35 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day at Home

Stuck inside? Try these fun things to do inside to brighten up a rainy day.

hand holding red teapot and roses and teacups on a green background
Photo: Getty Images

Stormy weather doesn't have to stop the fun. Even if your outdoor plans have been canceled, you can still find plenty of fun rainy day activities to do at home.

Keep this list of what to do on a rainy day in your pocket for the next drizzly (or snowy) afternoon—it has plenty of inspiration, from relaxing self-care ideas to games to play with the kids.

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Freshen Up Your Space

Rearrange Your House on a Rainy Day

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If you feel like you're in a rut, shaking up how your home looks is a perfect rainy day activity. Fortunately, there's plenty you can do without spending a single cent or heading outside. You can rearrange the furniture; shop your closets and cupboards for baskets, artwork, or vases to swap out what's on display; or rearrange your books to an aesthetic by-cover color arrangement.

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Have a Styling Session

Restyling Your Outfits

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If you feel like you're wearing the same clothes the same way all the time, being stuck at home may be the perfect opportunity to experiment. Pull out your clothes and accessories and try them on in new and intriguing combinations to see what works—and perhaps even snap a shot or two so you can remember what you pulled together on those days when you're in a rush.

Pro tip: Keep a box or bag handy to stash anything that you're ready to part with. Odds are, you'll find more than one thing that either doesn't fit your style or your body.

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Host a Chopped-Style Cooking Competition

Cooking Competition at Home

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Raid your pantry for a few ingredients, set teams, and see who can come up with the most creative (and tastiest) dish with what you have on hand. (Bonus: It might help you clear out some odds and ends that have been taking up your freezer or pantry space.)

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Pick Up a New Skill

Close-Up Of Woman Hands Knitting
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You may not be speaking fluent French or knitting a sweater after a single rainy day at home, but it's the perfect time to search out lessons on how to do what you love (or what you've always wanted to try). You can explore YouTube videos to learn anything from cake decorating to basic guitar chords, or opt for apps like MasterClass to invest in a full-on class.

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Find Your Zen

Meditate at Home

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Rainfall is an incredibly relaxing sound all on its own, so go ahead and embrace the zen vibe. Try out a new meditation or yoga workout, or simply daydream as you listen to the rain fall.

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DIY a Dance Party

Rainy Day Dance Party

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All you need is an epic playlist to get the party started. Fortunately, most streaming services will even provide one, if you just say something like "play party music," or "play dance music." Add glow sticks, sparkly accessories, and flashlight spotlights to kick it up a notch.

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Give Yourself Nail Art Manicure

Nail Art to Do at Home

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When you're stuck at home with nothing else to do, why not pamper and get your creative juices flowing at the same time? Give your hands the full manicure experience, with a good soak, plenty of moisturizer, and a fresh bit of nail art.

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Solve a Crime

Murder Mystery Games Rainy Day

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A rainy day feels perfect for settling in with a good mystery. Listen to a true-crime podcast, catch a cozy mystery show on streaming (may we recommend Only Murders in the Building?), or opt for a downloadable murder mystery game you can solve yourself.

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Break Out the Puzzles

Do Puzzles at Home on Rainy Days

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You can get the whole crew involved in solving a jigsaw puzzle or an online escape room, or download a fresh puzzle app to get your mind engaged.

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Create Something for Someone You Love

Decorating Cupcakes for Someone You Love

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It's fun to make something for yourself, but even more fun to create something special with a loved one in mind. Whether you opt to bake a treat to bring over the next day, pen them a poem or heartfelt letter, or design a photo book of your favorite memories together, your recipient will love it.

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Upcycle Something For Your Home

Tin Can Planters

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Turn trash into treasure, whether you convert cool artwork from old greeting cards and calendars into coasters, or transform tin cans into cute planters with a little paint—or even give your vertical hanger hose reel a colorful makeover. (We've got a few crafty ideas to get you started!)

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Start a Seed

Avocado Pit Sprouting

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All you need is water and a fruit pit or seed—like an avocado pit—some water and a few other things you have at home to launch your newest pet baby.

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Spy on Some Cute Animals

Watch Animal Cams on a Rainy Day

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Animal live cams can come to you from zoos, animal sanctuaries, wildlife centers, and your average backyards from around the world. Whether you love penguins, pandas, bird feeder action, or just cute cats, you'll find a live cam to tune into for all the feels.

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Get Everybody Moving

Fun Games to Play Indoors

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You don't have to be sedentary when you're stuck at home—there are plenty of fun things to do inside that'll keep everybody moving and active. (And they work for both kids and kids at heart!) Try building an obstacle course with pillows, blankets, balls, and old boxes. Play a game of The Floor Is Lava, where you parkour from furniture to floor pillows to furniture. And of course, an old-fashioned pillow fight can be a perfect stress reliever.

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Build Something Awesome

Building a Domino Run

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Building an elaborate domino or marble run, a house of cards, a Lego setup, or a cardboard castle will keep everyone entertained for hours.

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Take a Good Nap

Take a Nap on a Rainy Day

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Most people are pretty sleep-deprived. (Are you getting the CDC-recommended seven to nine hours of shuteye each night?) So go ahead: take this day at home to catch up on your ZZZZs.

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Cozy Up With Your Favorite Book

Reading a Book Rainy Day Activity

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When you're looking for fun things to do inside, cozying up with a good book is definitely tops on the list. While you can always settle in with a new book, revisiting an old favorite is a guaranteed good time. So grab your coziest throw and your favorite book-reading beverage and settle in.

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Host a Virtual Hangout

Virtual Hangout for a Rainy Day

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When you're stuck indoors, you can still be social. Take the time to reconnect with loved ones—especially people who live a long distance away. Enjoy a quick virtual catch-up over Zoom, whether you just chat or take the opportunity to play an online game.

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Create an At-Home Restaurant Menu

young girl on the kitchen counter smiling while mom cooks
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Combine meal prep with a fun activity for the kids. Start by asking your kids to help you open up your very own at-home restaurant. Get them involved in planning what meals they want to eat for the days or week ahead and then have them come up with a creative name for the restaurant and each dish on the menu. Finally, put those ideas down on paper (or a chalkboard), adding fun designs or food illustrations. Bonus points if you can get the kids to help out with the kitchen operations too.

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Have an Indoor Treasure Hunt

treasure hunt
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Children in the house? One of the most fun things to do inside is a treasure hunt. Make one set of clues for every player (try rhyming the clues for fun), with each clue leading to the next one and, finally, to the treasure. Seal them in envelopes marked with a clue number (i.e., 2/7, or "two of seven"); this will help the treasure hunters keep track.

Whoever solves the clues first and finds the treasure—a small toy, an IOU for a movie, maybe a cache of coins (regular or chocolate)—is the winner. Or have your kids play as a team to solve the clues and uncover the treasure together.

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Make Your Own Bubble Bath

Bubble Bath Rainy Day At Home

One of the best rainy day activities for adults is to slip into a soothing bath laced with your own moisturizing soap blend. In a clean container, mix together ½ cup mild liquid hand or body soap, 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, and 1 egg white. Pour the entire mixture under the running water as you draw your bath. Honey is a natural humectant, which will attract and retain moisture in your skin. The egg white helps create stronger, longer-lasting bubbles, for a nice, fluffy bath. For extra-dry skin, consider adding a tablespoon of light oil, such as almond or light sesame. (Another surprising bath booster? Apple cider vinegar.) And if you have essential oils, a few drops will add a little aromatherapy to the mix.

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Create a Family Recipe Book

What to Do on a Rainy Day: Make a Family Recipe Book
Christopher Baker

If you've got some keen little chefs on your hands and are wondering what to do on a rainy day, the perfect activity might just be to make a family recipe book. Here are the details:

What You Need

  • Unlined journal
  • Recipe cards (the more sauce-splattered, the better)
  • Wine or Champagne labels
  • Photos from family meals
  • Adhesive
  • Photo corners
  • Ruler
  • Shimmery alphabet stickers (available at crafts stores)
  • Ribbon

What to Do

  1. Color copy all recipe cards, photos, and labels if you want to preserve the originals or make more than one gift book.
  2. Compile the memorabilia by time period, holiday, or any other theme that inspires you.
  3. Affix the items horizontally in the journal. Use photo corners for pictures and recipe cards and adhesive for labels and clippings.
  4. Stick a title on the front of the journal with alphabet stickers (using a ruler helps), and finish off with a ribbon.
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Camp in the Great Indoors

Two Kids indoor camping in a tent
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While camping may not be your first thought when you think of fun things to do inside, who says tents have to stay outside? If you have a pop-up or small dome tent, it's easy to set up camp for your kids indoors. If not, you can create a fort by draping sheets over the couch.

Make them comfy with plenty of airbeds, pillows, and sleeping bags, then follow through with an indoor picnic to be eaten "under canvas." (Don't forget the indoor s'mores!)

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Invent a (No-Batteries) Game

Indoor Party Games

Anne Libera, artistic associate at the Second City Training Center, recommends the following play-anywhere, no-props-needed, rainy day activities.

One-word story: Starting with "Once upon a time," go around the room and have each person add a single word to the story. Tip: Decide on a genre in advance―fairy tale, ghost story, etc.―and go from there.

Improvised poetry: One person says a line of poetry, and the next must say a line that rhymes with it, and so on. Let kids say the first line; it's up to you to find the rhyme.

Yes, and…monster! Invent an imaginary monster, with each person adding a new characteristic to the first person's monster description. Every new idea has to start with an enthusiastic, "Yes, and…" and build on what has already been described.

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Deep-Condition Your Hair

Woman washing her hair
Peter LaMastro

What better time than when you're stuck inside on a rainy day to pamper yourself a little? You've been wanting to give your hair a deep treatment but just haven't been able to get to the drugstore or salon. Walk over to the fridge to find your solution: mayonnaise. Starting at the scalp, coat strands with ½ cup mayo. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

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Bake Up Some Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft With Crisp Edges
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Nothing cures rainy day blues like a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. Dunk them in milk or eat 'em (practically) right out of the oven—a surefire way to happily weather the storm. Now, if you and your family fancy other varieties, that's no problem: We have 20 additional classic cookie recipes to choose from.

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Organize Your Own Film Festival

Fun Things to Do Inside: Film Festival
Kathryn Barnard

One of the most fun things to do inside is to queue up some classics, old (Singin' in the Rain) and new (Peter Rabbit 2). Let the kids add a few favorites—even mix in a few episodes of your latest binge—and have a marathon screening. Keep a cozy throw on hand to snuggle under, a big bowl of popcorn to dip into, and settle in to enjoy the show(s).

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Hold a Mini-Marshmallow Popping Contest

Fun Things To Do Inside on Rainy Days: Mini Marshmallow Popper
Jim Cooper

Rainy weather might look a little bleak out your window, but the day can still feel sunny with fun things to do inside—like a mini-marshmallow popping contest!

What You Need

  • scissors
  • utility knife
  • markers
  • ruler
  • rubber bands
  • glue
  • tape (transparent, duct, masking, or colored)
  • gift wrap or decorative paper
  • kraft paper
  • balloon, uninflated (1 per popper)
  • paper cup, bottom cut off (1 per popper)
  • mini marshmallows

What to Do

  1. Knot the end of the balloon, then snip off ½ inch from the top.
  2. Stretch the balloon over the cut-off end of the cup so that the knot is in the center. (You'll need to hold the balloon in place when you "pop," or secure it with a rubber band for little hands.)
  3. Place a mini marshmallow into the cup so it fits snugly in the knotted center of the balloon. While aiming the cup away from you (and others), pull the knot back, release, and send the marshmallow soaring. See who can pop marshmallows the farthest or get the most into a bowl that's a few feet away.
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Host a "Tea" Party

Things to Do Indoors With Kids: Throw a Tea Party
Burcu Avsar

One of the most classic things to do on a rainy day at home with kids is to throw a tea party. Dress up in fancy duds, set the table with the good china, and put on your most formal manners (remember, extend your pinkie and sip politely). On the menu: tea (for you), juice or cocoa (for your children), and easy egg or chicken salad tea sandwiches in fun shapes, courtesy of cookie cutters. Let your kids decide the guest list-and which of their favorite dolls or furry friends are on it.

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Mend Old Clothes

woman's hands sewing a button on a blouse
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Do you have a stack of old clothes you've been meaning to mend but never have? A day spent indoors is the perfect opportunity to go through your closet and pull out all the items that need repairs. Grab your emergency sewing kit and start patching up those holes, snags, or frayed ends—and make it fun by playing your favorite music while you work.

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Pamper Yourself With a Skin-Softening Salve

Fun Rainy Day Activities: Pamper Yourself
Ericka McConnell

Do a little spa therapy next time you need a soothing rainy day activity, and whip up a homemade scrub (this one comes courtesy of New York City makeup artist Gucci Westman): Grind about two cups of oatmeal, a natural skin soother; add a few handfuls each of coffee grinds and brown sugar. Then stir in three or four spoonfuls of skin-nourishing honey and ginger. Before storing the batch in the refrigerator, Westman scoops out enough for a week into a jar, which she keeps in her shower, using it daily. "It smells lovely, and it's gentle," she says. "When my skin feels really dry, I add olive oil too."

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Map Out a City on Paper

Kids Drawing Play City on a Rainy Day
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Got a roll of kids' craft or butcher paper? Roll a long piece down a hallway, use painter's tape (or heavy books) to secure the corners and edges, and let your kids draw a metropolis. Make roads, bridges, cul de sacs, and neighborhoods. Include lakes, playgrounds, schools, hospitals, shops, and restaurants. Or use Legos and blocks to construct buildings along the way. Kids can drive toy cars along the roads and make believe a day in the life of imaginary characters. Paper accidentally got ripped in one spot? Earthquake! And when the kids are finished playing this rainy day activity, crumple up the paper and toss it in the recycling bin.

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Brush up on Your Mixology

wine spritzers with fruit garnish
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Is your signature drink a glass of red wine? Are you intimidated by cocktail shakers and coupe glasses? Do you wonder what the heck bitters are? (We do too.) Use an afternoon inside to master the art of the classic drink—we're talking Mad Men-era cocktails here—that you can serve at your next dinner party or pour for yourself after a tough day at work. Once you know the basics, you can alter the recipes to suit your taste. So grab some snacks—no one needs to drink Manhattans or martinis on an empty stomach—read up on the difference between bourbon and rye, and try one or more of these classic cocktail recipes.

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Plan a Vacation! For Real!

Pushpins in a map
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OK, you may be stuck at home hiding from the rain, but you can still dream of a warm, seaside resort or gorgeous mountain escape. Even better: You can make a game out of it for an exciting and fun rainy day activity. A rainy day activity, in fact, that's a tiny bit educational (shhh, don't tell the kids).

Look at a map of the world, if you can actually swing an international vacation, or of the U.S., and let kids pick a location they'd like to visit. Have them research how to get there, where to stay, and what to do. They can create a budget based on plane tickets or house rental costs, make a plan of what sites to hit or local foods to try, and then sell their ideas to the rest of the family. At the very least, everyone will learn a little bit about a new city or country. At best, you may figure out your next family adventure.

If you'd rather make your time indoors feel more like a staycation, here are eight ideas to transform your home.

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Host a Video Game Tournament

Father and Son Playing Video Games on a Rainy Day
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Get out the gaming system, pick a few favorite games, (go with the classics like PAC-MAN, or opt for some new ones!), and play to win.

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