We Brits talk about the weather a lot. A lot a lot. Seemingly this can be somewhat confusing for others but let me try to explain this continuing theme. Put to one side that it is considered a polite (read: unlikely to cause a major argument) topic of conversation, it is also on occasion a necessary and interesting one. We get all sorts of weather fronts across the British Isles, which make for chaotic conditions. Take May 2017 for example. We had a heat wave. Days of ducking under anything that provided a moment’s shade, and paddling in the local outdoor pool with the boys, cooling our (my) swollen feet. Then in June the heating came on. That’s right. We have a Hive thermostat which has a minimum temperature. We hadn’t thought to turn it off completely, after all it wouldn’t get that cold in the summer. But it did. We even had sleet and, in some parts of the country, snow. In June. Which is summer time on this side of the equator.
This post started off life in my head as a rainy day post. Then I realised that actually we need to be prepared for four seasons in one day, especially during the school holidays when the weather is bound to throw a curve ball. So here it is, my ideas for things to do when the weather turns, well, ‘British’.
1. Visit a farm
When we go to a farm we normally wear wellington boots and have coats at the ready. It seems standard that there will be a puddle to jump in, or a muddy path to cross. So if the weather turns from hot to cold, or dry to wet, it’s likely that we’ll be prepared. It seems that others don’t always share this view and on rainy days we’ve had loads of fun at our local farm which is often relatively quiet in terms of visitors (the geese, on the other hand, are a different matter!).
2. Play a game
I admit that while we have a lot of games, they don’t get played as often as perhaps they should. We love them, but just don’t think to get them out. Changeable weather days seem the perfect time to enjoy them by having a games morning/ afternoon/ day, which can be inside or out depending on the conditions.
3. Go on a minibeast adventure
Much like going to a farm, this works best if you equip yourself with sturdy shoes and a jacket and accept that you might come home muddy! Where possible I plan our route to involve woodland so that we have cover if required whilst we eat a picnic (or at the very least share the experience of soggy sandwiches). Alternatively it can be just as fun to head out into the garden to search for creepy crawlies there. Wet weather conditions can bring out different creatures compared to when it’s baking hot, which gives us a chance to observe these (including the boys if they’re not too busy hunting for puddles and sticks!).
4. Go to an art gallery
Often overlooked, many art galleries have areas for children to put their imagination to good use with crayons, paper, and sometimes craft supplies too. Our local gallery supplies these for free, although there may be a small charge at other galleries. Rain or shine these are lovely places to chill out in. Even my three exuberant boys tend to calm down when we visit one!
5. Hop on the train/ bus/ tram and visit a new town or city
You don’t have to travel far to go on an adventure, and whatever conditions the weather is bestowing on us the sights and sounds of an unfamiliar place will take away any disappointment that the sun isn’t shining. We do plan ahead a little if possible to find ideas for places to duck into if it gets really bad, or for things to do if the sun comes out.
What are your favourite all weather things to do? I’d love to hear from you!