Tue 30 May - Sun 4 June
The cool, quirky and unmissable in Cambridgeshire this week.
Showstopper: The Improvised Musical, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Wed 31 May – Sat 3 Jun
With nine years as an Edinburgh Fringe must-see phenomenon, a BBC Radio 4 Series, a critically acclaimed West End run and an Olivier Award to their name, The Showstoppers have delighted audiences across the globe with their ingenious blend of comedy, musical theatre and spontaneity. Their heading back to Cambridge again after their successful visit last year. A brand new musical comedy is created from scratch at each performance of this award-winning show as audience suggestions are transformed on the spot into an all-singing, all-dancing production. So whether you fancy Sondheim on a ski lift or Cole Porter in Poundland – you suggest it and the Showstoppers will sing it!
Cambridge Arts Theatre, 6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PJ, cambridgeartstheatre.com
Ely Cathedral Science Festival, Fri 19 May – Sun 18 June
A month long event of interactive fun and discovery exploring science and the natural world through art, music, exhibitions and fun activities for all ages. Highlights include a lecture by Prof Robert Winston, a dinosaur dig with a life size T REX and a Sci-Fi Prom featuring music from favourite composers and movies. Headline speaker Lord Winston will give two talks suited to a young and older audience. His ‘My Amazing Body’ lecture takes place on Monday, May 29, and is being billed as a special event for children, exploring our “intricately wired brain to our squeezing, squelching guts and relentlessly pumping heart”. Then, in the evening, the fertility expert will give a keynote lecture for adults on the subject of ‘What Makes us Happy?’
Ely Cathedral, Chapter House, The College, Ely CB7 4DL, elycathedral.org
Teehee in the Tipi, The Willow Tree, Bourn, Wed 31 May
The late May stand up comedy night starts a day early but don’t let that get in the way of a great line-up. Simon Bligh headlines the night – you’ll have seen or heard him frequently on TV and radio, including appearances on Alan Davis Teenage Revolution. Supporting him are four others: Craig Deeley, Adele Cliff (Finalist Bath Comedy Festival New Act 2016), Mo Haroon and MC Rob Coleman. The Willow Tree has the most equistie garden and if you’re into comedy nights then this funny tipi is a great way to spend a mid week summer evening.
The Willow Tree, 29 High Street, Bourn Cambridgeshire, CB23 2SQ, thewillowtreebourn
Sacrewell Farm, Thornaugh, Mon 27 – Sun 4 June
You might know Sacrewell as a fab place for children to see the farm animals, run around in beautiful countryside and let off steam in the state-of-the-art play barn – but there’s a lot more. This half term there’s a diverse programme planned for little’s over the 7 day break: den building, bug hunting, duck race, pond dipping, leatherworks, marshmallow toasting, and black-clay-smithing – take your pick. By the way if you fancy a sleepover you can take your wigwam and camp overnight.
Sacrewell Farm, Thornaugh, Peterborough, PE8 6HJ, sacrewell.org.uk
Kids’Jewellery Making, Co. Fifteen, Cherry Hinton, Mon 30 May
After a big success with their adult Jewellery Making Workshop, Maxwell & Scott are returning with one just for kids this half-term (ages 6-12 to be exact). Bring the kids along to the workshop, and enjoy a coffee and a spot of quiet time for yourself!
Co. 15 High St, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge CB1 9HX, maxwellandscott
Garden of Surprises, Burghley House, Stamford
If it’s a scorcher I’d grab the swimmers (kids only I’m afraid) and hop over the border to Muddy Lincs to the Garden of Surprises at Burghley House. Water, water everywhere: enter the Elizabethan styled garden to discover what awaits. The moss house, the swivelling Caesar busts, basins of water, jets and the mirrored maze have been designed for the young, or those young at heart, who enjoy a paddle on a warm day. The garden exudes a real sense of fun – I’d recommend taking a picnic and making a day of it. The Gruesomely Grubby Sculpture Gardens is also worth an explore.
Rally Carting, Huntingdon
Have you a teenager who fancies himself or herself as the next Jenson Button? Jump in a Rally Kart or Quad Bike and test our driving skills. A great family activity to occupy everyone this half term, it’s aimed at the slightly older kids (age 12+). Once you’ve mastered the flat circuit test your nerve on an all terrain circuit complete with a mud bath or get behind the wheel of a four wheel drive
Rally Karting Centre, Kings Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 2NX, rallykartingcentre.co.uk
Half Term Activities, Wandlebury Country Park
It’s all very creative at Wandlebury Country Park this half term. There are Vital Spark outdoor theatre workshops for ages 2 up to primary school ages, bushcraft fun for slightly older kids, and fairy fun for the wee ones and how about going on a wild animal hunt.
Wandlebury Country Park, Wandlebury Ring, Gog Magog Hills, Babraham, Cambridgeshire CB22 3AE
Horrible Histories: The Best of Barmy Britain, Key Theatre, Peterborough, Wed 31 May – Thurs 1 Jun
The history of Britain with the nasty bits left in! Could you beat battling Boudicca? Will King John be a martyr for the Magna Carta? Will you lose your heart or your head to Henry VIII? Can Parliament survive gunpowder Guy? Light up your life with the great fire of London! Escape the clutches of Burke and Hare and move to the groove with party Queen Victoria!
Key Theatre, Embankment Rd, Peterborough PE1 1EF, vivacity-peterborough.com
Kings and Queens, Audley End, Saffron Walden, Mon 29 May – Thus 1 June
Put on a right royal welcome at Audley End – learn to avoid the pitfalls of palace life and impress your regal rulers. Uncover the ultimate curtsy, bow like a pro, and entertain without being a fool. Find out how to be the King’s right hand man or the Queen’s favourite lady in waiting at this school for novice nobles. Get it wrong and it’ll be off with your head!
Audley End, Saffron Walden CB11 4JA, english-heritage.org.uk
Superhero Half Term School, Milton Community Centre, Cambridge, Thurs 1 Jun – Fri 2 Jun
Calling all Superheroes! Two days of super action for those aged 5-11 including drama improvisation; superhero games, costume design, craft and more. The day finishes at 3pm but each day they will run a superhero movie from 3pm – 5pm.
Maxwell & Scott, Milton Community Centre, Coles Road, Milton, Cambridge CB24 6BL, maxwellandscott
Jesus Green Lido, Cambridge
Scorching hot then paddle on down to the outdoor swimming pool situated on the edge of the River Cam. What better way to cool down during the summer months and a fantastic place to relax and unwind with friends and family. There are paved and grassy areas around the pool so you can also catch some rays or stick your head in a book. The lido is looking very smart this season, as it’s just had a touch up over the winter. Jesus Green outdoor pool is now open every day until Sunday 24th September.
Jesus Green Lido, Chesterton Rd, Cambridge CB4 3AX, jesusgreenlido
Over & In Tennis Coaching, Various locations in Cambridgeshire, Mon 30 May – Fri 2 June
The tennis season is here and if you’ve got a keen little Andy Murray, or if you just want to get the kids out of your hair for a few hours then Over & In have tennis coaching going on all week from ages 4-17 at Buckden, Great Shelford, Foxton and Cambourne. Boot them out and hopefully they’ll come back knackered.
Discovery Club 8-11, Grafham Water, Tue 30 May – Fri 2 April
You’ll find The Discovery Club on the shores of Grafham Water reservoir just off the A1 at Buckden. The club is aimed at young people (aged 8 to 11) who want to try new activities, develop existing skills, meet new friends and have fun – it’s all very outdoorsy, taking place both on land and water (more likely in it). Discovery Clubs run on selected days during school holidays from 8.30am until 5.30pm and a healthy packed lunch will be provided. They’re also running the club in July and August if you’re looking for summer hols activities.
Grafham Water Centre, Perry, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 0GW, grafham-water-centre.co.uk
Linton Zoo, Linton, Cambridgeshire
An uncommercialised animal sanctuary set in 18 acres of beautiful gardens with plenty of picnic areas. This place is all about the animals with a wealth of rare and exotic wildlife to see including tigers, Lions, tapirs, lemurs, owls, parrots, giant tortoises, and tarantula spiders. Since opening in 1972, the Simmons family has built up a positive worldwide reputation for its success with breeding endangered species and is especially respected for its work with animals often regarded as difficult. Linton Zoo scheduled events during the summer months and holidays, the run behind the scenes tours, get up and personal with the smaller animals and kid friendly talks on some of the more bigger beasts. When I went last it was cash only in the coffee shop and gift shop so raid the cash machine on the way.
Linton Zoo, Hadstock Rd, Linton, Cambridge CB21 4NT, lintonzoo.com
Ferry Meadows Half Term Activity Programme, Peterborough
Ferry Meadows is a great place to hang out with the kids this half term. A vast parkland close to Peterborough it is easily to get to and these hols there are heaps of activities planned. As well as play areas, walking and cycling routes, cafes and more, there is a jam packed events programme including: bushcraft, paddle-power, kids club, sailing club, raft building, canoeing taster, wild crafts and a ranger walk for the nippers to find mice, voles and shrews amongst other things. Booking is essential for most courses so get planning.
Ferry Meadows, Ferry Meadows, Ham Ln, Peterborough PE2 5U, neneparktrust.org.uk
Fairy and Elf Festival, Audley End Miniature Railway, Sat 27 May – Sun 4 June
A first of its kind at Audley End – The Fairy and Elf Festival. The Picnic Area will be packed full of fun activities for children to immerse themselves in, including story telling, face painting, hair braiding, games area and craft making. Take an enchanting train tide through the Audley End estate woodland and dive into the magical land of our fairy and elf walk! Don’t forget to wear your best fairy or elf outfit too (adults too!). Booking is recommended to avoid fairy disappointment.
Audley End Miniature Railway, Audley End Road, Saffron Walden, CB11 4JB, audley-end-railway
Villanous Vikings, Flag Fen, Peterborough, Sat 3 Jun – Sun 4 Jun
This half term, Flag Fen is being overrun with a marauding band of Vikings! See them take on the local Anglo Saxons in battle – and meet warriors from both sides. Plus discover what life was really like 1,000 years ago when Danish King Guthrum came to England. Families can get stuck in to Viking life with a children’s battle, handling Viking objects, children’s storytelling and in the Big Dig Tent.
Flag Fen, The Droveway, Northey Rd, Peterborough PE6 7QJ, vivacity-peterborough.com
Strawberry Fair, Midsummer Common, Cambridge, Sat 3 June
From humble beginnings, Strawberry Fair has grown to be the most popular free, entirely volunteer run, one-day music & arts event in Cambridge. On the first Sat of June for the past 40 or so years, residents and visitors have gathered together on Midsummer Common to celebrate their vibrant and creative city. The event is run entirely by Strawberry Fairies (AKA volunteers) and it’s all about putting the local at the heart of the fair. The event kicks off on Friday night at the Prince Charming Ball, there are a few tickets left if you move fast.
Strawberry Fair, Midsummer Common, Cambridge CB5 8DJ, strawberry-fair.org.uk