Top family activities for November

 Our pick of the bunch of stuff for families to do in the next month

15 November Outdoor craft and storytelling for children 

Kids can get out and about in the great outdoors and get creative this month at Wandlebury Country Park’s monthly craft and storytelling workshop. Running on 15 November (10.30am-11.30am), the session will be led by Vital Spark Theatre, a Cambridgeshire-based company specialising in working with young people in a creative way through drama, dance, music and arts.

It’s aimed at pre-schoolers, children up to the age of six and young home-schooled children and costs £8 per family (up to three children and £3 per additional child).

4 November Bonfire Night  

Cambridge’s oldest and largest Bonfire Night celebration returns to Midsummer Common on 4 November (remember, remember – not the 5th!) for an evening of booms, bangs, sparkles, oohs and ahhs. Presented by Cambridge City Council and organised by Cambridge Live, this annual event sees thousands flock to the historic common each year for a huge fireworks display, bonfire and fairground. It’s free to attend (donations welcome), with the bonfire being lit, the fairground opening and food stalls serving from 6 to 10pm. “Cambridge is gearing up for another amazing fireworks display,” says Chris Pearce, from multi-award winning company Jubilee Fireworks, which is designing the display. “We are planning a show that will thrill and entertain like never before, with the introduction of a new range of impressive effects from Italy and Slovenia, in addition to the more traditional fireworks that appeal to everyone. The all-aerial display has been designed to have maximum visual impact with fireworks bursting up to a height of 200 metres. The display will feature sequences of shells and roman candles of every colour and hue imaginable, some novel noise effects, and a spectacular finale that is sure to take everyone’s breath away!”  

As always, it’s likely to be a very popular event (the organisers expect to see around 20,000 attendees), so allow lots of time for your journey and cycle or walk wherever possible. Donations of at least £3 are encouraged, which can be made by texting the word BANG to 70500. 

25 and 26 November The Buildy-Uppy Dance Show

This month at Cambridge Junction, Anatomical presents The Buildy-uppy Dance Show, a magical, fantastical hour of building, music and dancing.

This fully interactive show sees hundreds of boxes stacked, squashed and rebuilt into whatever imaginations can summon, from enticing caves to castles fit for a king. 

It’s performed by award-winning duo Anna Williams and Tom Roden, who create an enchanting, ever-changing playground constructed and inhabited by its audience. Join the fun on 25 and 26 November, tickets are £6 per child and £10 per adult.

11-26 November Cambridge Jazz Festival for Families

There’s a whole host of family-friendly events taking place as part of this month’s Cambridge International Jazz Festival, running 11 to 26 November. On Sunday the 19th, head to Hotel Felix for an hour of storytelling and live music dedicated to the First Lady of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald. You can also book in for an afternoon tea at the show, which is based around a new children’s book by bestselling author and illustrator Helen Hancocks that looks at the life of the iconic singer. Enjoy a selection of Ella’s most famous songs, plus live illustration and a short reading of the book, Ella: Queen of Jazz.

On the same day, join the supremely talented Cambridge Lindy Hoppers for a swing dancing workshop at St Andrew’s Baptist Church. Suitable for all ages, the classes will introduce swing dancing – the umbrella name for dances including the Charleston and the Jitterbug – and take you through some easy steps. With a Big Band Bonanza and Gypsy Jazz Jamboree also taking place on the same day, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to show off your new moves! 

On 18 November at Hot Numbers café, join six-piece modern jazz band The Alley Cats, who’ll be treating you to arrangements of much-loved Disney songs and tunes from other childhood movie classics old and new. 

Elsewhere, open the lid of the Magical Musical StoryBox with Sara Mitra and see what’s inside. This event, running on 26 November at the Unitarian Church, promises to transport children on a jazz-filled journey of make-believe, with song, percussion and movement. 

15 to 18 November The Gruffalo's Child 

Created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, the story of the Gruffalo has become a modern classic, adored by kids and grown-ups the world over.

In this, a stage adaptation of the sequel to the book, Tall Stories Theatre Company tells the story of the night the Gruffalo’s child ignores her dad’s warnings and ventures out into the snow. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist… does he? 

There’s singing, funny bits and scary fun aplenty in this family-friendly show, which runs 15 to 18 November at Cambridge Arts Theatre. Tickets are £15.50, show times vary.


12 November Tidy Up 

Your little ones might be more used to making mess than tidying up, but this colourful show from Peut-Être Theatre shows kids that tidiness can be fun and exciting! Using dance, theatre and a big dollop of imagination, Tidy Up is an uplifting journey that’s full of surprises, showing that chaos and order can live side by side.

Join in the confetti-filled party on 12 November at Cambridge Junction; there are shows at 11.30am and 2.30pm. Tickets are £6 per child and £10 per adult. There will also be a free arts and crafts session before each show led by a professional visual artist to tie in with the show.