Things to do on a rainy day

Things to do on a rainy day in Northern Ireland

Don't let the rain keep you indoors. We have lots of fun indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy whatever the weather, just be sure to pack your raincoat and welly boots.

There's a reason this part of the world is beautifully green. Our island shores see more than our fair share of rain but it doesn't have to spoil a great day out - it's just a matter of being prepared. Raincoat, tick! Umbrella, tick! Wellies, tick! So delve into that cuplboard and don't let our famous 'little bit of rain' stop you enjoying the great outdoors. Plus there's always a warm cafe to take shelter in if you need.

Boy splashing in puddles wearing wellies

Have a puddle splashing competition

When the heavens open there’s nothing more fun than pulling on your waterproofs and wellies and splashing around in the puddles. This one’s not just for children either; everyone can enjoy soaking up all the watery fun. And afterwards, why not treat yourself to a warming hot chocolate in one of our tearooms.

A guide showing a visitor the silver store at Mount Stewart

Go on a house tour

We look after a range of special places, from magnificent mansions to traditional thatched cottages, many of which are open for guided or free-flow tours throughout the year. Learn why Castle Ward is the only house in Ireland to have two distinct architectural styles – classic and gothic. Hear how Edith Lady Londonderry shaped the interior and gardens at Mount Stewart; view the beautiful Rococo plasterwork in Florence Court or experience life inside a gentry house at The Argory. Please note our houses have limited opening hours during winter, visit the property webpage for details

Inside the Tea Room at Moun Stewart

Enjoy tea and a scone in one of our tearooms

There’s always time for a cup of tea and our tearooms serve a wonderful selection of accompanying scones, pastry treats and seasonal dishes – from warming soup to a hearty pie. We have tearooms at a number of our places including Carrick-a-Rede, Mount Stewart, Castle Ward, The Argory and Rowallane Garden. Please visit the property webpage for opening times.

Make a mud pie

Make a mud pie (and other 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾)

It’s rainy season so mud pies are on the menu! All you need is mud, a mixing stick, some water and your own imagination. Make it as messy as you like, but as nice as you make it look, it still won't be good to eat! Just make sure you keep your eyes peeled for any wiggly worms that might have made it into the mixture as they won't be very pleased about being made into a pie.

The second-hand bookshop at Castle Coole

Buy a good book

The shelves and tables of our second hand bookshops display a huge selection of books from many genres and areas of interest. Run by volunteers, our bookshop are stocked entirely with donated books and the money raised from book sales helps fund conservation work so future generations can enjoy the house and gardens. Stop by and pick up a bargain in the bookshop at Mount Stewart, Castle Ward, The Argory, Castle Coole and Rowallane Garden. Please check property webpage for bookshop opening times.

Have a snail race

Snails love cool, wet, damp weather so a rainy day is the perfect time to find some and have a race – just don’t expect it to be quick! Snails move super slowly, so don't make your track too long or you'll have to watch for hours while they race. You can either mark a circular track out in chalk, or you could use sticks in a circle. Put all your snails in the middle of the circle and see which one reaches the edge first. Remember to look after your snails, so keep the track wet, don't leave the snails racing in full sun light and always put them back where you found them so they can make their way home.

Have fun dressing up

Children of all ages will have hours of fun the Costume Closet in Springhill. The exhibition includes a magical wardrobe, complete with amazing costumes to try on for girls and boys aged up to 12. Come along and dress up as a Victorian detective, a medieval princess, King Henry VIII, a tin soldier, a Victorian nanny, a Japanese princess or even a 1920s' gangster! Once you've chosen which character you want to be, take a walk on our new red carpet area where you can pose for pictures in front of a background of your choice. Closed during winter; check webpage for opening times.