The biggest things for children of all ages
1 The Gruffalo
A simple journey to collect hazelnuts has never been so eventful for Mouse, in Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s wonderful, classic picture book The Gruffalo, which is brought to life at Cambridge Arts Theatre on 21-25 June.
Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation features songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged three and above in a show that’s toured Britain and beyond. Performances are at 10.30am and 1.30pm and last 55 minutes. Tickets cost £15.50.
2 Wild Tracks
Have an adventurous day out with a difference at Wild Tracks in Newmarket, an outdoor activity park offering a huge range of exhilarating activities for all ages. Get stuck into go-karting, archery, quad biking and airgun target shooting (ages 12 plus) or immerse yourself in Battlefield Live games, in which you can experience a totally safe combat experience using sophisticated replica gaming guns.
There are ready-made birthday party packages available and a café too, if you’re looking to make a day of it. Throughout the summer the centre will be open until 9pm at night, making it ideal for an after school treat.
3 Open Farm Sunday
Head for the great outdoors and learn how cattle, crops and more are cared for on your local farm. Since the first Open Farm Sunday in 2006, the event, organised by Linking Environment and Farming, has grown rapidly, with more than 1,000 farmers across the country opening their gates each year.
Activities and times differ from one farm to the next, but may include walks, tractor rides, demonstrations and mini farmers market. Those taking part on 11 June include The College of West Anglia in Milton, College Farm in Duxford, Hope Farm in Knapwell and
Monach Farm in Hilton.
At College Farm there’s plenty to see and do, all for free. As well as a display of static vintage and modern machinery, visitors can take a farm tour, opt for tractor and trailer rides, watch a bee-keeping display and look at some metal detecting finds uncovered on the estate.
The farm covers 2,800 acres and grows potatoes and onions for major supermarkets, plus cereals, oilseed rape, peas and sugar beet. It’s on Grange Road, Duxford, and the event runs from 2pm to 5pm.
4 Fire Tech Camp
A leading provider of technical education for young people in the UK, Fire Tech Camps take place around the country in various locations including our fair city. Providing residential courses, day camps and after-school clubs, Fire Tech Camps offer sessions all about helping kids to make things with technology – learning design thinking, problem-solving, communication and collaboration in the process. Camps on offer, which are suitable for ages 9-17, include coding, robotics, video game design, mobile app design and digital music production.
Check the website to see what’s coming up at the Cambridge Camp.
5 MRC Laboratory open day
Become a scientist for the day at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, which is hosting a special open day on 17 June. Featuring hands-on activities, talks, tours and more, it’s a chance to explore this state-of-the-art, world-leading research institute located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
Among the activities on offer is a chance to see your own cells using a microscope, go on a Nobel treasure hunt or extract DNA from fruit. Whether you’re six or 60, there’ll be something for you to enjoy, and refreshments will be provided. The event runs from 10am to 4pm and entry and parking are free.
6 Barracuda Summer Camps
It might seem a little way off for now, but the school holidays begin next month and Barracudas Kids Camp offers a great way for children to try their hand at a vast range of activities throughout a week at one site.
Based at St Faith’s School in Cambridge, the camp features more than 80 things to do for children aged from four-and-a-half to 14, including archery, tennis, an inflatable water park, activities in the drama studio and art room and a motor sports track. Weeks available start 24 July and end on 18 August.
7 Ely Cathedral Science Festival
Ely Cathedral’s Science Festival continues this month with more interactive fun and discovery exploring science and the natural world. There’s a whole host of activities to get stuck into, featuring music, art, exhibitions and a range of fun events, with something for all ages.
Highlights for the remainder of the festival, which completes its month-long stretch on 18 June, are many.
You can join mad scientist Dr Bunhead on the 10th as he brings science to life with explosive experiments, mayhem and live music.
You can also have a romp through the history of genetics with Dr David Summers in What Darwin Didn’t Know, make lizards and snakes out of coloured glass beads at the Stained Glass Museum and join in with the launch of the Messy Science Project on the 18th.
The Science Festival Prom, on the 17th, meanwhile, will offer a spectacular evening of music inspired by the wondrous and wacky worlds of science and sci-fi. Expect music from Haydn’s Creation, The Planets by Holst, Dr Who, Star Wars and even a bit of Bowie. There’s plenty more happening too – check out the festival programme for the full low-down.
8 Family Jam – Sing!
Grab your granny (politely, of course!) and take the family to Saffron Hall for a sing-song to remember. All ages enjoy the power of song, and on 25 June, if you’ve got a voice, you can make music in this workshop led by Dominic Peckham.
If you sing every day at school, or only in the shower these days, it’s all about having fun and exploring the one musical instrument everyone has, the voice. Suitable for anyone aged five and above, workshops begin at 11am and 2pm and tickets are £5.
9 Hannam’s Wake Hub
Get out and active with the family this month at Hannam’s Wake Hub, which offers a range of fun, water-based activities on a unique, purpose-built site north of Cambridge. Try kneeboarding, stand up paddleboarding, open water swimming, inflatable rides or wakeboarding, which involves you riding a surfboard–style board, speeding along the lake helped by a zip wire-like cable overhead.
The experiences are suitable for ages six years and up, and Hannam’s also host kids parties with wakeboarding, inflatables and barbecue options.