Rainy today? Don’t panic! Obviously you can always don your wellies and head out for a splash, but if you want to try and stay out of the rain, here are some ideas for you!
Soft Play & Indoor Play
Yes, we all hate soft play, but the kids love it and it’s dry.
I love Little Rascals for being in the centre of town and suitable for my two little ones so I don’t have to worry about them attempting anything to difficult. For over 5s there probably isn’t enough to entertain them though as it’s pretty small.
Space2Play is fantastic on a rainy day as you can park just outside. During the week in term time there are special toddler only sessions with extra toys out. If you’ve got an adventurous one who’s not quite big enough to get onto the large slide, be prepared to climb up yourself – difficult if you also have a little one in tow!
For indoor play that’s a little more civilised, check out the Secret Garden on Sun Street in Hitchin. Lots of creative play plus a changing timetable of activities included in the entry price.
For a coffee with a side of indoor play, check out The White House in Hitchin. Although the kids won’t be entertained all day, it will be long enough for you to have coffee, lunch or a cheeky piece of cake and find your inner calm once more.
At various points we have visited (and survived) the following…
- 360 Play (Stevenage)
- Logan’s Den (Baldock)
- The Hive (Shefford)
- Bury Lane Fun Barn (Royston)
- Get Wild! (Hatfield Galleria)
If you’re already wet it doesn’t really matter if you get a little wetter. Personally I love swimming outdoors in the rain but luckily we have lots of indoor options too!
Hitchin Swimming Centre is the closest and it’s a pretty nice option although there’s no exciting features like slides to entertain them (though my two love going up and down the steps into the small pool!)
North Herts Leisure Centre in Letchworth is a beach style pool that offers a baby area with small slide and a non functioning frog squirter that my oldest daughter likes to wash(!) The tropical style sloped pool is generally warm and fantastic for learners or those growing in swim confidence.
It looks so dated both inside and out but design aside, my girls enjoy Oasis Beach Pool in Bedford with bubbles, wave machine, small slide and lazy river. If you go during the week though it’s worth checking what’s open – the large flume usually only operates on weekends and school holidays. In the Summer there is also an outside pool area.
My personal favourite is Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans. A little drive but worth it. There’s a confidence pool with slide, snake that squirts water and a turtle as well as a warm teaching pool. Entry is by coloured wristband to restrict numbers – you can pre book slots online. There’s also a soft play area and cafe for more indoor entertainment opportunities!
Indoor Sporty Stuff
I was lucky enough to go to the press launch for Oxygen Freejumping (formally Air Space) in Stevenage and had an awesome time. If you have child over 5 I’d definitely recommend a visit! They also now offer Little O toddler sessions weekdays 12.00pm – 1.00pm & 1.00pm – 2.00pm during term time.
Gravity Force Trampoline Park in St Albans allows children from 4 to jump in their normal sessions – useful if you have older children too.
They also run Gravity Tots sessions for children from walking to 5 years old from 11.00am – 12.00pm on Monday – Friday and two sessions on Saturday at 9.30am – 10.15am and 10.15am – 11.00am
The newest kid on the block is Better Extreme at Goslings Sports Centre in Welwyn Garden City. The best thing about this trampoline park is that a dedicated under 5s area means you can visit any time with your littlest ones and okder siblings too!
You can read my review of Better Extreme here.
Pet Shops & Garden Centres
Ok, you might not fancy the farm or zoo if it’s chucking it down, but for my two the local pet shop is just as good! If you combine it with a garden centre then you can grab a coffee, a plant and some home essentials at the same time…
Pets At Home in Letchworth and Stevenage both have little furry animals for sale so you can go and visit the rabbits, guinea pigs and gerbils in store. My daughter also really loves looking at the fish – who needs a day at the aquarium?!
I love a good garden centre – I must be getting old. We visit Wyevale Garden Centre in Hitchin fairly regularly. As well as garden items they also have a decent cafe with a nice outlook over fields and a visiting Robin. There’s also the obligatory visit to Pets Corner when we leave to see the small furry things and the fishes.
Wyevale Garden Centre in Royston goes one step further… Not only is it huge (potential for the purchase of lots of “essential” items) but it also has soft play for £1.50 per child (if you have a free Gardening Club membership).
It’s only for under 8s so not good if you have older kids but it was a great way to entertain the younger ones on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Oh, and there’s also a Pets Corner in store for more animal staring opportunities.
I’ve written about it a lot but I do love a trip to Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton. There are lots of indoor exhibitions on offer – both temporary and permanent – and if the rain clears the kids can let of steam at the playground and in the gardens.
Other than that I’m not very good at going to museums but there are a lot of local ones on my list to try out. If you visit them, let me know what you think!
- British Schools Museum (Hitchin)
- Stevenage Museum
- Natural History Museum in Hertfordshire (Tring)
- De Havilland Aircraft Museum (London Colney)
- Verulamium Museum (St Albans)
- Mill Green Museum (Welwyn Garden City)
- Jordan’s Mill and Museum (Biggleswade)
- Shuttleworth Museum (Nr. Biggleswade)
- Wardown Park Museum (Luton)
- Bletchley Park
- Imperial War Museum (Duxford)
We are lucky to have two cinemas to choose from locally – both offer kids club screenings on the weekends and school holidays.
The weekly Kids Club film is shown on Saturday and Sunday mornings with tickets at just £1 per seat.
Cineworld in Stevenage doesn’t run Cinebabies screenings at present, however, they are happy to admit Babes In Arms into a morning / afternoon U,PG, 12a screenings.
They do have a larger selection of films, however, including a choice of at least 2 Movies for Juniors films on the weekend. Tickets for Movies for Juniors films are £2.00 per seat for 2D or £3.50 for 3D films.