You’re on the Sunshine Coast with the fam. You’d planned a weekend of beachside frolicking, outdoor market foraging and hinterland adventuring, but…it’s raining. Here’s our list of the best rainy day ideas for kids.

Writer: Rebecca Walker, The Conscious Wordsmith

The Noosa Leisure Centre & Library

The Noosa Leisure Centre & Library are true saviours when the rain is coming down and your littles are running circles in your living room. First stop: the playroom. Open for casual play sessions daily at a cost of $5 per child, this compact play space contains an indoor trampoline, blow-up jumpy castle, balance beams, kid’s climbing wall and plenty of other floor space for wild ones to burn off steam. The floor (and walls!) are padded with foam for safety and the room is air-conditioned, so mums can chill on the sidelines in cool comfort. After the energy levels are down, head across to the adjoining library where there is a dedicated kids section. Keep an eye on the calendar for ‘Storytime’ readings and dedicated kid’s workshops. 

The Ginger Factory

Along with a covered playground that is sectioned into toddler and ‘big kids’ areas, the Ginger Factory has lots to offer when you’re looking for undercover kid’s entertainment.  The highlight is the ginger train ’Moreton’ (a retired sugar cane train), which takes a tour of the lush grounds while you sit and enjoy a few minutes of peace as the kids enjoy the ride. After that, head over to the overboard boat ride – a Disney-style ‘It’s a Small World’ boat tour with music and animated puppetry. Then finish up with a live bee show and honey tasting that introduces kids to living hives, along with different bee species and honey varieties. Entertaining attractions aside, there are turtle-filled ponds, native lizards scrambling in the gardens and abundant bird life in the surrounding trees, so the kids get a decent dose of nature too. 

Rush Adventureland

If you can handle some intense indoor theme-park action, head to Rush Adventureland in Sunshine Plaza. As the biggest indoor playground on the Sunshine Coast, it houses a multi-level soft-play indoor playground equipped with a ninja course, interactive climbing walls (there’s 9 of them!), bumper cars, virtual reality simulator, high-ropes course and Australia’s first aerial ‘Rush Coaster’ (a mobile flying fox contraption that hangs from the ceiling). There’s also a designated section for toddlers with tot-friendly equipment and games including padded ramps, mini slides, low-lying climbing frames and an interactive sensory room. Be warned, upon leaving Rush Adventureland your senses will feel utterly exhausted! 

The Big Boing

Offering over 50+ interconnected indoor trampolines for all ages and skill levels, The Big Boing is a great way to tire the kids out on rainy days. Along with a massive open-jumping area, slam dunk section, dodgeball court and giant airbag, there is also designated toddler areas for smaller bubs with mini-tramps and foam pits. The Big Boing is air-conditioned and there’s a café inside the venue, so parents can supervise their kids on the sidelines while enjoying a coffee or snack. Babies under one can enter for free with a paid sibling. 

Noosa Aquatic Centre

If it’s wet outside and you’re stuck for dry options, why not just get wet?! With a stress-free (not too deep) toddler and kid’s pool, The Noosa Aquatic Centre is a great place to spend a rainy morning or afternoon with the kids when the sun is hiding. Equipped with a shaded & heated toddler pool, bubble spa, tipping buckets, water jets and giant inflatables, it’s an easy option if you want them to expend rainy-day energy in the company of other kids (and exhausted parents). Along with swimming facilities, the pool also has a crèche, so parents can jump in the gym or do some laps, while leaving bub in the care of qualified child-minders for an hour.