The Story Museum

The Story Museum, Oxford: Hours, Address, The Story Museum Reviews: 4/5

The Story Museum
4
Speciality Museums
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9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
About
The Story Museum is a most unusual museum located in the heart of Oxford celebrating the power of stories to teach and delight. Highlights include a Whispering Wood, Enchanted Library, City of Stories film experience and Small Worlds gallery for younger children. The Museum is open Tuesday - Sunday. Please visit our website for details of prices and opening times.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
188 reviews
Excellent
109
Very good
39
Average
21
Poor
12
Terrible
7

Inspire210226
Aylesford, UK10 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
Always a must-visit whenever we are in Oxford. We always visit multiple times whenever we are in the city. The big revamp has been a wonderful thing. While this is mainly a venue filled with Boden-clad younger children running slightly amok, the Story Museum works for families with children up to young teens. Comprising three main experience rooms, it starts with a journey through a spacious indoor forest, listening to fables and tales told by talking trees, then passes through a changeable exhibition (which post lockdown is themed around practical activities to inspire hope), and ends in an enchanted library in which books come to life in tiny, interactive, truly magical rooms. Special events are excellent, Lego building aside, which costs an eye watering fifteen quid per child for a mere two hours. Staff are friendly and helpful in the main across the museum and shop. The only letdown was the café which is perfunctory but iffy for basic food. It’s the slightly higher side of affordable, six quid for a basic kid’s lunchbox adds up. They make a big show of quite a lot of products being vegan. Knowing that these can vary wildly elsewhere between excellent and hairshirt, I gave them a miss, plumping for what I thought would be a bog standard, can’t go wrong chocolate brownie. It was in the top three cakes of the worst cake I’ve ever eaten. Gritty, and with a dingy aftertaste as though somebody had decided to use black treacle or large quantities of molasses in it. Neither did they have any variant on redbush or decaffeinated tea, one would think a standard thing in a cafe. I would expect that for a small slice of cake and a soft drink for two to come to over a tenner, the quality would be higher, and when the cake was complained about, I was told that no refund or swap could be given as it was down to “personal preference”, rather than, say, absolutely abysmal cake because they got a different supplier in that weekend. I trust the staff had not actually flavour tested it. An expensive, shaming downer of an end to an otherwise lovely visit. And future custom lost when it comes to food and drink. They may wish to rethink that particular policy.
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Inspire210226, Thank you for your feedback on your recent visit to The Story Museum. We’re really pleased that you and your family enjoyed exploring our recently transformed spaces and galleries. In regards to our café, all our cakes and sweet treats, including the brownie you refer to, are either baked in-house by our café team, or outsourced from independent bakeries, with a focus on local providers wherever possible. We regularly ask our staff to sample our food and to provide feedback when choosing which items to stock in the café. We do serve a wide range of teas and coffees, however, we’re sorry that on this occasion we didn’t have the particular tea you requested. We have passed this suggestion on to our café team. Many thanks, The Story Museum
Written August 9, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

chris g
Oxford, UK47 contributions
Jan 2022
I took my 4 year old to see the Galleries experience which consisted of the Whispering Woods, Enchanted Library and the Treasure Chamber.

From the moment my daughter encountered the first talking tree she was absolutely spellbound, finding new wonders around every corner. The staff were passionate and kind throughout and we had a wonderful couple of hours discovering storybook worlds and trying all sorts of interactive fun. The whole place is beautifully decorated, with thoughtful touches throughout. If you read to or with your kids, take them along and enjoy their sense of wonder.

My only slight criticism was that I found the website a little confusing when I was booking - it's not quite clear how everything fits together - but that's a very minor issue.

My daughters review (when asked what she thought) - "best museum ever, I loved the talking trees and the chocolate cake and I want to go back tomorrow!"
Written January 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for such a lovely review and we're delighted you and your daughter had a good time. And thank you for your feedback on the website - we're aware that it can be quite confusing for people who don't know The Story Museum to plan their visit and we have plans for revising the website to try and make this clearer
Written February 1, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Natalie R
Bedfordshire, UK4 contributions
Feb 2022 • Family
Mixed feelings about the museum. The whispering woods looks great however I do think there needs to be a member of staff that goes around with the group. We were let in with a family who had 4 children and they wouldn’t let my daughter get anywhere near the tree to help press the interactive buttons. My daughter lost interest because of this and we left the woods after hearing only 3 of the story’s. If there was a staff member they could perhaps fairly prompt different children to go to the tree. The rest of the museum is good, at the colouring table there seemed to be no sheets left for any colouring. Not that this was a major issue. Probably not something we would visit again but ticked it off our list.
Written March 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for your review and we're sorry to hear that your daughter didn't have the opportunity to enjoy the interactive elements of the Whispering Wood. The good news is that we're making some changes to this Gallery to enable visitors to explore the trees in their own order which should help smaller/quieter groups to find their own space in the Gallery to enjoy it in their own time. Plus we'll be reinstituting live storytelling in the Gallery with a dedicated Story Guide. We aim to have this all ready in time for the Summer holidays so maybe we could persuade you to a return visit - when you'll also be able to enjoy our new exhibition in the Treasure Chamber - KA-BOOM! The art of creating comics
Written April 3, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Becca
2 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
Had a really lovely afternoon visiting the Small Worlds section of the museum with my 5 yr old son. Our host Shona was brilliant and kept the children in the group entranced with her story telling. We loved exploring all the different sections and being part of lots of different story worlds - it really brought some familiar stories to life and we learned about some new ones too. The session was just the right length and my son was delighted throughout! The staff have obviously worked really hard to make everything very covid safe and we felt completely comfortable, including in the cafe and shop. Well worth a visit!
Written June 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for your feedback and we're delighted that you had a good time in Small Worlds - we've loved having visitors back on site and we'll be introducing more storytelling and craft activities over the summer so do come back soon!
Written July 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karen M
7 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
Dont let the word "museum" put you off. There are lots of things to engage and inspire children and also bring back memories for us older folk. The staff were really enthusiastic and helpful.

For older children I especially liked the City of Stories experience which did cost extra but the visual effects were great. Only thing I would say is there should be a warning that it has lots of flashing lights and visual effects some people (eg with epilepsy) might be affected by
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Karen - so pleased you enjoyed your visit and thank you for the comment about City of Stories. We've now added a line on the website about flashing lights and visual effects.
Written September 1, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Maike
1 contribution
Oct 2020
Due to Coronarestrictions and remodeling of the museum you now have to book different parts separately. I visited the Galleries (recommended for 5+) with my 4 and 7 year old and they absolutely loved it. The team has been very creative in this part to allow the children to explore without touching things with their hands. The audiotour through the whispering woods ensures that people keep moving - very clever to avoid larger groups of people building up. Staff was super friendly and helpful. Can't wait for the entire museum to re-open without Corona!
Written November 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A belated thank you for your review. We were so sad that we had to close for the second lockdown in November but we'll be back open again from 12 December
Written December 1, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ina M
9 contributions
Feb 2022
Brilliant afternoon at The Story Museum! Well thought-out areas, with lots of attention to detail, made for a really interesting and enjoyable few hours. Small World was excellent with Dottie the story teller and all of the interactive story sections. Gallery ‘guided tour’ was very interesting and so well laid out, with fantastic scenery. Lots to look at and do - my granddaughter was fascinated and engaged as soon as she banged the gong and stepped in to meet the talking tree.
We spent a lot of time in the galleries as there was so much to look and do. The Enchanted Library was fantastic!
Cafe was also good with a delicious lunch - small menu, but a good variety which did the job brilliantly.
Staff were friendly and very helpful and shop had a good range of items. Great afternoon.
Just check parking before you set off from home!
Written February 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
So pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit - and good tip about research parking in Oxford before hand!
Written February 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

841ellise
London, UK12 contributions
Mar 2022 • Friends
I visited the small worlds with my 3 year old and she absolutely loved it! It was really engaging. the lady reading the story made sure she included every single child sitting around her and was such a pleasant person. Even when the children were playing she ensured she walked around engaging with them all!

The children were jumping and singing and was really lovely to watch.

Very good photo opportunities and we even brought a new story from the gift shop!

The only thing I would have preferred would it to last longer (it was an hour).
Written March 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great to hear you had a good time in Small Worlds - and hope to see you again soon. Whilst sessions in this under-5s Gallery only last an hour (so that smaller people don't get too tired), we feature a different story every week so there's always a reason to come back!
Written April 3, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alison P
Basingstoke, UK115 contributions
Jan 2022
This place is incredible! We have done many activities and days out with our two boys and this is hands down one of the best places we have ever been. If you love stories and reading this is the place for you.
My younger son did the small world session which is an hour, it starts with a song and a story then they can explore for 50 mins and it ends with a story. He absolutely loved it and there where lots of different stories he had never read. The lady running it was fantastic and so engaged with the children.
My older son did the Galleries, he absolutely loves to read and he came out of here buzzing. We can’t wait to go back :)
The cafe sells loads of different tea and coffee too with board games and comics for the kids.
Written January 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review and we're delighted that you started 2022 with such a great story experience - come back soon for some stories!
Written February 1, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bana B
1 contribution
Mar 2020
When we arrived at the museum we were given a map of all of the places there were and we also got a story museum badge. When we were looking where to go first we ran into Isy (my mums friend who works there). When she showed us the first room I saw that it had a huge bed that you read stories on. There was another room with pictures of the book on the walls my sister (lily) really liked that room. Then we went to the cafe and ate some food. Then we went to the whispering woods where you whisper into a tree's ear and they tell you the story. After we went to the shop l got a story museum notebook and a rainbow slinky and my sister and brother (lily and Ali) got a gruffilo lunchbox, a train, 2 books and a tea set. I give it five stars out of 5. The only downside is that it's a big place so people could get lost easily if they aren't careful. I loved the story museum, it was awesome and I will tell all my friends and I will definitely come again.
By Bana B (nearly 10)
Written March 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Bana B We are so thrilled to hear that you had a good time - particularly as we have had to postpone our reopening so you were one of the lucky few who got to see the magic inside. But don't worry we will be back - not sure when but our story doesn't end here. Love from The Story Museum
Written March 19, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Story Museum

The Story Museum is open:
  • Tue - Fri 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Sat - Sun 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
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We recommend booking The Story Museum tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 1 The Story Museum tours on Tripadvisor