10 Things To In Cambridge With Kids
As a family we have spent a lot of time exploring the city of Cambridge to search of the best things to do. My children are 2 and 4 so we have become experts on activities for toddlers and pre-schoolers. We have also found many fun things in Cambridge 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
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.
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 and in Spring flowers brought out the bees.
2. Cambridge Science Centre
To us the Cambridge Science Centre was an absolute hidden gem, tucked away out of town and not much to look at on the outside. Inside were stations with hands on experiments that kept our 4 year old entertained for hours. It kept us adults amused too.
We will definitely return as he gets older to try some more of the things that were a bit difficult for him this time, it’s ideal for children of all ages. His favourite thing to do this time was get creative with magnets.
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 and bird hides on foot.
Alternatively, if you are feeling a little more adventurous you can hire a bike, including a trailer for the children. 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. Sorry kids, there are plenty of easy, child-friendly routes we could have picked.
4. Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
Surely all children love dinosaurs? I know my two do and the Sedgwick Museum is a great place for them to learn more. The Sedgwick Museum is one of several small university 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. The museum has activities for school-age children and runs special events on in the school holidays.
5. Lammas Land Paddling Pool
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 in the playground.
6. Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam is the smaller sibling of the British Museum or V&A in London. It is completely free 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 teenages. My children loved the treasure hunt we did on our most recent visit.
7. Zoology Museum
The Zoology Museum is another small (and completely free) university 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.
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. We have never been punting in the River Cam as I am certain my children would dive into the river, it is definitely on my bucket list though.
9. Polar Museum
The Scott Polar Museum was a real find for the family. There were lots of interesting exhibits to keep the adults entertained including letters and personal effects recovered from Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition. For the kids, the museum provided activities suitable even for young children. They also really enjoyed getting dressed up in all the heavy arctic clothing.
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 space has plenty of nature trails to explore and views back to the city. It also has an interesting historical feature at its core, 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.
Liona, has lots more information on Cambridge, including free things to do here. Is there anything else you recommend to do in Cambridge with kids?