Sign up for our monthly guide to what's on for families

To keep in touch with the latest news, views and family fun, follow us on Facebook & join in the conversation.


advertise with us nov 15

Advertise with us - We have a range of options available

Rainy Day Activities for Kids

Given the recent weather, we thought we would run an article on free things to do in Cambridge on rainy days. You know the ones where it either hammers it down, or drizzles continuously and never really seems to get light. Yuk. Before you and the smaller people in your life come down with a terminal case of cabin fever, here are our ideas for things to do for free in & around Cambridge on a rainy day.

Rainy Day Activities for kids – Places to go in Cambridge

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

There are quite a few things to do in Cambridge on a rainy day that will allow you to get the family out of the house and stay inside, without having to resort to a trip to the supermarket.

There are a good range of free options, such as many of the museums, and other options such as swimming, the theatre, bowling and soft play.

For a fill list, please click here for things to do in Cambridge on a rainy day.


Rainy Day Activities for Kids – at Home

Sometimes getting out is just not practical. We are all up for getting the waterproofs out, but strong wind and heavy rain can make stopping in the only real option and we end up (shhh, don’t tell anyone) turning on the TV in desperation.

For younger children

Glitter paintingWe have found that if you have any reasonable floor space in your house, it is possible to keep smaller kids entertained with some indoor games. Mark out a hopscotch grid with masking tape, use bean bags for throwing practice & make your own skittles with any kind of empty plastic bottle & soft ball. Clapping games can be a great option as well. Check out our pinterest board for more ideas.

You can delight younger kids by turning a post nursery / school snack or meal into an indoor picnic. If you’re feeling really adventurous you could always go on a bear or a gruffalo hunt around the house first. In a similar vein, building a fort out of sofa cushions or under the kitchen table can be a lot of fun.

If you can bear the mess, have a rummage through the recycling bin for paper & card you can use to cut up & make your own craft project. We also love the following websites for free printable kids colouring pictures

Another option is to drag out the dressing up box &, if you have any, the face paints. The latter can get a somewhat messy, but you can have fun trying to paint a lion on your child’s face (BTW, we are rubbish at this) and it does keep them very entertained. If your dressing up box is a little on the light side we have found that an old sheet or towel seems to go down quite well, especially the former when restyled into a superhero style cape or anything to do with princesses.

For older children

In our experience, you are unlikely to get away with entertaining your average 8 year old with a promise of a bear hunt to the airing cupboard. In order to prevent demands for access to some kind of gaming device, we have a few ideas up our collective sleeves.

Play competitive fridge surprise. Due to a high level of disorganization, fridge surprise is a very common meal in my house. I peer gloomily into the fridge, fish out those items that are nearest their eat by date & attempt to cobble together an edible meal. You can get kids to do this for you which has the benefit of getting them engaged in something & in (maybe) reducing your workload at the same time. If you need some help, we have tracked down a couple of websites that will give you a hand. Cook the most appetizing suggestion, ensuring said children are roped in to help. or

kid with guitar (2)If you have more than one child around, you can encourage them to create their own version of X-factor/Strictly/Britain’s Got Talent etc. This would have just been called putting on a show in our youth, but connecting it to reality TV seems to appeal more. To avoid squabbles or melt downs you may have to agree a set of judging & feedback rules, or at least have a rotating Simon Cowell (as it were).

In a similar vein, get your kids to spend a rainy afternoon writing and then filming their own movie. There are some brilliant smart phone apps around to help  – lots of them are free. The Guardian has a really helpful article with advice on what is out there.

Another possible option is to dust off the board games, break out the cards or find a jigsaw puzzle.

have some great options for kids card games & also a whole load of puzzles suitable for different age groups. If you have some complex jigsaw puzzles & are put off getting them out as you have nowhere to keep a part complete puzzle without losing the family table, get a cardboard box, flatten it out & do the puzzle on the box. The whole lot can slide under the sofa when not in use (this is a free version of a posh jigsaw mat).

Finally, we have a few more ideas for older kids on our rainy day pinterest board, including creating indoor obstacle courses & spy training.

If any of you have any great options for keeping everyone happy on a rainy day, please share via our facebook page.

DNesletter icon thumbon’t miss out! Sign up to our monthly newsletter to get the best of what’s going on for families in Cambridge, straight into your inbox!