• Tracy Tristram

Indoor adventures: 12 things to do in London when it's raining

Someone needs to tell Mother Nature that this rain needs to do one and that now lockdown has eased somewhat, we'd like to get back to exploring London town! But until she gets the memo, luckily we have plenty of plans up our sleeves for adventures that the weather can't ruin. So if you're looking for things to do on a rainy day in London with kids, you're in the right place: brollies not needed (although face masks probably are).

1. Madam Tussauds London

things to do in london when its raining
Hang out with Chewie the next time it's raining! Photography: Madam Tussauds

Rub shoulders with the stars and hang out with the likes of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, take to the stage with Taylor Swift and then join the Royal Family for a photo opp. Oh, and don't forget the out-of-this-world Star Wars universe (pictured top)! With over 150 wax models and experiences, there's something - or someone - for the whole fam at Madam Tussauds.

Madam Tussauds London, Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London NW1 5LR

2. Museums

things to do in London when it's raining
Tate Modern, how we love thee!

One thing London has in spades is top notch museums that the whole family will love. From dinos to mummies (the ancient type, kids, not us), fighter jets to teddy bear workshops, there are loads of expeditions to be had at our fave museums for kids in London. Hop into our guide for the lowdown on the 10 museums we love as a family.

3. Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is a fab way to spend time with the kids on a rainy day. Probably best suited to older kids, we especially love the Children's Afternoon Tea at The Oxo Tower, the beautiful sci-fi themed Ampersand’s Science Afternoon Tea (video above) and the Children's Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason. Psst: we've also got a great guide to takeaway afternoon teas if you fancy a sweet treat at home instead.

4. Bunker 51

These guys are all set if we have a zombie apocalypse! Photography: Bunker 51

An old London cold war nuclear shelter that's been turned into a paintball, airsoft and LaserTag arena, you say? So much 'hell, yeah!'. LaserTag is suitable for kiddos age 6 and up, paintball from age 8, and airsoft from age 12, so grab your team and head over to South London for some serious fun that the rain can't ruin.

Bunker 51, 3 Herringham Road, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE7 8NJ

5. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

things to do in London when it's raining
Bring your small witches and wizards to Harry's cupboard under the stairs.

Okay, so it's a wee bit out of town, (it's 20 miles from central London) but this magical day out is well worth the journey. Numbers are restricted at the mo due to social distancing measures, so make sure you book in advance before you walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter and explore the wonders of the wizarding world, check out the sets and props, and have a thoroughly mystical day.

WB Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR

6. SEA LIFE London Aquarium

things to do in London when it's raining
SEA LIFE London Aquarium certainly adds a dash of colour to an otherwise grey day.

There's so much to learn while having lots of aquatic fun at the London Aquarium, including getting involved with its conservation work, taking part in feeding time and hanging out with sharks, turtles and, of course, Nemo. Expect demands for a fish tank before you even get home! Book before you head on over as numbers are currently restricted.

SEA LIFE London, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Bishop's, London SE1 7PB

7. Flip Out

things to do in London when it's raining
Tire the kids out a treat with a spot of trampolining!

The kids will be jumping for joy when you tell them they're off to one of the four Flip Out trampoline parks dotted around London. If you have little ones under 5, then Mini Flippers is a great session for parents and kids to jump together, while many of the branches offer indoor caving, a laser maze and Ninja Warrior courses for older kids (as well, of course, as all those trampolines). Check your local Flip Out website to see what's on offer.

Flip Out, Brent Cross, Wandsworth, East Ham and West Thurrock locations.

8. KidZania London

things to do in London when it's raining
Hand the adulting over to the kids for the day! Photography: KidZania

We don't know about you, but we've had quite enough of this adulting lark lately, so we're ready to hand over the reigns to the kids. Well, for the day anyway. Little ones will have a blast living their dream careers trying out everything from fire fighting to cleaning, dentistry to photography. And let's not forget the adult-only Hut where you can hang out, kid-free, with a drink, a good book and no one to nag you for a few hours. Happy kids and happy parents. Win, win.

KidZania London, Westfield London Shopping Centre Ariel Way, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 7GA

9. Discover Children's Story Centre

things to do in London when it's raining
The place to be when it comes to setting imagination free. Photography: Discover Children's Story Centre

Discover Children's Story Centre is a magical world where children up to the age of 11 can find fantastical adventures on an indoor story trail. Kids' imaginations will go wild while they invent their own stories over two floors of magical Story Worlds, plus they'll have a blast in the Story Garden: immersive, exploratory play spaces where children can creep through caves, find hidden ships and perform in a puppet castle. We want to be kids again!

Discover Children's Story Centre, 383-387 High Street, London E15 4QZ

10. Shrek's Adventure London

things to do in London when it's raining
Your little ogres will love this fun day out! Photography: Shrek's Adventure London

Once upon a time (well, in 2015 to be precise), in a land far, far away (on London’s South Bank, actually) a magical tourist attraction was created where characters from Shrek were brought to life. Yep, Shrek’s Adventure is a pretty cool kinda 'walk-and-ride' place where the famalam can meet Shrek, Fiona, Donkey et al while checking out hilarious shows, a 4D ride and a tour where kids have to crack a code to help Shrek get back to his swamp.

Shrek's Adventure London, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Bishop's, London SE1 7PB

11. Clip 'n Climb Chelsea

things to do in london when it's raining
Ready, stead... climb! Photography: Clip 'n Climb

Test your courage and ramp up the fitness levels across 21 exhilarating climbing challenges at Clip 'n Climb Chelsea for a fun-packed Spidey-type adventure the whole fam will love!

Clip 'n Climb Chelsea, 19 Michael Road, London, SW6 2ER

12. West End Shows

With theatres slowly but surely getting back to some sort of normality, there are plenty of picks to keep you busy with on a rainy day in London including family faves such as these ones in our guide to London theatre for kids.

Like this read? Here's some more you might like:

How to ace the London underground with kids

10 'must visit' places for kids in London

Family guide to the Tower of London

City Farms in and around London

Fun activities for a rainy day at home

25 things to do for free in London

Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures over on Instagram and Facebook!

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