The Bodleian Libraries open their doors to families with all-new Summer 2022 programme

Following the resounding success of the Dragon Boat Family Festival in May, the Bodleian Libraries has announced an exciting programme of events for the 2022 school summer holidays.  

Our programme centres on an array of family fun days, designed to complement the very popular Tutankhamun: Excavating the Archive exhibition running in the Weston Library until February 2023, in recognition of the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Families with children aged 4–11 years old can take part in Ancient Egyptian storytelling and a range of hands-on craft activities, from simple colouring to reconstructing items in the tomb. Join our family-oriented tours of the exhibition, and browse a variety of books for children and adults recently added to our Space for Reading library – there's something to keep the whole family entertained.

These jam-packed activity days are running from 10.30am – 12pm in Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Oxford on: 

  • Thursday 4 August
  • Tuesday 9 August
  • Tuesday 16 August
  • Tuesday 23 August
  • Thursday 1 September

Entry is free, with no booking required – just drop in!

Also featured in the Weston Library is the Sensational Books exhibition. Designed to be enjoyed by all 6 senses, this exciting and tactile exhibition will appeal to people of all ages. From phials of scent from ancient manuscripts to a touch wall where you can feel many different types of book-bindings, and even a book made of cheese, this exhibition is certain to excite any bookworm in the family. 

Throughout the summer, complimentary children’s activity packs are available upon request from the Weston Library information desk and the Catte Street entrance to the Old Bodleian Quad. Enjoy these as you explore our sites or take a leisurely break in our café.

Finally, this summer will once again see the return of the sell-out children’s literature family walking tours. These ever-popular tours taken in sights all over the Bodleian and beyond, as our professionally trained tour guides excite and amuse every family member with tales from Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings and His Dark Materials. Suitable for children aged 7 and up, the tour is perfectly rounded off with a visit to several filming locations for Harry Potter.

Family-friendly fun at the Weston Library

  • Children’s changing facilities
  • Free activity pack (including a colouring sheet and pencils)
  • Large family bathroom
  • Free Space for Reading – a literary pit-stop stacked with books for adults and children alike
  • Bodleian Café, serving hot and cold food
  • Free exhibitions suitable for families
  • Bodleian shop – pick up a memento from your day
  • Family walking tours

Of this exciting range of events, Bodley’s Librarian Richard Ovenden said:

Here at the Bodleian, we are more committed than ever to providing a space for families to explore and enjoy together. Inspiring and educating children and young people is central to our philosophy, not only of widening public engagement with the Library, but of encouraging the next generation of scholars to learn from and enjoy our collections, exhibitions and buildings.

Find out more about the Bodleian’s family activities and facilities on our Visit website.