Free Things to do in Cambridge with Kids
There are many free things to do in Cambridge with kids. When researching out A-Z of things to do with kids in Cambridge we found lots of great museums, parks and attractions that the kids will love. Finding free things to do wherever we go is a family mission (here’s some from Geneva). I would like to share those free gems with you all.
Parks in and Around Cambridge
Cambridge is full of free parks and outside space that kids will enjoy. Outside of the colleges and Botanic Gardens, all are free to enter and Cambridge residents love using them. You can even find yourself face to face with herd of cows just outside of the city centre if you take a stroll on one of the commons.
The River Cam is an ever present companion in the city’s parks. If you follow it you will pass from city park, past college backs, across commons and out into the countryside.
Outside the city there are several country parks that are perfect for the kids to stretch their legs. My top tips are Milton Country Park and Wandlebury Country Park. Both are really interesting and fun places to explore. Milton’s main feature is its lakes which are flooded gravel pits, now used for recreation and wildlife. Wandlebury has a fascinating Iron Age Hillfort.
Here’s a couple of books to inspire you:
Free Museums in Cambridge
Museums aren’t everyone’s cup of tea with children (if you need tips on how to cope in museums with kids check out this post) but Cambridge has some great (and free), interactive options. Here’s a list of some of our favourites:
- Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences – the kids will love the dinosaurs (read more here).
- Kettle’s Yard – technically it’s an art gallery but it’s still a great place to kill an hour and introduce kids to something new (read more here).
- Scott Polar Museum – a small but informative museum with plenty for the kids to get involved with (read more here).
- The Fitzwilliam Museum – a big museum with objects from all over the world. They have free boxes of kids activities for all ages to keep them entertained as you walk around (read more here).
- The Zoology Museum – another small but awesome museum for kids who love animals.
- Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology – a museum with some seriously cool artefacts. They have activities for kids to do too (read more here).
Colleges and Cambridge Tourist Sights
Cambridge has 31 colleges which make up its university some are open to the public and some are free while others charge. If you decide not to go in and explore the grounds there’s still plenty on offer on the outside. Many have imposing and inspiring facades. Here are my top tips for tourists sights that are quintessential Cambridge (without going inside the colleges):
- King’s College – You can’t miss this one, in all senses of the word. Its huge and it looks like it’s straight from Harry Potter.
- Corpus Clock – a relative newcomer to Cambridge, the workings of this clock are fascinating.
- Trinity College – Another favourite college gate, just down the road from King’s.
- Mathematical bridge – this famous bridge is a foot exit from Queen’s College and is named for its design.
- Watching the punts – punting on the River Cam is quite pricey but watching tourists and students try it out is free!
Just in case you want to check out everything on offer for free in Cambridge, here’s a list of free to enter Cambridge colleges:
- Christ’s College – you are free to walk the grounds during opening hours (check website for more details).
- Magdalene College – Pepys Library is free to enter. Children under 6 are not allowed though (check website for more details).
- Downing College – the grounds are free to enter and enjoy (check website for more details).
- Gonville and Caius College – Visitors are welcome to walk through the College Courts (check website for more details).
- Trinity Hall College – visitors are welcome to tour the grounds and visit the chapel (check website for more details).
Paddling Pools and Splash pads
No list of things to do in Cambridge, UK with kids would be complete without the outdoor pools and splash pads. Cambridge has several outdoor pools and lidos including Jesus Green which you can pay to swim at. The city also has 3 splash pads and an outdoor paddling pool at Lammas Land which can be accessed for free during the summer months. Read more about how to get to Lammas Land to use the swimming pool in this post.