Summer in England can be a mixed bag of weather, with plans often ruined by downpours and innaccurate weather reports. Sophie Parsons shares her indoor alternative activity ideas that also don’t break the bank.
Summer’s unpredictability is almost as guaranteed as it is expected. Rain can quickly follow heatwaves and record breaking temperatures, leaving outdoor plans skewed and ruined. Whilst here in England rainy summer days come as no surprise, they are rarely welcomed with open arms and very occasionally planned for. Rather we fill our diaries with trips to the beach, to the lido; of walks and day trips, all with the intention of making the most of the warm sunshine. In contrast, rainy day activities are born out of panic-written Whatsapps and frantic Googling; however a little consideration and creativity can take a lost plan to a memorable indoor summer’s day.
Summer holidays can become expensive quickly with the need for constant entertainment quickly adding up. More often than not, sunny days can be filled with free outdoor activities and it is the rainy days that end up costing more. Why not try bringing your planned, outdoor activities inside? An indoor picnic, complete with blankets and packed lunches, can be just as fun on the living room floor. Likewise, treasure hunts that usually would venture into the garden or local park can be a simple way to turn a day trapped at home into a day of exploration and games.
Play Dress Up
Rainy days lend themselves perfectly to window shopping. Quickly, though, we end up buying things we don’t need and consuming far more than necessary, simply out of boredom and a need to cheer ourselves up from the rain. Why not try organising a clothes swap with your closest friends instead? Organise to meet up with a selection of clothes you no longer love or wear and swap between yourselves – you’ll soon end up with a whole new wardrobe. And if you have kids? Get them involved and make it a case of playing dress up, whilst also teaching them about sustainable fashion habits.
To combat the greyness outside, fill the day with colour and joy in the form of craft activities. Adult crafts such as macramé, knitting and painting encourage screen-free mindfulness, whilst also helping to get creative juices flowing. If you have children to entertain, hold an arts and crafts afternoon. Cover the floor with old newspaper and fill the hours with messy painting and creation.
Cinemas provide the perfect anti-rainy day solution. This summer’s blockbuster film The Lion King comes with ethical undertones of understanding and appreciating the ecosystems of our planet. If you are budgeting or can’t find a viewing that takes your fancy, at home film festivals are the perfect way to entertain both adults and children alike. Looking for something a little more serious? Why not have a documentary day, filled with educational insights into the world. Additionally, home-made popcorn can be made much cheaper than its cinema alternative, as well as being readily available in almost all bulk stores, making it a great zero-waste snack.
Ready, Steady, Cook
Dining out is a luxury that can dent a rainy day budget. Use a day stuck at home to expand your everyday cooking repertoire, experimenting in the kitchen with zero-waste recipes and new flavours and ingredients. Take the time to learn how to make pasta from scratch, or wake up early and fill the house with the smell of warm banana pancakes. Teach kids about seasonal eating and how fresh produce can inspire new recipes, filled with vegetables and encouraging them to connect with what goes into their food.
Self-care is a term that is banded around and can often come with a luxurious price tag. Though not always solely about beauty regimes and facemasks, taking time to look after yourself on the outside is a calming and mindful way to spend a day inside. At home beauty treatments are often cheaper and more environmentally friendly than spa days, with do-it-yourself recipes coming with the added bonus of being plastic free. Easy to do on a whim and shutting out the albeit miserable weather by creating a tranquil environment at home lifts the spirits.
Looking for things to do? Check our sustainability calendar.
Use the rainy days to inspire your kids to be green.