Manchester is no stranger to rain and whether you live in Manchester or you’re visiting this wonderful Northern City, it’s good to have a list of Manchester rainy day activities and Manchester indoor activities up your sleeve, just incase!
There’s actually a huge list of things to do in Manchester when it rains from visiting the cities museums to indoor sports activities in Trafford Park, indoor food markets, games rooms and activities and we can’t forget the 2 ultra famous football stadiums!
In addition to this, ways to spend a rainy day in Manchester can include visiting stately homes and walking around a park knowing you can get a warm drink at the end of it!
Things To Do in Manchester When It Rains
Whether you’re looking for things to do in Manchester on a rainy day to fill the whole day or just a couple of hours, I have lots of ideas and indoor activities in Manchester for you!
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Map of Rainy Day Ideas in Manchester
Here is a map which details all of the below Manchester rainy day ideas to help your plan your day.
Of course, if it’s raining in Manchester and you’re looking for things to do in Manchester to avoid the rain, especially on weekends, remember that everyone else is too so it’s best to book activities and attractions in advance where possible.
Museums in Manchester on a Rainy Day
Museums are always top of the list of things to do when it rains in every city because they can give hours of enjoyment and interest undercover indoors. The downside, of course, is that everyone thinks the same so if you can visit these best Manchester museums during the week instead of a weekend and arrive as soon as they open (usually 10:00am) I’d recommend it!
1. Manchester Museum
Recently reopened after a big refurbishment Manchester Museum is close to what Natural History Museums offer with plenty for everyone to see incuding T-rex fossil, Egyptian Mummies, Stuffed Animals and a Vivarium where you can get up close to frogs, insects and reptiles!
With a cafe attached to it and nearby car parks, it’s a perfect rainy day in Manchester activity!
2. Manchester Science & Industry Museum
Manchester Science Museum is one of the popular places to visit with children and definitely one of the best things to do in Manchester when it rains with kids as the museum has so many interactive displays and and educational exhibitions to learn about the Science and the history of Manchester.
It’s in the heart of the city centre, easy to access by tram and has carparks close by so you won’t get too wet getting there!
3. Manchester Art Gallery
If you’re looking for more things to do in Manchester City centre when it rains, pop into Manchester Art Gallery right in the city centre next to St Peters Square.
The Art Gallery won’t take up a full day but after offering 200 years of Art to Manchester it is an institution to see with plenty of exhibitions for all interests.
4. Manchester Hop-on Hop-Off Bus
To help you visit these Manchester Museums and the indoor activities in Manchester on a rainy day, look into getting a ticket for the City Bus Tour which is a hop-on hop-off bus that goes around Manchester stopping at 15 different stops.
Take a guided commentary tour and soak in the sites of Manchester City centre from inside the bus and use it to help you not get wet as you visit all of the top things to do in Manchester in the rain!
Football in Manchester on a Rainy Day
Manchester is the home of football and one of the best ways to enjoy Manchester when it rains is to visit one of the famous stadiums because most of the guided stadium tour is done inside!
If you’re planning to spend a few days in Manchester and know it’s going to rain, get a stadium tour booked in for the most rainy day to help pass a few hours.
Whether you’re a red or blue fan, you can visit either… or both!
5. Manchester United Stadium Tour
For ways to spend a rainy day in Manchester, visit the famous grounds of Old Trafford on a guided tour which takes you into the changing rooms, dug out, tunnel and gives you lots of stories and information about the stadium and club!
I took my stepsons here a few school holidays ago and we all really enjoyed it even though we’re not big football fans. It was really cool to sit in the stadium with no other people and the boys really enjoyed seeing the changing rooms.
The guided tours run really regularly (not when matches are on of course) and it’s best to book in advance.
6. Manchester City Stadium Tour
If you’re a blues fan, you can visit the Etihad Stadium home of Manchester City and have a modern and interactive experience there.
Their guided tours take you to areas usually available to the public with a professional guide who shares lots of interesting stories.
The big difference between visiting Man City Stadium to Man United is the cool technology you’ll see on your visit like being having a virtual interview with Pep Guardiola in the Press Conference Room and an immersive audio-visual show in the home team dressing room.
The guided tours run really regularly (not when matches are on of course) and it’s best to book in advance.
Book your tours here!
7. National Football Museum
If you want to experience some football in Manchester but don’t have time to go to a game or on a stadium tour, head to the National Football Museum in Manchester City Centre.
It’s not dedicated to Manchester’s Football, The National Football Museum is actually England’s national museum of football and is a must-visit for any football fan.
Activities in Manchester on a Rainy Day
In all of these you can spend time sitting at a table painting a range of pre-made pottery, afterwards you leave it with them for 1-2 weeks and pick it up when it’s been cooked!
I like this because adults can get involved too but they can equally sit back with a coffee and watch the kids (although it’s never that relaxing!).
This is one of the lovely rainy day ideas in Manchester but be sure to book ahead to get a table.
9. Dunham Massey National Trust
If you don’t mind getting outside in the rain a bit but don’t want to be out for too long, Dunham Massey National Trust is a great place to visit on a rainy day in Manchester.
There’s plenty of outdoor walking to be done around the gardens and field which are fairly protected by trees above. And Dunham Massey also has a old house that can be explored as well as 2 cafes that are inside.
Get your wellies or walking boots on so you don’t have to worry about the mud and a waterproof coat and switch between the gardens, house, cafe and shop for a rainy day out in Manchester!
10. Sale Waterpark
If you’re going to get wet from the rain, you might as well be doing something fun!
Sale Water Park offers lots of water based activities through Trafford Watersport Centre like Kayaking, Paddle Boarding and Raft Building as well as other off-water activities like Archery and Abseiling.
You’ll need to book in advance and bring the right equipment but these water activities are perfect whether you’re a group, family or individual looking for some fun and you don’t mind getting wet!
This is one of the best things to do in Manchester!
11. Flip Out Trampoline Park
Manchester’s biggest adventure park is one of the best places to visit on a rainy day in Manchester, especially with children!
The Trampolines are the highlight at Flip Out but there’s also other activities like a Ninja Obstacle Course and Kids Arena.
You can choose from 1 hour or 2 hours of play and they have a cafe to get food and drink in to make more out a rainy day out in Manchester of it!
Trafford Centre Activities on a Rainy Day
The Trafford Park and Trafford Centre complexes are perfect for rainy day activities in Manchester as there is so much to do with things to suit everyone.
From shopping to children’s activity centres and indoor sports activities in Manchester, this part of Manchester will get you out of the rain doing something fun and learning a new skill!
12. The Trafford Centre
Head to The Trafford Centre for plenty of shopping and places to eat! All of the Trafford Centre is inside so it’s the perfect way to do some shopping and have lots of places to eat without going outside in the rain!
Inside the Trafford Centre there’s also a cinema, laser quest, tempin bowling and arcade to be enjoyed and you can get to them all without going outside!
13. LEGOLAND Discovery
Still located within The Trafford Centre but on the other side near Primark in Barton Square is Manchester’s LEGOLAND!
Now, this is not a big LEGOLAND, it’s one of the smaller Discovery Centres but it’s good way to pass a few hours and one of the best things to do in Manchester when it rains.
There’s an insane amount of LEGO to play with inside plus rides and games to go on.
I went with my stepsons when they were 5 and 8 and they really enjoyed it. I think it’s a bit too young for kids that are much older than this.
Book Tickets: Click here to book your tickets to LEGOLAND Manchester!
14. SEA LIFE Centre
Next to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester is SEA LIFE Manchester.
Visiting these 2 together creates the perfect day out in Manchester when it rains because it will pass a couple of hours and both are indoors.
Of course, many other people will have the same idea so be sure to book tickets and times in advance.
SEA LIFE Manchester is quite small and more engaging for younger children. Its one of the good Manchester days out with kids I recommend.
Book Tickets: Click here to book your tickets to SEA LIFE Manchester!
15. Nerf Action Xperience
Fairly new to Manchester is Nerf Action Xperience, also located in The Trafford Centre in Barton Square opposite LEGOLAND and SEA LIFE so its perfect for combining with one of these two.
Nerf Action Xperience is the first of its kind in the UK after 4 action packed rooms.
I went recently with my stepsons and husband and we all loved it. 2 of the rooms are NERF battle rooms where you get put into 2 groups to battle it out. The other 2 rooms are full of games and individual Nerf practice battles.
Entry only lasts 1 hours but afterwards you can head to Archies for a Burger which is attached to the Nerf Store or do one of the other indoor activities in Trafford Park I’ve mentioned below to keep you out of the rain!
16. Chill Factore
If you don’t want to get wet but you don’t mind getting cold, there’s a lot of fun to be had at the Chill Factor on a rainy day in Manchester!
Learn a new skill by taking a Ski or Snowboard lesson or play in the Snow Park, the Chill Factore offers lots of fun for all the family.
Afterwards you can get a Nando’s in the Nando’s directly opposite, all without getting wet!
Another one of my favourite indoor activities in Manchester is iFly aka indoor skydiving!
Now this experience doesn’t take too long, in fact the actual flight time is 2 x 1 minute! However the prep beforehand and waiting whilst others in your group do their flight does cause time to add up!
Here’s my full review of iFly in Manchester, I’ve since been back twice with my stepsons (aged 7 & 9) who loved it!
Because it’s in Trafford Park you can add more of the things to do in the rain in Manchester to the list like the Chill Factore or The Trafford Centre and the Nando’s in the Chill Factore is a short walk away so you can head there afterwards to extend your rainy day out in Manchester.
18. Depot Rock Climbing
To learn another skill and another rainy day activity in Manchester, head to Depot Rock Climbing within the Trafford Park complex.
I like this climbing centre as it’s actually bouldering which means there’s no need for you to go with a guide to use the ropes or know how to use the ropes yourself. You’re left free to boulder on your own.
They have lots of sections to suit all abilities and even have small kids sections.
There’s a cafe onsite so you can refuel there before starting again and making a good day of it! Just make sure to call ahead to book / check availability beforehand.
19. Inflata Nation
The No.1 inflatable park Manchester is bouncier and bigger than ever with two levels of fun to be had!
This is a super fun place to go, especially with children when thinking of what to do on a rainy day in Manchester.
There are huge ball pits, slides and a smaller kids area. I loved going here just as much as the boys!
Be sure to book in advance as it gets busy!
Things to do Indoors in Manchester City Centre on a Rainy Day
If you’re planning the spend the day in the city centre and are looking for things to do in Manchester City centre in the rain, here are lots of indoor activities in Manchester City centre to keep you dry!
20. Arndale Shopping Centre
Aside from The Trafford Centre (which isn’t in the city centre), the Arndale Shopping Centre is the next biggest shopping centre in Manchester. It’s right in the heart of Manchester City and is all indoors so it’s perfect for where to shop inside in Manchester!
Home to an array of shops and lots of places to eat you can do a lot of shopping in here and just a few metres away is Selfridges for more shopping.
21. Mackie Mayor Market
I love Mackie Mayor Market in Manchester’s Northern Quarter as it offers so many amazing places to eat all in one place and everyone in your group can get something different!
For where to go on a rainy day in Manchester, Mackie Mayor is perfect as you can have a big choice of food, all indoors, and not just in a normal building, in a 1858 Grade II listed market building!
22. Society Food Market
Another one of the great food markets in Manchester is Society Manchester offering a new culinary experience with lots of traders under one roof. Everyone in your group can eat something different and take advantage of it’s city centre location.
Unlike many food markets, you can book a table here which is perfect planning for a rainy day in Manchester.
23. Escape Rooms
Escape Rooms are the perfect rainy day activity and Manchester has plenty of Escape Rooms!
Breakout Manchester is one of the top rated Escape Rooms in Manchester and I can recommend Lucardo Escape Rooms.
There are also plenty of smaller independent ones which may be worth checking if it’s a rainy weekend in Manchester and a lot of popular places will be booked up!
24. Knoops Hot Chocolate
If it’s wet and cold and you want warming up, there’s one cafe I’d recommend – Knoops Chocolate!
This is a chocolate cafe in Manchester dedicated to Chocolate Drinks. They offer a huge range of hot chocolate and iced chocolate options which are perfectly crafted and taste amazing!
Right in the city centre you can run into Knoops for a warming drink on a wet rainy day in Manchester!
25. Afternoon Tea in Manchester City Centre
If you’re planning a day or weekend in Manchester in advance and know it’s going to rain, one of the top things to do in Manchester when it rains is to spend the afternoon eating cafes and drinking tea!
Manchester offers so many places for Afternoon Tea from the highly rated hotels like The Midland and Edwardian Hotel to restaurants and cafes like Richmond Tea Rooms (which I can recommend!) and Annies!
26. Crystal Maze
If you’re looking for a really fun activity in the rain in Manchester for a group, Manchester has a Crystal Maze Experience!
Some of my friends have been and they loved it! It’s a perfect team building, friendly competitive activity that takes up a few hours and afterwards you’ll need to go for dinner to decompress and talk about it!
27. Treetop Adventure Golf
One of the family fun rainy day activities in Manchester City Centre is Treetop Adventure Golf in Paintwork’s.
I love this mini golf in Manchester course because you can choose from 2 x 18 hole courses – Tropical Trail and Ancient Explorer and they’re pretty interactive and fun to do.
There’s a cafe inside as well as plenty of places to eat around Printworks so you can pass a few hours here out of the rain.
You can’t book online, you just turn up. On weekends it can get busy but the line goes quite quickly.
28. Junkyard Golf
If you’re looking for fun with friends or a date day / night activity out of the rain in Manchester, I’d suggest Junkyard Golf which is more for adults as it offers a more weird and random mini golf experience in Manchester with lot of junk.. and drinks if you want them!
Although you can get food inside, there’s many nice restaurants close to Junkyard Golf that you can visit without getting too wet like Indian Tiffin Room and Ribeye Steakhouse.
29. Tenpin Bowling
There are a few bowling alleys in Manchester City Centre and Tenpin Manchester Printworks is one of the good ones to go to because of it’s size (some of the others are much smaller and will probably get busy on rainy days in Manchester) and it’s not a plainly lit bowling alley, it’s full of neon lights!
Printworks is home to a few places to eat plus a Vue Cinema and Treetop Adventure Golf as mentioned above in this list of ways to spend a rainy day in Manchester so doing a few of these activities at a time will help pass the rainy day!
30. Axe Throwing
For a great indoor activity in Manchester, especially for an evening with friends, check out Urban Axe Throwing!
I hope this list of things to do in Manchester when it rains and rainy day activities in Manchester helps your plan your day!
- For more of my Manchester posts see:
- 10 Things To Do Near Manchester Airport! 10 Minutes from the Airport!
- 7 MUST-VISIT National Trust Sites in Manchester and nearby!
- How To Get From Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly EASILY & Vice Versa!
- 22+ GREAT Day Trips From Manchester
- 18 Things To Do in Altrincham & Near Altrincham From a Local!