Surprise, surprise, another rainy English city. But don't worry, there's still loads of things to do in Chester when it's raining - the fun shall go on.
Check out our favourite attractions and let us know what you think.
For super easy parking in Chester try JustPark to find available spots (or even reserve the spot in advance!)
This beloved Chester attraction recently moved location, now set up in the city’s New Market. The display was created by Tony Chester and has been relocated (with some new features) to its new home next to MRKT Café.
Known as the best aquarium in the North West, Blue Planet is home to over 100 living displays and hosts one of Europe’s largest shark collections – make sure you don’t go for a dip in that pool. You can practically browse by which area of the world you want be transported to at this epic aquarium – everything from the Amazon rainforest to Lake Malawi (the biggest freshwater lake in the world BTW).
We're not exaggerating when we say your kids will absolutely love you for bringing them here. This place is like the equivalent of a big Tesco trip on a quiet weeknight where you treat yourself to all the ‘fun stuff’ you want – yes, * that * special. Created for children aged 0 – 10, there’s all sorts going on here. From baby sensory rooms and disco zones to climbing frames and ball pits, your young’uns will be busy for a long long time - the perfect excuse for a coffee break if you asked us.
Dump all your previous ideas you have of museums and prepare yourself to genuinely enjoy your rainy day out in Chester. Inside, you’ll find the fossilised remains of Chirotherium – a species which predated the dinosaurs, phwoar – and can learn a tonne about the history of Chester itself. Oh, and did we mention? This one is free to enter too – winner winner.
Arguably one of the best things to do with older kids in Chester when it’s raining, we just know you’ll love these breakout rooms. Best suited to teams of two to five, prepare to be locked in for an hour or so whilst you figure out a good old mystery. Kids under seven go free here too.
If you didn’t already know, back in the day Chester was the centre of Roman Britain – which basically means that the city is stacked full of historic gems. The Dewa Museum experience is perfect for kids, with loads of interactive exhibits to get their imaginations going wild. This has to be one of our favourite things to do in Chester while it’s raining – all the history of the city without leaving sodden to the bone, winner.
This leisure centre makes for an excellent spot to get your body moving whilst the weather ain’t on your side. If you’re visiting with an especially little kiddo, there’s a training pool perfect for swimming lessons. Older kids will just love playing in the leisure pool (featuring an epic water slide, of course). And if it’s an adults-only trip, enjoy a range of fitness classes, a steam room, sauna and even squash courts if you’re feeling fancy.
We already know what you’re about to say – ‘what use is an outdoor zoo in the rain?’ Luckily, Chester Zoo thought ahead for this one. The ‘wet weather walk’ is free to download and will take visitors on a dry route around the zoo – without missing out on any cool animals. The route passes the likes of the Asian Elephants, Monkey Island and Realm of the Red Ape (along with many others). This is the best of both worlds, definitely one of our top things to do near Chester when it’s raining – and the zoo is normally quieter when it's damp out too it's a win-win.
If you’re not prepared to give up shopping – even in torrential rain – the rows are the perfect place to go. The iconic black and white building which line the city streets of Chester are more than they seem – the half-timbered stores can be reached by sets of step found every few yards, making for a second row of shops above street level. You’ll find some right funky spots here to, it’s vintage shops galore.
Head over for a cathedral Tower Tour which unveils 900 years of history – alongside some pretty epic views of two countries, five counties and one lovely city. If you don’t feel like trekking up the 216 steps to the towers, simply wandering around the cathedral makes for a great day out too – of course made special by a visit to Café 1092 in the refectory for a brew and a cake.
Do you love a bargain as well as a sheltered walk around? Well, Cheshire Oaks Outlet just happens to be the spot for you. With a selection of shops like Nike, Ugg and Calvin Klein, you can literally shop ‘til you drop – oh, and there’s a great selection of cafes and restaurants to keep you busy too. Have a bite at the likes of Wagamama, Tortilla, Café Rouge, Mowgli and more - sounds like a perfect day out to us.
Fancy injecting a bit of luxury into your rainy day in Chester? Swing by The Chester Grosvenor Spa (located right in the city centre, how handy) for a dip in the Herb Sauna or Salt Grotto. They must really know what they’re doing too, the Spa has been an integral part of Chester’s elegant aura since 1866.
Get the 411 on the gory history of medicine at this hyper-real attraction. You’ll even meet some of the key players too – like the Grim Reaper and Asclepius (the Greek God of medicine, obviously). And if you thought this historic experience couldn’t get any better, you are sorely mistaken. Hop in for a ride on the world’s only time travelling toilet, the TURDIS – bet you can’t wait to visit now. Oh, can't forget to mention, this attraction is fully indoors, making it perfect for a rainy day out in Chester.
If you're into this kind of hyper-real historic attraction, check out The Dungeons. They're all across the country too - with the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, Edinburgh Dungeon, London Dungeon and York Dungeon. They certainly pack a punch...
This bouncy heaven is the perfect thing to do when it’s raining in Chester – you'll still get a good chance to move your body and have a bit of fun, but all from the safety and comfort of indoors. It’s not just trampolining either, there are stunt zones, drop slides, soft play and even a ninja obstacle course – phwoar. The kids will go absolutely mental (in the best way possible) as soon as they step a foot inside of Flip Out Chester.
Located right next to Cheshire Oaks Outlet, this is another great option for some indoor antics. There is much more than ten pin bowling on the roster... Check out trendy VR climbing walls, try your luck at the escape room, sing your heart out in the karaoke rooms or hit up the classic bowling. Along with these extra exciting options, they’ve also got a good selection of classics – think pool tables, table tennis, laser tag and a killer arcade.
We reckon this is the perfect place to settle in for a couple hours and get in touch with your creative side. Now, we already know if you bring your young’uns here, they’ll paint their masterpiece in 5-minutes then beg for another mug to paint – but that’s okay, it’s all part of the fun really...
Do you love ice cream? This is practically a no brainer either way... Though there are plenty of outside spaces here (make note for summer holidays people), there’s also an epic indoor soft play area too – oh, and it's called the Fun Factory, so it’s no surprise it’s so good. If you hadn’t already guessed it, there’s also a lot of ice cream on offer too – more than 50 flavours to be more specific.
This history-packed museum tells the story of Cheshire soldiers all the way back to the 17th century – now it might go without saying, but that’s a long time ago. If you’re tad in the dark about military terms (don’t worry, we were too), the first room of the museum will bring you up to scratch with army terminology and badges of rank – ain't that handy? There are loads of super cool artifacts to gawk at and neat facts to learn at this indoor attraction – a great option for a rainy day in Chester.
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