Things to do | Posted 19 Oct 2018

The North West gets plenty of rain throughout the year and when autumn comes around, those days of drizzle become even harder to dodge. But, though the sun might have gone into hibernation, the people of the North West have turned their attention and ingenuity to indoor activities instead.

So, when it’s raining cats and dogs, here are all the places to head for fun away from the wet stuff.


If you find yourself at Jurys Inn Manchester on a wet day, don’t panic! Manchester’s more than used to its damp climate and has tailored its attractions to suit. This is the perfect place to be to find exciting indoor activities for your family or friends.


By Paul Hermans [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons

Liverpool Road, M3 4FP
The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester is fun and fascinating, particularly for kids. It’s hands-on, playful and educational in all the best ways. There are different exhibitions to go around and explore and loads of kids’ activity sessions too. Each exhibition comes with a different theme, so whether you are interested in technology, biology or you like to experiment, there is something here to intrigue and inspire all.

Play Factore

By ParticleMan at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Trafford Quays Leisure Village, M17 8DD
A ginormous red slide, the largest play frame in the UK with winding tunnels and even a football pitch, plus a packed entertainment schedule – and that’s just some of what you’ll find at Play Factore. Children of all ages can run off all the pent-up steam that inevitably appears on a rainy day. There’s even laser tag, a zip wire and go karts to play on too.


From the depths of the ocean to outer space, wherever you are in Cheshire, you won’t be far away from a fun day out.

Blue Planet Aquarium

Alan Pennington / Reef Shark At Blue Planet Aquarium

Cheshire Oaks, CH65 9LF
Just 30 minutes’ drive away from Jurys Inn Liverpool, Blue Planet Aquarium is a must-see for pretty much everyone. They have Europe’s largest collection of sharks, multiple different habitats including Flooded Forest, Rock Pools and an Aqua Theatre – they even offer Diving with Sharks as an experience! If you’d prefer to stay dry, simply walk through the shark tunnel to get up close but not so personal with these incredible creatures.

VR Party

By Maurizio Pesce from Milan, Italia (Razer OSVR Open-Source Virtual Reality for Gaming) [CC BY 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

28-32 Milner Street, Warrington, WA5 1AD
For something a little different, VR Party offers virtual reality experiences for everyone aged 10+. They have a range of equipment and games that’ll allow you to man the Apollo 11 mission solo or as a pair. Play against each other or work together to solve problems and undertake exciting missions. These plain white rooms might not look like much at first glance, but as soon as you put on your headset, you will enter a new world.


Lancashire is known for its natural beauty, but it’s not exactly famed for its weather. However, this meteorological disadvantage has spawned plenty of rainy day activities!

Jump Rush

By Senior Master Sgt. David Lipp ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

21 Northumberland St, Morecambe, LA4 4AY
Trampoline parks are incredibly popular right now, and are certainly a great way to channel excess energy! Play with the battle beams, test your balance on the Traverse Wall and go head-to-head playing dodgeball or basketball in special zones. There are over 100 trampolines here and everyone can play - there’s even a separate section for the under-5s to play safely. This one is for all the family, so get your socks on grown-ups and join in the fun!

East Lancs Railway

By David Ingham from Bury, Lancashire, England (P7278167) [CC BY-SA 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

Bolton Street, Bury, BL9 0EY
Trundling up and down the tracks on the East Lancs Railway is just as exciting in drizzle as it is in the bright sunshine. There are plenty of kid-friendly events throughout the year including a ghost train in time for Halloween and the Santa Express which runs from the end of November until the big day. There are also activity weekends to keep the kids entertained, including things like craft workshops.

Planet Ice

Sebastian Ballard [CC BY-SA 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

Lower Audley Street, Blackburn BB2 3DY
It doesn't matter what the weather is like outside, at Planet Ice, it’s always freezing! All the family can have fun at the public sessions which run three times a day, every day. Make sure you wear suitable clothes to keep you warm and pack a pair of gloves too. You can hire skates here and store your stuff in secure lockers. Book yourselves in and get your skates on!


Much like Lancashire, Cumbria has a lot of hills to get in the way of the clouds and so drizzle is very much the status quo. But, like its neighbour, Cumbria has a few tricks up its sleeve.

The Puzzling Place

By Groume (Flickr: Puzzle Blanc) [CC BY-SA 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

Museum Square, Keswick, CA12 5DZ
Do you trust that your eyes are always telling you the truth? Might you actually be in an illusion? These are the questions put forward in the Puzzling Place. Here you could be tricked into believing in anti-gravity and can swap from tiny hobbit to towering wizard and back again in a heartbeat. Check out over 60 holograms and try not to freak out in the Eyelusions exhibit; as you shake your own hand and watch your skin crawl.

The World of Beatrix Potter

By Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) [Public domain, Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3BX
Could you really bring your children to the Lakes and not introduce them to this mischievous rabbit and his friends? Beatrix Potter is engrained in to the landscape here, and given that much of the National Park came from her own private estate upon her death, that seems only right. This attraction does have some outdoor sections but much of it is undercover. Work your way around the exhibits, meet all the characters and enjoy an afternoon tea in the shop.

Rain might be common in the North West, but there’s certainly enough to do indoors to keep the whole family occupied!

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