Guest post from Liona – Travels With Ted
As a family living close to Cambridge, we have spent lots of time sightseeing through the city of Cambridge to search for the best things to do. My children are 2 and 4 so we have become experts on activities and attractions for toddlers and pre-schoolers. We have also found many fun family-friendly things in Cambridge to explore that we know we will come back to again and again as the children get older.
Here are my top 10 picks for visiting Cambridge with kids:
1. Cambridge University Botanic Gardens
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We have made it our mission this year to visit the Botanic Gardens in all seasons because we all love it. The kids particularly like exploring all the different exotic plants in the glasshouses. They are also big fans of the fountain which doubles as a wildlife pond.
There is plenty of nature to explore all year round. In summer we spotted dragonfly larvae, water boatmen and more. In Autumn we collected apples in the children’s garden and brightly coloured leaves from the grounds. In Winter the air was crisp so we spent more time indoors and in Spring flowers brought out the bees.
2. Search for the miniature doors or Dinky Doors around Cambridge!
There are currently 14 doors to find and you can either have the activities and list sent to you via post or download using the app.
Most of the doors are in central Cambridge with some being further afield. You can easily see half of them in around an hour or so but if you want to see all, this can take about 3 hours.
Open them up to see all the tiny details! This is one of the attractions which double up as a great way to explore Cambridge with kids.
3. Wicken Fen
A fun day trip out of Cambridge is Wicken Fen. Fenland and farming is such a big part of the Cambridgeshire landscape and Wicken Fen is the best place to experience that. You can get a feel for the fens from the visitor centre by exploring the boardwalk nature trails, cycling, and bird hides on foot.
Alternatively, if you enjoy a little more outdoor adventure you can hire a bike, including a trailer for the children to go cycling.
We did this but picked a route that was a bit too difficult. It was a really fun thing to do but the children had an extremely bumpy and uncomfortable ride.
However, there are plenty of easy, child-friendly routes we could have picked. After that, we found a lovely tree to sit under and enjoyed a picnic. The children always enjoy picnics while lying in the grass and relaxing.
Address: 34 Lode Ln, Wicken, Ely CB7 5XP
Website: Wicken Fen.
4. Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
Surely all children love dinosaurs? I know my two do and the Sedgwick Museum is such a great indoor educational attraction. The Sedgwick Museum is one of several small university educational museums on Downing Street (the fabulous Anthropology Museum is just next door).
You are greeted just inside the austere University building by Stan, the T-rex skull and more awesome fossils follow from there. This natural sceience museum has activities for school-age children and runs special events during the school holidays.
Address: University Of, Downing Pl, Cambridge CB2 3EQ
Website: Sedgwick Museum i
5. Lammas Land Paddling Pool
Cambridge offers some good summers day attractions too! Cambridge has a number of outdoor pools and splash pads. What makes Lammas Land special is that the pool is shallow, making it perfect for small children to play in on a hot day.
It also has the bonus of being completely free for everyone. Lammas Land is one of many green spaces in the center of Cambridge so once they’ve finished their swim the children always enjoy running around and playing games or sports in the playground.
Address: 61 Newnham Rd, Cambridge CB3 9EY
Website: Lammas Land
Map of things to do in Cambridge with Kids
6. Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam is the smaller sibling of the British Museum or V&A in London. It is completely free to explore and full to the brim with treasures from all over the world.
Museums can be hit and miss with young children but the Fitz (as it is affectionately known) does it’s best to entertain. Instead of making your way up the steps to the grand front entrance, if you head to the left and through the accessibility entrance. Here you will find activity boxes for children of all ages, from babies to teenagers. My children loved the treasure hunt we did on our most recent visit.
Address: Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RB
7. Zoology Museum
The Zoology Museum is another small (and completely free) university science museum. It has recently been renovated and all the animals have been displayed beautifully. The children were most excited by the big creatures, the giraffe and elephants. For me it’s the whales, they have several suspended from the ceiling.
Address: David Attenborough Building, Downing Pl, Cambridge CB2 3EJ
Website: Zoology Museum
8. River Cam
The river is such an important feature of Cambridge but you could easily miss it if you are not looking for it. It winds between university buildings and through parks and common land without much noise.
However, if you want to do the most quintessential tourist (and student) activity on your visit to Cambridge you will have to seek it out. You will find plenty of punting companies, all tempting you to use their punting tour, and they will often come down from their listed prices, so do haggle a bit, especially if you visit Cambridge when it is not so busy.
It’s the perfect way to go sightseeing around Cambridge with kids and soak in the history whilst someone else punts! Afterwards, head to Jack’s Gelato on 6 Bene’t St, Cambridge CB2 3QN for ice-cream.
9. Polar Museum
The Scott Polar Museum was a real find for the family. There were lots of interesting educational exhibits to keep the adults entertained including letters and personal effects recovered from Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition. For indoor kids entertainment, the museum provided activities suitable even for young children. They also really enjoyed getting dressed up in all the heavy Arctic clothing!
Address: Lensfield Rd, Cambridge CB2 1ER
Website:Scott Polar Museum
10. Wandlebury Country Park
Cambridge has a few country parks within easy reach of the city. Our family favourite is Wandlebury Country Park.
This wonderful outdoor space has plenty of nature trails to explore and views back to the city. It also has an interesting history and culture, an unusual iron age round fort.
The children were particularly excited by all of the trees they could climb. It is also worth noting there is a pricey but excellent farm shop and cafe next to the park. Alternatively, there are plenty of places for picnics and even a Dinky Door to discover!
Address: Wandlebury Ring, Gog Magog Hills, Cambridge CB22 3AE
Website: Wandlebury Country Park
Liona, has lots more information on Cambridge, including free things to do here. Are there any other tours or outdoor locations that you could recommend to do in Cambridge with kids?
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