skip to content

Museums and collections


Exploring museums as a family is a great way to see familiar objects in a new light.

Throughout the year we run events and activities for families and children, including Twilight at the Museums, our annual evening opening for families during February half term, and Summer at the Museums, our jam-packed family programme during the school summer holidays.

In addition there are plenty of fun activities for kids of all ages available at each museum. Here are a few family favourites:

Fitzwilliam Museum

  • Story Starters - Pick up a map of the museum and a picturebook linked to the collection for you to explore together. For families with children aged 2-6.
  • Fitz Kits - Take an adventure tour around the gallery with a Fitz Kit box containing a selection of interactive games and puzzles. For families with children aged 5-12.
  • Gallery trails - Choose from a selection of gallery trails and travel to amazing lands and far off places. For families with children aged 5 - 12.
  • Drawing materials - Borrow a selection of drawing materials and create your own masterpieces. All ages.
  • Family First Saturdays - On the first Saturday of each month visit our Fitz Family Welcome Point and collect drawing materials, activities and trails to use throughout the Museum. All ages.

Kettle's Yard

Kettle's Yard is closed to the public for a major redevelopment and will be running an off-site programme during the closure.

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

  • Archaeology Kits - Get hands on and discover local history with Archaeology Kits on the second floor.
  • Colouring and Activity Sheets - Explore the collections and get inspired with colouring and activity sheets on all floors of the museum.

Museum of Zoology

The Museum is closed to the public for major refurbishment and will be running an outreach programme during the closure.

Museum of Classical Archaeology

  • Pompeiiana activities - Books and activities based on the Pompeiiana exhibition, including drawing materials.
  • Early years - Activity boxes, toys and books, including soft toys and building blocks to build your own Greek temple/Roman villa for both babies and toddlers.
  • Activity sheets: trails, worksheets and colouring sheets - plus clipboards, to get the most out of them as you explore the Museum. 

Whipple Museum of the History of Science

  • Victorian Parlour - Explore the drawers to find 19th-century activities and games with a scientific theme - design your own animations using the zoetrope or look at early 3D images with the stereoscopic viewer.
  • Gallery Challenge - Online resource. Ever wanted to run your own Museum? Choose your own objects from the collection, design your own case and research and write your own Museum labels!
  • Explore - Online resource. Discover the collections through interactive activities, images and research.

Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences

  • Fossil Handling! Sets of rocks and fossils to touch and explore and a variety of activities based around our collections.
  • Visit our book trolley. There are a selection of books to choose from about themes explored in the Museum, from dinosaurs to earthquakes and fossilized poo!
  • Puzzles. Build up the layers of Jurassic marine reptiles from their skeletons to their skins, discover the inner workings of the famous HMS Beagle and construct an ammonite with our in-gallery puzzles.
  • Activity Boxes
  • Poetry Board. Use our collections to inspire your own poetic masterpiece using our magnetic poetry board.
  • Tools of the Trade. Want to try your hand as a geologist aboard HMS Beagle? Our Tools of the Trade interactive will help you to find out more about the tools that Darwin used to map the locations he visited and to analyse and identify the geological specimens he collected. Find it in the Darwin gallery.
  • Find our Dinosaurs!
  • Trails: The Museum has free trails available in the galleries as well as the Cambridge Geology Trail available to purchase in the Museum shop. See below for details. 

The Polar Museum

  • Polar Explorer dressing up clothes - Get in character as a Polar Explorer with these dressing up clothes.
  • Gallery trails - Discover the Polar regions with a Pack-a-polar suitcase trail, an Explorer trail and a Climate trail.

Botanic Garden

  • Young Explorer Backpacks - Binoculars, a bug viewer, clipboard and colouring pencils, and a special spot-a-lot activity sheet for budding young naturalists to use as you explore the Garden. 
  • Family Saturdays - Drop in sessions on the first Saturday of every month for children aged 3-16. Learn how to make plant fossils, hunt for mini-beasts and grow your own plants.
  • Matthew's Library - A collection of children's story, identification and activity books based on the natural world and available to use in the Cafe.

Arts Award

Our museums also offer Arts Award for children and young people which provides a great way to be inspired by and enjoy museums. It is a national qualification for young people between the ages of 7-25 which introduces a range of art forms through a broad programme of cultural activities and experiences. Designed over five levels, the Award recognises the personal achievements and independent discoveries recorded by the award participants. Find out how we can support your child's Arts Award.