What to do on a Rainy Day, When You’re on Vacation in Northern Wisconsin, With Kids. You Can Combine 5 and 6 and Fill the Entire Day!

Kid Jumping in Puddle

Oh the dreaded rainy day when when you are on vacation in Northern Wisconsin. You are supposed to be outdoors soaking up the sun and exploring the amazing south shore of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. Don’t let a rainy day ruin the fun. Use it as an excuse to visit some places you normally wouldn’t have thought to go!


1. Book a House Instead of a Hotel

 So this one takes some planning ahead and is totally worth it. There’s nothing worse than being stuck inside a tiny hotel room with your kids when you’re on vacation and it’s raining out. So do yourself a favor and book yourself a vacation rental instead. They are likely to be around the same price point and you’re get more space, more room to spread out at the end of a busy day–which equals an all around more relaxing vacation. For sure a priority when vacationing with kids in town!

Lake House Living Room looking into Dining Room
Mission Springs Resort, Lake House. Photo by Hannah Stonehouse Hudson.

2. Watch a Movie at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center.

Did you know that as long as there isn’t a program scheduled in the theater that you can look through their movie list and sit back and relax for a few hours while the kids are entertained. They have a wide variety of movies from The Lorax to Planet Earth. Call ahead to see it it is available. But come anyway, even if its booked because you are sure to be able to spend a few hours looking around. Which brings us to number 3…

Red Theater Chairs
Photo by Felix Mooneeram, Unsplash


3. Explore the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center

Our kids love the mining exhibit where you get to prime the dynamite then push the detonator and “feel the pulsating rumble of an explosion in a deep-shaft iron mine” as it make its way to you.  The kids would keep doing this for hours if we let them!!! Pretty cool, pretty cool.  There are other exhibits, murals, scheduled activities, and the overlook is pretty awesome too.

4. Let the Kids Watch TV or Play on the Ipad All Day While You Take a Nap or Read a Book

Throw away that guilt. You are on vacation! Take a day off and sit around and do nothing–enjoying your relaxing vacation, mission accomplished!

Girl Holding Book and Drinking Coffee
Photo by Anthony Tran, Unsplash

5. Go for a Swim

Not in the Lake! Please don’t go for a swim in Lake Superior during a storm! Check out the Bayfield Pool instead. It’s super cheap and they have a nice diving board and hot tub. Let the kids wear themselves swimming then take them to dinner at Maggie’s then home and early to bed so mom and dad can have a relaxing quiet evening!!!

6. Go for a Drive.  

The lake is so beautiful when the wind from a storm has made it ferocious. Head up to Cornucopia and watch those waves roll in. Drive home through Bayfield and stop at Bodines to pick up some fresh fish for dinner and a pie from a roadside stand and look forward to a cozy evening inside your lakeside cottage.

Rainy Road and Trees
Photo by Tim Foster, Unsplash

7. Lunch and Library

Head over to a nearby town for lunch and a trip to the local library. I bet it’s been years since you’ve browsed the shelves of a library. So why not spend the afternoon immersed in another world. The kids can read as many picture books as they want. You can start a new novel then download it to your kindle app to finish at home, or thumb through the latest interior design magazines or catch up on the news. Bonus: many of the Northern Wisconsin libraries are in historical buildings so their architecture is amazing!

Woman in Library
Photo by John Michael Thomson, Unsplash

8. Hit up a Local Museum 

The Maritime Museum in Bayfield and the Madeline Island Museum are pretty cool. So hop in the car and head over to Bayfield for breakfast then over to the Maritime museum. Afterward you can drive your car onto the ferry and cruise over to Madeline Island and check out their museum too. Consider a leisurely drive around the island or park somewhere close to the shore and enjoy the view. Why not pack a lunch to eat in the car while you watch the storm churn up crazy waves on our Great Lake Superior. I bet the kids won’t soon forget that!

Waves in a Storm
Photo by Torste Dederichs, Unsplash