Four Things to do with Kids in Harrogate when it’s raining, for FREE

We can all plan for the school holidays; there are day trips to museums, play dates and picnics at stately home. Paddling pools in the garden, ice creams on the park bench, and bike rides to a village. Pretty idyllic!

When you have to get out in the rain…

Then there are those days that you don’t plan for, when it’s three weeks in to the six week break, it’s raining for the fourth day in a row and all your good-will towards your small people has disappeared along with the sunshine. You need to get out of the house, you don’t want to spend much money and you need to kill a couple of hours.

You’re dying a little bit inside, the TV and iDevices are doing your head in and it’s not just you wingeing at your kids, they’re wingeing at each other. When it’s too early for actual wine, you’ve already seen this summer’s movie picks and can’t bear the thought of another swimming fun session, here are some of the things we do…

We go to the Library

We look at the books, borrow a few, read the ones in the toddler trays with the Small Boy, partake in the free colouring. We usually park in Waitrose so I can pick up more wine as necessary and the kids are treated to an overprice gingerbread man each as a form of bribe and everyone’s happy.

This is the more expensive Library – it’s Waterstones’ book shop in Harrogate! ?

We head to one of the big supermarkets like Sainsbury’s or ASDA

We look at the clothes, we look at the toys, we check out the magazines and the books, we call in the cafe and have a carton of juice and a biscuit. We browse the cereal aisle, admire the stationery, look at the seasonal offers and if we’re all really good we have £1 each to buy anything we like in the whole shop! This can kill loads of time!

You might need all the gin – but that wasn’t for me (honest!)

We visit a Garden Centre

The one at Starbeck, Moorland Nurseries, is great the children love to see the fish (free zoo!), they also love to check out the stone garden animals and the Small Boy takes great pleasure in identifying all of them. Crimple Hall is another great garden centre, the Smalls all love to look at the little stalls and see what’s on offer. It’s great for Mummy’s too as browsing is fab, plus there’s obviously the gorgeous Christian’s cafe there too!

Visiting Crimple Hall – perfect for rainy days!

We get arty at the Mercer Art Gallery

The Mercer Art gallery is free to drop into. Over the summer holiday they normally do some friendly activities for the Smalls. This year they are holding a ‘meet the artist’ programme over the summer months. You can find out more on their website and Facebook page.


What do you do?

What are your go-to rainy day activities when you have to get out of the house for zero pounds?

Lucy xx



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