Rainy days are a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean they should stop us from getting out of the house! Cumbria is full of great indoor attractions which are fun, exciting, educational – and also make great shelter spots! Here are a few suggestions to turn even the wettest of days into the most fun of days!

KENDAL CLIMBING WALL

For children who want to enjoy a genuine Cumbrian climbing experience, but with the extra layer of comfort and safety (and an escape from potential showers), the Kendal Climbing Wall offers several different experiences that will thrill youngsters aged five and above. From the rope-free, low-level ‘Bouldering’ experience, to a 90 minute higher adventure secured with ropes and a harness, there’s something for every child (i.e., for those who are both afraid and not afraid of heights!). The ‘CrazyClimb’ offers an extra challenge, with no fewer than twelve themed walls to conquer – and an exhilarating SkyJump for the ultra-brave.

SENHOUSE ROMAN MUSEUM, MARYPORT

If your children’s interest in history has been heightened during lockdown thanks to binge-watching the brilliant ‘Horrible Histories’ programme, then now is the time to build on that enthusiasm by delving into The Lake District, Cumbria’s roman heritage. The Roman Senhouse Museum on a cliff top in Maryport explores Cumbria’s entire Roman history, and illustrates many exciting and fascinating tales through exhibits dating back hundreds of years.

THE BEACON MUSEUM, WHITEHAVEN

Sitting on the edge of Whitehaven harbour, the Beacon Museum tells exciting tales of action and adventure, mysterious stories of pirates and smugglers, and reveals further historic records of Cumbria’s Roman and Viking Heritage. The harbour side location of the museum also makes it a perfect place to grab some fresh air in-between potential showers, so why not take a stroll with the children to check out the array of fishing boats right outside?

LAKE DISTRICT COAST AQUARIUM, MARYPORT

Dive into the underwater world of Cumbria’s native marine life at The Lake District Coast Aquarium at Maryport. The only attraction of its kind on the coast with almost 100 different tanks housing a wide range of marine life from the UK’s coast. A great stop-off point for the whole family, there’s also a play area, 14 hole golf course and an opportunity to take to the water while testing your port from your starboard with some radio controlled boat action!

THE RHEGED CENTRE, PENRITH

The Rheged Centre at Penrith ticks every box, with a wide range of shops selling everything from artisan food and outdoor clothing to children’s toys, body products and crafts. You’ll also find the biggest 3D cinema in the region here. With an ever-changing range of exhibitions in its very own gallery and a Food Hall boasting the finest selection of local produce available.

SOLDIERS IN SILLOTH, SILLOTH

The Soldiers in Silloth museum is a collection of more than 6,000 toy soldiers and models displayed by theme. Youngsters will love it too, thanks to activity sheets and large battlefield layouts. There’s also a special Hadrian's Wall feature to whet your appetite for a visit to the World Heritage Site.

MUNCASTER CASTLE, RAVENGLASS

Finding a child who isn’t thrilled by the prospect of venturing inside a real castle is a near-impossibility. While The Lake District, Cumbria is home to many, none are more famous than Muncaster. Situated in the stunning coastal town of Ravenglass, Muncaster is home to the Frost-Pennington family – who always go above and beyond when it comes to making sure youngsters are thoroughly entertained during their visit. Seasonal themes, tours, bird of prey shows and gardens begging to be explored in all weathers will easily quench every child’s thirst for a great day out.

LAKELAND MOTOR MUSEUM, BACKBARROW

With more than 30,000 fascinating, quirky and fun motoring exhibits including more than 100 cars and motorbikes, children will love a visit to the Lakeland Motor Museum just as much as their petrol-head parents and grandparents. Of particular interest to the youngsters will be the full size replicas of Donald Campbell’s record-breaking Bluebird vehicles, examples of games the pre-date their consoles, vintage toys, models, and even a car boot full of Smurfs to keep an eye open for…  A kids quiz sheet is provided, with a medal for completing it – and of course there’s an opportunity to spend their pocket money on a wide range of fun toys, games and models in the souvenir shop.

THE BREWERY ARTS CENTRE, KENDAL

A hub for world-class theatre, music, art and events, Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre also boasts three cinema screens and a child-friendly place to refuel: The Intro Cafe Bar, which comes complete with a play-area. Perhaps the biggest pull for youngsters is the chance to get messy, thanks to a hands-on experience in the centre’s very own pottery studio. Overseen by an expert teacher, this is a chance to learn how to transform the children’s ideas into reality. After sculpting and painting their creations, their work will be fired in the kiln before they can be taken home as a great memento. All materials and equipment will be provided on the day.

THE DOCK MUSEUM, BARROW IN FURNESS

Famous for its shipbuilding heritage, youngsters will love their deep dive into Barrow-in-Furness’ seafaring history at the Dock Museum, set in a genuine 19th century dock with a modern twist on the quayside. Home to exhibits documenting the town’s industrial history, children will love to discover more about everything from the numerous Viking treasures which have been unearthed here, to how the town contributed to the Second Word War effort.

SOUTH LAKES SAFARI ZOO, DALTON

With plenty of places to escape any showers, the South Lakes Safari Zoo is home to giant Rhinoceros’, Tigers and Lions, this is where many animals can also roam-free. Both adults and children will marvel at the sight of playful Ring-tailed Lemurs and Penguins, which can be fed by hand. There’s even the opportunity to feed the Giraffes in a specially-built feeding facility, and you can wander along the birds in a huge cage which allows them to stretch their wings and take flight. A large café and fantastic gift shop also mean nobody will go home hungry or without a souvenir of their memorable day.

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