roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits on your travels.

Get Growing!  (aimed at children aged 6 to 9)

Can you find unusual examples of plants as you explore? Take a trip into a tropical rainforest and a desperately dry desert!

Access and facilities

The Botanic Garden is a beautiful and compact green space to explore with a family. Visitors are welcome to picnic on the lawns, relax under the shade of a tree or travel through the Glasshouses, going from one habitat to another.
Useful things to know:
  • From Easter to the end of September, a pop-up café next to the river serves hot and cold drinks, as well as cakes and snacks
  • Picnics are welcome, but please take away any waste
  • Baby-changing facilities are available in the disabled toilet
  • The Garden and Glasshouses are accessible for wheelchairs and buggies. However, at busy times you are welcome to park buggies outside the Glasshouses
  • Children’s scooters can be parked by the Welcome Centre
  • The Welcome Centre has a range of pocket-money gifts for children to choose from
  • Children are welcome to collect fallen leaves, petals etc from the ground, but please don’t pick anything from the plants.
Please be aware:
  • The river Cherwell runs along the side of the Garden, and there are several ponds both outside and in the Glasshouses
  • The Garden contains nearly 5,000 different plants; please make sure that children do not put any plants in their mouths, and please wash hands before eating
  • If visiting with children with additional needs, please look at our online access guide for more information