Looking for things to do in Kent when it’s raining? We have over 50 suggestions for rainy days around Tunbridge Wells, Kent and East Sussex!
Only one thing is certain about the weather in England, and that is that it is completely uncertain. This is not such a bad thing when you have only yourself to entertain, but what about when you have your children in tow? Whenever we make the decision to stay in the house I always end up climbing the walls with the squabbling and inevitable whining. For sanity’s sake, here are 50 things to do in Kent when it’s raining, as well as a few places in East Sussex and London too…
Please note, these venues are suitable for a mix of ages, some of which are aimed at much younger children, and some for slightly older ones. We will try to keep this post as up-to-date as possible but please check with the places beforehand to ensure they are open. Also during Covid-19 times, it is best to try and book ahead where possible. And if you happen not to be located in Kent, here are some rainy day activities you can do anywhere.
Our top things to do in Kent when it’s raining….
♥ Allow your little maniacs to run wild at Minor Mania, a soft play centre in Frant which we have been going to for years! It is located right opposite Frant station so parents of railway fans may want to combine their day out with a train ride! We went there the other day and they have done an amazing job with keeping it clean and following social distancing rules. Visitors can have up to three hours per session (choose a morning or afternoon). Use their brand new online booking system to reserve a place!
♥ Mix things up with one of the events and activities that take place at Bluewater throughout the year. The cinema at Bluewater shows the latest films in a baby friendly environment – so park up your pram and catch up with the current blockbusters! Or visit Dinotropolis – a dinosaur adventure park, complete with animatronic dinosaurs, three storeys of soft play, interactive games, raptor racing and the tasty Fossil Cafe. Read our review HERE.
♥ Have you been to the mini museum at Pooh Corner in Hartfield which was unveiled recently? If you haven’t then it’s definitely worth a visit. Why not enjoy some cake or lunch from the tea-rooms too?
♥ Get building at the Build-a-Bear workshop in Bluewater, Fremlin Walk (Maidstone) or The Glades (Bromley). Once your little one has made their furry friend they’ll have another toy to play with when they get back home!
Visit one of the Child Friendly Cafes near Tunbridge Wells which we have written about here! Quite a few new ones have opened recently so why not give one of them a go?
More of the best things to do in Kent when it’s raining…
♥ Explore Buzzy Bees Playbarn in Ash (near Sevenoaks). With three separate areas for different ages it is the perfect place for your 0-12 year olds to let off steam.
♥ Unearth interesting stories through objects, paintings and play at Chatham Dockyard. Little dockyard explorers can walk the decks of warships and complete a special mission called Mission Explore, containing lots of fun facts and a map to help you on your way!
♥ Clamber and climb to your heart’s content at Chimera Climbing Centre in High Brooms, Tunbridge Wells. They have drop in sessions for children aged 5 and over and boast some of the finest indoor bouldering in the South East of England.
♥ History and mystery fans will enjoy a guided tour around Chislehurst Caves. Probably one for older children as the naturally uneven cave floor means that this caves in London tour is unsuitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
♥ Test your resolve and determination at Clip n Climb in Tonbridge and try out one of their many climbing walls as well as the infamous Drop Slide and Stairway to Heaven. Perfect for cheeky little monkeys with energy to burn!
♥ Located in the bustling Intu shopping centre at Lakeside, Puttshack is a series of tech-infused mini golf courses and unique event spaces which I hear are great fun! Get your game face ready for a perfect outing of friendly competition, drinks and dining.
Some of our favourites things to do in Kent when it’s raining…
♥ Please note – the museum is CLOSED until Spring 20201. Learn something new at Cranbrook Museum – set across three floors in a lovely Grade II listed building with a peaceful garden, there are literally hundreds of exhibits covering the history of Cranbrook and The Weald of Kent from artists and artisans to birds, coinage and costumes, local trades, family life and schools. Opening hours are limited so check out the website HERE before going along. While you’re there, pop into the charming Cocoliscious for some Hot Chocolate and Cake!
♥ Please note, the soft play is currently closed at Creams. Indulge in some sweetness at Creams Cafe and then let the kids burn off the sugar at the onsite soft play. One of my favourite local options for things to do in Kent when it’s raining! Read a recent review HERE.
♥ Take a ‘shelfie’ with a mermaid, explore the underwater world and learn about reptiles at Hastings Aquarium. With over 40 naturally themed habitats there’s sure to be something to catch your little one’s eye. There are two free (though donations welcome) museums nearby too – the Fisherman’s Museum and Shipwreck Museum.
♥ Hone your aim with a bowling session at Hollywood Bowl at Knight’s Park in Tunbridge Wells. Nothing like a bit of competition for some family fun – let the good times roll!
♥ Entertain the troops at The Hop Farm with shows at the Big Red Barn, an experience at the new 4D cinema, a spot of soft play and some time in the magic castle.
♥ Get with the in crowd and visit the Horniman Museum, named by the New York Times as one of the top 10 coolest museums in the world. There is so much to do there, including an aquarium and a butterfly house and exciting exhibitions. During term time there are ‘busy bee’ sessions for the under 5’s which include story telling and art and craft.
♥ Leap around at Urban Jump in Heathfield an indoor trampoline park – another awesome option for things to do not too far from Tunbridge Wells when it’s raining. It is in East Sussex (and not Kent) but doesn’t take too long to get there from here.
So many places to go in Kent when it’s raining!
♥ Visit the Kent Firefighting Museum in Sevenoaks and browse hundreds of artefacts such as firemen’s helmets and engines through the years. Based at Woodland’s Garden Centre – I’m told the restaurant is lovely too (though you may want to pre-book). The museum is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
♥ A bit further afield – make a day of it and head to Kidzania in London, an indoor ‘mini city’ run by kids and designed for ages 4 -14.
♥ Enjoy some freshly made cake and coffee on weekdays from Tuesday to Friday at Langton Pavilion Cafe while the little ones play with the super selection of toys. Or treat them to a homebaked biscuit – there’a always something there for little ones too. If it stops raining, you can pop over the playground at Langton Village Hall afterwards too.
♥ Splash about to your heart’s content at Larkfield Swimming Pool. Cannons, slides, waves and rapids make for a really fun swimming session for kids and they also run ‘splasharound sessions’ with giant inflatables at the weekend.
♥ Watch your children learn and play through role-play at Little Street’s mini town in Maidstone and Sevenoaks – with a variety of themed rooms, scaled down just for little people, and carefully designed and filled with props to offer a creative and educational play experience. Perfect for little ones from walking to age 7 – read our review HERE.
♥ Teach your child the joy of curling up with a good book at your local library. Some libraries hold rhyme time sessions for preschoolers – good, educational, free fun!
Let us know where you like to go in Kent when it’s raining? Please comment below!
♥ Pique your children’s historical interests at Maidstone Museum and learn about ancient Egypt, local and natural history. Also look out for the great value craft workshops during the holidays – another budget friendly option for things to do in Kent when it’s raining
♥ Thrill little dinosaur fans with a trip to the Natural History Museum in London, only a 5 minute walk from South Kensington and worth the extra journey time to see the excitement on their faces when they see the world-famous roaring T-rex.
♥ Exercise your scientific skill at the Observatory Science Centre in Hailsham. At the Observatory you will find a hands-on science centre which aims to bring science and creativity to life.
♥ Marvel at the big screen and visit the Odeon to catch the latest kids films. Try to get tickets through the Odeon Kids scheme to let imaginations run wild at family friendly prices. Going to the cinema on a weekend morning is another one of my favourite things to do in Kent when it’s raining.
♥ Visit Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures – a fascinating immersive, interactive theatre experience which has been created for audience groups of all ages blending live immersive theatre with challenges along the way. The experience is based in Sussex House on the outskirts of Brighton – find out all about it HERE.
♥ Get your skates on at Planet Ice and have a family day at an ice skating rink. It’s located in Gillingham and offers toddler skate sessions as well as teenage disco sessions too!
♥ Dive into the new star fish exhibition at the Sealife Centre in Brighton. Have a ride on a glass bottom boat and take a stroll through the ocean via the glass tunnel, watch out for sharks! Think about visiting the British Airways i360 too! It’s all indoors and a lovely way of seeing the city (so long as it isn’t too cloudy). Read our review HERE.
Where are your favourite places to go in Kent and East Sussex on a rainy day?
♥ Grow scientific interest with a trip to the Science Museum in London. Good, free, educational fun and the train ride to the city can be fun too!
♥ Get your skates on at the Sevenoaks Leisure Centre Roller Disco on Saturday evenings. The family session is from 6pm to 7.30pm while the open session (age 8+) is from 8 to 9.30pm. There’s a roller disco at Goldsmiths in Crowborough too. Neither event is taking place at the moment but we will update this post when they start again.
♥ Make your own delicious confectionary at a terrific Temper Temper Chocolate workshop in Southborough, Tunbridge Wells. Workshops are aimed at children (4+) and involve 2 hours of pouring, moulding and decorating chocolate treats.
♥ Note – Tiny Town is currently closed but I’ll update this post when this changes. Go large at Tiny Town, one of the biggest soft play centres in the county, located in Larkfied. They have a soft play centre, a sensory room, a climbing wall and an astroturf football pitch. They also cater for adults too with TV screens, free wifi and magazines, win-win!
♥ Broaden your children’s culture quota by taking them to see a show at Trinity Theatre. Trinity is an intimate theatre which lends itself towards non-overwhelming, child friendly performances for younger children. They often have a children’s performance on Sunday afternoons and they screen some fantastic family friendly films too.
♥ Develop your water confidence at the parent and toddler fun sessions at Tonbridge Pool, or for bigger kids look out for Splasharound (4+) and Mini Splash (7 and under) which are sessions with a giant inflatable and water toys galore.
♥ Discover the soft play area at Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre. It’s a small soft play area which is absolutely ideal for children aged 0-8. If you fancy making a day of it, check out their splash time sessions in the learner pool and treat yourself to something to eat at the cafe afterwards. Or think about hiring a tennis or badminton court for some racket sport fun too!
I hope this post about the best places to go in Kent when it’s raining is useful? If you have any recommendations for things to add – please do let us know in the comments box below. Stay dry!