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What's on for kids in Cambridge over the summer holidays?

School’s out for summer and a whole six weeks of keeping the kids entertained stretches ahead. If you're looking for fun things to do together over the holidays, we’ve pulled together a list of what's happening for families around Cambridge.

Whether you’re hoping for outdoor play, a picnic with live music, a wildlife trail or hands on crafts - we’ve found something for everyone.

Small tortoiseshell butterfly. (49720912)
Small tortoiseshell butterfly. (49720912)

Bugs and butterflies discovery day

From butterflies, to dragonflies and damselflies, plus bees, beetles and bugs - Cambridge Zoology Museum in partnership with The Wildlife Trust have put together a day of bug hunting fun at Trumpington Meadows nature reserve.

There will be a mix of activities for the whole family with minibeast hunts, pond dipping, guided walks, crafts and much more. Staff and volunteers from both organisations will be on hand to help audiences engage with wildlife, both past and present.

The location is a 5-10 minute walk from the car park at Byron's Pool. Alternative parking available at the Trumpington Park & Ride. Follow signs and look for the gazebos.

Where: Trumpington Meadows

When: Saturday, 31 July, 2021 - 11:00 to 15:00

More details: museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk/events/discover-incredible-insects-trumpington-meadows

Summer reading challenge at Cambridgeshire libraries (49513041)
Summer reading challenge at Cambridgeshire libraries (49513041)

Wild World Heroes, Summer Reading Challenge 2021

Pre-school and primary school children can join in this free nature-themed reading challenge supported by the World Wildlife Fund at any of Cambridgeshire’s libraries. Children receive a special Collector Poster map of Wilderville and will help you find books to read.

As you read books for your Challenge, return to the library to receive stickers to add to your map – some of them even have smells! Collect all the stickers to complete the Challenge and transform Wilderville. You’ll get a special Wild World Heroes certificate too!

How to take part:

Sign up at your local library or mobile library. After you have read your first book you will receive a collector’s poster & bookmark

Or sign up online. After you have read your first book, pick up your Collector's poster & bookmark.

Children read six library books of their choice over the holidays. Collect a sticker for each book read – some are scratch & sniff!

There is a certificate and medal for everyone who finishes; under-3s will receive a special sticker medal.

Where: Cambridgeshire Libraries.

When: On now

More details: facebook.com/CambslibFamilies and follow @cambslib on Twitter

Cambridge Botanic Garden
Cambridge Botanic Garden

Bat hunting at the Botanic Garden

Head out for a twilight ramble through the Botanic Garden and learn about the secret world of bats. There will be a chance to use bat detector equipment, find out about what bats eat, where they live and have your questions answered. Suitable for adults and accompanied children aged eight-plus Price £5. Please note this event is weather dependent.

Where: Cambridge Botanic Garden.

When: 7.30-9pm, Thursday August 19

More details: botanic.cam.ac.uk

Free music in the park

Fancy a lazy Sunday afternoon picnic listening to family-friendly live music? This summer Cambridge City Council is putting on a series of free concerts. The music ranges from jazz and folk to brass bands, and will take place in a variety of neighbourhood parks, including Cherry Hinton Hall and Jesus Green, on Sunday afternoons during August and September.

Where: Cambridge city parks

On Sunday afternoons in August and September.

More details: cambridgelive.org.uk/city-events

Entertain the kids this summer with handy hints from our guide.
Entertain the kids this summer with handy hints from our guide.

Playdaze free activities

Turn up and play sessions are being held in the city’s parks throughout the summer with an exciting programme of activities run by the city council’s Children and Young People’s Participation Service (ChYpPS).

The PlayDaze sessions are for primary-school aged children and their families from Monday July 26-Friday August 20. These are a mix of ‘turn up and play’ sessions in local parks around Cambridge, and online sessions giving children the chance to take part in a variety of art, crafts, sports, music, wellbeing and play activities.

Bookings for the online sessions can be made by email at chypps@cambridge.gov.uk with a maximum of two bookings per family. They are free to join.

Where: Cambridge parks

When: July 26 to August 20.

More info: For the full PlayDaze programme go to cambridge.gov.uk/playdaze or follow the link on Facebook at facebook.com/chypps

Raspberry Pi workshop. (49513147)
Raspberry Pi workshop. (49513147)

Free coding workshops

Raspberry Pi will be working with the Centre for Computing History this summer on its exhibition WEB@30, which celebrates 30 years of the world wide web. Visitors will be able to get hands-on with early websites, games, and e-commerce sites, all using the hardware of the time, while the Raspberry Pi store in the Grand Arcade will run coding and electronics workshops for everyone aged seven and above. The exhibition and workshops will run from Monday 26 July until Friday September 3 in the shop and everything is free.

Where: Grand Arcade

When: 10am-5pm, July 26 to September 3.

More info: computinghistory.org.uk/det/64614/WEB-30-Exhibition-26th-July-to-3rd-September-2021/

Enjoying the green spaces at Wandlebury Country Park (49720995)
Enjoying the green spaces at Wandlebury Country Park (49720995)

Holiday bushcraft lessons at Wandlebury Country park

Kids will be well equipped for a Swallows and Amazon’s style holiday after the bushcraft lessons on offer from Wild Thyme & Embers.

Holiday Bushcraft at Wandlebury is designed for children​ aged 5-12 and is run by experienced qualified teachers who will share their knowledge and skills of surviving in the wild.

All basic bushcraft techniques suitable for this age range will be taught, including:​

  • Shelter building
  • Knots and rope work
  • Use of cutting tools and whittling
  • Plant and tree recognition and uses
  • Seasonal woodcrafts
  • Fire lighting techniques
  • Wilderness cooking skills
  • Natural art and crafts
  • Woodland games

Children need to bring a packed lunch and large water bottle and dress for the weather. The cost for each day is £38 per child

Where: Wandlebury Country Park.

When: August 2-4, 8.30am to 4pm,

​More details: http://www.wildthymeandembers.co.uk/holiday-bushcraft-club/

Go fishing

It’s never too early to learn to fish and the Angling Trust has developed the Get Fishing Awards to help participants take their first steps on their angling journey - from a newcomer’s excitement at catching that first fish, through to becoming a more experienced angler who can set up tackle and safely return their own fish.

There are three sessions running on three consecutive days at Milton Country Park which will take you through the three awards with a qualified angling coach, John Pope from Everybody Can Fish. All sessions suitable for ages 5+ to adults

£10 per person per session

Where: Milton Country Park.

When: August 2, 3 and 4.

More details: miltoncountrypark.org/events

Try a family bike ride.
Try a family bike ride.

Family bike ride

For families who would like the support of an organised bike ride to take their little ones out onto the roads this summer, why not try the Strawberry Community Cycling Event?

Starting from Histon, the Strawberry rides have become a successful mass participation sporting event with nearly 600 people taking part in 2019. The rides are a fun and relaxed way to enjoy cycling along the country roads of south west Cambridgeshire and are open to cyclists of all standards. Participants range from young adults to veterans, from occasional cyclists to keen club riders. Everyone cycles at their own speed or with friends and family.

Choose from one of four routes – 55 miles, 28 miles or shorter 15- and seven-mile routes away from main roads. The courses are well signposted with support available from the organisers. Water stops and food and drink are available for sale around the course, offering a chance to take a rest, pick up a snack and chat with other cyclists. Entry fees are: family - £12, adults - £5, children - £2. This includes a fully-signed route with route card, pick up wagon, mechanical support, food and drink stops enroute, event centres with parking and amenities, medical support, post-event massages and medals and certificates for U10s finishers.

Where: Starts in Histon recreation ground.

When: Sunday, September 5

More details: thestrawberrycycleevent.co.uk/

Wild in Art - Cows about Cambridge..Live Trail..Pic - Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk..RMG Photography
Wild in Art - Cows about Cambridge..Live Trail..Pic - Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk..RMG Photography

Discover the Cows About Cambridge trail.

Can you find them all? Cows about Cambridge is a fantastic art trail with 90 cow sculptures all uniquely decorated by different artists dotted about the city, supported by the Cambridge Independent. It’s running for ten weeks until September 4 in Cambridge’s streets, parks and open spaces. To find the cows you can see the online interactive map at cambridgeindependent.co.uk, download the Cows about Cambridge app, or pick up a map from hubs around the city.

Smaller sculptures adopted and decorated by schools, colleges and community youth groups as part of the Learning Programme are also displayed as part of the adventure called the mini moos. At the end of the event the sculptures will be auctioned to raise vital funds for local children’s charity, Break.

Win your own Mini Moo

Create the best design for a Mini Moo and you can win your own through the Cambridge Independent’s competition.

All you have to do is download the design template or draw your own and send in a photograph or scan of your design. You can download a pdf template at https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/_media/asset/3ZZF20B1LKL9Y63JYQRL.pdf

Entries should be submitted by letters@iliffemedia.co.uk putting ‘Mini moo competition’ in the subject line. They should be received by Friday August 6, 2021.

Where: All across Cambridge

When: Until September 4

More details: cambridgeindependent.co.uk/whats-on/cows-about-cambridge/ and cowsaboutcambridge.co.uk

25 06 16 Cambridge views, Lammas Land play area. Picture: Keith Heppell. (49720860)
25 06 16 Cambridge views, Lammas Land play area. Picture: Keith Heppell. (49720860)

Make a splash

Head down to the city’s paddling pools for a chance to cool off and even enjoy racing on a lilo. The large pool at Lammas Land, Sheeps Green, Cambridge is only knee deep but has plenty of room for playing on inflatables.

Alternatively try the water play area at Cherry Hinton Hall park. The pool is 0,4m deep and is surrounded by a beautiful park.

Cherry Hinton water play area. The park’s large ponds and trees attract a diverse range of wild animals, birds and insects. Try out the interactive tree trail – you can learn about them on your phone as you walk.

More details: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/tree-trails.

Summer with the Museums

This summer Cambridgeshire’s museums are putting on a whole host of activities from learning how to identify fossils, to coding with scratch, finding out about some amazing women scientists or discovering what it was like to be a Civil War soldier. There are Roman, dinosaur and mosaic crafts, a medieval fete, a stained glass trail, castle craft, book making and more.

Where: Cambridge’s museums and collections

When: Throughout the summer

More details: museums.cam.ac.uk/summerwiththemuseums

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