From marvellous museums and farmyard animals, to trampoline centres and adventure parks, find 26 of the best places to take the kids in Gloucestershire when it’s raining and pouring.
Situated in the heart of the city, Museum of Gloucester offers free entry and a fascinating day out for the whole family. Visitors can expect fascinating exhibitions on dinosaurs, the middle ages, iron age and even Tudor times.
The museum also offers regular tours of the historic chambers and behind the scenes. During a visit, you can see Roman grave stones, a world-famous mirror and artefacts that will boggle your mind.
For more information, visit facebook.com/MuseumofGloucester directly.
Go on the prowl for dinosaurs at The Museum of Gloucester, check out the Roman helmet and discover some amazing artefacts from thousands of years ago. With free entry, families can also head into the Roman kitchen and see part of the Roman city wall.
Take shelter from the rain on board the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, which runs between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway.
Children under five years old can travel free of charge and there’s also a free children’s quiz available from the stations to keep the kids entertained throughout the journey.
Make a splash without heading into the rain with a swimming session at Leisure at Cheltenham which has lots to offer littles one, including a main pool, a teaching pool, and a diving pool, along with the fun-filled Splash Pad – an indoor aquatic play zone for children up to the age of eight.
There’s plenty of under-cover activities for families to enjoy without getting soaked in a sudden downpour at Cotswold Farm Park.
Children will love meeting the cuddly bunnies and cute chicks in the sheltered Experience Barn, while there are also regular demonstrations in the Animal Barn, including the chance to bottle feed lambs and goats. There’s also an indoor Adventure Barn, a tractor school for drivers-in-training, a soft play area, and an on-site café.
Escape from the drizzle underground, with a visit to Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean. Hear the miners’ stories, explore nine impressive caverns, and soak up the atmospheric displays, with plenty to keep young visitors enthralled.
Dare devils will jump at the chance to visit one of Europe’s largest indoor skateparks right on their doorstep in Gloucestershire.
Providing a shelter from the storms and an area to try out some tricks, Rush in Stroud is five parks in one, with a one-of-a-kind street section; park section; bowl section; practice area with a Resi jump box; and a foam pit.
Located at The Brewery Quarter, Cheltenham, Mr Mulligan's Lost World Golf is the perfect activity for a rainy day, with two 18-hole adventure courses to choose from.
Kids will love making their way through the course and testing their putting skills on the different obstacles. There’s also an on-site café that has a kids’ menu, along with serving burgers, sharing platters and more.
Dressing up and indoor activity trails promise hours of entertainment at the Dean Heritage Centre, which offers five on-site galleries exploring the history of the Forest of Dean from the Iron Age to the present day.
The Forester’s Cottage and Victorian School Room allow children to step back in time to experience life in the 19th century. And, if it happens to brighten up while you’re there, don’t miss exploring The Gruffalo Trail.
Located on the outskirts of Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswold Clubhouse is a fun-filled soft play centre with plenty to entertain children up to the age of 11.
In addition to a separate space for under threes, the indoor play area has a reading nook with lots of books to capture little one’s imaginations, while the on-site café has a varied menu for both adults and children. Find more places to go in our round up of Gloucestershire's soft play centres.
Gloucestershire boasts a number of fantastic theatres where families can hide away in comfort during the rainy days – whether it’s a matinee at Everyman Theatre, a live cinema screening at Roses Theatre, a pantomime at Bacon Theatre, or a musical at The Playhouse, parents can take their pick of performances to keep kiddies happy.
Eagle-eyed youngsters can discover which of Gloucester Cathedral's cloisters doubled as the corridors of Hogwarts during Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and The Half Blood Prince, and have heaps of fun in the magical Whispering Gallery – being careful not to whisper any guarded secrets, because they definitely won’t be kept quiet.
Children with a need for speed, aged between four and 11, can whiz round the smaller track at JDR Karting in Gloucester on safe, electric karts – and not worry about splashing any pedestrians, while older children can also drive up a storm and race to the finish line.
Aviation enthusiasts old and young will be fascinated at Gloucester’s Jet Age Museum, which is home to an impressive exhibition, which includes a replica of Britain’s first jet aircraft, the Gloster E.28/39.
Let imaginations run wild at Dinky Street where children can head into the different rooms to try their hand at hairdressing, being a doctor, building a wall or serving up cakes in the café.
Whether it’s striking out on the bowling lanes, playing video games, or getting competitive at air hockey, Stroud Bowl, Tenpin in Gloucester and Hollywood Bowl Cheltenham provide a fun and safe haven away from the wind and rain, offering great eat and play deals too. Bowling with little ones? Ask for a ramp to help them take aim, and gutter guards too.
Funky Warehouse offers hours of indoor entertainment at its trampoline park in Cheltenham. The main park has 28 trampolines where you can perfect your bouncing, while there’s also a fun foam pit, battle beam and Ninja Warrior challenge.
There are dedicated toddler trampolining sessions on weekdays, while there’s also a soft play area that’s designed for under-fives.
Families can get creative with some pottery painting fun, visiting one of three places in Gloucestershire, including The Paint It Yourself Pottery Company in Cheltenham, The Paint Pot in Tewkesbury and Pick a Pot and Paint in Cirencester.
All offer pint-sized Picassos the opportunity to create their own mug or plate masterpieces, with the chance to immortalise tiny footprints, or handprints proving popular with parents too.
Escape the elements and head to Warehouse in Gloucester, where you’ll discover an impressive indoor climbing venue with a bouldering floor and Kids’ Zone.
Far Peak in Northleach also offers hours of indoor climbing and bouldering, with a dedicated kids’ climbing area suitable for nippers as young as three.
Put trigger fingers to the test at Laser Tag Gloucester, situated at Gloucester’s popular JDR Karting Arena. The Aliens vs Predators themed multi-floor arena, complete with amazing props, promises an exciting experience and even allows skilled shooters to take aim at their opponents through the floor.
The covered hides at Slimbridge Wetland Centre have comfy chairs, binoculars, and a telescope, making them perfect for watching the birds in the warm and dry. If the rain descends, children are sure to have heaps of fun splashing around in outdoor wet playground, Welly Boot Land.
Dry off afterwards in the indoor Discovery Centre – where kiddies can dress up, have fun at the amphibian-themed soft play area, and get up close and personal with some friendly amphibians and learn some fascinating facts at the Toad Hall talks.
Providing hours of educational entertainment, the county’s libraries offer the chance to get lost in a good book or enjoy time on the computers, while storytelling, book clubs, craft sessions, poetry workshops, baby bounce, rhyme time and much more will keep little ones of all ages busy – and learning – without them even realising! Check SoGlos’s directory of Gloucestershire libraries to find your nearest one.
The whole family will enjoy discovering more about the history of Sudeley Castle and Gardens on a rainy day. Learn about its royal connection and discover the 20 treasures of Sudeley as you explore the Tudor castle, with the season running from March to December.
Berkeley Castle, which is open from April until the end of October, has plenty to entertain children, including the opportunity to try on period costumes and play king, queen, prince or princess, and a Butterfly House.
Open from mid-February to mid-December, Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water is the home of television star, Brum. Meanwhile, visitors of all generations will enjoy the attraction’s impressive toy collection, which includes everything from pedal cars and model aeroplanes, to jigsaws and board games.
Great for a rainy day, Lunar City at GL1 Leisure Centre is packed full of inflatable obstacles, slippery slides and tall towers to climb up.
Take cover for the rain and tuck into some seriously scrumptious sweet treats at Creams Café in Cheltenham. Let the kids choose from sickly sweet sundaes, wonderful waffles and perfect pancakes.
The cinema at Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury regularly shows family films, Sherborne Cinema offers a unique setting and brilliant value with tickets, while Gloucester Guildhall's cinema also regularly shows films suitable for kids – with well-priced tickets and deals.
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