Inspiring Rainy Day Ideas for the Summer Holidays


June 26, 2021

rainy day ideas

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Living in Ireland, we are not always fortunate enough to have guaranteed sunny days during the summer holidays. So when the rain comes, you may be looking for ideas for things to do to amuse the kids.

We put together some inspiring rainy day ideas for the summer holidays to help keep everyone happy.

Rainy Day Ideas for Summer: Paid Options

We have divided these into paid options and then free/low cost ideas for you.

The good news is, most of these rainy day ideas will work wherever you live in the world!

Take in a Movie or Show

rainy day going to the movies

When the rain is pouring down and you are struggling to amuse the kids, a visit to the local cinema or theatre can be just what is needed.

From seeing the latest blockbusters to enjoying a matinee or evening show at the theatre you are sure to find some inspiration from local listings.

As an alternative low cost adventure, you could turn the TV room into a cinema, with homemade tickets, popcorn and darkened room. Or get everyone to write and perform a play or a puppet show.

Visit an Activity, Discovery or Play Centre

Bowling pins at Leisureplex rainy day ideas

A visit to an activity, discovery or play centre offers a super way to amuse kids of all ages, especially if they offer several different activities to choose from. And parents usually get a break too with some time out to enjoy a cuppa or a catch up with friends.

Look out for offers for off-peak times or on discount sites like Groupon or Living Social to help keep the costs down.

Or for a home-based version of this, set up an obstacle course in your garden for the kids to enjoy.

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Escape Time

Family Escape Rooms Ireland

Escape Rooms have become very popular over the last number of years, most larger towns and cities offer at least one Escape experience to try. Check the recommended age before you go, they do tend to be for older kids although in my experience younger kids enjoy puzzles too and enjoy being part of the group even if they can’t solve it themselves.

If you live in or are visiting Ireland we have a handy list of Escape Rooms here.

Go Underground

Get underground and out of the rain with a visit to a cave, mine or even a crypt! There are lots of these underground experiences to choose from and often they offer guided tours and have other attractions attached.

An alternative is to go cave kayaking, combining both time on water and getting underground. And as you will be getting wet anyway, the rain shouldn’t matter!

Hop On the Train, Bus or Boat

train ride

Be a tourist for the day and hop on the train or bus to a new area. If you already have travel passes, this is a good low cost day out. Pick a public transport bus, train or tram route and stay on until the end of the line before returning home or go in the opposite direction to your usual route!

Have you ever been on a tour of your own city? It is surprising what you can discover on a bus tour around your own city or by going further afield.

Another great option is a boat tour. So if you have a river or lake near you, check out if there are tour boat operators and enjoy learning more about where you live and getting a different perspective of the town from the water.

Go Back in Time

family museum visit

Visit a Castle or a stately home to take a trip back in time. Many now offer interactive visitor centres and guided tours. Some even have family tours and dress up facilities.

Heritage and other historical sites in your area are also another way of stepping back into time. Check if they offer free entry on certain days of the month to plan a visit then if budgets are tight.


From super scavenger hunts and exciting science experiments to creative arts and crafts and active obstacle courses, here are 50 rainy day activities that are easy to do, budget-friendly, and LOTS of fun!

50 Fun Rainy Day Ideas for Kids Checklist - Mykidstime

Rainy Day Ideas for Summer: Free or Lower Cost Options

Check Out Your Local Libraries, Museums & Galleries

children in library

Libraries often offer story times, workshops, games, colouring sheets and other fun activities alongside book rental. Many have summer reading schemes that kids and teens can sign up to so they keep up with reading during the summer months and get to discover new authors they may not have read before.

Many museums and art galleries are free to visit and make for an interesting rainy day out.

If you live in or are visiting in Ireland, we have a list of the best museums to visit with kids in Ireland to get you started, many of these offer free entry to families. Over the water, here are the most family-friendly museums in the UK.

Get Creative with Art & Crafts

rainy day activities

Inspired by your gallery or museum visit, break out the arts and crafts and get creative. Cover the kitchen table or floor with a disposable table cloth and let everyone get messy. From collages to paintings and pottery to drawing, the possibilities are endless!

Have a Duvet Day

Remember duvet days, pre kids? On a rainy day there is no better feeling than shutting the curtains, staying in your PJs and chilling out with your favourite movie, book, music or dusting off the board games or cards to play some fun card games together.

Jump in Puddles

rainy day jumping in puddles

Embrace the rain with a trip outdoors. Get everyone into wellies and rain gear and go for a walk, jumping in muddy puddles is obligatory!

Swim and Splash

kids wetsuits at the beach rainy day activities

A trip to the beach is always fun in the rain. Leave your clothes and towel in the car and hop in. You are going to get wet anyway!

Here are some ideas for Fun Things to Do at the Beach with Kids

Take a Road Trip

car ride games for kids

A road trip can be local or you could go further afield. Discover new places that you may not have visited before or how about letting the kids take charge? Get them to look up the route and give you directions on how to get there!

You never know, you may get lucky and rain may have stopped when you get there! And be sure to pack some food and drinks for a ‘carnic’, a picnic in the car!

Get Messy in the Kitchen

rainy day baking

A rainy day is perfect for getting messy in the kitchen. Whether you create sweet or savoury dishes, get the children to weigh, measure and mix. They will enjoy doing this and learn along the way.

If your children are old enough, get them to make the family dinner or lunch for that day while you relax, at least until it is time for the wash up!

You could also make playdoughslime or honeycomb, all super easy and fun to make at home.

Play Indoor Games

There are lots of fun games you can play indoors.

  • Make a fort
  • Create an indoor obstacle course
  • Set up an indoor disco
  • Create your own home cinema
  • Have an indoor treasure hunt
  • Play board games
  • Dressing up
  • Do magic tricks or play cards
  • Have a game of charades, the possibilities are endless

We have other indoor games ideas here.

Inspiring Rainy Day Ideas For The Summer Holidays

Like this? Share it with your network!

Like this? Share it with your network!


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