Rainy days are great............ sometimes!

You can stay indoors and have a duvet day or get the wet weather gear out and go splashing in puddles followed by a hot chocolate back at home.  But, the Great British weather does have a habit of dishing it out just a little too often and sometimes we need ideas for places to go and things to do with the children.

Dorset has a wide choice of soft play centre's and play cafe's which is a great however they can be at full capacity on a wet day so it is advisable that you contact them before you start travelling.

Nearly every town has a Museum and many have craft areas for children and special events through the year.  The Tank Museum, Royal Signals Museum, Shire Hall Historic Courthouse, Poole Museum and Red House Museum offer plenty of activities to educate children and keep them happy for hours.

If you like water then you could go swimming at a local public pool or head to Splashdown in Poole.  In the summer months there's the amazing Dorset Waterpark which is set on a lake with fun inflatable obstacles and they have the new Dorset Mud Trail too which is also great fun in the rain.

If you fancy visiting some colourful fish, penguins and other marine life then you can visit the Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park or the Bournemouth Oceanarium.  There's also a lovely little Aquarium in Lyme Regis which offers customers the chance to hand feed their mullet and hold a starfish.

Contact your local sports centre to enquire about current activities and classes.  Some centre's offer a variety of pre school classes in term time and nearly all of them have a fantastic full timetable of activities for the older one's in the school holidays.

If you have a pre-schooler to entertain then you could try a toddler group you haven't been to before or pop along to your nearest children's centre when they have their free play sessions.

Other family friendly ideas include a trip to a local garden centre, bowling alley, indoor skatepark, cinema, theatre or pottery painting cafe, or you could head to Sandworld in Weymouth, Putlake Farm near Swanage, Adventure Wonderland Wild Thing indoor play, Mr Mulligans crazy golf, Centre VR or try the Clip 'n' Climb or Highline at RockReef on Bournemouth Pier.

Farmer Palmers is a great all weather day out activity and perfect if you have an annual pass.  Although there are lots of play areas outside you also have the indoor play barns, animals, ride on's, slides, bouncy castle and soft play.

Please check out our suggested Places to Visit to find details on the attractions mentioned and much more.

  • fp nov 4
  • fp 1

If you're planning to stay at home then the kids will love making an exciting den with sheets and pegs, you could even include fairy lights to make it cosy and magical!  Once finished it'll be the perfect place to sit back and read a book or watch a delightful Disney film with a bowl of popcorn.

If you are feeling crafty then you could have fun with play doh or get arty with painting, handprints, making a scrapbook, rock painting or if you can find a big box you could make a play house or a car!

Printables on the internet are easy to find and many are free which is perfect when you are stuck for inspiration.  You'll find anything from colouring in sheets to puzzles and craft projects.

Every household should have at least one board game in the cupboard or you could make an indoor Treasure Hunt to lead the children around the house and answer clues to win a prize at the end.

Do you have butter, flour, eggs and sugar in the kitchen?  Get baking some little fairy cakes and if you have some icing sugar and sprinkles then the children will have a brilliant time making and decorating them.  If you need recipe ideas then head to the Dorsetmums Blog for a simple cupcake recipe.

Whatever you do, have fun and just remember, the sun will be back out again soon!!!  (Hopefully)

For upcoming events across Dorset, please join the Dorsetmums Family Friendly Events Facebook group.

Dorsetmums has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this site and does not accept liability for any errors or omission.  Please also note that an event or venue may cancel or close at any time and you should consider contacting beforehand.