Family-friendly things to do at Wicken Fen

Visitors on an insect hunt at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire.

If outdoor activities and learning about nature sound like a good day out for your family, Wicken Fen is the right place for you. Discover everything you need to plan your family day out, from events and activities for kids to hiring bikes and taking a boat trip.

Planning your family visit

Here's the information you need at a glance to make the most of your family day out at Wicken Fen:

  • Baby-changing facilities are available in the toilets
  • Pushchairs and baby back-carriers are welcome
  • The Boardwalk and woodland walk on Sedge Fen are suitable for pushchairs
  • The Lodes Way cycle path is suitable for pushchairs
  • The road from the car park to the wider reserve is accessible
  • Drinks and snacks can be purchased from the Docky Hut Café which has indoor and outdoor seating, as well as takeaway.


Family-friendly events

Besotted with Beetles

Wednesday 3 and Thursday 11 August

A family event from the Darwin Correspondence Project. Learn about Charles Darwin’s fascination with beetles and how he went to great lengths to add to his collection. Discover how to safely trap and study beetles in your own garden.

Bedazzled by Bees

Thursday 18 and Thursday 25 August

A family event from the Darwin Correspondence Project. Discover why Charles Darwin was amazed by the activities of bees and what he learned from them. Then build a home for bees that you can take away and encourage bees to live in your own garden.

Discover what's in a pond
Children pond dipping with nets at Wicken Fen
Discover what's in a pond

Pond dipping

Wednesday 1 June, Wednesday 27 July, Thursday 4, Wednesday 10, Thursday 16, Monday 22 and Tuesday 30 August

Delve into the watery world of Wicken Fen to find out what is living beneath the surface. All the equipment you'll need is provided, along with a helping hand to identify the creatures you find.

Dragonfly Trail

Saturday 23 July to Wednesday 31 August

Head out on to the Boardwalk to discover the colourful dragonflies that make their home at Wicken Fen. Includes a dragonfly game to make and play at home.

Dragonfly Safari

Monday 1 August and Wednesday 24 August

Join in with crafts, games and activities all on a dragonfly theme, along with a chance to spot some of the fast-flying beauties.

Owl Detectives

Tuesday 19 July and Friday 19 August

Delve into the fascinating world of owl pellets to discover what’s on the menu for the owls at Wicken Fen.

Painting the Fens

Friday 12 August

For the budding artist this is a great opportunity to get some expert guidance and learn some basic watercolour skills.

Family-friendly things to do at Wicken Fen

Go on a cycling adventure

Explore the reserve on two wheels and enjoy an easy family ride to see the Konik ponies or discover the wildlife in the wider reserve. Cycle hire is open every day, offering a range of bikes for all members of the family.

Explore the Fens by water

Enjoy a scenic trip around the Fens and take in the different views from the water in Wicken Lode's open boat, the Mayfly. The knowledgeable driver will share the history of the fen, how we look after this historic landscape and the wildlife to keep an eye out for during your trip.

Take a boat trip around the fen
Visitors on a boat trip at Wicken Fen
Take a boat trip around the fen

'50 things to do before you're 11¾'

There are lots of '50 things to do before you're 11¾' activities to tick off during your visit. Here are some recommendations:

No. 11 Explore on wheels

Feel the wind on your face as you explore the fen on a bike. See if you can spot the Konik ponies and discover more wildlife in the wider reserve.

No. 25 Join nature's band

Head to the wider reserve or the Boardwalk and stop and listen for a minute. It won't take long to notice the music of nature and the longer you listen, the more you'll hear. Birds singing, woodpeckers tapping, reeds rustling. The fen is bursting with wildlife and the sounds of nature.

No. 31 Make friends with a bug

In the summer the fen is full of the buzz of insects, spectacular hawker dragonflies and smaller darters. See what butterflies you can spot in the woodland walk glades and over the wet grassland.

No. 33 Go cloud watching

With its endless skies, Wicken Fen is the perfect place to cloud watch. On a warm summer’s day, look up and watch the clouds go by. With a little imagination you can create whole worlds from the shapes you see there.

No. 44 Watch a bird

Wicken Fen is home to lots of birds. Birds can be shy or timid. You'll need to be as quiet as a mouse while you keep a look out for our feathered friends. Head over to one of our hides to start your bird watching, be as quiet as you can then sit tight and wait.

No. 48 Keep a nature diary

Keep a record of your amazing adventures in nature, capturing your memories of the animals and plants you’ve seen at Wicken Fen. Call into the Visitor Centre where you’ll find information about the wildlife you might see at the fen.