3 rainy day activities for children this summer

Gigi Eligoloff | Published 27th July 2021

Secretly, our favourite thing about rainy days is that they are perfect for creating a book nest. But, if your children need a change of scene before then, here's some other brilliant ideas.

Sunny days are so simple with children. Pack a picnic, make a plan on the school or nursery WhatsApp group and the rest takes care of itself. Apart from suncream, and the inevitable demands for ice cream! But while rainy summer holidays are a challenge for every member of the family, for the Chief Activity Officers among us, they are the scourge of our time off with kids. Luckily, there are loads of brilliant ideas online for things to do, and places to go. To save you the trouble of trawling, here’s some of our favourites. Our favourite rainy day activity is of course curling up with a good book, but if you really need to get out of the house first, these are great for all ages.

1.  We’re going to the zoo

Zoos are often given a bad rap but ethical zoos like ZSL London or Whipsnade are the perfect rainy day opportunity to learn about the extraordinary world of animals. Run by the Zoological Society of London, the zoo is only a part of the work that they do. The charity is devoted to researching animals, their habitats and saving endangered species, not just by breeding them in zoos, but also reintroducing animals back into their natural habitat. Both zoos have been working steadily towards creating ever more enriched habitats for the animals so that they are never bored and have plenty of space to exercise and play.

If you are stuck in the capital, then a day at London Zoo in Regents Park will be full of wild wonder and fun. There’s always something new to see when you visit and this summer London Zoo opens the new Galapagos Tortoise space complete with wallowing pools and mud flats. Here’s a little taster about these fine, majestic creatures:

“Some of the tortoises had shells that were shaped like saddles. The Spanish sailors saw this and named the islands ‘Galapagos’ which means ‘saddles’ in Spanish”.

And don’t miss the huge indoor Rainforest Life where you will meet all manner of rainforest wildlife including monkeys in an entirely cage-less environment.

ZSL London Zoo

2. Take a trip down the river

One of the best ways to see the capital is to jump on one of the regular river boats travelling from Hampton Court to Greenwich. If you want to travel cheaply, use one of the regular boat services run by London transport or upgrade to one of the many sightseeing tours. If you do need to watch the pennies there are apps you can download to offer a guided commentary taking you under the many majestic bridges and alongside tales of smuggling, royal murders and skullduggery up to the modern day. There’s loads of amazing facts about the Thames both in the capital and beyond. This is a great one for kids.

“King Henry VIII once travelled from central London to Greenwich by sleigh along the river when it froze over in 1536”.

London City Calling

3. Visit the UK’s first Story World ‘theme’ park

As self-confessed lovers of books, we encourage every family to consider visiting the magnificent Discover Children’s Story Centre this summer. An indoor Story Garden and Story World with different annual themes, this is a great place for children up to 11 to discover the joy and wonder of reading with interaction from the on-site Story Builders as well as visiting authors and illustrators.

The centre is a series of creative play spaces all designed to spark your child’s imagination and curiosity. This is a lovely interactive and immersive destination which offers a doorway into the wonderful worlds of some of our favourite authors like Micheal Rosen, Julia Donaldson and Judith Kerr.

Discover Story Centre

And finally….Why not give your children a Book Adventure at home?

Our summer Book Adventure theme is the glorious and mystical Deep Blue Sea which we are celebrating and exploring through two stunning and award-winning picture books. Our first book is The Blue Giant by Katie Cottle, which looks at the rise of ocean plastic and offers age-appropriate information and solutions via an enchanting tale of a girl and her mum on a day at the seaside.  Our second book by the amazing Fan Brothers is Ocean Meets Sky, following the voyage of a young boy who finds a way through the loss of his beloved grandfather via a cinematically drawn boat journey inside their shared memories. With on-demand digital Read Alongs, Draw Alongs, Drama Play and Author Scoop videos, our Book Adventure package is the perfect ‘book and beyond’ to curl up with at home with your children on a rainy day.

Book Adventurers