Things To Do In London on a Rainy Day
Are you looking for things to do in London on a rainy day? It’s no secret that the weather in London can be rather unpredictable, but it wouldn’t be London without a little bit of rain! Although we get our fair share of glorious sunny days, there are also those that are wet, wet, wet. So what to do when the weather turns bad during your time in London? Read on for our list of things to do in London when it rains!
Visit a Museum or Gallery – London is full of museums that are fun for the whole family! Educational, entertaining, and dry, you’ve got a plethora to choose from. To decide which museum is best for you check out our blog posts on Free London Museums, or Museums in the City Centre of London, or maybe even London’s Medical Museums. For art fans here are our suggestions on Free Art Galleries in London or why not visit the National Gallery of Art.
Go to Platform 9 ¾ – For Harry Potter fans from all over the world, Kings Cross Station is a must-visit destination. Platform 9 ¾ is available for witches and wizards to visit, as well as a great photo opportunity and fabulous gift shop perfect for true Potterheads. Read our blog on more Harry Potter locations in London.
Visit the Tower of London – The Tower of London is a mix of indoor and outdoors exhibitions but the doom and gloom of a rainy London day sets the perfect atmosphere for the historic, gruesome and fascinating Tower experience. Check out our guide to visiting The Tower of London.
Lock Yourself In…Then Try to Get Out! – One of the biggest activities to take London by storm over the last year has been locked-room escape games. Fun for visitors and Londoners alike, these companies will lock you and your friends into a room filled with clues, red herrings, puzzles and games and leave you to try to figure how to get out! Check out the two best ones around: Clue Quest & Hint Hunt.
See a Film – At the Prince Charles Cinema, guests can watch classics such as The Sound of Music or the Lion King while the entire audience sings along. At the IMAX, some of the largest cinema screens in the world display current hit films as well as 3D experiences aimed at both adults and children. Check out what’s on at: Prince Charles Cinema / IMAX.
Go Shopping – If you want to hit the major shopping district of Oxford Street, or you want to stroll through the glamourous halls of Harrod’s, London has plenty of shopping options for when the weather turns bad! Check out our list of the best places to shop in town.
Take Tea – A great way to while away a rainy afternoon is the classic British afternoon tea. Treat yourself to some silver service at places like Fortnum & Mason and take afternoon tea the traditional way – hours of luxurious eating, drinking, and chatting all while the rain pours down outside. See our post about afternoon tea in London or why not check out the Twinings Tea Shop in the City of London.
Rub Some Brass – Hidden away below St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church by Trafalgar Square sits the London Brass Rubbing Centre. With nearly 100 different brasses available to choose from, both kids and adults can rub images of medieval knights and ladies, fanciful creatures, religious figures, and even Shakespearian characters. Prices for brass rubbings depend on the size of your chosen piece but in general runs between £4.50 to £15.00 which means it’s a relatively inexpensive London experience. Get more info at their website: St. Martin-In-The-Fields
Do What You Were Going to Do, Anyway! – Bad weather means visitors will be following advice like the list we have set out above which means rainy days can be crowded museums, shops and pubs and empty attractions like The Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, River Thames boat tours, or walking tours. So if you’ve got your waterproof jacket and some warm shoes, just stick with your original plan! Chances are you may enjoy the benefit of fewer people and shorter queues wherever you go.
Go on a Tour! – Our tours run rain or shine, so open up your umbrellas and come along! It’s really rare to have a day of non-stop constant rain…and even when we do, we’ll have a great time exploring the town together!
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Well, it’s no secret that London gets its fair share of rainy days, but don’t let a damp day stop your play. There’s plenty of fun to be had without getting wet…
10. Story Time
All these kids give the Discover Story Centre 10/10
For families with kids aged 0-11, the Discover Story Centre in Stratford makes for a fantastic day indoors. You can dress up, explore a secret cave and even visit a pirate ship! And if the sun comes out, you can head outdoors and explore the Story Garden.
9. Movie Magic
KidRated loves The Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise
Why not head to one of the many Saturday morning cinema clubs to catch a movie? We are big fans of the Lexi Cinema in Kensal Green and the Stow Film Lounge in Walthamstow. Check out our Empty Pocket Guide to the Cinema for some great money saving tips.
For an even more exciting experience head to the Prince Charles Cinemafor Sing-along-a Frozen. Or check out celeb hangout, the Electric on Portobello Road.
The BFI IMAX is, of course, the place to see the big blockbusters.
8. Allez to the Alleys
Bowling at All Star Lanes, an official K-Rated attraction © All Star Lanes
Kids love bowling so head to Queens Ice and Bowl or All Star Lanes. There are four branches to choose from situated at Queensway, Brick Lane, Westfield Stratford or Holborn.
7. Museum Mooching
You can’t go wrong with a good Museum visit. If you’re East try the Horniman Museum or the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. If you’re West, head to Exhibition Road in South Kensington home to the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and the V & A. The good news is they’re all free!
6. Unbelievable Fun
Monty gives Ripley’s a K-Rating of 10!
Ripley’s – Believe it or Not! at Piccadilly Circus has a very tall man standing outside i and to be honest, we were initially sceptical as to how fun this might be. However, our K-Raters love its six floors which are stuffed with over 700 amazing and unbelievable artefacts. Don’t forget to visit The Mirror Maze there which is brilliant fun.
5. Shop ’til you Drop
A 10-minute walk from Ripley’s and you’ll find the world’s most famous toyshop, Hamleys. Browse away the rainy hours with lots of entertaining assistants giving fun demonstrations of the toys and tricks on sale.
4. A Play for a Rainy Day
Amy in the Summer Book at the Unicorn Theatre
Children’s Theatre is everywhere in London. Why not check what’s on at Puppet Barge in Little Venice, the Unicorn at London Bridge, the Polka in Wimbledon, the Lyric in Hammersmith and the Soho Theatre in err…Soho? Or click here for loads of London theatre ideas for families.
TheRegent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globeare probably best avoided on rainy days. For obvious reasons.
3. Seeing stars
Stand at the centre of world time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Discover the past, present and future wonders of astronomy and catch a show at the only Planetarium in London. And all because it was a rainy day!
2. Shocks, Sharks and Shrek
K-Raters Fin and Eliot visit Carnivale at the London Dungeon
By a quirk of fate the London Dungeon, Sea Life Aquarium and Shrek’s Adventure are right next door to each other on the Southbank. So kids can spend their day being scared out of their wits (for the brave of heart only), meeting their favourite Dreamworks characters like Shrek or Po from Kung Fu Panda or exploring the breathtaking underwater world of sharks and rays without getting wet.
1. Solve a Mystery
Escape Entertainment London
Escape Entertainment is an excellent place to spend a wet day with children of nine and over. Down in a basement, in the City of London, you’re locked in a room with up to five people (under 15s must be accompanied by an adult) and are set a series of puzzles to solve a crime or a kidnapping that allows you to escape the room. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.