A city with a plethora of both indoor and outdoor activities, Cambridge is great for family days out. Children will be as inspired by the famous River Cam as they are by the historical landmarks it runs past.
Exploring any city with children in tow is an art unto itself. You may have aspirations of a quiet, civilised gallery visit or walking tour, but when you have one or more miniature people with short attention spans to attend to, adjustments need to be made. Whether you’re out for the day or just taking an hour of leisure time between shopping duties, Cambridge has plenty to offer to keep kids of all ages entertained.
If there’s one constant with kids throughout the generations, it’s that they love dinosaurs. Cambridge can facilitate this as the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences has several complete skeletons, as well as gallery trails and even fossil handling. You can find the museum on Downing Street in the city centre, and entry is free.
Punting is one of the things Cambridge is best known for, but river tours are more family-friendly. You can book either a private punt or a shared one online, and you are even allowed to bring food and drink aboard as you are taken down the Cam by an experienced guide. Tours leave from La Mimosa Punt Station.
While looking at wildflowers isn’t exactly a kid-friendly activity, the historic Cambridge University Botanic Garden offers plenty of activities to keep younger guests occupied. On the first Saturday of every month, drop-in sessions on plant-growing take place, and kids can even go out hunting for bugs (don’t worry – they don’t get to keep them). The garden lies right next to the train station.
The Cambridge Science Centre is a quaint, but vibrant space filled with interesting things for kids to learn about, often by playing. The stations around the room are almost all interactive, and activities include making paper cut-outs to fly in a wind machine and a voice box machine that can change the tone and pitch of your voice.
If you’re looking to see the city and keep kids entertained, you could do a lot worse than the city’s signature treasure hunt. The 2.7km (1.7m) loop takes in all the famous sights, and solving the mission enters you into a prize draw for £100. You can even get clues by text if you get stuck. The treasure hunt office is on St Andrews Street, but you can also download the trail online and go it alone.
If you’re in Cambridge in the summer and need to cool off and keep the kids active, Jesus Green boasts an impressive outdoor lido. Built in the 1920s, it has a longer, narrower design than most outdoor pools, and has a grassy sunbathing area as well as a sauna to keep grown-ups happy.