40 Rainy Day Ideas to Fight Cabin Fever

After years of drought, the rain is such a welcome treat in the Bay Area. I feel life coming back and almost too much for my antsy child. Although I cannot wait to venture out to see the waterfalls here, it's during these wet months when cabin fever sets in fast. It can be hard to keep from feeling stuck so I’ve come up with 40 ideas to make a rainy day AWESOME.

  1. Give back to your community. Now is a great time to get a jumpstart on making holiday cards for a retirement center, gather canned goods for the food bank, collect unused art supplies for DrawBridge, unused coats for One Warm Coat, or plan where you want to volunteer during the rest of the year.
  2. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. Put on your raincoat and boots and splash in the puddles, throw a rock into the water, get wet and muddy then take a warm bath followed by hot chocolate. 
  3. Beyond baking cookies - teach them age appropriate skills in the kitchen like how to crack an egg, whip cream, use a knife.
  4. Clean the house. It doesn't sound like much fun but you can make it fun and age appropriate. Toddlers can help sort socks and older kids should learn how to run their own laundry, vacuum and clean their rooms in preparation for the holiday's.
  5. Speaking of socks.....make sock puppets or my favorite, chin puppets!
  6. Get off the electronics and pull out the board games. Candyland, Yahtzee, Apples to Apples or if you are not sure what games your family will like, head over to Gamescape in San Rafael. Check their website for fun game day events to try out the latest new board games.
  7. Get crafty. Here are some of my favorite websites for ideas: DYI.orgMaker CampHappy HooligansHello WonderfulHousing a ForestGrowing a Jeweled Rose, and Frugal Fun 4 Boys.
  8. Or get out to a local art studio: Studio 4 Art Novato & Mill Valley, Ark Row Tiburon, Art A Bloom San Anselmo, MASTERWORKS Children’s Art Studio Corte Madera, Side Door Studio San Rafael, and the new kid on the block I Made It! Glass Creations in San Rafael.
  9. Fun indoor games like hide & seek, freeze tag and treasure hunts never go out of fashion.
  10. Have a cardboard challenge and create your own arcade like Caine’s Arcade or make a cardboard house. We made a fantastic pinball machine.
  11. Bubble wrap - Pop it, paint it, use it for printing, cut it.
  12. A deck of cards is an endless source for card tricks and fun games like Slap, Rummy, and Goldfish. 
  13. Storytime at the library. 
  14. Make your own instruments. 
  15. Go to an indoor museum such as Bay Area Discovery MuseumExploratoriumCalifornia Academy of SciencesAquarium by the Bay, and more.
  16. Make beautiful jewelry at Beads of Marin in Mill Valley.
  17. Try some cool science experiments.
  18. More indoor fun with a dance party, karaoke, musical chairs, charades.
  19. JAPANTOWN!!!!! Two HUGE indoor malls full of fun!
  20. Set up an indoor obstacle course. For young children, jumping over pillows, crawling through a tunnel made from a blanket over a chair, skipping, hopping on one foot, are some fun ideas. If your child is older, try to challenge him/her to design their own course. 
  21. Make cards and write letters to friends, family, and people you admire. 
  22. Write a book, compose a song or create a poem. I love the book "Write Back Soon" by Karen Benke for inspiration.
  23. Visit a nature center for an up close look at our local wildlife,
  24. Make your own Play-Doh or Goop.
  25. Go bowling at Country Club Bowl in San Rafael, Presidio Bowl or Yerba Buena in San Francisco or create a bowling alley at home.
  26. Pop some popcorn and host a classic movie at home. Check out SmartFeed for great age appropriate options.
  27. Or get out to the movies. Plenty of family friendly options. One of my favorites is the movie theater at The Walt Disney Museum in the Presidio where they show classic Disney films. October features Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland. 
  28. Read, Act and/or Sing a Story. I fell in love with the play 'Seussical, The Musical' which has inspired me to sing stories.
  29. Make a commercial. My daughter has been using the templates in iMovie to create fun movie trailers.
  30. Make homemade ornaments. Try this recipe on homemade clay.
  31. Seek refuge at local bookstore: Diesel, A BookstoreBook Passage, CopperfieldsBooks Inc.Green Apple BooksBarnes & Noble, Depot Bookstore & Cafe, so many to choose from.
  32. Take some energy at a local gymnastics center: Cal Star Gymnastics Indoor Power PlaySan Rafael GymnasticsSan Anselmo Gymnastics CenterMyGymSF
  33. Bust out your inner engineer and head to Play-Well TEKnologies in San Anselmo.
  34. Head to the indoor playground at Northgate Mall in San Rafael.
  35. Indoor roller-skating rink at CalSkate in Rohnert Park or Ice Skate at Snoopy Home Ice and Yerba Buena.
  36. Drop-in indoor spots: PlayLand, Sausalito, Jump Indoor Playday at the Mill Valley Community CenterJymBABIES at Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael, Jumping Jacks at the San Rafael Community Center, Pavilion Playgroup in Fairfax. Check website for details.
  37. High energy busters: iFLY SF BayHouse of Air, and Planet Granite.
  38. The Bay Model is a perfect escape out of the rain. Note: they're closed on Mondays.
  39. Indoor pool: Mill Valley Community CenterMarin Osher JCC, and the YMCA.
  40. Factory tours at Jelly Belly Factory and Ms. Grossman's (RSVP required)

Or sometimes just enjoy a quiet day at home, especially during a wet busy holiday season. Stay safe, warm, and dry and a very Merry Christmas!

Do you have other great ideas to share for a rainy day? Please leave a comment.