Summer holiday activities: Cathedral visits

Immediately, and reasonably, the question is: “They’re under eights. How is anything about a building of historic interest interesting?” Surely you’re just spending an hour dragging them round trying to find the toilets and then keeping their mouths occupied with a bag of Bear Claws? Perhaps long enough for you to glance at a tapestry, avoiding shooshes and hard stares that Paddington Bear would struggle to rival?

But happily, no. They’re a veritable haven of activity*.

1. Hide and seek – this has pros and cons so you need ground rules (e.g. up someone’s cassock doesn’t count).

2. Count the dead guys.

3. Chase the monk (extra points if you locate the mead stash).

4. Find the ‘secret’ passageway.

5. Find God. (This usually gets some interesting feedback: e.g. the gravedigger; a cat and; If this is His house why is He never home?’)

6. Don’t step on a crack.

7. Which is you favourite stained glass window? Bonus: whole different activity making their own up when they get home!

8. Scariest gargoyle face.

9. Acoustics championships:

Tip: Depending on the timing of your visit you can actually leave just after the shop has closed so you don’t have to pay for something they’ve grabbed, broken and tried to disguise using other toys under the hawklike watch of the till assistant.

*So long as you’re comfortable with the probability of being asked to leave.

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