Uh oh! You’ve planned and prepped and packed for a wonderful outdoorsy cottage getaway filled to the brim with hiking and Vitamin D, but now that it’s here the only thing you’re getting your fill of is rain. Luckily, armed with these 10 rainy day cottage activities, you and you family can easily avoid cabin (and cottage) fever.
Is there anything better than whiling away a few hours in the kitchen on a grey and rainy day, creating something sweet from scratch and making the entire cottage smell like a bakery? Brownies and blondies can be made in one bowl, cookies take only 10 minutes to cook, and pies, while requiring a little more kitchen prowess, are the quintessential summer dessert. (P.S. If you’ve gone berry-picking recently, check out these quick and easy berry recipes.)
2. Scavenger Hunt
If you’ve got restless kids underfoot, put together an indoor Scavenger Hunt. Write a list of items in the cottage for kids to find, such as a fork, toilet paper, rubber band, two left socks, a magazine, the Queen of Hearts card, three books, the pepper grinder… the possibilities are endless (well, endless within the scope of how furnished your cottage is, of course!). Scavenger Hunts are also great to play outside on sunny days, though make sure you only list items that won’t be damaged by being collected. For example, a fallen leaf or a stone from the lake, rather than a fresh-picked flower or a baby bird!
If you’re anything like us, you have a stack of old magazines lying around the house that, read or unread, are simply collecting dust. Take a stack with you to the cottage along with scissors, glue, poster board, and additional fun craft supplies like glitter or stickers. Pull these out on a rainy day and use the magazines to create an inspirational collage of pictures and words. While some might think of this as an activity for kids, it can also be a great way for we “grown-ups” to think clearly about what we want out of life. They ain’t called “Dream Boards” for nothing!
4. Jigsaw Puzzle
There’s something wonderfully soothing and delightful about working away at a jigsaw puzzle with those you love as the rain patters on the window beside you. Whether you’re searching for edges in companionable silence or looking for the final pieces while discussing plans for the next sunny day, doing a jigsaw puzzle is a lovely way to not only be together, but just “be”.
5. Taste Test
This is another activity that kids will absolutely love. Taking it in turns, blindfold one person and give them a tiny taste of something from the kitchen. Can they guess what it is? But remember, play fair! No feeding someone a whole habanero pepper, and make sure you know of any allergies before the game starts. (Will anyone be lucky enough to get a spoonful of maple syrup?)
6. Learn to Knit
Have you always wanted to knit your own blanket for the cottage? A rainy day is the perfect time to learn how. If you’re cottaging with family, ask around to see if anyone can teach you, or else prepare in advance by bringing a good knitting how-to book. Purl one, knit two, right? You’ll be prepared with scarves, socks, and blankets for winter in no time!
Sure, playing boardgames on a rainy day may seem old hat, but have you tried making your own boardgame? Sometimes creating your own game and rules is even more fun than playing it later. That said, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, and Settlers of Catan are always good to have on hand.
8. Tent Picnic
If the forecast indicates rain for your entire weekend at the cottage, don’t let the weather ruin all your plans. Bring the camping experience inside by setting up a tent in the family room and inviting everyone (who can fit) inside for an indoor picnic. Lay out a rug, prep some bread, cheese, hot dogs, and something sweet to finish (have you tried making s’mores in the oven?), and you’ve got yourself one lovely indoor picnic.
Okay, so cleaning isn’t the most exciting vacation activity out there, but what better time to tidy up the cottage than when the sky outside is inclement? Believe us, you’ll be glad you did it now rather than waiting until the last day of your trip, particularly if that day is bright blue and summery warm. Channel Mary Poppins with a spoonful of sugar and before you know it, the sky outside will be shining. Just like your kitchen.
10. Go Swimming Anyway!
If you’re cottaging by the lake and the rain outside isn’t too torrential, why not go swimming anyway? After all, you were planning to get wet, so what’s a few more droplets from the sky? There’s something a little magical about splashing around in the rain, and just think: that hot chocolate is going to taste so good once you’ve finished in the water and are back inside, wrapped in blankets!