What’s on for families this summer at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

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There’s always plenty to do and lots to see at here at the Garden – with 40 acres of gardens to discover, families can travel the world in a day and discover plants from all over the globe – from tiny plants that live in rock crevices high up in the mountains to those that thrive in hot and humid tropical rainforests to prickly cacti that you’ll find in the desert.

Sally Lee, Learning Officer at the Garden says: “We have a fun summer lined up for families visiting the Garden over the school holidays. We’re especially excited to launch a wonderful new trail for families visiting the Garden. It’s called Plant Patrol and children will use a map to track down animals and their favourite plants growing in the Garden. The trail includes some really interesting plants and animals including a bat that is as small as a bumblebee and a tropical plant that monkeys use as a medicine. At the end of the trail children win a badge to take away with them. The trail reminds us how important plants are and that if we want to protect the animals of the world we need to protect the plants too.”

There are many different areas of interest in the Garden for families to explore including:

The Bee Borders – packed with colourful flowers of all shapes and sizes that are attractive to bees and a real honeypot for young explorers too

The Grass Maze - a fun spiral of tactile grass that makes for an exciting racetrack for our young visitors re-opens

Understanding Plant Displays - packed with colour where families can learn how plants tell the time and how they produce their different colours using chemical pigments

The Schools Garden - explore miniature gardens and play with our wooden toy house; toy wheelbarrows and mowers; have a go at being the Garden King or Queen by sitting on our wooden throne or leave your botanical finds on the ‘show and tell’ blackboard

The Glasshouse Range - home to tiny plants that grow high in the mountains, to prickly plants that live in the desert to tropical plants that love the rainforest and don’t miss a visit to the stunning Santa Cruz waterlily, Victoria cruziana, which unfurls enormous, spiked lilypads.

A limited number of free Explorer Backpacks are available for families to borrow from the ticket offices, to entertain and inspire children to get up close and personal with the natural world.

Also: drop-in family activity Saturdays on the first Saturday of each month and bookable events as part of Summer at the Museums:

It's not easy being green, Thursday 26th July
Ages 4-7, 10.15-11.00am FULLY BOOKED
Ages 8-11, 11.30am-12.15pm
Booking essential £5 per child plus Garden admission for accompanying adult.

Creative Movements is coming to the Botanic Garden to bring the plants alive with storytelling and movement. Come and join us as we tell the story of a lonely little cactus, moving through the greenhouses and interacting with the spaces as we go. Expect dancing, drama and lots of fun!

Butterflies and Moths, Saturday 4th August
Drop-in 11am-3pm
Children free. Standard Garden admission for accompanying adults.
Have a go at making butterfly and moth artworks using leaves from gingko trees. Learn how gardeners make new plants by taking cuttings and take your own cutting of Verbena bonariensis to attract butterflies to your garden.

Minibeast Yoga, Wednesday 8th August
Booking essential, 10.15-11.00am (bookings open 2 July)
£5 per child plus Garden admission for accompanying adult.
Experience yoga as one of the millions of minibeasts that live in the Garden! Breathe like a bee, learn different poses to stretch out and balance, play a fun yoga game and listen to a relaxing story. We will finish the session by making cute craft bugs.

Nature Yoga, Wednesday 8th August
Booking essential, 11.30am-12.15pm (bookings open 2 July)
£5 per child plus Garden admission for accompanying adult.
Challenge your coordination and connect with nature at this yoga session. We will be practicing different poses, learning how your breath gives you energy, playing a game and doing a secret garden visualisation. At the end of the session everyone will make a garden leaf mandala to take away.

Bats at the Botanic Garden, Tuesday 14 August
Ages 8+only FULLY BOOKED
Booking essential, 8-10pm (bookings open 2 July; limited places).
£5 per person.
Join us for a summer twilight ramble through the Botanic Garden and learn about the fascinating world of bats. As well as searching for these elusive nocturnal creatures, there will be a chance to use our bat detectors and have your questions answered.
The evening starts with a short talk, followed by a walk through the Garden, finishing around 10pm. The event is weather dependent.

Leaf Art, Saturday 1st September
Drop-in 11am-3pm
Children free. Standard Garden admission for accompanying adults.
Leaves come in all different sorts of shapes and sizes from smooth and pointy to jagged and round. Help us sort our pile of tree leaves and use shapes to work out what is what. Make a beautiful leaf shape artwork to take home with you.

See also our What's On pages for above individual events.

Book events by telephone 01223 331875 (nb bookings open from 2 July)

To see what else is on as part of Summer at the Museums click on the link to the left or download the Summer at the Museums booklet.

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