10 Things to do in Cambridgeshire this half term (plus 1 more for gelato kicks)
I know I'm holding my children closer and am a little more wary than I was just a week ago. Yes, half term can be a bit stressful; trying to keep everyone happy and busy, but I'm counting myself fortunate to be able to have such simple worries. My kids are easily entertained so I tend to stick to old faithful destinations. Beautiful Cambridgeshire is ready to be explored this half term. Here are a few of my favourites:
For outdoor fun
Can my kids run wild and happy while making noise and do they serve coffee? My short “happy children, happy mummy” requirements are mainly met by enormous playgrounds with plenty of space to run free and a café, there has to be a café.
1. Stanwick Lakes
It’s brilliant and not too far - Stanwick Lakes has an enormous adventure playground with the added element of water! The first park has open chutes where water flows through, up and round a sandy area. I have tried two approaches: 1. Bring wellies so they don’t get wet and 2. Bring wellies, watch them take them off get wet anyway. There’s a lot for them to do: zip wires, massive climbing obstacles, sand pits and water sports if they’re old enough. You’ll need change for the car-park and plenty of changes of clothes. I tend to bring lunch but the restaurant is close and great for re-fueling. Trying to avoid the dastardly shop at the restaurant entrance however is not so great!
2. Coleridge Recreation Park
In the South of Cambridge city there is a brilliant park calling out for a family day with a picnic. Good news is the pool and splash pad officially open on Bank holiday Monday 29th May for the summer. Pack up – swimmers, sun-cream, towels and enjoy.
3. Nene Park Trust - Ferry Meadows
Peterborough has a special place in Ferry Meadows. Acres of country park, flat paths suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. This half term you can join in structured events daily ranging from bug hunts, meeting mamals, to bushcraft. Check out the Facebook events page for details. There's a parking camera system in place so don't forget to pay!
4. Graffham Water
You can bring your own bikes or hire them there. It’s an active outdoor day where you can ride / walk the trail around the lakes. If it’s your cup of tea then there are structured activities and days so check out the website for more information.
Usual Suspects, the National Trust
5. Wimpole Estate
The Home Farm is wonderful for the children to get close to the pigs, sheep, Shire horses and birds running free. They seem to enjoy the hand washing station equally but that's fine. The House is pretty as are the expansive grounds – in short, Wimpole is gorgeous! A family favourite and regular haunt in the holidays.
6. Anglesey Abbey
This NT treasure continues with the #happiestoutdoors theme. My kids love to grab some bug hunting equipment or treasure hunt maps at the entrance foyer (and hopefully share it with their siblings / friends) to use through the day. There's a hay bale obstacle course, an enormous tree house, giant birdcage for the photo opportunity and acres and acres of space to run free. The Abbey is pretty even if just a backdrop though worth a visit if you are inclined and have time.
Outdoors with grownup extras
7. Johnsons of Old Hurst
This will keep you all occupied for a couple of hours. There are animals a plenty: deer, buffalo, donkeys, parrots, rabbits, birds and…Crocodiles too! Outdoor play with a bridge, wooden fort, a few ride on tractors and a tunnel slide through the hill. It has a great farm shop with sausages, meat, cheeses, fresh vegetables etc. It’s free to play in the garden and walk around the animal fields. The cakes and food are homemade and they have ice creams too! Check out the Facebook page for more information.
8. Burwash Manor
This place has an interesting array of 15 or so boutique shops including toyshop, florist, beauty salon etc. – ok it’s definitely more of a grown up place. That said, the Food Hall, farm shop is excellent (great deli with and lots of foodie things you didn't know you needed until you saw them) and "the Larder" café has a great menu. You can watch the kids run in the little play park or take them round the fields on the guided walks. Go with the kids next week then go back and enjoy it at your leisure when they’re back at school.
Food glorious Food!
If you’re peckish for something small, or want lunch, a cake, or just craving delicious food, Cambridgeshire has some gems. We’ve tried these a few times and all have been welcoming of us plus a gaggle of kids.
9. Jamie’s Italian
What’s not to like at Jamie’s? The kids menu is fun and interesting play on classic kids food. There’s often an interactive toy to take to the table and the waiting staff are unphased by mess, noise and crayons mixed in with the pasta at the end. Laura and I have taken our joint crowd a few times and always enjoyed the experience.
On a day out in central Cambridge, it's criminal NOT to visit Fitzbilies. It’s a grown up space but the children are welcome and will love it! Also, it’s perfect in term time day when the children are in school; you can work / chat quietly whilst enjoying the treats.
Bonus - Jack’s Gelato
Not your average ice cream, it's Gelato! If you’re in Cambridge, make a special trip here for a gelato experience you won’t forget. The excellence and attention to detail in the gelato is not to be missed!
I hope you have a great week and enjoy these places as much as I'm sure the kids will.
Let us know in the comments if you try them and please, we'd love to here of anywhere new for us to try.