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Our guide to what's on in and around Cambridge during the May 2019 half-term


There is an abundance of family-friendly activities on offer in the region from Saturday (May 25) and beyond. Here are some ideas:

Milton Country Park

There is plenty of outdoor fun to be had at Milton Country Park this half term. On Tuesday (May 28) and Wednesday (May 29), from 10am to 4.30pm, the Go Wild Activity Days will get the children outdoors and trying something new.

Activities include half a day of bushcraft and survival skills with the park’s forest school instructor, then an afternoon of water skills (paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking) with qualified water sports coaches.

The cost is £55 per child per day and the events are suitable for children aged 10 and over. There is a minimum height requirement of 1.3m.

Drop-off is 9am and collection is at 4.30pm.

Children will need to bring a change of clothes, a towel and a packed lunch.


Anglesey Abbey

As ever, there are plenty of events and activities taking place at this splendid National Trust property in the village of Lode.

These include: Explore the House: Summer 1938, where visitors can travel back to the summer of 1938 as the house prepares to celebrate the opening of the library.

Head inside to learn about the influence that Lord Fairhaven’s past had on his vision for Anglesey Abbey, and how it led him to design the house and gardens of today.

There’s plenty for families to do once inside too. Head to the domestic wing to make your own bookmark.

Here, you’ll also find plenty of outfits to try on. What did a domestic servant wear during the 1930s? Find out as you explore spaces such as the kitchen, scullery and the butler’s pantry.

Open daily from 11am to 4pm (last entry 3pm).

Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/angleseyabbey-gardens-and-lode-mill.

Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitz has plenty of free activities to inspire children and interest adults of all ages this half term.

The museum’s latest major show features the Beggarstaffs. William Nicholson and James Pryde were brothers-in-law.

Their artistic partnership in the 1890s, under the pseudonym J & W Beggarstaff, created some of Britain’s earliest and most spectacular posters and graphic art.

The exhibition is on until Sunday, August 4.

The Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam Museum

Budding numismatists will find some of The Fitzwilliam’s most important and iconic coins on display in Making a Nation, an exploration of how, over two centuries, money and medals were used in Tudor and Stuart England.

More than 500 objects are on show, including Queen Elizabeth I’s stunning gold Armada medal and money minted by besieged royalists battling Cromwell and the New Model Army.

On until the end of June.

For younger children, Fitz Families takes place on Saturday, June 1.

A free drop-in session entitled Dazzling Doodles that starts (after lunch) at 2pm and runs until 4pm.

The friendly team will help turn your child’s doodles into ‘art’ with fun activities and fabulous artmaking techniques.

Wicken Fen

The National Nature Reserve Wicken offers plenty of fun-filled options designed to allow families and children to get closer to nature this half term.

Activities include pond dipping and cuckoos calling.

There will be a daily activity to get involved in – from getting started with your first geocache (real-world, outdoor treasure hunting games using GPS-enabled devices) to building a den or tracking animals.

With more than 9,000 recorded plants and animals, visitors are bound to see some amazing wildlife – and can spy on birds, bugs and beasts in nine hides spread around the reserve.

Pond dipping takes place on Tuesday, May 28. Times 10.30am-11.15am; 11.15am-12pm; 12pm-12.40pm; 1pm-2.30pm; 2.30pm-3.15pm.

Price for children is £4.25.

Cuckoos calling is on Wednesday, May 29.

Times, 10.30am-12.30pm, 1.30pm3.30pm.

Price for children is £5.75.

Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/wickenfen-nature-reserve.

Audley End House and Gardens

Owned by English Heritage, there is also plenty happening this half term at Audley End in Saffron Walden.

One activity sure to delight the entire family is Get Hands on with History – Myths and Legends.

Hear Dr Vainen Schuch-des Forges, the travelling cure-all salesman, give a myths and legends-themed storytelling session.

Listen as he tells one of his fantastical tales of how he came by the knowledge and ingredients for his miracle-elixir.

Enjoy exciting stories of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, Borneo head-shrinkers, secret Tibetan monks and pirates of the South China Seas.

Audley End. Picture: Richard Marsham
Audley End. Picture: Richard Marsham

Witness evidence of his super strength as he shows off severed limbs which have miraculously grown back, shrunken heads and withered hands as proof that his cure-all is never known to fail.

Marvel at the depth of his medical knowledge and wonder at the range of exotic ingredients, all gathered personally from the farthest corners of the globe.

This event starts on Saturday, May 25 and runs until Sunday, June 2, from 11am to 5pm.

Tickets: English Heritage members free; adult £18.50; child, 5-17 years, £11.10; concession £16.70, family £48.10.

Visit englishheritage.org.uk/visit/places/audleyend-house-and-gardens/events.

Cambridge – various venues

The Children and Young People’s Participation Service (ChYpPS), based at Brown’s Field Community Centre, provides free play and youth activities for children and young people across Cambridge.

The organisation is part of Cambridge City Council and its half-term activities include: Rockets and Reptiles, for four to 10-year-olds at Storey’s Field Community Centre (Tuesday, May 28, 10am to noon).

Join the junk model challenge and make your own creation to take home.

Children must be accompanied. Parking is restricted – walk, cycle or park for free at Madingley Road Park & Ride.

Celebrate International Children’s Day on Parker’s Piece (Wednesday, May 29, from 1pm to 4pm).

Join the team for games, sports, and arts and crafts, all centred around celebrating what it means to be a child.

Activities will include inflatable course, games with Kinnerz coaches, under-5s area, loose parts play, Scrapstore and many more.

Slime workshop for eight to 11-yearolds at Brown’s Field Youth and Community Centre (Thursday, May 30, 3.30 to 5pm).

Have a go at making different types of slime.

Book your place on this free workshop at cambridge.gov.uk/chypps-activities.

Lammas Land Park

This May bank holiday weekend, Lammas Land in Cambridge will be hosting a pool opening event, along with an outdoor cinema, food and music.

The Greatest Showman will be on the big screen on Saturday (May 25) at 7.30pm.

Lammas Land pool. Picture: Keith Heppell
Lammas Land pool. Picture: Keith Heppell

Tickets are available at starandmouse.com.

There will be a licensed bar serving food and drink throughout the day.

On Sunday (May 26) and Monday (May 27), there will be a barbecue, bar and music from 12pm to 6pm.

Cambridge Market Square

Cambridge BID’s film events are back in the heart of the city.

The al fresco cinema nights will return to the Market Square this summer, by popular demand.

Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) has announced a new programme of free films to delight audiences of all ages, with double screenings at 6.30pm and 8.30pm, and a night market selling artisan food, beverages, crafts and gifts.

The season will begin at 6.30pm on Friday, May 24 with Coco, an engaging animation that celebrates music and Mexican culture through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy and his great-great grandfather.

At 8.30pm, grown-ups will be transported to a Greek Island for the all-singing, all-dancing romantic comedy, Mamma Mia!.

No booking, but seating is limited.

Cambridge Cinemas

There are some exciting new releases which are bound to appeal to children of all ages this half term.

The list of releases includes Disney’s live action remake of Aladdin as well as The Secret Life of Pets 2.

For those who have yet to see them, it should still be possible to catch the likes of Detective Pikachu and, for older children, Avengers: Endgame.

For the lastest listings, visit: myvue.com/cinema/cambridge/whats-on; picturehouses.com/cinema/Arts_Picturehouse_Cambridge; and cambridge.lightcinemas.co.uk.

Jesus Green Lido

If the weather is looking good, why not visit one of the few remaining examples of the lidos built across the UK in the 1920s.

The Jesus Green Lido opened on May 11 for the 2019 season and will be open over half term.

The Big Shiver at Jesus Green Lido. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Big Shiver at Jesus Green Lido. Picture: Keith Heppell

For times and cost, visit cambridge.gov.uk/jesus-greenoutdoor-pool.

Ely Science Festival

Want to see a scale replica of the moon? Of course you do. Check out our piece on Ely Science Festival for details.

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