You’ve planned your day out, you’ve got the picnic prepared, and the kids are ready in their warm-weather clothes… and then it starts raining. We’ve all been there – this is the UK, after all! While most of us would prefer to venture outdoors for Easter holiday fun, it’s always wise to have an indoor activity lined up for days when the weather isn’t quite as nice as we would hope for.
From exploring carved caverns and climbing the walls of a former church, to coming face-to-face with your favourite celebrity names, there are plenty of rainy day activities to keep the kids entertained. Follow our guide to indoor attractions across various locations in the UK.
Wet weather attraction
National Showcaves Centre – Exploring the three Dan-yr-Ogof caves is guaranteed to entertain this Easter! Experience the excitement of walking behind 40-foot waterfalls through carved caverns in Cathedral Cave, and then wander the picturesque passageways and learn the history of the buried skeletons in Bone Cave.
If that’s not enough, prepare to be wowed by more than 200 life-size dinosaur models in the centre’s Museum, and save some energy to meet the Shire horses and watch the chipmunks that race through overhead tunnels on the farm.
Too much to do in one day? There are camping facilities, a caravan park and cottages on site to expand your stay, plus a coffee shop to refuel before you head home.
Cost: adults £13.75, children £9.50 (free for two years and under).
Opening times: 10:00 – 15:00 Monday to Sunday from March 21st – November 1st.
Glasgow Climbing Centre – From beginners to rock gods, children and adults of all climbing abilities can get active at this Glasgow attraction.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, peer through the stunning stained glass window on the upper level where you’ll find the Balcony Café, serving up world-class food and freshly baked sweet treats.
3. Northern Ireland
Armagh Planetarium – Take a trip ‘out of this world’ at Ireland’s leading centre for astronomical education.
Boasting its own digital theatre, visitors can discover our planet and beyond as they tour the night sky, then take a trip to the Mars room and touch the largest meteorite on display in Ireland – dating back 4.6 billion years.
If the weather allows, wander the astropark where you can view a scale model of the Universe, stroll through the Solar System, take a turn into the Milky Way then grab an astronaut ice cream for the road.
Cost: adults £6, children and senior citizens £5. Shows must be booked in advance.
Opening times: 10:00 – 17:00 Monday to Saturday.
4. North East England
York Chocolate Story – Take a guided tour and uncover the secrets and fascinating facts behind York’s most famous chocolate-making families. What better time to visit than Easter?
Listen to real-life stories from former factory employees responsible for creating our favourite treats, and then continue your journey to the factory where you can create your own chocolatey delights.
Indulge yourself in tasty treats at the Chocolate Bar Café and purchase souvenirs at the shop.
Cost: adults £10.95, children £8.95, students and seniors £9.95.
Opening times: 10:00 – 16:00.
5. North West England
National Football Museum – Both football fanatics and culture vultures will be wowed at this Manchester-based museum. Spread over six levels, meet England’s greatest players and managers in the Hall of Fame; show off your skills with football’s rainy-day alternatives, flick-to-kick and FIFA; and take on the Match of The Day Commentary Challenge.
Cost: Free – donations welcome.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00.
6. Central England
National Exhibition Centre – The NEC welcomes MCM Birmingham Comic Con from March 19th to 20th – one of the largest comic con events in the world.
Meet special guests from the world of TV and film, see the colourful costumes of the Cosplay Masquerade and shop the stands packed with collectables and children’s toys.
The venue also welcomes Gadget Show Live 2016 from March 31st to April 3rd. Learn, experience and invest in the latest products to market, and enjoy the gaming tournaments and Super Theatre shows.
Opening times: Gadget Show Live: 11:00 – 18:00 Thursday, 09:00 – 18:00 Friday to Sunday. Comic Con: 09:00 – 17:00 Saturday, 10:00 – 17:00.
7. East of England
Orford Castle – Take a tour of one of the UK’s most complete and unusual keeps! Visitors can climb the stairs and wander the maze of passages from the basement to the rooftop, boasting spectacular views of Suffolk.
Opening times: 10:00 – 16:00 weekends only.
Madame Tussauds – Come face-to-face with some of the world’s most recognised names. From influential leaders and royalty to sports figures and music legends, the London attraction is home to more than 300 wax figures.
Millions have visited the venue since it opened its doors 200 years ago, and it’s no surprise with its ever-expanding portfolio. Recent additions from the fashion world include Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner.
Cost: tickets from £23.79 for adults, £20.65 for children.
Opening times: Monday to Friday 09:30 – 17:30pm, Saturday to Sunday 09:00 – 18:00.
9. South East England
Mayflower Theatre – Hampshire is home to the largest theatre in the south, showing touring musicals, opera, ballet and comedy.
Cost: Gangsta Granny tickets from £19.50 to £21.50.
Opening times: Gangsta Granny – 19:00, March 30th – April 3rd.
10. South West England
Bristol Aquarium – From sharks to tropical seahorses, piranhas to puffer fish, Bristol Aquarium is home to more than 40 natural living displays of marine life from around the world.
Take an adventure through the world’s oceans and get up close and personal with more than 250 marine animals, housed in 250,000 litres of water in the Coral Seas display, and discover the wonders of the deep sea as you walk through the reef via an underwater tunnel.
The Bristol attraction is the only UK aquarium to have its own giant botanical house – the Urban Jungle – featuring exotic plants and unusual tree species from around the world.
Cost: adults £14.50, juniors £9.75, concessions £13. Other group discounts are available.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00.
Whether you want an adrenaline-packed adventure or an educational exploration, the UK has activities for all tastes and budgets, from museums and castles to aquariums and exhibitions.
With such a variety of things to see and do, the whole family will be entertained, whatever the weather!