The Best Rainy Day Activities in Cairns for All Ages

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Rain, rain go away!! I suspect you have found my article because it’s a rainy day and you are looking for the best rainy day activities in Cairns to help you pass the time.  Well, here at Get Out with Kids, we love… well… getting out with kids…. So, we won’t let the rain stop us.

While I absolutely LOVE the sunny lazy days on the beach and the clear nights watching the sunset while watching the kids busy themselves on the sand or in the park waiting for the BBQ to fire up, there are times when equally the odd rainy day forces me to think outside the box and enjoy some rainy day activities. 

Having the knowledge and ideas up my sleeve at a moment’s notice, no matter where I am, makes the job of transitioning from a sunny day of activities to a rainy day so much easier to contend with and while other members of my family may not be so enthusiastic to start with, I can assure you that being prepared and having a few alternative plans and experiences to draw from, can actually make the day more enjoyable and memorable than you would first believe. 

Rainy day activities for children can be super fun but that said, it is also much much easier when someone else has already put the ideas in a handy list so I have the best list of things to do in Cairns on a rainy day broken down by age to help you find the perfect rainy day activities for families.

Rainy day activities for toddlers

I wake up to the sound of water hitting the windows and glare out to find all my best laid plans are no longer useful – swimming in the local pool or lagoon, visit to the beach to make sandcastles or go to a park to let my toddler run around and blow off steam….. internally screaming and panic sets in about what am I actually going to do to get out of the house and entertain my ‘full of gusto’ toddler/s. Well, don’t let that panic set in!! Grab a cuppa and peruse the list below to plan your ‘alternative’ day of fun with a group of places that are great rainy day activities for toddlers.

Cairns Aquarium

school holiday activities Cairns

Cairns rainy season can cause issues, those tropical weather events! BUT What better way to celebrate a rainy day than visiting animals who are immersed in water!  The Aquarium is home to more than 16,000 specimens and provides information on the Great Barrier Reef.  While the kids will certainly enjoy watching the wildlife, the adults and older members of your family will learn a great deal about the local waterways close by.  Definitely well worth a visit. General admission tickets start from $44 for an adult and $29 for a child over three years of age, but many varying packages are available.

Get your Cairns Aquarium tickets here, or here

Website: Cairns Aquarium

Inflatable Kingdom, Manunda, Cairns

Rainy day activities for kids don’t get much better than watching them bounce around an inflatable universe and this is a great way for them to let off steam, with so many bouncy obstacles from slides, steps, climbing apparatus and much much more, they are sure to enjoy this inflatable kingdom.

Website: Inflatable Kingdom

Address: 164 Mayers Street, Manunda, Cairns

Muddys Café, Cairns

A combination of large playground and waterpark for all ages together with a café for the older members of the family, this delightful place is a great idea to visit whether its rainy OR sunny.  I relish the idea of downing a coffee or two together with some cake and treats while the little folk go about their business and go nuts in the playground area.  A great location for rainy day activities with friends or even rainy day activities for babies!

Website: Muddys Cafe

Address: 174 Esplanade, Cairns

Address: Muddys Café, 174 Esplanade Cairns

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

school holiday activities Cairns

This unique location provides an enjoyable historical adventure and a general ticket will give you the option of sampling eight different activities from the Bulurru Storywaters Theater, where performers provide history and Aboriginal dances.  From there, learn how to throw a boomerang and spear, or learn to create jewellery, enjoy bush food or paint boomerangs – something for the entire family to enjoy not just the really small kids in the group!.

Get your discounted entry tickets here

Address: Cairns Western Arterial Rd Queensland 4878

Savannahlander

Cairns wet season can be lengthy so why not try a train journey. My kids and I quite often go for a sneaky trip on the train to pastures knew for an adventure, regardless of the weather.  This trip would take a little planning however as it stops at various towns on its journey between Cairns and Forsayth on a weekly journey between March and November.  If you are looking to sample a longer style journey, this is definitely worth a trip.

Website: Savannahlander

Address: 399 Sheridan St, Cairns North QLD 4870

Spirit of Queensland

Yet another transport style day out, but this time from Brisbane to Cairns.  This is a modern style train (not steam) but the focus is more on relaxation.  I thoroughly enjoy travelling my train – no worries about who will be the driver and who will be the navigator – this is all taken care of.  It takes you to a number of spectacular locations such as the Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef and Cairns. 

Website: Spirit of Queensland

Bally Hooley Steam Railway | TEMPORARILY CLOSED

Situated around Port Douglas, north of Cairns, yet another train experience but of the ‘steam’ variety.  This is a much shorter adventure so is ideal as a rainy day activity for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. It takes in Port Douglas and the kids can grab a bite to eat from the café at the Marina.  All aboard!!

Website: Steam Train | Port Douglas| Bally Hooley Rail Tours

Event Cinema, Cairns Central

Of all the things to do in Cairns on a rainy day, my favourite would be venturing out to the cinema.  With school holidays almost upon us, you can guarantee some animation adventure will be showing at the cinemas.  Grab the popcorn, drinks and sweets/snacks of your choice and settle in for a family movie day or night!

Website: Event Cinemas

Address: 1-21 McLeod Street, Cairns

Cairns Museum

The museum offers something for everybody regardless of age, and is a perfect rainy day activity for preschoolers – which I think is pretty fabulous when looking to entertain the family old and new! There is a hands on interactive program for 2-5 year olds and each week is different.  The website also provides programs online, so this can be looked at before/after your visit. Other activities are available for the older children in the family, so there is something here for all! 

Website: Cairns Museum

Address: Cnr Lake and Shields Streets, Cairns

Rainy day activities in Cairns for kids aged 5 – 12

I am really looking forward to that picnic in the park with some newly made friends from my daughter’s school, EXCEPT …. rain has set in for the day and no hope of getting to that park for a catch up.  Here is my go to list of indoor activities/places for you to visit where you can relax knowing that everyone will be entertained (and satisfyingly tired out!), with some ideas on what to do when its raining.

Go Bowling

Rainy day activities indoors don’t come much better than a bowling session.  Bowling is great fun, and there is always plenty of other activities going on such as winning tickets for little keepsakes, food, drink and of course the bowling which is well set up to help the smaller muscles of the family.

Website: Go Bowling Cairns

Address: Go Bowling, 93-95 Pease Street, Manoora (Cairns North)

Cairns ZOOM and wildlife dome

things to do in Cairns with kids

More and more rain in Cairns means there is time to take in this challenge! Deemed as the first Challenge Ropes Course in a wildlife exhibit, this is a great way to spend both rainy and sunny days.  My little adventurers would soak this style of obstacle course up (and I would reap the rewards from sleepy quiet children later!) There are approximately 65 elements including climbing walls, ziplines, powerjumps, cargo nets and the list goes on.  Well worth a visit.  There are also enclosures of birds and reptiles and regular wildlife presentations.

Discount Tickets: Cairns Wildlife Dome and Animal Park | Experience Oz

Website: Cairns Zoom & Wildlife Dome

Address: Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, corner of Wharf & Abbott Streets in the heart of Cairns. 

Cairns Museum

Regardless of whether you are looking for rainy day activities for boys or rainy day activities for girls, the Cairns museum has thought about everyone and includes an audio tour specifically geared towards the children.  This is a very hands-on activity based tour of the museum where education meets fun interaction while learning the history of the local area.  Another great way to spend a rainy day.

Discover Cairns’ Rich History at our Research Centre and Cairns Museum

Address: Cnr Lake and Shields Streets, Cairn

Laserfun

Well, the location appeals to me already – located in a Shopping Centre!  This is a laser tag style adventure and there are many ‘adventures’ to choose from ranging in length and style.  Rainy day activities for children are becoming high tech so If you have a mini adventurer who enjoys this style of activity, this is definitely for you (and then you can hit the shops!!).

Website: Laserfun Cairns

Address: DFO Shopping Centre, Mulgrave Road, Cairns

Cairns City Library

Indoor activities Cairns are numerous and include a number of libraries within the Cairns region. This is a wonderful free thing to do in Cairns with kids. This is a great activity and with no cost involved.  Morning story times are regularly run within the library and currently there are animal themed activities during the month of September but obviously these activities change – definitely worth a visit on a wet morning or afternoon!

Cairns Library

Address: 151 Abbott Street, Cairns

Timezone Cairns

Fun things to do when raining must include arcarde games, bumper cars, and if needed a Chill Out Zone!!  Your kids will enjoy the challenges, and if like mine, they enjoy electronic games and devices, this is definitely a great way to spend an afternoon to avoid the rain!

Website: Timezone Cairns

Address: 109-115 Abbott Street, Cairns

Tobruk Memorial Pool

Water babies anyone!! Kids rainy day activities allow you to take the love of the pool indoors! This pool complex has recently been developed and affords a 50 metre Olympic swimming pool, 25 metre lap pool and a warm water therapy pool.  There is also a toddler splash area, Flow Rider and a café – bliss! 

Website: Tobruk Memorial Pool

Address: 370 Sheridan Street, Cairns North70 Sheridan Street, CAIRNS NORTH – 4870

Cairns Theatre

I am definitely a fan of the arts so this would appeal to me and my dancing daughter!  Check out the programme at the CPAC Theatre and see what you can catch during your stay – be prepared for impromptu dances and mini acting sessions afterwards though!

Website: CPAC Theatre

Address: 9-11 Florence Street, Cairns

Cairns Kart Hire

Do you have a budding Formula 1 enthusiast?  Or just loves to try their hand at a mystery, or even just tag (with lasers of course!). This is a great way to spend a day trying several different activities.  Karts, escape rooms, laser tag – all under one roof and varying tickets and prices for the family to enjoy. 

Website: Cairns Kart Hire

Address: Cnr Walker Road and Capt. Cook Highway, Cairns

Foaming Fury

Rainy day Cairns

This place offers a white water rafting experiences for 6-11 year olds (which would be at my level – possibly?).  Taking in the Mulgrave River or Barron River, various trips and experiences are available from the easier to the more challenging! A particularly great rainy day activity for tweens!

Website: Foaming Fury

Address: 19-21 Barry Street, Cairns

Things to do in Cairns when it rains with teens

Rainy day activities for teens anyone?! I struggle to sometimes interact with my teenager who would much prefer to spend time on devices, or catching up with friends online.  However, I am a fan of connecting outside of this world and I enjoy seeing the look of enjoyment on my kids faces when they try something or visit somewhere a little different – even though it may well have been met with a little resistance to start with.  Some of the places that may help when in Cairns include ….

White Water Rafting (again) – this will definitely be a great rainy day activity for teenagers and is definitely an adventure that is not just for the smaller children. (Foaming Fury) Address:  19-21 Barry Street, Cairns.

Cairns Riddle Room

Escape rooms are becoming increasingly popular with all members of the family and this one is no different. A great idea to blast that boredom when faced with a day of rainy weather.  The idea being to escape a locked room using clues/puzzles in a 90 minute timeframe!!  & Escape Games are popular amusements for all ages and are ideal to complete with friends & family or colleagues.

Website: CAIRNS RIDDLE ROOM

Address: Suite 27 @ The Conservatory, 12-14 Lake Street, Cairns, 4870

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

things to do in Cairns with kids

Unfortunately you will need to check if this is running as it has temporarily been on hold.  However, flying above a Tropical Rainforest – definitely one to cross off the bucket list!.  This runs for 7.5 kms and captures some fantastic views.  Cars are capable of taking up to 8 persons so room for the entire family!
Get your discounted tickets here

Website: Skyrail

Address: 6 Skyrail Dr, Smithfield QLD 4878

Night markets

As the name suggests, this is a great way to experience the local atmosphere, great food, great stalls offering very different goods including local craft.  This is an option during the evening should the weather be against you and is located very centrally in Cairns.  

Website: Cairns Night Market

Address: 54-60 Abbott Street, Cairns

Trail bike adventures

This is definitely not for the faint-hearted! If your family enjoy motors and a trailbike is more up your street, this is definitely worth a try.  There are a number of options available from a one day trip starting from $495 up to several days worth of biking around.  If any of your children (or adults for that matter) within your party are trailbike enthusiasts, the weather really doesn’t matter!.  Some of the trails will take in large pools of water to trail through, rough terrain, dirt (and the list goes on)!

Website: Trail Bike Adventures

Cairns Art Gallery

Opened in 1995, this unique Gallery provides collections and programs relating to its heritage and living culture found within Northern Queensland.  A great cultural style rainy day activity when visiting Cairns during the rainy season!.

Website: Cairns Art Gallery

Address: Cnr Abbott & Shields Street, Cairns City

Underart Gallery

Similarly art in a different context found in jewellery and bold artworks together with ceramics and sculptures are available to both view and purchase here.

Website: Underart Gallery Cairns

Address: 5/12 Spence Street, Cairns

Gallo Dairyland

Situated an hour from Cairns at Atherton Tablelands is this delightful Dairy Farm.  I have a family of gourmet food samplers, so this is right up my street with a gourmet cheese factory, handmade chocolates and a café/restaurant to try out – bliss!!

Website: Gallo Dairyland

Address: 9 E Barron Rd, East Barron QLD 4883

Australian Armour and Artillery Museum

This museum plays host to the largest display of armoured vehicles in the southern hemisphere.  It has over 90 pieces with the focus on post World War II (large tanks to scale models).  You can try shooting a rifle at the onsite rifle range and can even hop on an Armoured Personnel Carrier (similar to a tank).  If you have military personnel within your family or kids that are interested in the forces, this is a great way to spend the day!

Get your discounted ticket here

Address: 2 Skyrail Dr, Smithfield QLD 4878

Doongal Aboriginal Art & Artefacts

Specialising in Aboriginal Rainforest Art, this is a great place to visit and take in Aboriginal Culture.  Written language, laws and stories are all depicted in art, social dance and song, and a taste of Aboriginal culture can be seen here in the art and artefacts on display.

Doongal Aboriginal Art

Address: 22 Coondoo St, Kuranda QLD 4881

Samurai Gallery

While you are experiencing rain in Cairns, why not take a visit to this unusual place. This is the only gallery in Australia which is dedicated to the arts and weaponry of the Japanese Samurai Warrior. Many of the items on view are hundreds of years old – a wonderful learning adventure for the older members of your family.

Website: Samurai Gallery

Address: 22 Shields Street, Cairns

Rusty’s Market

Rainy day Cairns

From Friday through until Sunday, this market is a hive of activity.  A great location and considered a local icon in the Cairns region.  The atmosphere is lively and colourful and the conversation even more so with plenty of banter!  Well worth a visit.

Website: Rusty’s Markets

Address: 57-89 Grafton Street, Cairns

Rainy day activities for adults in Cairns

Whilst my kids are important to keep entertained (and for my ultimate sanity in getting through these unusual rainy days out), my world would definitely be missing something if I didn’t get to enjoy something that was solely for my adult world with friends or partner.  There are plenty of things to do in Cairns when its raining. Here are some activities that can be enjoyed while in Cairns on those less than perfect sunny days or clear nights!

Vie Spa

Pullmans Vie Spa (located in a number of locations around Cairns and Port Douglas)

Natural Palm Day Spa

Natural Palm Day Spa (located at 4/32-40 Spence Street, Cairns)

Eleme Day Spa at Riley

Eléme Day Spa | Massage and Spa | Cairns and Byron Bay (crystalbrookcollection.com) (located at 163 Abbott Street, Cairns

There are a number of day spas in the Cairns which are just perfect to organise a rainy Sunday activity! These are just a few to get you started.

Grand Hotel Cairns

Grand Hotel Cairns (located at 34  Mcleod Street, Cairns)

Flamingos Tiki Bar

Rainy day Cairns

Flamingos Tiki Bar | Cairns Bar | Australia (located at 43 The Esplanade, Cairns)

The Conservatory Bar

Wine & Cocktail Bar | The Conservatory Bar | Cairns (located within the CBD)

Fancy just chilling in the local pub and people watching, eating the local fare or enjoying a pint or two.  These are great places to go when it’s raining and watch the world go by!.

Fish Spa

Located within the Cairns night markets and at a very reasonable $20, why not try something a little different and have your toes nibbled while eating some delicious treats from the marketplace – perhaps a rainy day activity with friends or as a couple!

Fish Spa | Cairns Night Markets (fishspacairns.com.au)

Reef Teach

Established in 1992, this location is all things Great Barrier Reef.  If you have an interest in this amazing location, this is the place to visit while its raining in Cairns. There is a small fee to enter and you are able to listen to various speakers and learn a huge amount about the reef.  

Great Barrier Reef Research And Education Centre

Address: Second Floor, Mainstreet Arcade, 85 Lake Street Cairns

Brett’s Outback Tasting Adventures

Rainy season Cairns can be a bit much, but the locals are well used to providing rainy day activities for adults.  Leaving Port Douglas daily at 8.30 am and returning around 5 pm, this trip will take you to a number of locations to sample local produce including a winery, cheese samples, chocolates, distillery and much more. 

Outback Tasting Tours

The Float Studio Cairns

A different experience and why not …  this is one of many spa-style locations in the area and a favourite rainy day activity indoors for adults.  Floating pods offers a unique rainy day activity for adults and a chance to relax.

The Float Studio, Cairns | Floatation Therapy

Address: 149 Anderson Street, Manoora.

Mt Uncle Distillery

Rainy day activities adults-style could incorporate a sample of the local distillery. The staff here will help explain the alcohol available and the story behind each of them as you trial them out.  Includes gins and rums and various spirits. Located on a farm, this is a beautiful location to visit regardless of the weather and is open 7 days a week.

Atherton Tablelands Tour – Mt Uncle Distillery Premium Spirits & Liqueurs

Address:  1819 Chewko Rd, Walkamin

Stockland Cairns Shopping centre

Things to do when raining – shopping!!  We all deserve the odd treat!!

Cairns Shopping Centre | Stockland

Address: Mulgrave Road, Earlville

Rainy day activities for home

OK, so you have read through all my rainy day ideas in Canberra and you still don’t want to venture out. Fret none, I have also got a great list of things to grab now for any future rainy days in Canberra. Just like the Scouts, you will always be prepared! 

10 Fun things to do at home when it is raining

When you can’t get out and about, finding activities at home can be tricky on short notice. Because we know everyone is different, we have compiled a heap of entertaining and interesting activities, including art ideas for rainy day activities in Canberra you can do at home (or in a hotel room!).

How to draw cool things drawing guide

Have a budding artist in your midst?  Then how about following a step by step instruction book – ‘How to draw cool things’ which will suit even those just starting out. Includes optical illusions, 3D letters, cartoons are just some of the things they can learn to draw.

Get your drawing guide here.

Be a rubber band engineer

Maybe even a mechanic that loves fiddling and fixing things, this book will help create all sorts of gadgets. You will never believe what they can make with just a rubber band and the ideas between the pages.

Find out how here.

Get procrastibaking

Baking is always a favourite in my house, so grab a recipe book and get them into the kitchen for a chance to be the next Masterchef!

Buy the book and get started.

Non boring board games

Why not invest in a different style of board game – definitely helpful in getting them away from those electronic devices!  It even includes some team building games for teens.

Get playing with these board games.

Learn how to ride a hoverboard

Why not try a new skill – hoverboarding!  Spend the time learning how to ride one and impress their friends!.

Purchase a hoverboard here.

An escape room in a book

Escape rooms are definitely a favourite but if getting to one is a problem then why not try one from the comfort of your own home with this unique book. With just 60 minutes to escape from a labyrinth, you must take on the challenges and solve mysteries to finish the book.

Find out if you can escape.

Put your time to good use

This selection of books assist in areas that we could all improve upon such as increasing level of happiness and even confidence building books like ‘What’s my super power’.

Check out this selection of books on highly effective teens.

Master a remote controlled car

Building and driving remote control cars is an activity that can start indoors and be taken out when the sun makes an appearance. 4WD’s, mini coopers and heavy machinery vehicles are just some of the vehicles you can control or why not try with Lego!

Choose your vehicle here.

Fun things to do when stuck at home

Still can’t think of anything, then this book is jam-packed with alternative ideas – you are bound to find something here.

Read up on things for kids to do here.

Fly a drone

Kids will love learning how to fly a drone – varying models are available from the basic to something more sophisticated so why not give this activity a go.

Purchase a drone here.

Things to do in Cairns on a rainy day

Cairns rainy day activities are plentiful – but its easy when there is a place to start your research.  Hopefully this has helped you identify something that you can all enjoy from rainy day activities kids-style to rainy day activities indoors or even rainy day activities couples-style (even outdoors activities if the weather doesn’t bother you!). 

It doesn’t have to be expensive either, there are plenty of things to do when its raining to keep those kids from getting bored (and lets face it the kids rainy day activities really helps us to reconnect as a family).  ENJOY!!

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