Our round up of all the things to do on a rainy day for children. We’ve focused on West Kent and East Surrey, but the ideas can be applied to wherever you live in the world.
The top things to do on a rainy day with kids
1. Splash and swim
Tandridge Leisure Centre, Oxted
Oxted swimming pool is ideal for families. It has a flume for older children, toddler slide, wave machine, pirate ship with water jets and inflatables and toys to use.
£4.80 for adults (non members) and £3.60 for 4+.
The pool at Edenbridge is more suited towards younger children. It’s warmer, shallower, smaller and only has one slide. There are often small toys to play with too. The main pool offers inflatable slide fun every Sunday from 11-12pm.
£5.40 for adults (non members) and £3.45 for 5+
2. Throw a bowling ball
3. Chill at the cinema
Oxted Everyman has just had a snazzy refurb and is well worth the money. It offers a luxury, boutique feel, world’s away from the out of town 8 screen cinemas. There is also a screening of a film every Tuesday for parents with children under one. Reigate Everyman has the same deal.
Harlequin theatre and cinema, Redhill
It’s kid’s club on Saturday mornings where all tickets go for just £3. Harlequin also offer a baby club on a Wednesday for parents and babies up to 18 months.
4. Visit a museum or art gallery
Maidstone museum, Maidstone
A fantastic museum for all ages with lots of variety. Dinosaurs, knights, costumes, stuffed mammals, creepy crawlies. It’s all here. Plus the cafe is roomy and has a small play area. A real gem.
Open Tues – Sat 10am-5pm
East Surrey museum, Caterham
East Surrey museum is small but has plenty for young children to do to help them learn about their local area. The shop also lots of goodies for kids including real fossils. Free activity days are often held in school holidays for children aged from 5-10.
Open Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 10-5pm
Honeywood museum, Carshalton
This family-friendly museum is set in a grade II listed Edwardian mansion house which sits by pretty Carshalton ponds. Occasional free activity mornings held. Tea room and shop open.
Open Wednesday-Friday 11-5pm and Saturday-Sunday 10-5pm
A collection of aircraft new and old for aeroplane fiends to coo over. Finish with a coffee in the terminal and watch the big guns take off and land.
Open Friday-Sunday 9:30-4pm
£7.50 adult and £2.50 children over 5
Horniman museum, Forest Hill
This underrated museum is in southeast London but doesn’t take that long to drive to from East Surrey (45-60 mins) and parking behind the museum is free. An photo is compulsory next to the stuffed walrus. If you want to brave the rain then Horniman park has a nature trail, butterfly house and small farm to enjoy too.
Open daily 10-5:30pm
Also London but a short 40 minute drive from the East Surrey region. Can park right by museum though have to pay. AHOY! Gallery for 0-7 year olds – and the All Hands children’s gallery for 6-12. Fire a cannon, get dressed up, load a ship with cargo, big map, Play Tuesdays from 10:30-2pm. Need to book tickets. Under 5s.
Open daily 10-5pm
‘Mini masterpieces’ is a class that all the family will enjoy as adults get to explore themes within the gallery’s collection before babies get stuck in with their own creations. Prices and times vary. Children are also encouraged to come along on Sundays for a craft session. Each week is a different theme. Art Sundays are drop in and cost £3. Suitable for 3+
There are lots for families to enjoy here including interactive backpacks, gallery trails, a noah’s ark and colouring activities.
Tick the history box and take the kids to this all-weather ancient Roman villa in the Darenth valley in Kent.
£7.60 adults. Kids are free.
5. Join the masses at soft play
Soft play is not one of smaller explorer’s favourite things to do, but it does have its place! Some soft play centres are best suited to older children, while others have separate sections for babies and toddlers. All, thankfully, have coffee.
6. Have coffee and cake at the cafe
The holy grail of cafes for parents is one that has enough entertainment to keep kids happy as well. All these cafes have either a small soft play section or area for children to draw and do crafts in.
7. Bounce and climb about
Do something a little different and go bouldering or climbing. Exhilarating fun for all plus great exercise. Chimera offers drop in sessions. No pre experience required but children must be supervised by an adult. Other options include White Spider, Surbiton
Minimum age is 5 years. Various prices.
More of the novelty factor than bouldering. Clip and climb promises ‘climbing meets theme park’. No climbing experience needed.
Minimum age is 4 years.
8. Leisure Centres
Every Wednesday and Friday from 10:30-12, Edenbridge leisure centre opens its indoor hall, blows up the bouncy castle, and digs out all the ride on cars, and soft play slides it can find. All under 5s welcome.
£5.75 (non member)
Same idea, different venue. Monday and Wednesday 1-3pm.
£5.75 non member
A supervised session of free play and gymnastics, promoting balance, co-ordination, mobility and fitness with the use of gym equipment.
Monday 9:45-11:00 and Thursday 9:30-11:45
£5.75 non member
9. Read a story
Libraries can be a treasure trove of fun on rainy days. They often provide free activities and classes for children such as ‘rhyme time’, ‘story time’ or various craft sessions. Visit your local library for details.
10. Pet a sheep
Don your rainy gear and go say hi to some farm animals. Children’s farms always have a cafe, and more often than not, will have a host of welcome indoor games and fun.
Bocketts Farm, Dorking
Godstone Farm, Godstone
Hobbledown Farm, Epsom
11. Make some plates
Glazy Daisy is a paint your own ceramics and craft studio in the heart of Tunbridge Wells. You can even become a member if you want to go again and again. Otherwise there are bundle offers or one off sessions.
As well as ceramics Village Ceramics in Sutton offers a pay as you paint session for all ages, though under 6s must be supervised. There are also lots of other imaginative sessions on offer. Booking is advised.
12. Travel by train
Or just get on your local train and take a trip to a station you have never visited before. Find adventure in the mundane.
13. Shop till you drop
Bluewater is the obvious choice. Just remember hundreds of other families will have had the same idea. Not for the faint-hearted!
14. Explore some caves
Go on a spooky lamp-lit tour through Chistlehurst Caves, a mysterious 22 mile long spiderweb of tunnels and caverns. Entrance to the caves is by guided tour only. Tours leave every hour. No booking is needed.
Open Wed-Sun and during school holidays.
Children 4+ £4
15. Embrace the weather
Dig out the all-in-one rainsuits, hats and wellies and go find the biggest puddles you can. Possibly the most fun activity out of all of the above.
Have we missed anythings you like to do on a rainy day? Let us know.