Best summer courses for kids – book now!
Summer holidays crept up on you and not sure what to do with your little darlings for the longest 8 weeks of the year? Don't panic, we've got your back - book them on to one of these fun courses and give the illusion of being a perfectly-organised parent!
This picture looks cute, but just imagine these two little mudlets are bored on their summer hols and to create this scene, they’re raided your wardrobe and the place is upside down. Not so adorable after all. Avoid cabin fever for all of you and get those kids of yours booked into some awesome summer holiday classes. We’ve rounded up the best on offer in Cambridgeshire from cooking and orchestra to ballet and science. Book them now for your own sanity!
LEGO Play, Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge
Whatever will they think up next? At Long Road Sixth Form college you can enrol your child on a three or five day LEGO summer course. We’re not entirely sure what skills that equips them for as adults (architects and housing developers, perhaps?), but who cares, it sounds like great fun. Each day has a new challenge for the mini builders to create, and they get to take a set home with them. (5 to 9 August, £149).
Arty Crafts Summer Time, Newnham, Cambridge
Running throughout the entire holidays (29 July to 30 August) for kids aged 5 – 12, these workshops are designed to encourage creativity in budding young Picassos. As well as art projects and learning to draw in 3D there’s an outdoor play area for letting off steam. Just be prepared for your house to be overtaken by your kids’ masterpieces! (£39 per day/£171 for 5 days).
Mad Science Holiday Camps, various locations in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk
Got a budding Einstein in your pack? Then ship them off to one of these five fun science weeks over the holidays where 4 – 12 year olds can learn everything from making things go bang, to the gory bits about bodies and how a lightbulb works. It’s a great idea to get kids to see the fun side of science rather than those boring physics equations I remember from my days at school. (£200 for a week, single days also available).
Oxford Royale Cambridge Summer School 2019, Clare College, St Edmund’s College and St Catharine’s College
Got your sights set on OxBridge for your child genius? Of course you have. Well, now you can see how well they’d fit in by sending your 13- 15 or 16-18 year old off to live and study in one of Cambridge’s most beautiful colleges for a one to four week course to get an introduction to studying anything from medicine and veterinary science to engineering and leadership. Too many skills and not sure which one they want to study? The New Perspectives course is a great option where you get to pursue a combination of subjects. Now how much are you willing to pay for your pint-sized professor to make the most of their potential. How does an eye-watering £4,595 sound?
Fab Science, Queen Edith Community Primary School, Cambridge and RA Butler School Saffron Walden
At these fun science day courses you can choose between Science Detectives, Fantastic Forces and Crazy Colours (or go for all three). Little ones (ages 5 – 12 years) are shown fun experiments they can recreate at home for their proud parents to enjoy/freak out about the impending explosion in the kitchen! They’ll be full of excited chatter about rainbows, kaleidoscopes, forces and friction and will be ready to analyse your fingerprints and DNA after they’ve finished. (£32 for 5-hour day).
Fire Tech technology course, Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge
Whether you love tech or hate it, there’s no denying it’s a big part of modern life so giving your kids an understanding of it could lead to one helluva career. Fire Tech run summer courses throughout July and August at Hills Road Sixth College for kids, from age 9 – 17, in everything from coding and app development to engineering robots and designing video games. Just don’t expect to understand what they’re on about after a week spent on one of these fascinating courses. (From £249 – £1350)
Kids’n’Sushi, Sticks’n’Sushi, Wheeler Street, Cambridge
Love a California Roll? Get your kids (age 6 -12 years) to whip you up some sushi with a course at Sticks’n’Sushi in Cambridge. On one hour courses (£25, 28 July and 25 August) little Japanese food lovers will learn to makes rolls and nigiri and bring them home for parents to taste (or do their best to avoid if the idea of your little one serving raw fish makes you go green).
The Cambridge Cookery School, D of E Residential Award – Cooking for Uni
Worried your teen will starve when they have to fend for themselves in Fresher’s Year? Cambridge Cookery has a five-day residential course (staying at Homerton College) where your soon-to-be students can learn to create healthy and delicious food for life. Each day is dedicated to food suited to a student budget and covers fish, meat, vegetables, pasta, rice, pulses, puddings, bread, biscuits and cakes. Just think – they might even cook for you in the uni holidays. It can even be done as part of their D of E award – just imagine how good the UCAS form will look! The course starts on 29th July and runs until 2 August. The cost for having kids who know how to cook? £1065 – £1395.
Art, Design and Drama Courses, Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts, Cambridge
Got a 14 – 18 year old practising their Oscar Award winner’s speech in the bathroom mirror? Send them off to one of the programmes at The Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts where they can hone their skills over a week, two weeks or even three. Creative children can choose between Art & Design, Film-Making, Fashion, Performing Arts, and Portfolio Preparation. Red carpet here they come. The programmes include multiple lessons, along with a full-day excursion and social evenings so they can get to know their fellow creatives!
DANCE AND DRAMA
Dramatic Moments, Burwell
Ha, we all know about dramatic moments with kids. But this summer course is the right sort of drama – a workshop for 6 – 18 year olds that culminates in a musical theatre production with a live band. It starts on Monday with a motley crew of amateurs, and by Friday they’ve been transformed into a professional-looking bunch of actors and singers, who put on a performance for parents and friends. 29 – 2 aug
RAZZAMATAZ Theatre Schools Summer School, Chesterton, Cambridge
Can’t bear to hear ‘Let It Go’ one more time? Send your little Elsa off to this dance, drama and singing summer school (you might recognise the name from their successful pitch to Dragon’s Den),which teaches theatre skills, prop making and other stage knowledge all based around popular shows such as Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Frozen. Morning sessions run for the littlies from 4-8 years, while 8-18 year olds can attend for the full day. On the last day there’s the requisite show for the parents. Ok, so maybe one last rendition of that song, but as its your little darling sinning I’m sure you’ll cope.
Stagecoach Cambridge Holiday Workshop, Cambridge and Cambourne
The weeks here that run across the entire summer holidays are divided into age appropriate groups (4-7 years/ 6-15 years/ 8-18 years) and are all themed around something different so your future star can take their pick: Cowboy Chaos, Legally Blonde Junior, Knight Fever, Join the Circus… The weeks are packed full of singing, dancing and acting, and children get to experience learning songs, lines and choreography to present a show to family and friends at the end of each camp. It’s a bit of a Cambs right of passage for anyone wanting to make their break on the stage.
Holiday Orchestra, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m a veteran holiday orchestra attendee, so I’m pretty well placed to tell you about this summer course. At the time, I thought it was not so cool to be playing violin, trumpet and be singing in the choir at this summer school every holiday, but on reflection I had the best time, made great friends and learnt some fabulous music. Children can join the orchestra, band or choir (or all three *slowly raises hand*) and then take part in a fabulous concert at the end of the week in the beautiful West Road Concert Hall. There’s also lessons on musical theory to help with that Grade 5 exam and the chance to try out other instruments like the double bass.
Bodyworks Summer School, Cambridge
Well-known Cambs dance school Bodyworks are running four weeks of summer schools (now that’ll tire them out!) – Musical Theatre and Urban Styles. There’s a show at the end of each week of course and it’s broken up into ages 6-6, 10-13, and 14-17. Each week is £150 and runs from 10am – 4pm and is the perfect chance for your wannabe Darcey Bussell to try out something different.
Cambridge Woodland Academy Summer Holiday Camp, Chrishall Grange
Running over two weeks this summer for kids aged 4+, this course takes place in Camp Elder on the beautiful Cambs/Herts border and activities include helping maintain the camp, playing outdoor games, building fires, and completing challenges. It’s only £35 a day too and imagine how good all that fresh air will be for them.
Bushcraft: Rainforest Survival, Long Road Sixth form College, Cambridge
So, we might be a little short on rainforests in Cambridgeshire, but should your little one get lost on holiday in the Amazon this course will prove very useful. It’s also a bit of fun for kids that love the great outdoors and hero worship Bear Grylls. Young adventurers will get to tackle various team challenges and create their own tribe areas and shelters. At the end of the course, everyone takes part in The Rescue Mission – where they can put their new skills to the test. Three or five day course are available for 8-14 year olds and cost £149 – £249.
Kings Sport Camps, Cambridge
Another course that this Muddy Editor can personally vouch for (seriously did I get anytime off in the summer Mum?). I wouldn’t say I was a particularly sport-mad child, but I LOVED the weeks spent here learning all sorts of different sports from lacrosse and football to cricket and Danish longball. The courses are for ages 5 – 17 years and you get to try over 30 different sports and you get a certificate at the end (I still have mine!). There are now three course in Cambs because its so popular – St John’s College School, Trumpington College Sport Centre and The Perse School. Ah, how I wish I was a child again!
Barracudas Activity Day Camps, St Faith’s School, Cambridge
This club has the option for children to stay from 8am – 6pm so is the perfect option for busy full-time working parents. Your kids won’t miss you either as 4.5-14 years olds can take part in over 80 activities including a waterpark. You can choose single days or full weeks and there are four weeks throughout the holidays to choose from. Its not all about traditional sports either. Fun activities include motorsports (errr watch out for kinds coming home and asking for a motorcar!), archery, fencing, dance, drama, and art. Skills Builder courses are also available and include Motor Mania (yes that’s the car one to be careful of), Lab Rats (that’s science, don’t worry no rates coming home to stay for the week) and Upstage (a drama course).
Paxton Lakes Sailing Club, Little Paxton
We’re a while away from the sea but sailing is still a popular pastime in our neck of the woods. Give your kids a great introduction by enrolling them on one of Paxton Lakes Sailing Club’s four day sailing courses in August. Courses run for 4 days in the afternoon from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Swavesey Holiday Sports Camps, Swavesey Sports Centre
There are six weeks worth of camps to choose from here (that’s the entire summer hurrah!) and they offer extended days from 8:30am – 6pm, perfect for busy working mothers. the days are divided into Mental Mondays, Tremendous Tuesdays, Wacky Wednesdays…you get the idea and include all sorts of physical activities from ultimate frisbee and crazy golf to bubble sorbing and water fights, making them perfect for kids who don’t dream of making Team GB next year.
Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club summer camp, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
Watch out Cori Gauff, there’s a whole host of Cambs kids hot on your tennis white tail looking to be the next youngest Wimbledon champion. This prestigious club is holding summer camps for one day to one week for enthusiasts as young as 4 years old.
Dynamic Gymnastics, Parkside College, Cambridge
Got a mini Simone Biles cartwheeling around your garden? Give them the chance to try out some proper equipment and different types of gymnastics this summer from 5 – 9 August with Dynamic Gymnastics. Gymnasts from age 5 -16 can try their chalked-up hand at rhythmic and artistic gym (you know the slightly bizarre one with the random ribbon and the ball!), trampolining and acrobatics. The course runs from 10 -12 each day and costs £65 for the week.