Top 10 rainy day activities on the Isle of Man

It’s always a struggle to find rainy day activities on the Isle of Man.  However, as today was a rather grim one I thought I’d give it some thought and provide my favorites!

As my boys are quite active, staying indoors usually erupts into wrestling matches, arguments or general craziness, so we decided to take them out to Hot Rocks to burn off their excess energy.  It also prompted to me to think of other activities that we like to do on a rainy day in the Isle of Man; to share with you.

Here is my top 10:

  1. Manx Museum, Douglas – first it’s FREE, which is always a bonus.  It has many exhibitions and usually there is an activity sheet to complete on your way round.  There are also several areas that are interactive to keep your little ones entertained along the way.  It is open from 10am to 5pm daily.
  2. Hot Rocks, Douglas – An indoor climbing wall which provides a few hours entertainment.  You need to book for your first visit so you can be shown the ‘ropes’, literally.  Accessible to anyone over the age of 5, open to young and old.  Very relaxed and informal atmosphere, once you know what you are doing you can just turn up most days.  Check out their facebook page here.
  3. Swimming Pools – the largest is the NSC, based in Douglas.  It has water features and 2 slides as well as lane and public swimming pools.  There is a quiet family time session from 9.30am to 10.30am, but the main session starts at 10.30am until around 6pm.  There are other swimming pools, based at Peel, Castletown and Ramsey and although there are no features in these facilities they do all have a cafe on site.
  4. SureStrike Bowling, Ramsey – there are 10 lanes and a range of video games, pool tables, table tennis, air hockey and a soft play area for the little ones.  There is also a diner currently serving tex mex food.  I would recommend phoning if attending during school holidays as it tends to have peak periods.
  5. House of Mannanan, Peel – the venue provides a history of the celtic and Viking origins.  Cost is around £5 children and £10 for adults and has interactive elements.  If you are local then school children get in free with their ACE cards.
  6. Archallagan Plantation, Foxdale – o.k. so this one is an outdoor one but it’s actually fairly sheltered.  It houses a number of dens and parks that will entertain your kids.  Just make sure to bring wellies and waterproofs for a few hours of fun!
  7. Kidding Chaos, Ballaugh – otherwise know as IOM Goats this is an indoor/outdoor adventure, located on a farm in the North of the island.  For a large part of the tour you are inside the barn looking and holding the baby kids and later for a cuppa and cake- the rest is outside so wrap up warm!  It’s open for parts of the year (definitely at Easter & summer holidays) and you spend at least a couple of hours here.  You can get meet the goats & kids as well as feed the chickens.  Make sure you take extra cash as they have delicious goat meat, yummy eggs and goat wool for sale too!
  8. Fun Barn/Laser Blast, Onchan – this is an indoor soft play area & laser game intended to run your kids until they red in the face!  However, it does get very busy (especially school holidays if wet) and so phoning before going or booked ahead (especially for laser blast) is a must.
  9. Cinema – the only 2 cinema’s are based in Douglas: Broadway Cinema or Palace Cinema.  Mostly evening screenings but in school holidays they tend to have an afternoon showing.
  10. Sea Terminal, Douglas – so not really an entertainment venue but it has a large area for the kids to roam and play.  There is a Costa Coffee and WH Smith and there is 1 hour free parking.  When we just need to escape the house for an hour, we head there for a nice coffee & free Wi-Fi!

There are other places to go on a wet/rainy day on the island, but these are my favourites.

(April 2017)

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