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Round-Up   ›     ›  South East of England

18 rainy day and indoor things to do in Kent

Kent may have one of the sunniest spots in the UK but that doesn’t mean we don’t get our fair share of rainy days. (I don’t know about you but it seems we’ve had a lot of them lately!) For those of you like me, who dread the thought of being stuck in the house with my bored kids all day, I’ve compiled a list of the best indoor things to do in Kent. From historic sites and museums to soft play, crazy golf and even mysterious shell grottos there will be something to keep everyone entertained when it is just too wet to be outside.

Here’s how to enjoy a rainy day in Kent:

March 10, 2023


Attractions that all the family will love

Ramsgate Tunnels

Originally built as a railway and then commissioned to act as shelters during WWII, Ramsgate Tunnels are the UK’s largest network of civilian wartime tunnels. The tunnels even served as a permanent living space after 300 families lost their homes during the bombing. You can book two different tours – the deep tunnel explorer tour which explored purpose-built air raid shelters or the tunnel town explorer tour which takes you down the Victorian railway tunnel.
Booking is recommended.
There is no official parking however there is a car park nearby. There is a small cafe where you can get an array of hot and cold drinks as well as sweet and savoury snacks.

indoor things to do in Kent

Battle of Britain Memorial

The site of a memorial to The Few, is dedicated to the heroic and selfless deeds of the men who won the Battle of Britain. You’ll find lots to keep you busy when the heavens open. In the Wing, the eye-catching visitors centre, you’ll find the Scramble Experience. This is an interactive, hands-on attraction that use audio-visual effects, a video wall and other special techniques to show something of what the Few experienced in the summer and early autumn of 1940.
On site, you’ll also find the cockpit cafe giving stunning views across the channel to France. There is parking on site.

Chiselhurst Caves

We’re heading underground again – this time into the labyrinth of man-made tunnels that make up Chiselhurst Caves. The caves have been carved out over 100s of years, originally dug for chalk and cover over 6 hectares. The caves have seen a varied history, used for growing mushrooms as shelters during the war and even as hosts to dances and concerts! You can join a lamp-lit guided tour which lasts for around 45-50 minutes.
Tours can be booked in advance or purchased on the day.
There is free parking and a cafe on site.

The Royal Engineers Museum

Royal Engineers Museum

The Royal Engineers Museum is the largest military museum in Kent and is guaranteed to keep little and big ones busy for a rainy afternoon. For families, you’ll find hands-on and interactive trails, dressing-up opportunities and a trail. During school holidays there are also extra craft activities. The museum has a huge collection of over one million items including personal diaries, photographs, vehicles and equipment.
Tickets are valid for 12 months. There is a large free car park.

Dinotropolis Dinosaur Adventure Park

I’m not usually a fan of soft play, in fact, it’s my idea of hell but you’ll find this one in Bluewater shopping Centre which means you can add on a spot of shopping and some dinner. As the name suggests Dinotropolis is dinosaur themed and has a range of ways to keep the kids entertained including animatronic dinosaurs, digging for fossils and creating volcanoes.
Parking is free at Bluewater.

Chimera Tunbridge Wells and Canterbury

This indoor bouldering gym offers climbing experiences for everyone from 5 years up. There is a variety of different angled walls to provide a range of different challenges. Chimera has low walls surrounded by safety mats so no need for harnesses making it the most accessible form of climbing.
You can rent shoes at reception or buy essentials from the on location shop.

Lullingstone Roman Villa

Built in about 100AD, the Villa was once a luxurious family home. It is now covered by a protective roof making it a perfect destination for a rainy day in Kent. During your visit you can find out just how a Roman family would have lived. You’ll see incredible finds such as roman board games and discover impressive Roman mosaics. Every 10-15 minutes you can catch a film and light show presenting a timeline of the villa’s amazing history.
There is paid parking 40m from the entrance (free if you are an English Heritage member) There is a self-service tea bar with hot and cold drinks and snacks.

The Powell Cotton Museum

Located in Birchington, the Powell Cotton has a fascinating collection that originates mainly from the African and Asian continents. There are incredible natural history displays, displays of world culture and also local archaeology finds. Included in your ticket is a tour of the Grade II listed Quex House, formerly home to the Powell-Cotton family. The museum also has lots of fantastic events lined up for 2023 including printing and art workshops. Felicity’s Cafe at the front of the museum serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.
Open from 11th February
There is free parking.

Historic Dockyard Chatham

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Although much of the dockyard is outside there is a lot to explore inside too. Away from the rain, you will find the UK’s largest collection of RNLI historic lifeboats, interactive galleries where you can try out tools used in key trades, and museum and gallery spaces. If there is a break in the weather head outside to climb aboard two historic warships and a submarine.
A ticket gains you entry for one year, so you can explore come rain or shine!
There is free parking on site and a restaurant/cafe.

Explore the History of Canterbury -

On one of those days when it just won’t stop raining why not head to Canterbury where there is a range of indoor attractions to keep you warm and dry;

First up is Canterbury Cathedral, one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. With stunning architecture, there is lots to explore from medieval ruins to hidden chapels and an atmospheric crypt. To keep the children entertained there are trails and historic hunts. For a really in-depth experience, you can book a guided tour.
A visitor is valid for one year meaning you can visit the beautiful gardens on a sunnier day.
There is no parking on site but there are many car parks around the city.

Canterbury Roman Museum

Canterbury Roman Museum is Kent’s only Roman Museum and is home to the UK’s only remaining in situ Roman pavement mosaics. The kids will love the different activities available including themed trails, dressing up, playing roman games, handling roman objects and creating their own mosaics.
You can download a free audio tour via an app.
There is no parking on site but there are many car parks around the city.

The Beaney House of Arts & Knowledge

If you’ve walked down Canterbury high street, you’ll probably have noticed the gorgeous building that is the Beaney. Home to Canterbury library there is also much more to explore. Exhibitions include Colour and Camouflage showcasing a selection of animals, birds, butterflies, rocks and minerals from the natural world, arranged in perfect rainbow-colour order and People and Places a collection of paintings and objects highlighting notable People and Places in the Canterbury area. There are also a number of temporary exhibitions – you can see what’s on and coming up by checking the website.
A group guided tour (minimum of 8) can be booked.
There is no parking on site but there are many car parks around the city.

indoor things to do in Kent

West Gate Towers - One Pound Lane

One of the largest surviving medieval gateways in the country, these towers are home to a museum, viewpoint and also an escape room. Exhibits include City Wars, Crime & Punishment, Westgate Through History and Magna Carta & The Maquettes.
There are three different escape rooms within the towers; The Crime and Punishment Lab, The Comms Room – WW2 Blitz Experience and Magna Carta Murder.
Access is only through 5 flights of narrow stairs.

Enjoy the fun of the seaside, inside, at Margate

Margate is another great place to visit on a rainy day in Kent, you’ll find a range of great activities to keep the family entertained:

Turner Comtemporary
Widely recognised as the catalyst for the regeneration of Margate the Turner is a free art gallery. Built on the site of the boarding house where JMW Turner stayed during his visits to Margate it is inspired by his life and works. As well as regular exhibitions you’ll also find Anthony Gormley’s Another Time on the beach in front, which will remain in situ until 2030.
The Turner fully reopens on the 4th of February
There is a cafe on site. There is no free parking however there is a car park located next to the Turner.

One of my favourite spots in Kent is the mysterious and beautiful Shell Grotto. A series of underground tunnels completely covered and decorated with shells will delight anyone in the family and get them wondering who put them there. As lovely as the tunnels are they are very short and my little boy can whizz around in a matter of minutes so do plan in some other activities to keep you busy!
Open Thursday – Sunday. There is no parking however you may be able to find parking on the surrounding streets

The Shell Grotto

indoor things to do in Kent

Margate Caves

Another underground spot in Margate are the caves which were originally dug as a chalk mine. Now open to the public, kids will love exploring the caves and discovering the different paintings on the walls. Again the caves are not very big so your visit won’t take you long, I’d recommend having something else planned to do.
Open Friday – Sunday. There is a cafe and shop. There is limited parking outside the site and Trinity Square car park is close by.

indoor things to do in kent

Lost Island Adventure Golf

Head to the famous Flamingo arcades on Margate seafront and you’ll find Lost Island Adventure Golf. The jungle-themed adventure golf course is perfect for children and families. Children will love the immersive course with angry gods, chattering monkeys and lights and sounds really making them feel like they are in the jungle. Once you’re done you’ll have to try your best to get the kids out of the arcades without spending a fortune on the 2p machines.

indoor things to do in Kent

Dreamland Roller Room

Dreamland may not be the best place to head on a rainy day however their Roller Room will keep you warm and dry. With disco lights and great music, you’ll forget the miserable weather outside, throwing some shapes and skating the afternoon away.
The roller disco reopens in spring. On previous visits, there was a burger bar. There is a car park at Dreamland.

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March 10, 2023