You’ve booked your two-week vacation and you expect a sun-filled trip replete with warm days and pleasant nights. In reality, you’ll likely have at least one day where rain is prevalent, perhaps changing your schedule. With kids in tow, a rainy day can be a real challenge, but you can take that drencher and turn it into an opportunity to do something different, but fun.

1. Hit the movies. Chances are you haven’t seen every summer blockbuster yet. A rainy day is the perfect time to head to the theater to take in a film. Go during the day to enjoy matinee prices, and right after lunch to avoid snacks and drinks.

2. Find local museums. Getting your kids to go to the museum when it is warm and sunny may be a challenge especially when surf and sand beckon. Save those visits for a rainy day, locating several museums within an hour’s drive of your stay. Pack a lunch and make it an all day affair of museum hopping.

3. Catch up on your sleep. A rainy day may make you feel listless and groggy. Chances are your children feel that way too. Instead of leaving the comfort of your vacation home or hotel room, stay in. Rent a movie, borrow a board game or a deck of cards, and play. Require nap time before heading out for evening dinner or a stroll.

4. Visit a library. Public libraries are everywhere, so find the nearest branch and make a visit. With young children, you may find a story hour available. Teens can find and download music. Adults can surf the ‘net and catch up on the latest news. Some libraries will allow you to take out books provided that they are returned when your vacation time ends.

5. Head to the lighthouses. For beach vacationers, lighthouses offer a great place to visit when the rain makes beach trips impossible. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one that still has an active light and a light keeper available to answer your questions. For inland vacationers, find other attractions including windmills, historic sites and art galleries.

6. Hold a scavenger hunt. With a little planning, you can put together a scavenger hunt to hold your children’s interest. That hunt might include taking a car trip and finding several places of interest. Use the trip to show your children how your auto’s GPS system works, allowing them to take turns keying in the destination.

7. Take a cruise or a train ride. If you’re vacationing at the beach, find the local cruise line and take a tour up the harbor or around the inlet. For braver families, deep sea fishing is another option. For in-land vacationer’s a train ride can be fun. Take the train to the nearest large town or city, spend the day there, then return before the last train leaves.

8. Head to the boardwalk or arcade center. Beach communities with boardwalks never lack for things to do. Arcades provide an entertainment option. And if you’re lucky the salt water taffy and fudge stores may provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the production process.

9. Enjoy the tide. Yes, the beach doesn’t have to be completely off limits provided that it isn’t dangerous to walk along it during a rain storm. Dress the kids in ponchos (usually found at dollar stores), shorts and flip flops, bringing along pails to find what has washed up on the beach. Your family will see the beach from a totally different perspective and enjoy what they likely have been missing all along. For inland vacationers, a walk through the woods or around the lake can provide a similar adventure.

Fun Times

No vacation has to be a complete wash out even when a surprise tropical storm shows up. Before you leave on your next trip, make contingency plans for the inevitable. Bring along playing cards, board games, rain gear, and movies to keep your youngsters entertained when nature doesn’t cooperate.

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