Discovery Museum Acton (rainy day indoor activities Boston)
Discovery Museum in Acton

Rainy days happen. And as New England parents, we know outdoor activities are weather dependent. And it often feels like the rain clouds come along just when my kids are bursting with energy and needing to be entertained. Luckily, as a mom of 19 years, I have had the chance to try out many indoor activities in the Boston area. If your young children have decided they need to be out and about — but the rain is making that difficult — check out any of these 15 rainy day activities!

1. Check out a trampoline park! Both Altitude Trampoline Park and SkyZone have dedicated preschool and toddler times and areas, making it a safe way to burn tons of energy.

2. The Museum of Science is a great option for a bad weather day. Check out the Science in the Park exhibit to get those wiggles out, then follow it up with a planetarium show to cool down.

3. Head over to the Boston Children’s Museum for a day of activity. Although it can get busy on a rainy day (especially a rainy weekend), there is a space dedicated specifically to toddlers under 3. If the rain lets up, be sure to check out Martin’s Park right outside.

4. The Discovery Museum in Acton is a great option for the under 6 crowd. With various themed rooms, there’s a place for every energy level on a rainy day.

5. Right by the water, the New England Aquarium is a great place to escape a stormy day. Pet some stingrays, walk up the spiral around the big tank, and take in an Imax movie to cap off the day!

6. If you’re OK to travel a bit north of Boston for your indoor activities, the Peabody Essex Museum is a great place for kids to explore. Although there are some exhibits that might be more adult oriented, there are a ton of kid-friendly drop-in activities.

7. Don’t underestimate your local library! Most libraries’ children’s rooms have toys, books, and puzzles out all the time. Many also offer regular programming — story times, singalongs, and crafting sessions — for the youngest patrons. Also, check out a museum pass to explore something new.

8. Go rock climbing! Many rock climbing gyms, including Rock Spot Climbing, have dedicated toddler activity times — turn a rainy day into an adventure day!

9. Indoor play spaces are always a popular choice. There are so many options — and spots like Little Lovage Club, VinKari Safari, and Jam Time are meant just for the little ones! With climbing structures, slides, play houses, ball pits, and space to run, you can’t go wrong!

10. Indoor food halls can be great fun on a rainy day. High Street Place includes a toddler music class monthly. Hub Hall has a variety of eats for even a picky eater. And there’s always the tried-and-true Quincy Market, which often has live music playing.

11. It might not sound very exciting, but hitting up your local mall is another great option. Many malls have indoor play spaces, and the food courts have quick, easy, predictable meals. Who doesn’t love grabbing a shake and doing some window shopping?

12. Art activities are always a hit — especially when someone else does the clean up.  Check out pottery painting places like Ceramica and Plaster Fun Time. Or visit art lesson venues like Kidcasso and Essem Art for an artistic rainy day activity.

13. Go see a movie! AMC Theaters and Showcase Cinemas both have discounted tickets on Tuesdays. Go to a morning or early afternoon show where it will be mostly families that don’t mind the inevitable noise from your toddler!

14. Planning ahead for rainy days can be really helpful. Order a Kiwi Crate or two and stash them in a closet until you need one for a fun-emergency! They are a lot of fun for both kids and adults. Even better, they entertain for HOURS.

15. At-home activities can also help pass time on a rainy day. Pull out the playdough, finger paint in the bathtub with popsicles, or build a fort in the living room and watch a movie.  Making things just a little bit different can make it so much more fun!

This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated for 2024.

Michelle Mady
Michelle is a lifelong New Englander who lives in Stoneham and works in Charlestown. She is a preschool teacher and Assistant Director at a small private preschool and holds a master’s degree in early childhood education, which has come in useful at both work and home. She has a supportive stay-at-home-dad for a husband and is a mom of five children. She has three boys born in 2005, 2007 and 2008, plus two girls born in 2012 and 2015. Michelle teaches infant and toddler classes for early education teachers and is an adjunct professor for The School Of Mom. She also runs her own business, The Parenting Survival Expert, offering parenting tips and support. In her spare time, she can be found reading a murder mystery novel, sipping far too much coffee, and dreaming of a home in the mountains.

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