10 things to do on a rainy PNW day

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
January 13, 2016

Here in northwestern Washington, we endure many-a-rainy day. (And we try not to let the word get out about the gorgeous summers, and distinct lack of snow and freezing temperatures.) We weather the weather, sometimes begrudgingly, forgetting that it’s these rainy winters that give way to the luscious green and snow-capped peaks that we admire on the sunny days.

While we endure one of those long, soggy, gray stints, we thought we’d put together some ideas (that don’t involve binge-watching Netflix, that one’s a given) for you and your kids to enjoy the long, dark days indoors.

This is an obvious one, we know—but we thought we’d remind you that our 24 stores, as well as our online store, are chock full of a plethora of books. If you’ve got a specific type of book you like to read—we probably have it!

Take your blanket forts to the next level by strategically anchoring small hooks (that can be used for décor when not in use for a blanket fort) into walls, using some lightweight rope between the hooks as support, and having a serious stock of bed sheets. Want to add some additional fun? Get white sheets, and a set of washable markers so the kids can decorate their own fort anew every time you build it.

One thing that Seattle’s wet winters have given way to is a big table top gaming community. Throughout the city there are some awesome game shops that host gaming events (like Blue Highway Games and Green Lake Games)—and a whole lot of people who are down to play! At Goodwill, we have a serious stock of vintage, classic, and modern table top games, and puzzles just waiting to be taken to a new home for a game night.

If you’ve got children border lining on cabin fever, this is an excellent way to allow them to unleash some creativity and energy—without the mud. Use materials around the house—like construction paper, pillow cases, and pillows—as “squares” on the board, and position obstacles around the house. Have the kids make up their own rules, and special squares that have special actions. For example, if someone lands on a purple square, they have to play the rest of the game with dad’s shoes on. Turn the whole house into the board!

We’re serious. Rainy Fridays at sea level make for some excellent adventures in the mountains on Saturdays. Get your gear together, skis and boards waxed, and head for the passes early in the morning!

Rainy nights are an excellent opportunity to flip through a cookbook and take some time in the kitchen to learn a new technique or recipe. Need an extra pan or special tool for your experiment? Check our shelves before you buy new!

Some of those pinned projects are perfect for sitting down with a hot cup of coffee (and all of your supplies) at the kitchen table and cranking out that “I’ve been meaning to get to it” project. You can check out the DIY section of our blog for some inspiration, too!

Did you know that your Seattle Public Library (SPL) card gives you more than just access to unlimited books and movies? SPL not only has a full calendar of events for all ages all over the city, but also has a museum pass feature—allowing you reserve tickets for 14 different local museums—for FREE!

We know, we know. This one sounds like zero fun—but you’d be amazed how much better a clean and organized environment can help you shake the rainy day blues. Our living spaces tend to get cluttered when we spend so much time in them, and taking a moment to reset that can help immensely. Also—it’ll help lighten the load when spring cleaning rolls around. (If you need some cleaning tips, check out our Spring Cleaning blogs.)

Whether it’s that novel you’ve been meaning to start (or didn’t finish during NaNoWriMo), or just a way to keep the kids entertained, putting those creative ideas on paper can be extremely rewarding. For kids (and illustrators), be sure to include some pages for illustrations. Art supplies galore can be found at many of our stores!

And if the indoor activities are just not cutting it, and you’ve got the heart of a NW Washingtonian, maybe it’s just time to don those duck boots, throw on that waterproof shell, and head outside into the great North-wet for some puddle-stomping adventures! 


Kim fancies herself a professional communicator. She has experience in writing, graphic design, and social media, and is always looking to expand her knowledge base into other fields of communication. She loves people, coffee & Seattle (including the rain).

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