It seems that every time I open the weather app on my phone, it’s filled with grey clouds, and big fat rain drops. Okay, so maybe they aren’t big rain drops, but the days with rain definitely seem to outnumber the days with the little sun peeking out from behind a cloud! It’s that time of year where we have cozy mornings at home doing crafts, playing games, and make believing. Those are some of our family’s favorite things to do on rainy days … but sometimes we feel the need to get out and explore new things! If you’re looking for ways to get out of the house, here are our family’s Top 10 favorite rainy day outings:
1. Visit the Royal BC Museum
The Royal BC Museum is one of our favorite rainy day outings. We purchased an annual pass last year and more than got our money’s worth. With so much to see, and a new featured exhibit a few times a year, it’s a great place for toddlers and young children to explore.
2. Search for the octopus, explore the touch pools, and enjoy crafts and activities at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea
The Shaw Centre is located in Sidney, and has lots to see and discover. Explore on your own, or try out one of their kid-friendly events: Tot Tuesday 10:30-11:30am (themed events for ages 3-5, with stories, crafts, and activities), Weekend Activities (such as Sea-shirt Sundays the 1st Sunday of every month), and printable Scavenger Hunts.
3. Find new bedtime stories and check out upcoming events at your local library
The Sidney/North Saanich library has Good Morning Storytime (stories, songs, and rhymes for 0-5 years old) on Thursday mornings, and various other events and activities throughout the year. The Greater Victoria Library has many classes for babies and toddlers at their various locations around town.
4. Create a pottery piece, polymer clay figurine, or other craft at 4Cats Art Studio
4Cats Uptown, 4Cats Oak Bay and 4Cats Langford offer workshops for children of all ages. There are even Adult Workshops for a Mom/Dad night out! My daughter and I did a Kitten Workshop (ages 2-4) where we worked together to create a pottery kitty mug. Our instructor walked us through the entire process from start to finish, and we both really enjoyed the class. My daughter loves drinking out of the mug she made herself!
5. Try out a new sport and explore trampolines, foam pits and more at Falcon Gymnastics
As well as offering classes for children, Falcon Gymnastics has a Preschool Drop-in time from 11:30am-12:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Children 18 months to 6 years can explore all of the fun activities with a parent.
6. Visit the butterflies, flamingos, turtles, and more at Butterfly Gardens
Victoria Butterfly Gardens has much more to explore beyond the butterflies. Our little one actually didn’t enjoy the butterflies very much, but she loved the flamingos, turtles, frogs, fish, and iguana!
7. Go for a swim, skate, or Kindergym play at your local rec centre
We love going for a swim at Panorama, or skating at the Parent & Tot Skate on Tuesday mornings. Panorama also has Kindergym at Greenglade on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings. Saanich Recreation has swimming at Commonwealth and Gordon Head, skating at Pearkes (including Parent and Tot Ice Play), and Kindergym at Gordon Head, Pearkes, and Commonwealth. Other rec centres around town have similar offerings (such as Oak Bay, West Shore, SEAPARC, Esquimalt and Crystal Pool).
8. Spend a relaxing morning or afternoon painting your own dish or figurine
We went to Paletteable Art Studio for the first time not long ago. You can choose from hundreds of pieces of pottery: everything from ornaments, to mugs, to figurines … the choices are endless, and it just depends on your desired time and financial commitment! The owner Veronica was very friendly and helpful, and my daughter loved working on her art piece. She chose a kitty cat – which Veronica says is the #1 most popular item for young girls!
9. Go for a Playdate with friends at a kid-friendly cafe
My husband and I took our daughter to Bumble and Hive for the first time recently. Located at the Victoria Public Market, it is a place for kids to explore and play. Wooden slides, fireman’s pole, mini climbing wall, camper, plane/car, kitchen, market stand and lots of toys and books will entertain your children (0-6 years) while you enjoy a complimentary coffee or tea. I’ve also heard about The Cottage, but haven’t had a chance to check it out yet!
10. Put on your gumboots and raincoat, and go for a walk in search of puddles, leaves, and chestnuts
Most children love walks in the rain, and searching for puddles! You can also look for pine cones, chestnuts, leaves, and other items for rainy day crafts. Head out on a nature scavenger hunt or collect items for one of these cute Pinterest crafts: Pine Cone Owl (by Broogly), Painted Rock Craft (by diy inspired), or Chestnut Zoo Animals (by Multicultural Kid Blogs).