Indoor Activities In Essex | 11 Things To Do In Essex In The Rain
Of course there is nothing stopping you from visiting the outdoor attractions in Essex on a rainy day! But if you were looking for something on the dry side, check out these things to do in Essex in the rain! There are things for all the family and a range of different attractions. Unfortunately indoor activities are usually more expensive than things to do outside, but I have tried to include some budget options too!
Indoor Activities in Essex
Leisure World/Aqua Springs
One of my personal favourites as a kid, was to go to Leisure World in Colchester! It’s an indoor water park with a couple of tube slides, a wave pool, hot tubs and an outdoor river rapids! They also have a regular swimming pool (separate) and a gym. For adults, next door is Aqua Springs with various saunas, hydrotherapy pools, hot tubs and spa treatments!
For something educational, check out Colchester Castle! The underground vaults and castle foundations date back to 2000 years ago! (You can pay for an additional guided tour of this area). The main part of the castle is 300 years old and has museum displays documenting life in Essex spanning 2000 years. Many exhibits are ‘hands on’, great for kids too. The castle is conveniently located at the bottom of the High Street, close to shops, restaurants and other things to do in Colchester.
Roller or Ice Skating
ROLLERWORLD COLCHESTER | RIVERSIDE LEISURE CENTRE CHELMSFORD
Depending on your preference, how about roller skating or ice skating? Rollerworld has public skating Wednesday to Sunday. Weekdays have afternoon/evening sessions. The weekends have sessions available all day. They also have accessible options and allow wheelchairs on the rink during certain session times. Rollerworld also has Laser Quest, laser tag game too. One game lasts for 30 minutes.
The Riverside Leisure Centre in Chelmsford has an ice rink. There a public ice skating sessions throughout the week. You can check online to see what times are available. Some sessions are closed to the general public, so professional or competition skaters are able to practise.
Jump Street/Clip n’ Climb
There are a couple of different Clip n’ Climb locations in Essex, however Chelmsford is one of the best. It has 29 different climbing walls and 3 extreme challenges. Even if visiting as an adult, there are ways to make the elements more challenging. It’s worth upgrading to include the additional extreme challenges. As well as Clip n’ Climb, there’s a trampoline park and an indoor soft play area.
For a big variety of indoor activities in Essex, Lakeside Shopping Centre has got you covered. There are a large range of shops and restaurants alongside other fun attractions. You’ll find ‘Rock Up’ climbing walls, ‘Puttshack’ indoor mini golf, an ‘Upside Down House’, a bowling alley and a cinema, to name a few. Obviously every attraction is individually priced, so costs will add up. It’s best to just pick one or two if on a budget!
It might be too wet to wander around places like Colchester Zoo or some of the farms in and around Essex, but how about visiting an aquarium? Sealife Adventure is now considered a zooquarium as it has a large amount of marine exhibits, plus land animals such as monkeys and meerkats. These is even a dinosaur exhibit! The majority of the aquarium is indoors.
While in Southend, another indoor activity is Adventure Inside. This is an indoor expansion to the Adventure Island theme park. It’s open year round and has 4 rides, a soft play area and a children’s arcade. An annual pass to Adventure Island is £15 per person. So if you’re local to Southend if could be a great option if you think you may visit multiple times within the year.
SOUTHEND | CLACTON | WALTON
Visiting the arcades can be a perfect budget option for those after things to do in Essex in the rain! Seems silly suggesting going to the beach on a rainy day! As mentioned above, there are a selection of arcades in Southend. Alternatively both Clacton and Walton have indoor rides and arcades on their pleasure piers. (Clacton Pier even has crazy golf and a soft play area). The arcades have the typical 2p and 10p machines, if you broke down £1 that’s 50 turns on a 2p machine! Gaming machines and simulators cost more.
Adults or families with older kids may enjoy doing an escape room for a rainy day out in Essex! There are loads of different escape rooms in Essex, so you may not need to travel far to find one! The idea of an escape room is that you are ‘locked’ in a room. You have 60 minutes to solve clues and riddles to escape the room. Different locations will have different themes and stories. Personally I like the ‘magical’ themed ones that are loosely based on Harry Potter or ones that are hotel rooms. Some of the themes can be on the scary side, with some even having live actors in the room!
I love going for an afternoon tea (or a cheaper cream tea)! There are many tearooms all across the county to serve at least cream teas, even if they don’t offer afternoon teas. Perrywoods garden centre do a good afternoon tea. Alternatively, Essex is home to the Tiptree Tea Rooms, a spin off from the Tiptree jam factory! The factory location has a tea room as well as a free ‘jam museum’. Here you can discover the history of this Essex based brand. Many afternoon teas require pre-booking in advance. However cafes for a cream tea usually accept walk-ins.
Bowling or Cinema
An easy option for a rainy day activity is to go bowling or to the cinema. Bowling is obviously the more social of the two, but going to the cinema can kill a couple of hours in one easy sitting. Many of the larger Essex towns will have at least one or the other or even both! In Braintree Namco bowling and Cineworld as right next to each other. Similar to Basildon at the Festival Leisure Park, the two are very close. The ODEON in Colchester is right in the centre, the bowling alley is next to Leisure World.