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Why The Light at Banbury is your summer holiday saviour

Those six long weeks are looming, and you're in dire need of a way to keep the kids entertained, fed and watered. Enter Banbury's newest family-friendly hotspot: The Light.

Opened just last month (and in the nick of time, too) on the Waterfront at Banbury’s Castle Quay shopping centre, The Light is a three-floor cinema and entertainment complex packed to the brim with kid-friendly stuff. Best of all, it’s all inside, so you’re sorted whether it’s blowing a gale or hitting the heights of 40c (again). Here are five reasons why we’ll be headed there with the sprogs this summer.

1) It’s screen time done right

If you’re experiencing parental guilt over the amount of X-Box time your precious angels are racking up, pack up the whole family and head out to watch Chris Hemsworth in 4K instead (well, if they will insist on screens…!). There are multiple screens at The Light’s cinema, ranging from 154-seaters for the latest blockbusters to more intimate 54-seat rooms for live opera and theatre. Throw armchairs and sofas, electric recliners and full-length lounger beds into the mix too, and the kids can go hyper on popcorn while you shut your eyes for five minutes.

2) There’s games galore

No chance of boredom here – in fact there’s so much, you’ll need the entire summer holidays to explore it all. Ready? Deep breath: there’s ten-pin bowling, a retro arcade with pinball machines, basketball hoops and more, a ten-hole mini-golf course, interactive darts, pool, curling, and table tennis. Start a leaderboard at home and let them battle it out.

3) It’ll get them moving

If you’re climbing the walls, then swap places and get the kids climbing instead. The Light’s Adventure Climb has 26 individual climbs over three zones for them to try, including two racing walls (remember the surprise hit of the Olympics?) and a Ninja Zone if they fancy trying their own version of Ninja Warrior. Think rope ladders, cargo nets, fireman’s poles and an 8-metre leap of faith. Surely that’ll tire them out.

4) They can eat the street

When in doubt, turn to street food. Keep the whole horde happy with sourdough pizzas from Fratellis, hotdogs, burgers and sliders from PITTSBURGER and brunch, shakes, and desserts from Coffee Cabana. Think crowd-pleasing rather than calorie counting and you get the general idea. Need an old faithful? A shiny new Pizza Express just opened on the ground floor.

5) Banbury’s on your doorstep

You’re not going to be traipsing out to the countryside or to a industrial estate to get all this good stuff – it’s right in Banbury town centre, so make a day of it – Lock29 and the free Banbury Museum (above) are also inside Castle Quay, mere steps away. If you do fancy travelling further out, the beautiful moated manor house Broughton Castle, National Trust’s Upton House and the gentle pleasures of the Waterfowl Sanctuary and Children’s Farm are all within a 20 minute drive.

The Light, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 2PA

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