What's on? | University of Oxford
Photograph of adults at a University event
Visitors getting involved at Creative Multilingualism’s Linguamania
Photo credit: Ian Wallman

What's on?

Quiz whizz? Garden guru? Space ace? There’s something for you at the Curiosity Carnival.

The Curiosity Carnival is an evening of fun and entertainment for all ages and interests, with each of our venues getting curious about something different. Plus there’ll be all sorts of activities spilling out onto the streets of Oxford - with bite-size talks, music, walking tours, live demonstrations and the Marvellous Mathemagicians.

Most events will be free but you'll still need a ticket to attend - so register your interest and we'll email you soon when bookings open.

Botanic Garden

3pm to 7pm - Free

A photograph of a secondary school student using a microscope at the Oxford Botanic GardenSchool student using a microscope at the Oxford Botanic Garden
Discover the weird and wonderful things living and hiding in the Botanic Garden and step into a wonderland where things just get curiouser and curiouser.

  • Shrink to the size of a plant cell and grow like a giant to explore the branches of the tree of life.
  • Follow the discovery trails to find the secrets of chemistry and medicine hidden in the flower beds.
  • Vote for your favourite in our Great Research Bake Off - as researchers explain their work in cake!
  • Hear the strange tales of Quantum Story Corner - storytelling for all ages.
  • Taste the future at a topsy turvy tea party with a twist.
  • Discover the secret of the perfect cup of coffee - from mathematicians!
  • Unwind with live performances - explore how we think about beauty in music and go on a journey with our scientists to find out what inspires them.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum

7pm to 10pm - Free

Curious about people and our planet? The Curiosity Carnival at the Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum will take you on a journey from the inside of your cells to distant planets – and lots in between. You can explore everything about being human and the planet we call home with interactive games, flash talks, experiments, films, live poetry, music and dance.

  • Mix up a 'neurococktail' at our cocktail party with a difference, exploring the effects of alcohol on the brain.
  • Have a drink at the Research Café, take a peek at our 'brain food' menu and chat with researchers about the latest in food, diet and health research.
  • See how learning language is made easier through doing practical activities - by a little cooking while learning Korean!
  • Jump into the Blood Factory - an immersive experience about where blood is born, what it does and what happens when things go wrong.
  • Check out the Diseases of Modern Life performance, exploring how the modern stresses of the Information Age aren't so modern after all!
  • Find out how keeping our brains and minds healthy is a bit like a game of Snakes and Ladders.
  • Join physicist Suzie Sheehy at Accelerate! - an exciting, live-action lecture about particle physics, from tiny machines used in medicine to the Large Hadron Collider (booking required).

Ashmolean Museum

7pm to 10pm - Free

Photograph if the Ashmolean museum lit up at nightThe Ashmolean Museum lit up at night
Think only physicists are interested in time and space? Think again! Curiosity Carnival at the Ashmolean explores how researchers use time and space to think about what makes us and the universe tick. There’ll be dance, art, talks, demonstrations and more.

  • Step into a lift to talk to our bellhop about claustrophobia.
  • Explore your DNA in 3D using virtual reality.
  • Learn how engineers are trying to break the land speed record.
  • Find out why the exact time matters for everything from finance to maps.
  • FLUX dance theatre explores the rhythms of our hearts through contemporary dance.
  • Listen to the Orchestra of the Enlightenment - combining music with cutting-edge science about the rhythms of sleep, with world-leading expert Professor Russell Foster.

Bodleian Libraries

7pm to 10pm - Free

For one night only, the Curiosity Carnival at the Weston Library is replacing books with living researchers!

  • Browse our Living Library and discuss their fascinating work with one of the dozens of researchers on loan.
  • Indulge your competitive streak at the Gaming Café with research-inspired board games, from Anthropology to the Zika virus.
  • Whether you’re a romantic or a cynic, join our debate on perhaps the biggest question of all: is love real?
  • Cast your vote as researchers fight to survive in the live final of  I'm a Researcher, Get Me Out of Here.

Museum of the History of Science

7pm to 9.30pm - £5

Think you’re a quiz whizz? Consider yourself the brainiest person you know? Put your general knowledge to the test in our Curious Pub Quiz. Enter as a team of three or four, or come along on the night and join a scratch team. Each team will be joined by a researcher and you’ll be competing for a mystery prize.

This is an 18+ event, with a range of alcoholic and soft drinks available.

Wytham Wooods

2pm Friday 29 September to 12 noon Saturday 30 September - free (£3-5 fee for overnight camping)

Come and enjoy this area of ancient semi-natural woodland, used for environmental research.

  • Take a walk exploring 75 years of science at Whytham - 2pm Friday (2 hours).
  • Enjoy the very popular badger-watching evening - 5.30pm Friday (2 hours).
  • Wander the woods at night and get up close with bats - 7.30pm Friday (2 hours).
  • Find out more about the critters living at Wytham - 8.30am Saturday (2 hours).
  • Check out bat roosting sites - 10am Saturday (2 hours).
  • Bring your tent, camp overnight and wake up to a Crunch Brunch, exploring alternative sources of protein (that's insects to you and me!).