Dinosaurs – always a winner!

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The T-Rex at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford

Had a lovely time with my 3 and 4 year olds today at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, peering at T-Rex skeletons, stuffed foxes, pinned beetles and whole aviaries of taxidermied birds.

If you haven’t been to the Pitt Rivers before, or last went some time ago, there are a few things to note – mostly importantly there’s still no cafe, so you need to choose your times carefully unless you want your children to have a meltdown  that echoes to the rafters. Best bet for immediate lunch-grabbing is either around the corner in University Park where there’s a crepe van (though it was mysteriously closed when we went today), or a 10 minute walk to the cafe-and-pub strewn St Giles.

Third and possibly best option if it’s a nice day is to take a picnic and sit outside the building amongst a calm art space of ‘fallen’ trees, enormous trunks exposing their tapestry of roots.

Sculpture and trees outside the museum

Best for: entertaining kids of all ages. It’s an hour’s perfect fun (any longer and you’ll go boss-eyed at all the taxidermy).

Careful with: parking. You can’t rely on it, though personally I’ve never had a problem parking down Keble Road – the Pay & Display is only minutes from the museum (£4 for 3 hours). A good alternative is to make a day of it, and take the tourist bus which stops close to the museum. Open-top buses are fun, and kids go nuts for them.  Here’s the link with the route map. http://www.citysightseeingoxford.com/tour_route_map.html.
Also, be aware that the Easter activities are pretty low-rent. But I think you can forgive a laminated egg trail quiz when you kids can stick their heads in a T-Rex’s mouth, don;t you?

The Pitt Rivers Museum, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon