Childcare Office

Cambridge Area

This section includes details of places to eat and things to do, both in Cambridge itself and a little further away. A helpful site, which lists family activities is Day Out With The Kids.

The University Student Parent Newsletters include listings for upcoming family events and activities. For more information about events and places to visit, see Visit Cambridge.

At the time of writing everything included in this section was accurate. However, venues and facilities do change so if an entry appears out of date please let us know. We hope you find this area guide useful and would appreciate any feedback or comments on places you have tried.

Baby Changing Facilities

Nappy (diaper) changing facilities are available at all Cambridge Park & Ride sites, major supermarkets, and at public toilets listed on the Cambridge City Council site. In addition, the following also have facilities:

  • BHS, Grafton Centre
  • Boots, St. Andrew's Street
  • Burger King, St. Andrew's Street
  • Cambridge Railway Station
  • Corn Exchange, Wheeler Street
  • Debenhams, Grafton Centre
  • Drummer Street Bus Station
  • Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street
  • Grafton Centre
  • Grand Arcade
  • John Lewis, Downing Street
  • McDonalds, Rose Crescent
  • Mothercare, Grafton Centre
  • Park Street Car Park
  • Quayside
  • Starbucks, various locations

Family Friendly Places to Eat

Some ideas for places popular with children:

Bella Italia

Newnham Mill, Newnham Road
Cambridge Leisure Park
Grafton Centre, Cambridge

  • Family restaurant with small bar area
  • Children's menu with unlimited soft drinks
  • High chairs available on request
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Free activity book including puzzles

Browns

23 Trumpington Street

  • Children's menu and soft drinks
  • Free colouring sheets and crayons for all children
  • High chairs available
  • Baby changing facilities in the disabled access toilet

Frankie & Benny's

Cambridge Leisure Park

  • Children's menu
  • Birthday parties can be pre-booked
  • Free children’s activity pack available

Clowns (Italian)

54 Kings Street; Tel: 01223 355711

  • No children's menu but will make half-portions if requested
  • Available for parties
  • Roof garden upstairs which is non-smoking

Pizza Express

7a Jesus Lane
26–28 Regent Street
28 St Andrew's Street

  • Welcome families to all parts of the restaurant
  • Children's menu
  • Baby changing facilities
  • High chairs
  • Have bottle warmers and will heat up baby food

Pizza Hut

19–21 Regent Street
83 Mill Road
Cambridge Retail Park, Newmarket Road

  • Family restaurant with free activities book for children
  • Children's menu
  • High chairs available
  • Bottle warmers available
  • Ice cream factory - very popular with children!

Rainbow Cafe (Vegetarian)

9a Kings Parade

  • Provides free organic vegan and vegetarian baby food in jars
  • High chair available
  • Children's menu available

Tatties

11 Sussex Street; Tel: 01223 323399
15 Trinity Street; Tel: 01223 357766

  • Children's menu available
  • Eat in or take away
  • Good vegetarian and vegan options

Things To Do In Cambridge: Indoor

Fitzwilliam Museum

Free entry for all with art galleries galore and a cafe serving all day. Baby changing facilities are provided. Families with younger children can book out the Fitz Kits free of charge to take children on an adventure tour through the galleries (see the website for details). Various free children's events are regularly organised.

Cambridge Central Library

Includes a children's book section and good range of videos, DVDs and CDs for hire as well as free story and rhyme sessions for children. There are books in foreign languages, an on-site cafe as well as computers, printers, fax machines and photocopiers which can be used for a small charge. Any Cambridge resident can become a member for free — you just need to take along proof of address.

Corn Exchange Theatre

Balanced entertainment programme with pop acts, comedy nights and a Christmas panto: check out the cheaper matinee shows for a good deal. The Cafe-Bar is open to children and provides cold snacks throughout the day.

The Junction

Excellent performance venue with regularly scheduled children's theatre and family events

Parkside, Abbey and King's Hedges Swimming Pools

Parkside Pool is the biggest in Cambridge with eight 25m lanes. Includes two flume rides plus a children's water area and seating for supervisors. There are family changing cabins and various classes for all ages.

Abbey Pool has a large teaching pool, ideal for younger children, and baby and toddler swimming lessons.

King's Hedges Pool is also an indoor teaching pool (15m long and 0.9m deep). The pool runs regular Splash School classes and has dedicated disabled changing rooms and shower facilities.

Vue Cinema

8 screen cinema within the Grafton Centre showing all the blockbusters: films run throughout the day with discount tickets for children and students before 5 pm on weekdays. Family tickets (2 × adults, 2 × children) are also available. There is an on-site multi-storey car park which is very convenient but expensive and baby changing facilities. Kids AM club screens a selected kids film every Saturday and Sunday.

Arts Picture House Cinema

This 3 screen arts cinema shows a wide variety of films. There is a Kid's Club on Saturdays suitable for 3–10 year olds. On Wednesday mornings is Big Scream, a club for new parents and their babies (under 1 year) where you can see the latest releases with your child accompanying for free. See the website for details.

Cineworld cinema

Cambridge multiplex cinema based at the Cambridge Leisure Park. Children's film club every Saturday morning.

Tenpin Cambridge

Ten pin bowling alley with 28 lanes, a diner and bar, American Pool and various arcade games. See the website for regular special offers and games prices. Very popular location for children's parties.

Funky Fun House

Indoor family play centre. Soft play, slides, a sports pitch, special play areas for babies and for toddlers, party rooms and an on-site restaurant make up this particularly good for rainy days.

Things To Do in Cambridge: Outdoor

University Botanic Garden

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and students get in free (you'll have to show a University Card).

Cambridge United Football Club

The local football club is well supported and tickets are usually available on the gate — concessions are available for students and children. There are toilets and food outlets on site.

Jesus Green Outdoor Pool

One of the longest outdoor pools in the Country opens in the summer months. With changing facilities, grassy areas (ideal for sun-bathing) and vending machines it is well equipped. There is no onsite car parking but Jesus Green is just a short walk from the city centre.

Paddling and Learner Pools

There are also outdoor paddling and learner pools in Cambridge, open during the Summer months and free to use.

Outdoor Parks and Playgrounds

See the link for details on the many outdoor play areas in Cambridge, including skate parks and local nature reserves.

One bonus of living in Cambridge is the abundance of green open spaces; a few that offer more than grass are listed below. Obviously your child's safety is paramount, so we recommend that you thoroughly check any potential play area as equipment can deteriorate over time. The City Council's Children and Young People's Participation Service organises free holiday activities for children each summer using many of the local parks.

  • Alexandra Park, Carlyle Road.
    Has ‘soft’ asphalt, suitable for small children.
  • Cherry Hinton Hall, Cherry Hinton Road.
    Great children's play area and space for ball games.
  • Lammas Land, Newnham.
    A playground, plenty of space, a paddling pool and cows nearby. It also has a free tennis court.
  • Jesus Green, Chesterton Road/Victoria Avenue
    Has playground equipment near the river between Victoria Bridge and the swimming pool. Lots of space for ball games. Good provision for older and younger children. Victoria Avenue separates Jesus Green from Midsummer Common, another large, grassy space.
  • Histon Road Rec, Histon Road.
    Great children's play area with slide and swings.
  • Stourbridge Common, off Riverside and Newmarket Road
    Large open space that leads you right out into the country following the river. Good children's playground near Stanley Road entrance. Cows and horses graze on the land here.

Things To Do in the Surrounding Area

Wimpole Hall, Park and Home Farm

  • Royston, 12 miles from Cambridge

Wimpole Hall, owned by the National Trust, is an 18th century mansion situated in a landscaped park. With a walled garden, model farm and rare breeds centre it can certainly provide a full day out. There are parking facilities on site, a farm shop and two restaurants including the Stable Cafe for light refreshments. Check the website for entry prices and opening hours.

Planet Ice (Ice Skating)

  • Bretton, Peterborough

Popular ice skating rink. Check website for details.

Strikes Bowling

  • Angel Drove, Ely

Bowling alley five minutes' walk from Ely train station. Features Planet Zoom, an indoor soft play area for children under 4ft.9 or 12 years old.

Cheeky Monkeys Play Barn

  • Babraham Road, Fulbourn

Large children's indoor softplay area with extensive outdoor playground, sandpit with diggers, mini football pitch, tearoom, tractors and seasonal fruit picking.

Duxford Imperial War Museum

  • Duxford, Cambs

Children under 16 go free to this famous war museum. There are plenty of planes and helicopters to fire the imagination and a small play area for toddlers.

Shepreth Wildlife Park

  • Willersmill, Station Road, Shepreth (near Royston)

An animal sanctuary that provides refuge for a range of species from tigers and monkeys to domestic animals. Also boasts ‘Waterworld’ and ‘Bug City’ and a large pirate ship adventure playground for children.

Kreepie Krawlies

  • Venues in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire

Mobile soft play for children aged 0–4 years. Kreepie Krawlies is also available for private hire for parties and functions.

Ragged Rascals

  • Great Shelford Rugby Club

Softplay group sessions for children under the age of 4. Will also hire out softplay equipment for children's parties and toddler groups.