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Fun Things to Do With Kids on a Rainy Day

Updated on August 31, 2013

Rainy Day Activities for Kids

Splashing in the puddles
Splashing in the puddles | Source

Modern English Nursery Rhyme About Rain

"It's raining; it's pouring

The old man is snoring.

He went to bed and bumped his head

And he couldn't get up in the morning."

(Copyrighted in 1944 by Freda Selicoff)

Rainy days can be fun!
Rainy days can be fun! | Source

Rainy Day Activities for the Whole Family

Rainy days usually keep everyone inside, but it can be the perfect kind of day to spend together as a family doing some fun things you never seem to have time for on other days. Whether your at home or on vacation, a rainy day doesn't mean everyone has to be grumpy. Here are some fun things you can do inside your house with kids on a rainy day:

  • Build a fort and read, draw, or color inside of it
  • Do science experiments with common kitchen ingredients (like make your own silly putty or make an exploding volcano)
  • Have an indoor Olympics with silly games like blowing cotton balls across the floor with straws or see how long you can balance a spoon on your nose
  • Use cardboard boxes and recyclables to build a castle, city, bridge or robot
  • Play board games, card games or video games as a family
  • Create silly parodies to your favorite songs and then make a video of your family singing it
  • Do arts and crafts together

If you are willing to leave the house, consider these rainy day activities:

  • Visit your local public library
  • Visit a local historical center or tourism office to learn about your hometown
  • Go to the movies or rent a movie
  • Go on a shopping scavenger hunt see how many items you can buy that start with the letter T for under ten dollars, or give everyone $5 and have them pick items to do a craft at home
  • Go outside and play in the puddles
  • Make a day trip to a nearby city and explore science or history at a museum. See chart below for ideas!

Plan Ahead for Rainy Days

When you are planning a family vacation, do your research to find out what places you could visit if rain ruins your outdoor plans. Although most areas have great indoor activities for kids that you can go to at the last minute and still get in, there are some that require purchasing tickets in advance. By doing your research and knowing what is available and how tickets are sold, you can prevent double dissappointment when rain ruins your plans.

The chart below highlights some of America's best cities for families to travel to and some of the outdoor and indoor activities that each city offers. Each city has at least one activity that is free, all the others are reasonably priced. I personally have visited seven of the cities listed below and of all of them listed, New York City is my favorite for kids. New York offers so many indoor and outdoor attractions and I have gone several times with the kids at different times of the year (and various weather conditions) and we have always had fun.

Fun Things to Do with Kids when it Rains While You are on Vacation

There is nothing worse than planning a great vacation and having it ruined by rain. Recently, my kids had plans to go to Virginia for a long weekend with their aunt. They were going to go to a water park, amusement park, and doing some sightseeing. On that same weekend, my husband and I were going to enjoy some alone time and do some sight-seeing in Pittsburgh. Well, rain changed everything that weekend. It was pouring buckets of rain up and down the east coast. Needless to say everyone was a bit grumpy since we all had been waiting months for this awesome weekend and now all our plans were ruined. The good news is, we found some great things to do in spite of the rain. Always, plan ahead and have a few places picked out to go to in case it rains on your next vacation so you can still enjoy yourself.

Cities for Families to Visit with Rainy Day and Sunny Day Activities

Rainy Day Activities
Sunny Day Activities
New York, NY
Madame Toussand's Wax Museum, Museum of Natural History, Indoor Ferris Wheel at Toys R Us at Times Square
Central Park, Central Park Zoo, Top of the Rock
Boston, MA
Paul Revere's House, Maritime Museum, Natick Mall
Freedom Trail
Washington, D.C.
Smithsonian Museums
Monuments/National Mall
San Francisco, CA
Children's Creativity Museum, California Academy of Sciences
Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown
Chicago, IL
Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Public Library, Lincoln Park Zoo
Millennium Park
Denver, CO
Butterfly Pavilion, Children's Museum
Botanic Gardens, Skate Park, Elitch Gardens Theme Park
Miami, FL
Zippy Rides Jumping Gym, Coral Castle
Amelia Earhart Park, Miccosukee Indian Village and Airboat Rides
New Orleans, LA
National WWII Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art
The Jackson Center
Atlanta, GA
Georgia Aquarium
Olympic Park
Baltimore, MD
National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland Science Center
Inner Harbor

Great Cities for Families to Visit

show route and directions
A markerNew York City, NY -
New York, NY, USA
get directions

B markerBoston, MA -
Boston, MA, USA
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C markerWashington, DC -
Washington, DC, USA
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D markerSan Francisco, CA -
San Francisco, CA, USA
get directions

E markerChicago, IL -
Chicago, IL, USA
get directions

F markerDenver, CO -
Denver, CO, USA
get directions

G markerMiami, FL -
Miami, FL, USA
get directions

H markerNew Orleans, LA -
New Orleans, LA, USA
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I markerAtlanta, GA -
Atlanta, GA, USA
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J markerBaltimore, MD -
Baltimore, MD, USA
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    • chrissieklinger profile image

      chrissieklinger 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      We had been going through a drought but then had a week of rain and I was inspired. Hope you get to visit the states sometime and visit one of these cities!

    • chrissieklinger profile image

      chrissieklinger 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Each city has some other places to visit as well but those were my top picks and all reasonably priced or free and great for all ages.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an enjoyable hub with a very useful table, Chrissie! Planning rainy day activities is something I often need to do where I live - we get quite a lot of rain. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania


      This is a very informative hub filled with interesting ideas! I enjoyed the chart of activities for different major cities. Thanks for sharing Chrissie! :)