Rainy days don’t have to be a washout when it comes to entertaining yourself or the kids. So look on the bright side and have a bash at these far-from-soggy suggestions.
1. An in-tents experience
So what if you’ve had to postpone that picnic with the kids? Have it inside instead — and go camping at the same time. Set up a small dome or pop-up tent in the living room, or try sheets draped over a clothes horse or chairs. Now grab those cushions and sleeping bags and get comfy before tucking into that picnic.
2. Screen and heard
When it’s pouring down outside, make the most of your multiplex’s comfy seats and warm surroundings, and dry off while scoffing a bucket of popcorn. If you’ve got little ones, some cinemas offer kids’ clubs, special offers and double bills too. Alternatively, if there’s no cinema near you then why not try a…
3. Home-made movie marathon
Draw the curtains, plump up the cushions and settle down for a full-on film feast — it’s a great chance to dig out all those old favourites. What could be more appropriate than a classic like Singing’ In The Rain? Or how about grabbing a hankie and blubbing through Casablanca?
For the youngsters, snuggling under a warm blanket with the Toy Story box set will keep them amused for hours. To add to the fun, ask them to make tickets and posters for their in-house cinema — and even volunteer to act as usherette delivering their favourite sweets.
4. Be a culture vulture
Leave your preconceptions at home and explore the treasures at your local museum or art gallery. From dinosaurs to Dali, monkeys to Monet, there’s plenty for young and old alike. Museums often run hands-on exhibitions for youngsters, encouraging them to roll up their sleeves and get involved with the past. Or even just take a leisurely wander around the latest exhibition by yourself — you might learn a thing or two. Or three.
5. Pamper yourself
When else do you get the opportunity for a little ‘me’ time? Turn the phone off, grab a paperback and submerge yourself in a bubble-filled bath for an hour. Do a little DIY spa therapy with a facemask or foot scrub. Then add some more hot water and start a new chapter of your book. Those chores can wait.
6. Bowl ‘em over
Your local bowling alley is a brilliant place for the whole family to have a ball.
Rack up those skittles and have a contest to see who’s best — we guarantee Dad won’t be able to hide his competitive streak!
7. The bake escape
Love the Great British Bake-Off? Pretend you’re Mary Berry and tackle that recipe you’ve never had time for before. Who cares if it’s raining when you’re up to your elbows in flour and there’s a smell of fresh baking wafting through the house.
Get the kids to join in and you can create cupcakes to die for too. And best of all, you get to devour the fruits of your labour at the end of it all.
8. Book yourself some fun
Wellies on? Good, splash through the puddles to the nearest library.
As well as being warm and welcoming, there are thousands of exciting and interesting stories for you and the kids. Plus, there are always plenty of special events and activities too. You’ll be spoilt for choice and can browse the shelves until the downpour stops.
9. Dress to impress
Fling open the wardrobe doors and have a full-on dressing-up day with the kids.
Let them raid your drawers and pick out anything that catches their eye, then throw in things like scarves, hats, gloves and glasses. Why not suggest a theme or even encourage them to make up a play or a film? You’ll be surprised how creative little imaginations can be.
10. Take the plunge
If it’s wet outside, what have you got to lose? Take a dip at your local pool and suddenly all that water won’t seem so bad. If you’ve got kids, an hour spent splashing, sliding and diving will use up plenty of energy and stop them climbing the curtains at home. And if it’s just you, swimming all those lengths will get your heart rate up and do you good — meaning you’ve earned the coffee and cake afterwards.