12 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day with Kids
A dreary weather forecast isn't an excuse to stay inside all day and binge watch Paw Patrol. That's a recipe for bored or restless children. Instead, try this list of fun things to do on a rainy day with kids. These activities will keep you indoors, but still get you out of the house. Don't forget an umbrella!
1. Marvel at your local museum.
Some museums can keep kids occupied for hours. But even museums not specifically tailored to kids can leave them enthralled—think Chicago's fantastic Museum of Science and Industry, San Diego's USS Midway Museum, or Orlando's World of Chocolate.
2. Jump at a trampoline park.
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Kids are guaranteed a good time here–who wouldn't love to bounce off the walls, play trampoline basketball, or perform acrobatics into pits of foam? Bonus: Many parks have full-body fitness classes for adults on their springy surfaces.
3. Catch a kid-friendly flick at the movies.
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One of the simplest things to do with kids on a rainy day is to look up the local movie times, pick the most family-friendly film, and bring a little extra cash for popcorn. Has your child ever objected to going to the cinema? We doubt it.
4. Visit the aquarium.
While you can't visit most zoos on a rainy day, if you have animal-loving kids, a trip to the aquarium is the next best thing. You can easily spend the whole day inside (which means less time navigating the bad weather), and it's hard to beat strolling through a tunnel surrounded by sharks, rays, and colorful fish.
5. Triple-axel at the indoor skating rink.
Whether your kid is an aspiring Michelle Kwan or they just like slide around the roller rink, a visit to the local skating center is a great way to expend a lot of energy. And if the day is rainy and hot, the air conditioning in that ice rink is going to feel great.
6. Save the planet while playing laser tag.
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Few activities for kids are as universally crowd-pleasing as laser tag. Both kids and parents burn energy scrambling around the arena—whether or not they're pretending they're in a sci-fi movie or making pew-pew-pew sounds as they play.
7. Unleash them at the arcade.
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One of the easiest things to do on a rainy day with kids is to load up on quarters, drive 'em to the local arcade, and let 'em loose. Many kids are video-game savvy and can enjoy the arcade without much parental guidance. But you could also use the opportunity to introduce your children to the games you grew up with—Frogger, anyone?
8. Solve a room escape game.
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If you're wondering what to do with kids on a rainy day if they're older than 10, an escape room is ideal. Games take place inside locked rooms and usually last 60 minutes, during which time you and your kids will solve riddles, track down clues, and find the literal key to your escape.
9. Make an ice cream run
If your kid likes ice cream (and many do!), you can add a dessert run to one of the other activities on our list. A colorful ice cream cone (or sundae, shake, or malt) is one way to brighten an otherwise gloomy day.
10. Take them bowling.
As Professional Bowlers Association member and coach Bill Spigner told The Guide, "bowling is the best social recreation sport we have in the country." Parents, grandparents, and kids of all ages can play alongside one another, making it one of the absolute best family activities on a rainy day.
11. See some live kids' theater.
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A kids' theatrical production is a great alternative to sitting on the couch watching that talking-toy movie for the billionth time. Seeing the action right in front of their eyes is surprisingly fixating to even the squirmiest of kids.
12. Splash around at an indoor water park.
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Even if there's a torrential downpour outside, indoor water parks keep conditions ideal for a day at the beach. Most parks set the thermostat around a balmy 84 degrees—the perfect temperature to plunge down water slides or float along the lazy river.
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This article was originally written by Andrew Goodwin; it has since been updated by our editors.