Should you bump into Alice in Wonderland on Saturday, the Red Queen or even The White Rabbit fear not. It’s Alice’s Day in Oxford on Saturday and to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice Through The Looking Glass there will be a riot of colour, fun, activities, stories and events all over the city.
Join venues across Oxford including the Ashmolean, the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford Botanic Garden, Blackwell’s Bookshop, Alice’s Shop, Oxford Waterwalks and The Story Museum for a jam-packed fantastic family festival to celebrate one of literature’s – and Oxford’s – best loved story heroes.
So what should you look out for? Alice can be found outdoors this year in giant puppet form wandering the streets of Oxford, accompanied by some very chatty talking flowers.
Meanwhile Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee will be hosting an Unbirthday Party on Broad Street and the Red Queen will be demanding complete obedience from anyone who encounters her as she rides her Dodo about the streets. Expect to see Blackwell’s Bookshop’s White Rabbit dashing about, very late no doubt!
The UnBirthday Party on Broad Street is being hosted with Kristoffer Huball and The Oxford Festival of the Arts. Consisting of a giant Alice and her friends, the performance involves mad cap games and special Looking-Glass themed prizes,
Meanwhile The Story Museum will be conducting a ‘big make’ with artist Sarah Turner, who will be creating magical Looking-Glass flowers from recycled plastic bottles. The Woodshed theatre space will be hosting Alice-themed storytelling with Lucy Walters with exhibitions and galleries open to the public throughout the day.
Those not able to make it into Oxford can still join in the fun online. Author Chris Riddell and TV star Cerrie Burnell will be holding a special Draw-A-Long treat featuring Looking-Glass Heroes on the Story Museum’s YouTube channel.
Join Story Museum artist-in-residence Peter Chand as he takes you on a journey through some of his favourite riddles and stories or hear leading children’s authors Piers Torday and Amy Wilson talk with Nicolette Jones about returning to Wonderland without Alice and imagining alternative universes
The Museum of Oxford, Oxfordshire Libraries and The Museum of History of Science will all be hosting online activities such as Ghostly Mirrors where you can via History of Science Museum’s website, the Mirror Writing Challenge c/o The Museum of Oxford or hop over to Oxfordshire Libraries Facebook page to find a step by step guide to making your own chess piece hat, and an Alice themed rhymetime.
Throw in an Alice Walking Trail, Alice themed craft and theatre at Oxford Botanic Gardens and a Bug Family Trail at The Ashmolean and you’ll be exhausted by the time you’ve packed it all in!
Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “Alice’s Day is a unique Oxford event that allows both our residents and visitors to the city to see Oxford in an enchanting new light. I encourage everyone to get involved. Even if you can’t attend in person, there are lots of online events to entertain the whole family.”
Most events are free and full details of the programme are available on www.storymuseum.org.uk/alice but many are pre-booked events only with, limited capacity because of Covid, so book ahead.