The best rainy day activities for the Easter holidays in the UK

Advice

The Easter holidays are underway across the country and with it the perennial problem of what to do with the children when the weather turns bad. 

If the forecast does forfeit adventures in the great outdoors, it’s worth checking out some of the best indoor attractions around the country. From discovering the tricks of the trade in the magical world of Harry Potter films to the UK’s only underground bouncy net experience in a disused Victorian slate mine in Snowdonia, there’s plenty to keep ­everyone entertained – and away from their tablets – without getting wet.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Portsmouth

Starring Nelson’s HMS Victory and the wreck of the Mary Rose, Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard is a must for the kids. You can also discover the Worlds Beneath the Waves and learn about the Royal Navy’s study of the oceans or explore the excavation of the Mary Rose with Dive the Mary Rose 4D.

How to do it: Tickets from £24 (children) and £34 (adult). Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (023 9283 9766, historicdockyard.co.uk). Double rooms at Portsmouth Village Hotel cost from £73pn. Read our review here

The Warner Bros Studio

London

The Warner Bros Studio reveals some of the film-making trickery behind the magic and stunts of the Harry Potter films. Visitors will be able to witness some of their favourite scenes brought to life, including the disappearing effect of the invisibility cloak, the infamous fireplace letter scene, and how Mrs Weasley delivered an origami howler to her son in The Chamber of Secrets.

How to do it: Tickets to Warner Bros Studio London (wbstudiotour.co.uk) cost from £53.50 adult; £43 child; under-fours free; must be booked in advance. Double rooms at Number One Port Hill cost from £130pn. Read our review here



half term ideas family holidays days out actifvities kid rainy day bad weather things to do uk keep children entertained uk 2022


Warner Bros Studio reveals the secrets behind the stunts in the Harry Potter film franchise


Credit: Dan Wong Photography

Zip World

Llechwedd, Snowdonia

Set deep underground in a disused Victorian slate mine, the UK’s only underground bouncy net experience is the perfect rainy day solution for anyone over the age of seven. Unleash your inner thrill-seeker in this enormous underground adventure park, jumping and sliding your way through six layers of bouncy nets, chambers, tunnels and slides. 

How to do it: Tickets (zipworld.co.uk) from £25 adult; £20 child. Rooms at Plas Dinas start at £128pn. Read our review here

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

Edinburgh 

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions is the Scottish capital’s oldest purpose-built visitor attraction and a magical family-friendly option come rain or shine. There are five floors with more than 100 interactive, hands-on exhibits, including several optical illusions, a mirror maze and a vortex tunnel. From the roof-top terrace, visitors can enjoy 360-degree views of Edinburgh.

How to do it: Tickets (camera-obscura.co.uk) cost £22.95 adult; £17.95 child; under-fives free. Double rooms at the Rutland Hotel (therutlandhotel.com) cost from £140pn. Read our review here. Plan the perfect break in Edinburgh with our guide.



half term ideas family holidays days out actifvities kid rainy day bad weather things to do uk keep children entertained uk 2022


Camera Obscura & World of Illusions has more than 100 interactive, hands-on exhibits


Credit: Tony Marsh

Chill Factore

Manchester

With snow year-round, this indoor snow centre houses the UK’s longest ski slope just outside Manchester. Practiced skiers can learn new tricks while beginners can perfect their snow plough. Obstacles include rails, boxes, and a jump. 

How to do it: Tickets (chillfactore.com). An eight-hour lift pass costs from £54pp and a two-hour group ski lesson £68pp. Opening hours 9am – 10pm. Double rooms at Native Manchester start at £109pn. Read our review here. Plan the perfect break in Manchester with our guide.

 Natural History Museum

London

If your children are Jurassic fanatics or would be thrilled to see a life-sized blue whale, the Natural History Museum houses a range of wonders, from complete dinosaur skeletons to meteorite displays. School holiday activities include talks, tours, events and workshops in the Family Discovery Zone. 

How to do it: Free entry (nhm.ac.uk). Double rooms at the Hotel Indigo London – Kensington start at £132pn. Read our review here. Plan the perfect break in London with our guide.



half term ideas family holidays days out actifvities kid rainy day bad weather things to do uk keep children entertained uk 2022


The Natural History Museum is free to enter


Credit: Jack Taylor/Getty Images Europe

Immersive Gamebox

Liverpool, Yorkshire, Manchester, Essex and London

Immersive Gamebox is an indoor interactive digital games experience designed for families. Combining projection mapping, touch screen, motion tracking and surround sound, the games include adventures with aliens and the super-tense Squid Game. Gameboxes can host two to six players at a time with combined rooms for larger parties. 

How to do it: Tickets (immersivegamebox.com). General admission (12+) from £26. Juniors (five-11) from £16.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales

Camarthenshire

The National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire offers nature-based activities including daily wildlife safari walks, bird-feeder workshops and owl-pellet dissection. They know it rains in Wales, so many activities take place undercover in the Theatr Botanica. Kids can also discover incredible tropical plants in the world’s largest glasshouse and check out the British Bird of Prey Centre for close encounters. 

How to do it: Tickets to the Botanic Garden of Wales (botanicgarden.wales) cost from £19 adult; £10 child; under-twos free. Double rooms at the Mansion House, Llansteffan (mansionhousellansteffan.co.uk) cost from £203pn. Read our review here. Plan the perfect holiday in Wales with our guide.



half term ideas family holidays days out actifvities kid rainy day bad weather things to do uk keep children entertained uk 2022


National Botanic Garden of Wales offers nature-based activities under cover


Credit: Jason Banbury

Blue Badge Tourist Guides

London

Blue Badge Tourist Guide, Sarah Ciacci, regularly works with families and children adapting her trademark art and history tours accordingly. Sites include the National Gallery, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Street Art Tours of the East End among others. Sarah enjoys the challenge of engaging with young people to make history or art or historic buildings come to life 

How to do it: Enquiries to Sarah Ciacci (sarahciacci.com/student-family-tours-london). Rooms at the kid-friendly Ampersand Hotel start at £247pn. Read our review here. Plan the perfect break in London with our guide.



half term ideas family holidays days out actifvities kid rainy day bad weather things to do uk keep children entertained uk 2022


A treasure hunt can liven up the National Gallery for young visitors


Credit: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Europe

This story was first published in February 2022 and has been revised and updated.

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