Top 10 wet weather activities

Planning a big family day out, but worried about April showers or May monsoons?

We’ve been hard at work thinking up great family activities to keep the kids happy during the wet weather. Don’t let rain ruin a day out; celebrate the chance to do something different.

From indoor activities to outdoor adventures, here are our top 10 ideas for having fun if the weather turns bad:

    Wild about nature

    The South Front of Calke Abbey from the Park. A 4-square Baroque design with corner pavilions, built for John Harpur and completed in 1703. The portico added in 1806-8.

    The rain brings all sorts of amazing creatures out of hiding, so brave the weather and you never know what you might find. From animal tracks to sticks and shells, be a wildlife detective and see what natural wonders you can discover.

    Top spot: Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
    Find the weirs and ponds in the middle of the park, home to all kinds of wildlife, plus look for deer, mini-beasts or much more.

    Visit Calke Abbey

    Puddle jumping

    A young child splashing about in a puddle by the lake

    Get your wellies on and make a splash. See how many splashes it takes to get the water out of a puddle, or throw in leaves, twigs and pebbles and see what effect they have – run wild and have fun while everyone else is hiding away.

    Top spot: Speke Hall, Liverpool
    Splash through puddles and get lost in Speke’s amazing maze.

    Visit Speke Hall

    Time for tea

    A delicious afternoon tea with scones, jam and cream.

    A sudden downpour is the perfect excuse to pop into one of our tea rooms or restaurants. Eat a delicious home-cooked lunch, stop for a cup of tea, or give in to the urge to eat a big slice of cake.

    Top spot: Kingston Lacy, Dorset
    Stop off for great fresh, local food and produce, including prize-winning scones. Anyone for a cream tea?

    Visit Kingston Lacy

    Indoor activities

    Child in Anglo Saxon costume looking at a warrior

    We’ve got loads of great stuff going on inside our houses when you come to visit. Escape the wet weather and pick up an indoor activity pack, play I-Spy or see what strange things you can find in our collections.

    Top spot: Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
    Be transported to a world of Anglo-Saxon kings, craftsmen and poets as you discover the incredible story and burial of a king.

    Visit Sutton Hoo

    Going underground

    Going underground at the gold mine

    Hide away even further from the rain by heading deeper underground. From crypts and cellars to tunnels and mines, explore our hidden places and you’ll forget all about the weather outside.

    Top spot: Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Carmarthenshire
    Experience 2,000 years of gold mining in this Welsh valley with a guided tour of these unique mines.

    Visit Dolaucothi Gold Mines

    Travel back in time

    Castle Ward

    Take your mind off the present day and discover what life and clothes were like in years gone by. Get dressed up in medieval armour at a castle, play with Victorian toys and games or discover if you’d survive the workhouse – what will you find?

    Top spot: Castle Ward, Co. Down
    Visit the Victorian Past Times centre, where children can step back in time and enjoy toys and dressing up in the Victorian Era.

    Vist Castle Ward

    Shelters to shelter in

    The grotto at Stowe Landscape Gardens

    Some of our glorious gardens have loads of temples, grottos and caves to find and explore – why not jump from shelter to shelter as you discover each one?

    Top spot: Stowe, Buckinghamshire
    With over 40 temples to choose from, stretch your legs in style as you guess their hidden meanings and choose your favourite one.

    Visit Stowe

    Wild water

    Weir at Gibson Mill West Yorkshire

    Embrace the wet weather and discover how it makes such spectacular water. From cascading waterfalls to rushing rivers, or even bubbling puddles, watch out for the wild water.

    Top spot: Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire
    Explore this beautiful wooded valley with its deep ravines, tumbling streams and glorious waterfalls.

    Visit Hardcastle Crags

    Fantastic photos

    Stourhead House

    Get a waterproof camera out and capture the weather on camera. See if you can find the biggest puddle, the muddiest wellies, or even the wettest one of your friends or family – and take a photo.

    Top spot: Stourhead, Wiltshire
    Climb the tower, hide in a temple, or cross a bridge – find the best angle to snap a photo in this spectacular landscape garden.

    Visit Stourhead

    Looking up

    Lindisfarne Castle from the north

    You call tell a lot from watching the sky – keep your eyes peeled and see if the rain is stopping anytime soon, what clouds are floating by, or even keep an eye out for a rainbow.

    Top spot: Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland
    Get great views on all sides of this stunning castle, dramatically perched on a rocky crag at sea.

    Visit Lindisfarne Castle