Thrifty family fun

Wallet-friendly things to do this month

There’s a wide range of wallet-friendly things to try for all ages this month. First up, following all the calories you may have consumed over the Christmas period, the great outdoors offers a chance to stretch out away from the sofa and festive TV.

A New Year’s Day Walk, from 11am to 1pm, takes the form of a sociable stroll through Coton Countryside Reserve to blow off the cobwebs. Meet outside The Plough pub in Coton for this free event. The reserve is run by Cambridge Past, Present and Future, who offer another walk later in the month, on 16 January, at Wandlebury. The Winter Tree Walk, from 10am to 12pm, is led by a warden who will help you identify native trees using bark, buds and leaves. Meet at the car park for this free walk. Donations are welcome for both walks.

For something on the big screen, Saturdays at 11am is time for Kids’ Club at the Arts Picturehouse. Each week, a family-friendly movie, from fairly new ones to all-time classics, gets an airing. Tickets are just £2 each, for both children and grown-ups – though grown-ups without children are not allowed in.

The cinema also screens Toddler Time short films, for preschool children and their parents or carers, at either 10am or 10.30am on most days. Children’s tickets are £3, adults go free.

For a bit of culture, a visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum is also completely free. You could easily spend a day exploring the impressive permanent collection and the latest exhibitions, which includes Sampled Lives (running until 13 Jan), which showcases beautifully embroidered and stitched samplers illuminating the lives of girls and women from mid-17th century English Quakers to early 20th century school pupils. Also free to explore is the Museum of Zoology, which reopened last year with a stunning new look. Dating back to 1814, the museum is home to one of the largest and most important natural history collections in the country, holding some two million objects and showcasing an awe-inspiring diversity of specimens from across the animal kingdom.