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55 Fun Rainy Day Things to Do on Vacation

Dealing with bad weather on vacation? Here are 55 fun ideas of things to do if it rains on your vacation! 

You might imagine your vacation as an idyllic escape filled with sun-soaked adventures and uninterrupted bliss. Unfortunately, the reality can sometimes include a few uninvited rain clouds! 

And if it rains on vacation, you’ll have to scrap sunny-day plans and frantically search for rainy day alternatives. 

While you might feel a twinge of disappointment at the first sign of inclement weather, rainy vacation days can become an unexpected opportunity to explore, create, and discover.

This blog post is all about the silver lining of vacationing under grey skies. 

Whether you’re vacationing with your whole family, enjoying a get-away with friends, on a couple’s holiday, or traveling solo, these rainy day activities are a good way to turn stormy skies and disappointment into memorable moments. 

These ideas are perfect if you’re looking for rainy day activities for adults, ways to entertain young children when it rains, or ideas to engage teenagers! You’ll find loads of creative, fun, enriching rainy day experiences here, so don’t let a little rain hold you back! 

You’re going to love this list of indoor and outdoor rainy day adventures for every interest. 

So what if the weather forecast isn’t what you were hoping for!? Don’t let rain ruin your holiday!

Grab your umbrella and a raincoat — check out all these fantastic things to do on vacation when it rains!

Eiffel tower in Paris with tourists and rain.

55 Things to Do on Vacation When It Rains

These rainy day ideas will help you make the most of your vacation, even when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Rainy days can lead to some of the most memorable and unique experiences of your trip.

So, even if it’s raining, you can explore and enjoy activities you might not have considered otherwise.

Here are 55 top things to do on vacation when it rains!

Indoor Places to go when it Rains on Vacation

These indoor activities are perfect for rainy days!

1. Historic Sites, Houses, or Castles

If the rain isn’t too heavy, visiting a historic site, such as a castle or fort, can be a fun adventure for children and adults alike.

Many historic sites offer indoor tours or have sheltered areas, so you can explore without getting too wet.

Visiting historic sites are a grant way to infuse a bit of education and history into your vacation in an engaging way.

2. History Museums

Rainy days are perfect for immersing yourself in culture and history. 

You can spend the whole day at a large museum with multiple world-class exhibits and impressive historical artifacts. 

Or spend a few hours at a local museum to learn about the city or region you’re visiting or explore niche collections. 

Either way, your experience can be both educational and inspiring.

Love museums? Buy a museum pass for discounted admission to multiple museums!

3. Art Museums

No need to feel rushed when visiting an art museum on a rainy day. Take your time appreciating stunning artwork while you wait out the storm.

You might find modern art installations, exhibitions of classic paintings, or curated collections dedicated to particular artist. 

Art museums are ideal for adults or teens with an appreciation for art. Many art museums also have activity rooms with art activities inspired by their collections. 

Many art museums have excellent cafes, where you can get lunch, coffee, or a cocktail without having to brave the weather. 

4. Interactive Children’s Museums 

Many cities boast interactive children’s museums designed for toddlers, elementary aged children, and tweens.

Expect interactive exhibits on topics like technology and culture, and play areas that look like small stores, farms, or veterinary offices. 

Children’s museums are so much fun for kids! They’re the perfect place for kids to burn some energy when it’s too wet to play outside. 

5. Science Centers

Science museums often feature hands-on exhibits about technology, space, natural history, and more, designed to engage children in learning about science, technology, engineering, and math in a fun and accessible way. 

Exhibits are created to appeal to kids of all ages, so science museums are a great family destination. 

6. Aquariums

If you’re looking for a more immersive indoor experience, visit an aquarium.

Escape the stormy weather and venture into the world of tropical fish, jellyfish, stingrays, and more. 

Many aquariums also offer interactive zones where kids can touch and learn about sea creatures under supervision.

There might be water all around you, but you’ll be comfortably dry.

7. Indoor Botanical Gardens

Head to an indoor botanical garden. Enjoy exotic plants, botanical exhibits, and garden-themed gift shops. 

Walking among exotic plants and beautifully arranged gardens can be a peaceful retreat from the rain and a chance to learn about different species of plants and flowers.

Botanical gardens are a nice way to be in nature without being completely exposed to the elements. They also often have excellent gift shops!

Live band on stage, many people in the foreground.

8. Live Music

Explore a new city by venturing out to a venue with live music.

You won’t even notice that it’s raining when you’re enjoying live entertainment. Bonus points if you find spot with arcade games and great drinks! 

9. Theater Performances

Watching a play or performance at a local theater can be a splendid way to spend a rainy afternoon or evening. 

Large cities like New York or Chicago boast vibrant theater scenes, offering everything from musicals and plays to comedy shows and experimental theater. 

Even small vacation spots have theaters that showcase local talent or bring in traveling Broadway-style productions.

Children’s Theatre Performances

If you’re traveling with kids, find out if there’s a children’s theater performance happening during your vacation.

Children’s theatre performances are tailored to young audiences, with engaging stories, vibrant costumes, and interactive elements that can captivate children’s attention and spark their imagination.

See a matinee performance if the rain is supposed to clear up by evening.

10. Art Galleries

Looking for an incredible souvenir? Explore a local art gallery.

You can expect to find curated collections by selected artists, all for sale. You may find art galleries that focus on paintings, ceramics, drawings, or mixed media. 

If the original artwork is a bit out of your price range, look for etchings or prints by an artist you like, and have the work framed when you get home. (Prints are one of my personal favorite souvenirs!)

11. Lectures & Talks

Look for local lectures related to a specific interest or hobby you (or your traveling companion) would love to learn more about.

See if a local bookstore is hosting a book reading by a local author, or a local university is hosting a lecture on the area’s history or ecological efforts.

Showing up for a local talk is an interesting way to engage your mind, meet like-minded individuals, and gain new insights into the area where you’re traveling.

12. See a Movie

A movie theater can be a great place to spend a rainy day or evening.

Check out a local cinema showcasing independent films you can’t watch at home, or take in a blockbuster on the big screen.

13. Arts and Crafts Workshops

Do something artistic! 

Look for local craft stores or studios that offer workshops designed for adults or children.

You could find classes for pottery painting, photography,  painting,  bead making, scrapbooking, or even simple woodworking projects.

Arts and crafts classes are a creative way to spend a few hours, and you’ll have a handmade souvenir to take home. 

Display case featuring various pastries, London.

Food-related Activities When it Rains on Vacation

A rainy day can be the perfect excuse to enjoy your destination’s culinary specialties!

14. Explore the Local Culinary Scene

Rainy days present the perfect excuse to dive into the local culinary scene. Spend your day cafe-hopping, enjoying a delicious brunch, long lunch, afternoon tea, or a multi-course dinner.

Decide which bakery has the best donuts or cookies. Because sampling the local specialties is always a good idea!

15. Indulge in a Culinary Tour

To get the inside scoop on the best restaurants and local specialties, take a food tour of your destination.

If the weather permits light outdoor activity, consider embarking on a guided culinary tour.

These tours typically involve short walks to various eateries, cafes, and sometimes even food markets, so you can taste a variety of local specialties. 

16. Take a Cooking Class

Participating in a cooking class is a fantastic way to dive into the local cuisine. Many cities have cooking workshops where you can learn to make local dishes.

Cooking classes are a fun way to  learn something new, enjoy delicious food, and maybe even make new friends.

Depending on where you are, you can master the art of Italian pasta or the delicate balance of flavors in Thai cuisine. A cooking class can be a delicious way to spend a rainy day.

17. Do a Wine Tasting

Book a wine tasting in your destination.

This might be an urban wine tasting experience, where your guide takes you to a few nearby wine cellars for tastings.

Or you can take a whole day tour with transportation provided, so you don’t have to worry about driving under the influence, or on unfamiliar roads in the rain.

Sure, your scenic stops might be a bit overcast, but that’s just another reason to raise a toast to sunnier days ahead!

Display of Gelato, various flavors.

18. Go for Ice Cream

Think ice cream is only for sunny days? Think again!

Brave the rain showers and take a short road trip to find a local ice cream shop and try the flavor of the month. 

19. Cooking & Baking Together

If you’re staying in a home exchange or renting a vacation home, you’ll have access to a kitchen, so use the rainy day to cook or bake with your kids.

Cooking on a rainy day

Many children enjoy the process of making food, especially when it involves making food they enjoy eating.

Cooking together is a fun way to teach kids basic cooking skills and get dinner made!

Buy ready-made crust and sauce, cheese, and toppings, and declare a pizza challenge night where everyone gets to make their own pizza, with prizes awarded for silly categories. 

Baking on a rainy day

Baking is even more fun to do with kids and teens. Choose simple recipes like cookies or cupcakes.

Kids can learn about measurements, following instructions, and the joy of creating (and eating) something themselves.

If you’re not traveling with children, bake for yourself!

Stop at a local grocery store to buy ingredients to make cookies from scratch, start with a box mix, or grab refrigerated premade cookie dough.

Add decorative toppings and icing, and let your kids decorate the cookies with as much sugar as they like!

20. Cooking Competition

If there’s more than one aspiring cook in your group, challenge them to a cooking competition.

Inspired by cooking show competitions, your family or friends can create a meal or dessert with a set of ingredients you provide.

This can be done individually or in teams, and you can be the judge or enlist the help of others. 

With enough people, you can end up with a multi-course meal–definitely a win-win situation!

Outdoor Activities for Rainy Vacation Days

These outside activities for rainy days are perfect if you’d rather be outside exploring!

Assuming there’s no thunder and lightning, grab some rain gear and head outside! Didn’t pack rain gear? Buy some cheap rain gear at a tourist shop—including a cute souvenir umbrella!

21. Hiking in the rain

As long as the weather isn’t too bad, embrace the rain by venturing into a nearby rainforest or national park for a hike.

Light rain can add a magical element to a hike in the forest, enhancing the lushness of the vegetation, the sound of the streams, and the overall ambiance.

(Never hike in a downpour or storm. Check out my tips for hiking with toddlers and these hiking safety tips before you go.)

Waterproof gear and sturdy boots will ensure you stay comfortable and dry-ish.  Remember, there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes!

22. City Rain Walk

Take a walk in the rain! Explore the city’s streets in the rain to see a different side of urban environments — quieter, less crowded, and more reflective.

With a sturdy umbrella and waterproof shoes, you can enjoy the architectural beauty, glistening streets, and vibrant reflections in puddles.

23. Photography in the Rain

Rainy days are the perfect opportunity to take creative photographs.

Photography enthusiasts will appreciate the dramatic lighting, raindrops, misty backgrounds, and  interplay of light and water. 

Whether you’re capturing the cityscape, landscapes, or macro shots of nature’s details in the rain, rainy day photos can be strikingly beautiful and different from the usual sunny day photos.

(These nature captions and outdoor hashtags will help your photos get noticed.)

24. Join a Guided Tour

If you’re up for getting out in the rain, take a guided tour of the city you’re visiting.

Guided tours led by a local can provide insights into hidden gems and stories about the city that you might not discover on your own. 

25. Outdoor Hot Springs or Thermal Baths

Visiting outdoor hot springs or thermal baths during the rain can delightful.

The contrast between the cool rain and the warm water creates a steamy, mystical atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Hot springs are a unique way to enjoy the outdoors and the weather, and what might have been a day spent indoors may become a highlight of your vacation.

26. Rainy Day Markets

Some outdoor markets remain open rain or shine, providing covered areas where you can explore without getting too wet.

Even if it’s raining, you can purchase fresh fruit and veggies, artisan foods, crafts, and clothing.

Markets are a fun way to experience local culture and find unique items, and the rainy ambiance will add to the charm.

27. Beach Walk

Don’t let a rainy day ruin your beach vacation! Walking on the beach during the rain can be a serene experience.

The crowds are gone, the sounds of the waves are more pronounced, and the entire beach takes on a different character.

Rainy beach walks are a great time for reflection, collecting shells, or simply enjoying the peace that comes with the rain.

Be sure to wear water-resistant clothing to stay comfortable. (And never walk on the beach in a storm!)

Adventure Activities for a Rainy Day

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you have to sit around and wait for the weather to improve!

28. Indoor Water Parks

Many popular family vacation spots feature indoor water parks with swimming pools, water slides, hot tubs, and wave pools.

Indoor water parks deliver a fun aquatic experience even when it’s rainy (or cold).

29. Indoor Rock Climbing

Check out a local indoor rock climbing gym.

Rock climbing a physically engaging activity that challenges participants mentally and physically.

Most gyms offer climbing routes for all levels, from beginners to advanced climbers, making indoor rock-climbing an exciting outing for kids, teenagers, and adults looking for a little bit of adventure and a break from being indoors.

30. Indoor Adventure Centers

Spend the day jumping at a trampoline park, go rollerskating, or play laser tag.

These high-energy activities are some of the best ways for burning off energy and getting some exercise on rainy days.

These activities will keep kids and teenagers engaged and active, and they’re a lot of fun for adults too. 

31. Escape Room Challenge

Many cities offer indoor escape rooms, which are perfect for a group of adults or families with teenagers looking for an adventure without getting wet.

These interactive games challenge players to solve puzzles and decipher clues to “escape” from a themed room before time runs out.

It’s a favorite way for groups to work on teamwork and problem-solving skills while having fun.

32. Indoor Sports Facilities

Check out local indoor sports facilities, which may offer activities like swimming, basketball, indoor soccer, or ice skating.

These facilities provide a great outlet for teenagers to stay active and engaged in sports they enjoy, regardless of the weather outside.

33. Indoor Adventure Parks

Look for indoor adventure parks, which may include activities like rock climbing, trampoline parks, laser tag, and indoor skydiving.

Choose from a variety of physical activities that can help teenagers burn off energy and experience some adrenaline-pumping fun, even when it’s pouring outside.

Jaffa cake, chocolate cake with orange filling, tea in an orange cup and saucer, and a silver teapot. Cooma, Australia.

Relaxing Rainy Vacation Activities

Use a rainy vacation day to relax and reset!

34. Enjoy a Spa Day

Take advantage of the gloomy weather by treating yourself to a spa day.

Many vacation resorts offer spa services, like massages and facials, as well as a sauna and hot tub.If your hotel doesn’t offer spa services, head out to a day spa.  

A spa day is a wonderful way to relax, rejuvenate, and unwind. The sound of the rain can even enhance the serene atmosphere. 

You can also create a DIY spa day at your hotel or vacation rental. Enjoy a bubble bath, apply a facial mask, and sample new lotions. 

35. Get a manicure

Chances are, your nails could use a fresh coat of polish.

The next time the rain cancels your plans, find a local manicurist, choose from the variety of fingernail polish colors, and leave with beautiful nails.

If you’re traveling with a teenage girl, this is a fun activity for you to do together. 

36. Indulge in Reading at a Cozy Café

Find a local coffee shop where you can settle in with a good book or a stack of magazines.

Many cafés offer comfortable seating areas that are the perfect place for reading, people-watching, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee or tea.

Relax for a few hours, embracing the slower pace of a rainy day.

37. Catch up on your writing

A rainy day is the perfect opportunity to update your journal, write postcards to friends back home, or outline ideas for your novel!

38. Explore a local bookstore

See if the city or town you’re visiting has any book stores! Look for local independent bookshops, used book stores, or big chain book stores.

Stock up on the latest bestsellers, favorite classics, comic books, graphic novels, non-fiction books, or biographies, and anything else that strikes your fancy.

With an armful of good books at the ready, you won’t mind if Mother Nature disrupted your plans!

39. Library Storytime and Activities

Check out the local library for storytime sessions or special activities planned for children.

Libraries often organize events designed to encourage reading and storytelling, including puppet shows, interactive story readings, and craft activities related to stories.

40. Explore Indoor Markets

Indoor markets are a treasure trove of local crafts, foods, and unique finds.

Spend a rainy day browsing through a local market and experience the local culture without having to brave the wet weather.

Indoor market are a great opportunity to pick up souvenirs, try local delicacies, and interact with local vendors and artisans.

41. Go Shopping 

Rainy days are great for shopping. Explore antique shops or local boutiques for unique finds and souvenirs. 

Sketchpad with colored pencils in a pencil pouch, accented with eucalyptus leaves and sea shells.

Things to Do at a Hotel or Vacation Rental in the Rain

Make the most of your vacation home or hotel with these ideas for group activities and family fun.

42. Have a Movie Marathon at “Home”

If you want to avoid heavy rains, snuggle up on your hotel bed or AirBnb couch and stream movies you’ve been meaning to watch or rewatch your favorites.

Bonus points if you watch movies or shows set in your vacation destination.

43. Indoor Treasure Hunt

Create an indoor treasure hunt within your hotel room or vacation rental.

Hide small treasures or treats around the house, and draw a map or write out clues leading to their locations.

This activity is great if you’re traveling with your entire family, because it engages children’s problem-solving skills and ignites their imagination.

An indoor treasure hunt can turn a gloomy day into an exciting quest.

44. DIY Arts and Crafts Projects

Gather supplies for simple craft projects that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

This could include making playdough, painting, creating homemade slime, or constructing cardboard castles.

Crafts not only keep kids entertained but also encourage creativity and can be a fun way for the family to create something together.

45. Indoor Picnic

Turn lunchtime into an event with an indoor picnic.

Spread out a blanket on the living room floor or a covered porch and enjoy a meal together with picnic favorites.

If you’re at a hotel, order room service and set up your picnic on the bed.

This simple change of routine can break up the monotony of a rainy day.

46. Have a Theme Day

Put the rainy day to good use.  Plan a theme day based on movies, books, the local language, or the region or country you’re visiting.

You can watch films, read stories, or cook meals that align with the theme. You can enjoy fun activities without venturing outside.

47. Indoor Obstacle Course

Use furniture and household items to set up a simple obstacle course inside your home.

Challenges can include crawling under tables, hopping between cushions, or balancing on a line of tape on the floor.

This helps kids burn off energy and improves their physical coordination in a fun and safe environment.

If you’re in a vacation rental, take photos before moving the furniture, so you can return everything to its original location. 

48. Build a Fort

Gather blankets, pillows, and couch cushions to build an epic fort in the living room.

Kids love creating their own special space, and a fort can be the perfect setting for reading books, playing games, or using their toys to create imaginative stories.

49. Science Experiments

Engage children’s curiosity with simple, safe science experiments that can be done with household items.

From making a baking soda and vinegar volcano to creating a rainbow with a glass of water and sunlight, these activities can be fun and educational.

50. Play card games

Gather everyone around the dining room table and play some games together! You can play endless rounds of Go Fish or Throw Throw Burrito. Or grab a deck of cards and play Hearts, Poker, or War. 

51. Board Game Marathon

Dust off the board games for a marathon gaming session.

From strategy games and classic board games to newer tabletop role-playing games, you’ll find something to capture your group’s interest.

Great options are:

Board games are great for critical thinking, strategy, and just plain fun, making them perfect for engaging kids’, teenagers’, and adults’ minds on a rainy day. 

52. Dance Party

Put on some music and have a dance party in your living room. It’s a great way for kids (and adults) to stay active and beat the rainy day blues.

You can even make it a game by playing freeze dance or having a dance-off competition.

53. Video Game Tournament

Host a video game tournament with a selection of multiplayer games.

Whether it’s sports, racing, or adventure games, a little friendly competition can be a lot of fun.

Set up a tournament bracket and have small prizes for the winners to keep things interesting. 

54. Karaoke

Set up a home karaoke system and let the teenagers have a blast singing their favorite songs.

Karaoke is a fun way for them to express themselves and even discover some hidden talents.

Make it more interesting by adding a theme to the song selections or having a mini-competition.

55. Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are perfect for a rainy day! Spread out the pieces and everyone can work on it throughout the day.

Working side-by-side on a puzzle can lead to great conversations. And if you need to take a break to enjoy a rainy day nap, the puzzle will be there when you get back!

Where to travel if you like rain

Are you looking for a rainy vacation destination? With a little research, you can be sure you’re traveling to a destination that always gets lots of rain, or traveling during the rainiest time of year.  

If you’d like to experience a true rainy season or or just go somewhere with a high chance of rain, here are some rainy vacation destination suggestions: 

North America Rainy Destinations

  • Seattle, Washington & the greater Pacific Northwest region
  • Big Bog Maui, Hawaii
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico 
  • Sitka, Alaska
  • San Vito, Costa Rica
  • El Bluff, Nicaragua

South American Rainy Destinations

  • Buenaventura, Columbia
  • Valera, Venezuela
  • Quito, Ecuador 
  • Manu National Park, Peru

Europe Rainy Destinations

  • Bergen, Norway
  • Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • London, England, UK
  • Paris, France
  • Brasov, Romania
  • Milan, Italy
  • Vigo and A Coruna, Galicia region of Spain
  • Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Munich, Germany

Africa Rainy Destinations

  • Ureca, Bioko Sur, Equatorial Guinea
  • Douala, Cameroon
  • Fenoarivo Atsinanana, Madagascar

Asia Rainy Destinations

  • Mt. Emei, China
  • Malé, Maldives
  • Timika, Indonesia
  • Thimphu, Bhutan

Oceania Rainy Destinations

  • Milford Sound, New Zealand
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Cairns, Australia
  • Honiara, Solomon Islands
  • Wellington, New Zealand

Final thoughts on Rainy Day Vacation Activities

While you might be disappointed if rain disrupts your vacation plans, you’ll have plenty of options for fun! 

This list is packed with plenty of good things you can do to have fun when you’re traveling, even if it rains. 

Rainy days provide a unique opportunity for travelers to explore new interests, hone creative skills, and enjoy quality time either with family or on your own. 

With a bit of planning and a little imagination, these activities can turn a dreary day into one filled with memorable moments and new experiences.

So if you’re on vacation and it rains, don’t be upset. A better way to deal with the rain is to come up with a new plan, based on the great rainy day ideas in this post! 

I hope you have a great vacation, even if it rains! If these rainy day tips were helpful, read about more of my favorite mom travel hacks!

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