7 Rainy Day Activities for Kids

BY: Editors | Apr 4, 2017

Parents have all been there: you and the kids are ready for a trip to the zoo, a couple rounds of mini golf, or another bonding outdoor activity when suddenly, you hear a crash of thunder, and it starts to pour. Your plans are toast—or are they?

Yes, the rainy day blues are a real thing, but a dreary weather forecast isn't an excuse to stay inside all day and binge watch Paw Patrol. We've compiled a list of rainy day activities for kids that will keep you indoors, but still get you out of the house. So take a deep breath, grab an umbrella, and head out on one of these rainy day adventures.


1. Splash around at an indoor water park.

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, swim in the wave pool, or float along the lazy river.

Pro Tip: For the shortest lines, hit the park right when it opens.

2. Jump at a trampoline park.

Though kids are guaranteed a good time here, anyone can have fun at a trampoline park. Who wouldn't love to bounce off the walls, play trampoline basketball, or perform acrobatics into pits of foam?

Pro Tip: Many parks also host full-body fitness classes on their springy surfaces, which eliminates any weather-related excuse you had to skip a workout.

3. Visit the aquarium.

Like most things on our list, a trip to the aquarium is one of the best rainy day activities for kids and adults. 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.

Pro Tip: Check the aquarium's schedule for feeding times, movies, and other must-see events.

4. Try laser tag.

Few indoor 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.

Pro Tip: Many laser tag arenas also boast indoor mini-golf courses, so your tee time might be saved after all. 

5. Solve a room escape game.

This option is ideal if foryou've got older kids who are too young to go unsupervised, but too old to be riveted by the eating habits of tropical fish. 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. While some escape rooms boast more mature themes (think zombie apocalypse), many are suitable for teens and preteens.

Pro Tip: Read our escape-game guide before you head out.

6. Take them bowling.

As Professional Bowlers Association member and coach Bill Spigner told the 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.

Pro Tip: Most bowling alleys have other rainy day activities on tap, such as pool tables for adults and arcade games for kids.

7. See some live kids' theater.

A kids' theatrical production is a great alternative to sitting on the couch watching that talking-toy movie for the billionth time, and a dark and dreary day offers the perfect reason to finally go. Seeing the action right in front of their eyes is surprisingly fixating to even the squirmiest of kids.

Pro Tip: A magic show or children's music performance are great alternatives to live theater.

This article was originally written by Andrew Goodwin; it has since been updated by our editors.