Here’s our OUTDOOR OXFORDSHIRE SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE with over 20 events to choose from, in date order:
1) Blenheim – Peter Rabbit Experience – Now until September 3. Come on this immersive adventure in Blenheim’s Walled Gardens, to help celebrate his 120th birthday! So what can you expect? (Read about it here: https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/world-first-peter-rabbit-hops-over-to-blenheim-palace-for-an-immersive-family-experience-with-his-friends/) A young Beatrix Potter invites you to join her on an adventure to find her mischievous friend Peter Rabbit in the Palace’s walled garden. You’ll meet friends Jemima Puddle-Duck, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Mr. Jeremy Fisher along the way. Book here: https://www.blenheimpalace.com/whats-on/events/peter-rabbit/
2) Oxford Castle Shakespeare Festival continues with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by Wild Goose Theatre until 30 July and then Siege Theatre takes over with KING LEAR from August 1-13 in the courtyard. https://www.oxfordcastleandprison.co.uk/the-oxford-shakespeare-festival/
3) The Theatre Chipping Norton has a packed schedule of Al Fresco events. London Django Collective plays on Wednesday July 27 at Merriscourt, near Chipping Norton. The Importance Of Being Earnest in the grounds of Kingham Hill School on August 5-6. David Walliam’s Awful Auntie at Rangers Lawn at Cornbury Park on Wednesday August 10. Enjoy HMS Pinafore at Heath Farm, Swerford on August 13-14 or even 21st Century Abba at Cornbury Park on Sunday August 21. Concluding with A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Newbarn Farm, Charlbury on August 27-28.
4) Mikron is back in Oxfordshire until August 8 with two new outdoor productions brought by narrowboat to a riverside location near you, from Uffington and Long Wittenham to Eynsham, Thrupp and Banbury. Celebrate 50 years of touring with the premiere of Lindsay Rodden’s new play RED SKY AT NIGHT, about the wild and wonderful world of weather as well as a revival of their hugely successful production RAISING AGENTS about 125 years of the Women’s Institute. For further information and to book visit http://mikron.org.uk
5) The Tempest. 19 – 30 July in the University Parks. Read about it here: https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/light-tight-and-bright-rsc-director-brings-otgs-the-tempest-to-oxford-university-parks/ The brilliant Oxford Theatre Guild is bringing Shakespeare’s well-loved play outdoors. Witness the storm that Prospera summons to shipwreck her enemies, the enchantments of the spirit Ariel, and the romance between Miranda and Ferdinand, in this collaboration between OTG and RSC’s Michael Corbidge. Book at https://www.ticketsoxford.com/events/the-tempest
6) The Rusty Bicycle Street Party, Saturday 30th July, East Oxford. Fancy a free day of family fun, local musicians and excellent grub? Well look no further, The Rusty Street Party is back to bring you the very best lineup of local artists and musicians all day long, in collaboration with Truck Store and A New View Music. From 12pm – 10pm the party extends out onto the street with extra seating, a Beer Truck stage, and Dodo Beer Box featuring a range of local beer and ale. There’ll be plenty of Dodo food to go around with neapolitan-style pizza, Dodo burgers and tasty sides.
7) Giffords Circus returns to Barrington with new show ¡CARPA! until August 1. Read our review here: https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/review-literally-breathtaking-giffords-circus-new-show-carpa-is-a-zesty-slice-of-mexican-joy-plus-we-try-circus-sauce/ A breath-taking show starring Adriana Duch, Randy Forgione Vega with his brilliant aerial antics, duo Isabella and Daniela Munoz Landestoy held up by their hair, the knife throwing Jasters, acrobats from the Havana Circus Company, impressive juggler Gordon Marquez, the equestrian vaulting and pas de deux act the Donnert Family, trapeze artiste Anna Rastova and of course Tweedy. Tickets at: https://giffordscircus.com/location/barrington/
8) Oxford Botanic Gardens 400th Anniversary – Two weeks of celebrations marking the 400th anniversary includes family-friendly activities, talks, tours, and performances, all celebrating plants and nature. With over 30 events and 13,000 tickets, the anniversary fortnight is the Botanic Garden’s most ambitious public-facing project to date. 400th Finale Week (25-30 July) covers history, literature, science, art, food and wellbeing (start with the Plant-based Street Food Fair – two days of delicious plant-based food from around the world, with demonstrations, talks, music, and drumming workshops, delivered by the community groups themselves), all rounded up with a celebratory garden party. https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/event/400-week-2
9) Summer of Science – enjoy hands-on family fun with Science Oxford a jam-packed programme of hands-on science! From Summer Science Camps or children age 6-9 (August 15-19) and 9-12 (August 22-26), to Summer Family Days, every Saturday in the 15 acres of woodland, outdoor Water Lab and picnic areas. Pick up an Explorer Backpack with binoculars, compass, bug pot and mini-whiteboard (thanks to the brilliant Operation Earth project) and look out for wildlife on trail maps. Or try pop up science fun out on the road with Oxfordshire Play Association Play Days at Bicester Elmsbrook (26th July), Peoples Park, Banbury (27th July) and Berinsfield (2nd August).
10) Cornerstone Arts Poetry Picnic on Thursday 28 July, Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot at 11am. Poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko’s snack-heavy celebration of music, poetry and silly games is free, and aims to build kids’ confidence and skill with words to help them unlock their poetry powers. There is no need to book – just turn up! Find out more here: https://www.cornerstone-arts.org/whats/poetry-picnic-didcot-garden-party.
11) Marlborough 300, Blenheim Palace, July 30- 31 – a spectacular pageant to Celebrate 1st Duke of Marlborough’s 300th anniversary with two exciting arena shows each day re-enacting a Horse Race Meeting at the Court of Charles II and a battle from 1685. Expect action, horses, muskets, flags, drums and cavalry charges. Meet John and Sarah Churchill as they interact with the audience, as well as historical cameos and impressive Living History Encampments showing life in the late 17th Century. Book at https://www.blenheimpalace.com/whats-on/events/marlborough-300-pageant.html
12) Wilderness, Cornbury Park, August 4-7. Never disappoints with an impressive line-up this year including Underworld, Years and Years and Jungle. Damian Lewis the actor is going to play live! Book a lakeside hot tub, eat with Skye Gyngell, dance, sing, relax. Acro-yoga anyone? https://www.wildernessfestival.com
13) Towersey Festival August Bank Holiday 26 – 29 A friendly family fest near Bicester with fun for all ages and features a real mix of alternative music. Headliners include Bill Bailey, Imelda May, Del Amitri, Turin Breaks, Howard Jones, Kate Busby, Anais Mitchell https://www.towerseyfestival.com/
14) Tap Social – the Change is Brewing Beer Fest, at the Tap Social’s Botley Taproom on Sunday, 28 August (bank holiday) from 12pm – 11pm. Expect a diverse collection of fantastic breweries from all around the United Kingdom, a wicked lineup of live music, DJs, street food vendors, and more. Plus a series of panel discussions and other events for that day with Pellicle, the award-winning magazine and podcast dedicated to beer, cider, wine, food, and travel. In short, this is the type of proper, nationally focused craft beer festival Oxford has long deserved.
15) Big Feastival – Get down to Big Feastival 2022 which takes place on Alex James’ farm in the Cotswolds on August Bank Holiday weekend, 26-28. This year’s line-up includes music from the incredible Stereophonics, Anne-Marie, The Human League, Sam Ryder, Sugababes andJake Bugg whilst the chef line-up features Ravneet Gill, Thomasina Miers andClare Smyth to name just a few, all alongside some of the nation’s best street food vendors includingDJ BBQ. There is also great fun for the whole family with Justin Fletcher, Bluey & Bingo and Andy & The Odd Socks set to keep the little ones entertained. https://thebigfeastival.com
16) Oxford Canal Festival – Aristotle Lane recreation ground and along the canal. Saturday September 17 2022. 10.30am. -7.30pm. A celebration of music, arts and local community linked to the Oxford Canal and its colourful history. Fantastic live bands and DJs. Delicious food from across the world. Historic canal boats and traders, dog show, art and crafts. Heritage and wildlife walks, talks and films, children’s entertainment and more. Donations on entry – proceeds will help to restore Kilsby, a historic community narrowboat. http://www.oxfordcanalheritage.org/oxford-canal-festival-2022
17) Ampitheatre – Berrybank Park until September 30, is a brand new, summer venue on the Oxfordshire borders with a new unique 500 seat outside Ampitheatre, 200 capacity marquee with restaurant, bar and stylish alfresco facilities. Open to the public for a fantastic season of entertainment, which includes theatre performances from The Globe, The Cotswolds Comedy Festival, cabaret, ‘Under the stars’ cinema, children’s shows, classical music and more. It’s the new hot ticket. https://www.amphitheatreberrybankpark.co.uk/
18) A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wytham Woods, September 3-4. The Oxlip Theatre Company, an ensemble of 17-21 year olds, returns to the magical and mysterious Wytham Woods under the guidance of Oxford-based director and film maker Ruth Platt, promising more bite, more music (and more mushrooms!) in this heady lovers’ quarrel. This year with a matinée to enable more families to come. Book at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-midsummer-nights-dream-tickets-360367538007
19) Thame Food Festival – September 24 – 25 – Back celebrating everything wonderful about food and drink! See a myriad of demonstrations on the Big Cookery Stage from some of the country’s leading chefs and bakers. Check out the Artisan Food, Street Food, the Humble Country Shopping Marquee, Live Music, Children’s Fun Cooking Classes, Children’s Circus Skills, FestivAles’ Pop up Pub, and Fun Dog Show as well as the brand new Festival Village – an interactive area of cooking and master classes. Book at https://thamefoodfestival.co.uk
20) Where to eat out? Here’s our OUTDOOR EATING OUTSIDE GUIDE, with over 65 suggestions of where to dine in style al fresco in Oxfordshire this summer https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/top-60-where-to-eat-outside-in-2022-oxfordshires-best-al-fresco-pubs-cafes-and-restaurants/