How to cope if you’re stuck indoors on a long weekend

Rainy day

When the weather outside is frightful, it can put a huge damper on the cottage experience—literally.

You could spend your day crying into a puddle or you can accept what you can’t change and make the best of a rainy day. Here are our top 15 ways to spend time if you’re stuck indoors this weekend:

1. Pull out the “busy box.” On sunnier days, prepare a box with craft and art supplies, dress-up costumes, games, and puzzles. Stash the box away and only pull it out when the weather is dismal.

2. Jump in a puddle—or fully submerge in one. It might sound counter-intuitive, but getting outside—even just for an hour—might be the best thing you can do to break up the tedium. It doesn’t hurt that there are some activities that can only be done outside in the rain. Amanda Moon, of Cold Lake, Alberta, says that her family’s favourite wet weather activity involves getting dirty. “Mud rolling is the best,” she says. “You wear your bathing suit and cover yourself in mud, then hop in the lake.”

3. Make nature boats. Using recycled plastic containers, or logs and sticks found outside, make small watercraft that you can float in streams or race in the bathtub.

4. Organize an outdoor wet weather scavenger hunt. Try to find creatures that only appear outside in the rain. Or, organize an indoor scavenger hunt.

5. Start a craft project—any craft project. Start an ambitious sewing or craft project—even if you have no expectation of finishing that weekend.

6. Paint rocks or sticks. This may sound like a kids-only make-busy activity, but it’s not. Create beautiful centrepieces and décor for your home by painting driftwood or smooth stones. Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration.

7. Bake and prep food for sunnier days. You know those perfect summer days, when the last thing you want to do is leave the dock so that you can go inside and cook lunch? Prepare for those days in advance by making and freezing casseroles and baking sweet treats.

8. Remember what it’s like to be a kid again. Age doesn’t matter—create an indoor obstacle course, start a pillow fight, have a kitchen dance party, or build a blanket fort.

9. Explore nearby towns. Treat yourself to lunch at the best restaurant, visit the local museum or library, or if there’s nothing like that around, explore the countryside for ghost towns.

10. Have a themed day. If you feel like you’re going crazy, have a “crazy” themed day. Play Crazy Eights and bake Crazy Cake.

11. Brew a cup of tea and read by the fire. Go ahead—put some whisky in that tea. We won’t tell. 

12. Catch up on correspondence. If your cottage doesn’t have Internet access, this is the perfect time to catch up on your snail mail. Sit down and write your great aunt a letter—she’d appreciate it.

13. Catch up on old movies. Rainy days are also the perfect excuse to spend the day in front of the TV watching cottage classics.

14. Bring your favourite outdoor activities indoors. For starters, you can roast marshmallows over the fire inside. And if you don’t have an indoor fireplace, use your stove or microwave to create the perfect s’more. (We still haven’t figure out how to bring the fireworks indoors—sorry.)

15. Clean out the closet. Is there anything on your honey-do list that hasn’t been done? There’s no time like the present to fix that loose handle, clean out the old magazines that have been piling up, or just give the bathtub a good scrubbing.