Cambridge is a popular city mainly because of its educational facilities and since it is the UK's centre for the technology industry. It is home to the immense Cambridge University as well as numerous colleges, like Trinity College or St John's College, which make it a popular location for young adults to travel to for their studies.
The city was first known as Grantabryg which translates to "bridge over River Granta" but the names of the city and waterway were eventually changed to Cambridge and River Cam. The city has a vibrant past and some people consider it to be the birthplace of football since the basic rules of the sport were invented and first used here in Cambridge.
If you bring your kids here on a family vacation expect to have a lovely time, taking adventures like visiting all of the great Cambridge museums or hanging out in one of the parks. Start planning your trip now!
While you are spending time together, don't let anything get in the way. That includes heavy bags and backpacks! Leave your luggage and other belongings at a suitcase locker in Cambridge. Later, when everyone is ready to head back to your accommodations, pick up your things.
Stroll through the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens
A nice thing to do with families is to explore the beautiful Botanic Gardens at Cambridge University. The whole grounds of the establishment and the university itself are stunning, but the children will be most interested in exploring the gardens. This gorgeous greenspace has something new going on every season of the year so come and see what is in bloom while you are visiting.
There are so many new sights, smells and sounds to discover in the gardens and surrounding area, which is why most kids love it. Spend some time enjoying the fresh air while you admire the floral displays and intricate glasshouses filled with exotic plants.
Go to the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences is a fun place to bring children and they all seem to love it. If your kids like seeing and learning about dinosaurs then this is definitely the place to go since there are so many educational activities for them to take part in.
In these exhibits you can see several complete dinosaur skeletons and other related artifacts. Take the family on gallery trails or even see and handle real-life fossils. This is one of the fun family things to do in Cambridge that will be an unforgettable experience for everyone.
See a sports game at Parkers Piece
Parkers Piece is a public greenspace in Cambridge that is sometimes used to host important games or sports matches but also fairs or events. You will see dog walkers, runners and bikers using the area since it is quite pleasant and a good place to go for a walk.
Pop-up cafes and eateries are perfect for grabbing a bite to eat, or you can pack your own food and make a picnic. You might see some wildlife as well, but if you want a park with a playground you can go to Milton Country Park on the northern side of the city.
Explore Wandlebury Country Park
There are several country parks located not too far away from Cambridge and one of the best is the Wandlebury Country Park. There are many nature trails and pathways that you and the kids can hike around on foot which will not only encourage them to be active and get rid of some energy, but will also teach them a bit about the city and its landscape.
The park has a couple of historic landmarks, like a round fort from sometime during the Iron Age. Make sure to stop by the cafe and farm shop located right beside the nature park since they sell some great goodies and local produce.
Visit the Scott Polar Museum
The Scott Polar Museum is one of Cambridge's hidden gems and a fun experience for the whole family. Although there is more than enough exhibits to keep the parents entertained, like real letters and personal belongings from the polar expedition, there is also lots for children to do.
Everyone will have fun learning about the Antarctic and many of the exhibits allow the children to get hands-on, as well. For example, they can dress up in arctic clothing and pretend that they are going on their own expedition.
Test yourselves on the Cambridge Treasure Hunt Trail
Cambridge is such a fun city that it has made its own Treasure Hunt Trail which will bring you to many of the top landmarks in the town. This is one of the best ways to see the city while having fun, making it the perfect activity for family travel. The trail is 2.7 kilometers long and makes a loop around the main tourist areas.
You will get to see all of the monuments and landmarks in Cambridge while trying to solve puzzles and complete missions. This is a friendly competition and if your family completes the treasure hunt you can be entered in a draw to win a prize. Find the instructions for the hunt on their online website or get directions for the trail from the designated office on St Andrews Street. Don't worry if you get stuck, you can get clues by text.
Head to the Cambridge Science Centre
Very near Cambridge Station, The Cambridge Science Centre might not look like much from the outside, but many families have said that the displays inside the facility kept their children entertained for hours. The centre has several stations and displays that can keep children intrigued and learning with an interactive approach.
The Science Centre has something for children of all ages, so if your little ones seem to enjoy it you can always come back when they are older to try some of the more advanced stations. Adults can have a fun time too and who knows, you might even learn something new yourself!
Go bike riding in Wicken Fen
A place like Wicken Fen can be fun for everyone and it is a lovely place to bring the kids. Get a taste of what Cambridgeshire is like by exploring all of the nature paths along the boardwalk. Getting here and exploring the area can take a while so we recommend that you make it into a day trip.
The area can be traversed by foot, but if it gets to be too much for your kids' little legs you can always rent a bike instead. They offer trailers attached to the back of the bike so the children can sit and enjoy watching the scenery go by. There are several routes to choose from and they vary in challenge level and length, so you can choose one that best suits your family.
Learn about animals at the Zoology Museum
The Zoology Museum is a small but exciting university establishment and visiting it is one of the best things to do as a family in Cambridge, especially if you have little kids. The museum has been recently upgraded and now it is quite an impressive space displaying lots of creatures that the children will love seeing in person.
Come here to see different species of animals in all different sizes and colors. You can see displays of small animals or big ones like elephants, giraffes and even whales that are hanging from the ceiling!
Explore the famous Cambridge University
Of course, you can't visit Cambridge without stopping by the prestigious Cambridge University. If you are already there walking through the gardens we definitely recommend exploring the rest of the establishment, and even children can appreciate the architecture and pure size of the campus. If they have a big imagination they might feel as though they are walking around a castle!
Make your own tours of the university and appreciate the details and beauty of the buildings both outdoors and indoors. The site is an important part of the community and a monument of the entire UK, so come see what it is all about when you are visiting Cambridge.
What are the best family activities in Cambridge?
Things to do in Cambridge with younger kids
The Cambridge Science Centre is fun for children of all ages, even younger ones who will have a blast trying all of the interactive indoor activities. There might even be special events or educational workshops going on that can keep your kids involved and teach them something new.
Scott Polar Museum is one of the best attractions for families since both parent and child can learn something new and have a good time. They have exhibits and activities targeted specifically toward children so even the youngest visitors can participate.
Parkers Piece is a good spot for the whole family to visit. The greenspace allows the young ones to run around and expend energy. Go for a walk, go watch a sports game or bring some paintbrushes to have an art and craft family date.
Things to do in Cambridge with older kids
The Treasure Hunt Trail in Cambridge is the perfect activity for families. It will get you to work together solving the puzzles and you get to see the main attractions of the city at the same time, so it is great for tourists. You will need to walk around a lot and it can be a lot for little legs which is why we recommend this activity for older kids.
Why not explore Wandlebury Country Park with older children? This nature reserve has lots of paths and trails to explore and it can be difficult for small children to keep up. You can always rent a bike and trailer for the babies and younger ones, but walking around the area is better for older children.
Cambridge University Botanic Gardens can be enjoyed by everyone, although small children might get bored. Older children who have a better interest and understanding of nature will like to see the spring flowers and gain more from this experience than younger ones, plus you will need to walk around the grounds.
Free things to do in Cambridge with kids
Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences is one of the best places to bring the family to in Cambridge and you will be happy to learn that entry is completely free! Since you won't have to spend anything here you can use the money that you save to do more things together on your vacation.
It is always nice to save money when you can, and luckily several of Cambridge's attractions don't have an entrance fee. The Zoology Museum is one of them, so you and the children can come again and again and not have to pay a thing.
Select buildings of the Cambridge University, like the Botanic Gardens mentioned above, ask you to pay to get in but much of the campus is open to the public free of charge. You can explore the grounds as much as you want during their open hours, just make sure that you don't disrupt any of the classes.
Wicken Fen is a gorgeous part of the city and you don't have to pay anything to explore it. Although there is no admission charge they don't offer free parking, so be prepared to pay for that if you have your own vehicle.
Tour Cambridge as a Family
Wondering where to go and how to get around Cambridge? You won't have to search far to find exciting things to do as a family in Cambridge. There are lots of indoor events and attractions to try like going to the museums, as well as outdoor activities and areas like parks that are great for families.
Even if you don't want to spend money you can enjoy the natural beauty of the city by walking through the street, or spending time strolling along the River Cam. We hope that these ideas can help you create the perfect getaway for you and the kids!