Activities – things to do for free or cheap

A brief note on finance:

Big Sibs is run on a very tight budget and so where possible volunteers will engage in activities with Little Sibs that do not cost any money. Please see below for a list of ideas. If you come across new free activities that are not included in the activities below please let us know. If the parent would like to pay for the volunteer and child to take part in an activity this is acceptable and you do not need authorisation to do so as long as you carry out a quick risk assessment to ensure you are covered by our insurance.

If you feel your Little Sib would particularly benefit from a particular activity that the parent is not able to pay for then this can be discussed with the SCA office ( but authorisation must be given in advance. SCA reserve the right to refuse refunding expenses if authorisation has not been given in advance.

Student Community Action will ALWAYS refund any out of pocket travel expenses for the volunteers to get to and from Sib visits. Where possible volunteers will keep this to a minimum, preferably using a bike / walking or if not a bus. Taxis will only be refunded if used in an emergency or agreed in advance. To be refunded you must keep the receipts and bring them to the SCA office or email us.

Student Community Action will organise regular trips and parties for Big Sibs to bring their Little Sibs along to. We will not charge anything for these events although parents are welcome to give a donation. Your Big Sib leader will keep you informed of these events but you must let the SCA office know if you intend to participate so we keep a record of the numbers.

Things to do for free

Things to do for cheap

Seasonal events

Things to do for free

Bring your Little Sib to Bounce!

An SCA-run free club on Saturday afternoons.

Visit a museum

(check the website for opening times, exact location, and to learn more about the exhibitions)


Visit the city library in the Lion Yard

Fully accessible to all, this is a fantastic resource. The library has a children’s book section and good range of videos, DVDs and CDs for hire. There is also a supply of 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.
For the opening hours, check the website:

Let off some steam at a playground or a park

The Council has a map of public playgrounds and parks in the Cambridge area, including a description of their facilities and how to find them. Families will usually know where the nearest park or playground is, but they might not know about others that are easy to get to. Make sure to get the family’s permission before heading out, let them know where you’ll be and when to expect you back.

Find your nearest playground or park:

Visit a nature reserve

The Council has a list of nature reserves in the Cambridge area which can be a great opportunity to both let off some steam and also find out about local wildlife and habitats.

Find your nearest nature reserve:

Things to do for cheap

See a movie on a weekend

At the weekend both local cinemas offer children’s films at reduced prices – check the cinema’s websites for the latest information:

Visit the Botanic Garden

Cambridge University Botanic Garden runs events throughout the year. University of Cambridge students and under 16s get free access to the Botanic Garden – other adults have to pay.
For more information and list of upcoming events visit:

Time Credits

Our volunteers are eligible for Time Credits, which offer free tickets to local attractions such as cinemas, swimming pools and Clip n Climb. Sign up on the Time Credits website and email us about what you would like to do, so that we can allocate you the correct amount of credits!

Seasonal events

Most of the events listed below take place every year. If the links aren’t working, just google the name of the event together with “Cambridge” – this should give you the information you need.

ChYPPS Reccy Sessions – school holidays & half term

During school holidays/ half term etc, free outdoor activities are organised by Cambridge City Council’s Children and Young People’s Participation Service. Try looking on to find the latest sessions.

Twilight at the Museums – early February
Hugely popular annual evening event sees Museums turning down their lights, running special family events and trails, and encouraging torchlight exploration.

Cambridge Festival – March/April

Previously the Science Festival and the Festival of Ideas, the Cambridge Festival is both a celebration of the arts, humanities and social sciences, and explores aspects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics available to visitors of all ages:

The Big Draw – October

Launched as a one-day event in 2000, The Big Draw is now an annual month-long festival of over one thousand events across the UK. Every October, museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, schools and parks join in – inviting people of all ages to discover how drawing can connect them with their surroundings and the wider community.
For more information, and to find this year’s events, please visit

Bonfire Night Fireworks – Early November

Bonfire Night Fireworks take place on Midsummer Common. Check the internet / local newspaper for information about exact timing etc.

Mill Road Winter Fair – early December
Takes place on the first Saturday of December on Mill Road.