From weddings and graduations to days scheduled for picnics and barbecues, we often spend at least a few minutes here and there wishing away the rain and keeping our fingers crossed it just won’t come. Still, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. If you are wondering what to do on a rainy day and having a hard time thinking of something fun or worthwhile, consider these 101 things to do on a rainy day or during a thunderstorm.
Whether you want something fun, romantic, creative, mentally stimulating, productive, active, or just something relaxing to do inside, look no further. No matter if you need ideas for rainy day activities in summer, winter, spring, or fall, this list ideas for a stormy or dreary day can solve your dilemma with plenty of other options to spare.
What to do on a rainy day…
Romantic Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
If the weather is too yucky to go outside, you can still have a romantic date or spend some quality time together inside. Think up your own things to do on a rainy day or consider these top 10 romantic things to do inside on a rainy day or during a thunderstorm.
1. Enjoy a wine pairing meal or a simple, at-home wine tasting. Share a box of chocolates or a decadent slice of chocolate cake. If you have a fireplace, now is the time to turn it on!
2. Enjoy homemade fondue. After all, what can’t you dip in chocolate? Marshmallows, cookies, pretzels, brownies, rice krispie treats, need we go on?
3. Write a poem. A few moments of sweetness and creativity can woo your love for years to come.
4. Write a love song. See above – what’s more romantic than a song written just for you?
5. Write a love letter. This is a sweet idea you can put into action on a rainy day where you won’t see your sweetheart.
6. Spend the day in bed.
7. Exchange full-body massages with your significant other. Try learning about different massage techniques or get a kit for an interesting massage like a hot stone massage.
8. Watch a romantic movie. For every few action movies and thrillers, a romance comedy should work its way into your Netflix or OnDemand listing.
9. Make dinner or a special dessert with your sweetheart. Cooking and baking together can be romantic and fun, so why not make the most of the weather by doing something fun in the kitchen?
10. Light some candles and play the rest by ear. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and snuggling up to listen to the rain. If it’s boring enough, you’re sure to find other things to do.
Active Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
Don’t let the bad weather get you down! You can still exercise your muscles or do something active on a rainy day or during some icky weather. Consider these ideas for something active you can do when your energy levels surpass the dullness of the weather outside.
11. Exercise. Create a fun challenge for yourself to see how many exercises you can do. Work on strength training or cardio to improve your fitness level and muscle tone. You can also opt for an indoor exercise video you enjoy. My pick would be Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred.
12. Do yoga or Pilates. Get your mind and body in sync with a fine balance of stretching and breathing.
13. Shoot pool / billiards. If you don’t have a pool table, call around to the local billiards centers and see if they have a table available. You can head over with friends and pass the time together.
14. Play darts. Shooting darts in your basement can be fun, but if you’re old enough, head over to a bar and challenge your friends. Loser buys the next round.
15. Have a NERF gun fight. This activity can be fun for all ages, even if the power goes out. Make it more exciting by building forts or playing a version of “capture the flag”.
16. Do some sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, chin-ups, pull-ups, or other indoor exercises. Start a routine for yourself to keep up even on the nicer days. Or you can lift weights. It’s another simple fitness suggestion, but it can give you results that you’ll love. It may only be 15 minutes of activity, but you will feel great as you start to see improvements over time.
17. Go to the gym. Find a fitness class to try or play racquetball or another indoor sport. You can also use the indoor pool if they have one, or an indoor track or other workout equipment.
18. Play hide and go seek inside. Depending on the layout of your house, it may be too easy to find your opponents, so you might want to make up new rules to the game or have a home base where you can dash to if you don’t want to get caught.
19. Visit a gym that has an indoor rock-climbing wall. Climb to your heart’s content and then go out for lunch or dinner.
Creative Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
Rainy weather shouldn’t stop your creativity. In fact, a thunderstorm or a rainy day is the perfect excuse to try a new craft or some other creative things to do. During the next thunderstorm, consider these interesting and crafty ideas for a dismal day.
20. Do a craft you find on Pinterest. Seriously, I read the comments you guys leave and if you get to the end of the article and haven’t found a thing that you want to do, I am all for sending you over to Pinterest where you can find countless crafts to try.
21. Learn to crochet or knit or cross-stitch. I made an awesome handmade blanket for my husband before we were married or even engaged. It featured his favorite hockey team and I even free-handed the team logo for the corners of the blanket. It is one of his prized possessions to this day, so don’t knock the needle crafts!
22. Paint something. Get canvases and make your own artwork or paint rocks or seashells. You can make a noodle sculpture by gluing macaroni or other noodles to a box or other household recyclables and then spray paint the noodles. Get creative and have fun with it!
23. Draw something. Try to sketch your dog or your true love. Draw your house or your dream house. Doodle. Play Pictionary with your friends. It’s a fun way to pass the time if you like to put pen to paper.
24. Sculpt something. Use modeling clay or Playdoh. For even more fun, make your own salt dough and craft your own holiday ornaments, animals, or scenes.
25. Build a model ship, airplane, or rocket. This can be a fun project to try with friends or siblings. It can also be a time-consuming hobby that becomes a favorite pastime. Give it a shot and see what you think!
26. Make a homemade pinata. You just need a balloon, flour, water, scissors, and newspaper for the most part. Once you are done with that, you can use crepe paper to decorate it. I’ve always wanted to make a pinata of one of our favorite NFL team’s football rivals that we could bash on game day. A rainy day could be the perfect day to try that!
27. Hold a photography shoot in your home. Play old school dress up with your friends or take cute pictures of your pets or kids (if you have any).
28. Make homemade jewelry. Depending on the materials you have, you can try to make friendship bracelets, shell jewelry, beaded jewelry, jewelry with stones, and more. Take a look at Etsy to get ideas of what kinds of jewelry people make and sell. You can also make your own hair bows, headbands and other accessories if you feel crafty enough.
29. Paint your nails. Make your own nail designs for the season, crafting cute characters or a classy look with jewels or sparkles. You should definitely find the time to do a soothing pedicure at home – just soak your feet and listen to music before you get around to choosing what color to paint your toes.
30. Create and organize new photo albums. It’s been on my to-do list forever, way back to my wedding and now the birth of my daughter. If you have the photos and the albums, spend a few hours putting everything together.
31. Create a scrapbook. Ditto – see above. I am such a slacker when it comes to scrapbooking and creating photo albums. Maybe one day, one of the next few rainy days…?
32. Hang some photographs on your walls. Even if you have some artwork already there, consider changing things up a bit. You can get a lovely new look for your favorite rooms by simply changing the art on the walls.
33. Take up sewing or craft a new sewing project. Some fun things to make may be shaped pillows, tutu skirts, quilts or t-shirt quilts (for all the t-shirts you collected when playing sports but never wear), or other fun sewing projects.
34. Start a new hobby like brewing your own beer. If you aren’t old enough to brew or drink beer, maybe you’d enjoy a root beer float or Coke float! Just add some ice cream to your favorite soda pop.
35. Find some old white clothes and give them a tie-dye face lift. This can be very fun with shirts, but also with socks, sports bras, white skirts, shorts, sweats, sheets, and more.
36. Play pretend. Play made up games like house, school, circus, pet shop / dog pound, museum, newspaper, or other games of make-believe.
37. Write a song and/or play an instrument. If you are talented enough to do both, go for it. If you have a piano or keyboard at home, this can be a fun way to pass the time in the rainiest of days. Learn a favorite song on your instrument or make up your own.
38. Learn to play guitar or another instrument if you don’t already know. (Sidebar: Playing guitar in the rain can be an irresistible way to attract certain members of the opposite sex in the future. Who can resist an attractive musician playing a favorite song while the rain trickles down?)
39. Begin writing a novel or book. If you haven’t written a book yet, why not? You can surely find something to write, whether it’s an actual real-life story or more of a comic series.
Keep Reading: More Things to Do on a Rainy Day…
If you are wondering about what things you can do on a day during the rainy season, keep reading for more suggestions…
Mentally Stimulating Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
Exercise your noodle on a rainy day with some interesting things that you can do inside. The next time you find your plans changed or cancelled on account of a thunderstorm or inclement weather, consider these ideas for mentally stimulating things to do inside on a rainy day.
40. Play a board game. Some of our favorites are Apples to Apples, Scattergories, Taboo, and Sequence. What are yours?
41. Read a book or magazine. Try the Consumer Reports to help you pick out a new car to fall in love with or a fun gossip mag to pass the time. Read a book on your kindle or cuddle up next to a crackling fireplace or amid a pile of fuzzy blankets and pillows.
42. Go to an arcade. If you have a Dave & Busters near you, that can be a perfect social option for a rainy day – play skeeball, try your luck at the big crane game, or play countless other video games for tickets or bragging rights.
43. Play video games at home. Have a competition or try to beat a game or advance beyond previous levels you’ve won.
44. Put together a jigsaw puzzle. You can keep your mind busy looking for the right pieces while having a great conversation with a special loved one like your grandmother or grandfather or even your parents.
45. Play cards. Lots of card games can be fun ways to pass the time. Learn a new game of cards that you haven’t played before, or stick to something basic like Solitaire if you feel particularly lazy.
46. Start a recipe swap. Put together an email and message your best chef and baker buddies and ask everyone to contribute a favorite recipe for something they love to make and eat. You could ask me and I’d give recipes for cookies, Stromboli, soft pretzels, and pretty much anything in the baked goods theme. Yum!
47. Do a crossword puzzle. You can increase your brain’s ability with trivia and words by doing crosswords on a regular basis. It’s also shown to be a good way to keep your mind active and youthful and especially helpful as we age.
48. Do a Sudoku puzzle. You can play an electronic version or stick to the paper copies, but have fun figuring out these tricky brain teasers.
49. Spend some money that you’ve been saving “for a rainy day.” It is raining, after all! So hit the mall, the local outlets, or shop online.
50. Use modeling clay to create mini sculptures and take turns with your friends guessing what everyone’s creations are. You can make up your own game of 3D pictionary or a similar competition.
51. Start your Christmas list. It may not be the most fun or exciting idea on the list, but face it. When you are done reading this list, if you haven’t found something you’d like to do, you will probably go back to surfing the Web for more ideas or things to chase away your boredom. This could be two birds with one stone…
52. Play 20 Questions. This game can be fun in the car to pass the time as well. My favorite thing for the person to guess is, for some reason, flyswatter, because it’s such a random item it can be tricky to figure out.
53. Play I Spy. This is a good thing to do with kids in the car as well or with young ones who are feeling bored. It’s an easy game to explain and play over and over again.
Relaxing Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
Sometimes a rainy day is a perfect excuse to relax and avoid all strenuous and tiring tasks in exchange for pleasant, enjoyable relaxation. The next time a thunderstorm comes your way, try some of these relaxing things to do inside on a rainy day.
54. Have a movie marathon with your friends. Choose the genre or movie franchise and have a blast, complete with buttered popcorn, soft pretzel nuggets, soft drinks, and movie theater style candy.
55. Go to the movies. My dad used to take me to a movie on a rainy day when I was a little girl. Or at least one time he did – I remember it vividly, it was on the Wildwood Boardwalks’ Strand theater. Make a movie date with your sweetheart or your friends. Bonus points if you can find a Movie Tavern near you!
56. Pamper yourself with an at-home facial. Try a soothing mud masque to soak up excess oils or a moisturizing masque if you suffer from dry skin. Don’t forget the cucumber slices.
57. Pamper yourself with an at-home pedicure. Go classic with pink, red, or a French style pedicure.
58. Take a nap. Doesn’t rain make you a little sleepy? Nothing wrong with taking a little snooze. You can pass the time and maybe the sun will eventually come back out in time to do something.
59. Relax with some cocktails. Put your feet up, cast your cares aside, and mix up some drinks for a fun evening no matter what the weather.
60. Kick back with a beer and a snack. Watch whatever’s on TV or get together with your neighbors or friends for a relaxing, low-key evening.
61. Look through old photo albums. Take a stroll down memory lane and soak up some of the emotions from times past.
62. Order takeout and relax. Don’t cook, don’t clean, don’t prepare anything at all. Eat right out of the carton and relax the night away. Watch a movie or catch up on your DVR to complete the evening.
63. Read the comics or a comic book. On the flip side, you can also make up your own comics for the fun of it. Practice sketching and drawing speech bubbles with comic hero text inside.
64. Make a phone call to connect with family or old friends. Facebook and text messaging make it so easy to neglect those we love, but a simple phone call can be a great way to keep those bonds strong.
65. Write a letter to send to a grandparent, family member, or friend and send it out. Put some special effort into decorating the envelope and writing meaningful comments inside your letter.
66. Turn out the lights and watch / listen to the storm. It can be soothing to embrace the storm rather than fighting back against it. Why else do you think they sell rain and thunderstorm soundtracks?
67. Listen to music. Put together a playlist on your iPod or smartphone, play around on Pandora, or just go through YouTube looking for great music videos or other funny videos to watch and enjoy.
68. Daydream. Take some time to think about all the wonderful things you want in life. Take it a step further to line up some goals or steps to achieve those amazing feats.
69. Meditate. Relax and breathe. Let your mind and body be at peace. Consider adding meditation into your weekly routine to keep yourself centered and your life well balanced.
Keep Reading: Productive and Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm…
Find a few more fun things to do on a rainy day…
Productive Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
When a thunderstorm comes rolling through, it might be a good opportunity to get done some of these things that have been hanging over your head. Consider these productive things you can do on a rainy day or during a thunderstorm.
70. Bake some cookies or another treat. You can check out Pinterest for ideas or make something so good it belongs on Pinterest. Try cookies with magic middles or popcorn balls or rice krispie treats or another delectable dessert.
71. Make homemade pizza. Have each person in your group make their own pizza with their preferred toppings. You can make the crust by hand or look into those premade pizza crust shells you get at the supermarket.
72. Clean your house. Organize your closet and drawers, go through things you can give away, sell, or throw out. Set mini goals for different rooms and feel a sense of accomplishment when you achieve those goals.
73. Do some laundry. It piles up way too quickly anymore, so it may be lame, but since it’s always on my list of things to do, might as well get it out of the way when the weather is too crummy to do anything else.
74. Update your iPod or MP3 player with new music. It’s one of those things on my never-ending to-do list. Along with finding my misplaced iPod, oops.
75. Work on a budget to help you save money. Find places where you can cut corners and just think of all the things you can do with the money you save.
76. Redecorate a room or two in your home. Redecorating can be a lot of fun, no matter if you are painting or just changing around the art and curtains.
77. Rearrange your furniture. Change up your favorite rooms to make them more interesting. Look into Feng Shui or other philosophies on room design.
78. Start your Christmas shopping in stores or online. Look for great deals to help you save money and get some of your shopping out of the way.
79. Cut coupons so you can save some money. Go through the Sunday paper or print out coupons you find online. Strategically plan your shopping list to be sure you visit the stores with the lowest prices for the items you want and need.
80. Teach your dog some new tricks. Spending time with your dog is never wasted. Animals won’t be with us as long as we’d like, so why not make the most of it, playing or cuddling, or teaching new tricks.
81. Start planning a future vacation. Dream up all the places you’d like to go and start planning away. Consider looking into cruises or creating a road trip itinerary.
82. Go through clutter and find some things to throw out or give away. You’ll feel a bit lighter when you see your hard work making a difference in your home.
83. Go through your clothes and select a few items to give to charity. Purple Heart accepts items and even comes to pick them up from your home so that you don’t have to go anywhere to drop stuff off. So worth it!
84. Bake homemade dog treats or cat treats for your pet. But some chicken livers at the store and make up treats to give your pets a healthy and yummy alternative to the mass-produced pet treats.
Fun Things to Do with Friends on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
More than likely, the main objective of your search for something to do inside on a rainy day is to have a good time. With this in mind, check out these ideas for fun things to do inside with friends on a rainy day or during a thunderstorm.
85. Sing karaoke. Whether you make it up on your computer, use your own karaoke machine, or go out to a karaoke bar or club, you can have a blast with your friends and loved ones.
86. Play charades. This game you can do anytime, anywhere, so why not have a little good old-fashioned fun without the use of electronic devices.
87. Sit around in the dark and tell ghost stories. If you believe in ghosts, you might also want to tell real stories of experiences you may have had.
88. Set up an indoor scavenger hunt. This can be done on the fly or you can look up example scavenger hunt lists online. This can also be a fun party game if you don’t mind people going through your house. You can always make certain rooms or areas “off-limits”.
89. Make root beer floats or milkshakes. Frozen treats can be fun any time of year, especially when there’s not much else better to do. Try making your own alcoholic slushy drinks, too, if you are old enough to drink.
90. Make your own ice cream or sorbet using an ice cream maker. You can also take pre-made ice cream and make your own ice cream sandwiches or try your luck at making an ice cream cake.
91. Make homemade smoothies. Blend up some of your favorite fruits into a delicious medley you can sip. You can also look into juicing as a creative and fun thing to do that could even benefit your health.
92. Have a sleepover / slumber party. Look through the list again and you’ll be sure to find a number of things to do during a slumber party.
93. Go play in the rain. Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you can’t still do something. I had the most fun imaginable in Aruba on vacation when we went four-wheeling in the rain. We didn’t mean to choose a rainy day for our adventure, but we didn’t back down when the skies opened up. (Although some of the other patrons did cut their losses.) It was a bit scary with how much rain we go and how muddy everything was, but it made the experience. We could never have that much fun and that neat of a time again if we tried, I’m convinced. Soaked to the skin, but so worth it!
94. Go to a museum or exhibition. Find one near you or take a little drive to pass the time. You can bring your kids to a museum or go with friends or family. Learn something new despite the bad weather.
95. Hold a poker night. Use candy like Swedish fish as your chips. Play for fun and then relax and watch movies, sports, and have a drink.
96. Decorate your own T-shirts in honor of your favorite sports team. You can make a lot of fun designs using fabric markers, team patches and fabric, puffy paint, and more.
97. Play truth or dare. You can have some old school sleepover fun any time of day or night on a rainy day with a game of truth or dare, M.A.S.H., or any other paper and pen game you remember from your childhood.
98. Sit around and chat about anything that comes to mind. You can pass a lot of time talking to the people you love. Whether it’s friends, family, your spouse, or your kids, you can find many things to talk about if you just try.
99. Do makeovers on each other. Makeovers can be a lot of fun, whether you are trying to find a gorgeous new look or aiming to be as silly as possible. Take before and after pictures for the fun of it.
100. Watch sports on TV. Depending on where the game is based, they may have no rain at all. Enjoy watching your favorite sports on television, especially if they man up and play in the rain.
101. Go to a play or show. You might have to drive into the city, but it can still be worth a trip on a rainy afternoon or evening to go check out a show or a play at a great venue. Consider Philadelphia, New York City, and other big cities.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of things to do on a rainy day. If you have other suggestions for fun activities when it rains, please share them in our comments below.