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10 Things To Do With Your Toddler in Southend on a Rainy Day

As the sun sets on another Summer... we find ourselves hoping for the last few days of sun to enable us to enjoy Southend Seafront, Priory Park or Hockley Woods. However, it is said that there are 3 certainties in life: death, tax and rain.

Rainy days don't have to be miserable though, we have popped down 10 tried and tested (with little Sanara) ideas for things you can do on a grim day with your toddler in not-so-sunny Southend! Let us know if any have been missed...

1. Little Adventurers

This little gem in Victoria Shopping Centre, Southend, opened up over the summer and is a godsend if you need a place to just unwind and let the little ones burn off some energy in the High Street. Most days are stay and play, no need to book (but you can), just rock up and chill out, but it's worth keeping an eye on their social media (Facebook or Instagram) as they do run events (including princess meets, messy play and something called ForestTots...)

Pop in and see Emily on 1st Floor of Victoria Centre, next to IndiRock.

2. Egg Bros. / Essex Softplay Company

Downstairs: You get damn good eggs. Upstairs: you get damn good softplay. The Essex Softplay Company have set up shop upstairs and there's loads for tots to do! A play house, ball pool, slides, tunnel and ride on toys.

You can book up here and grab some brunch too. A great option for toddlers in Leigh-on-Sea!

3. Daleys

Opposite Chalkwell Park on London Road, if you are a parent of a toddler and you don't know about Daleys, pay them a visit! The food is incredibly reasonable, catering for all kinds of dietary requirements, and the biggest offering of all: a decent toy area! Our daughter Sanara will spend hours sitting playing with toy Spiderman or writing on their huge chalkboard, and yes: it has a play kitchen. On hotter days, they've got an amazing new Ice Cream machine! There's also a fully stocked baby change, high chairs, and toddler toilet seat, in case you've had to rush out the house. More info here

4. IndiRock

On the 1st floor of Victoria Centre, Southend High Street, you'll find a huge climbing hub called IndiRock! There's a cafe, which is free to enter, that has an adorable play area (yes: with a play kitchen) it's small but Sanara absolutely loves it! Also: they do amazing chai/matcha lattes and definitely try their vegan protein balls *drools*... and we haven't even mentioned the climbing area yet! On Tuesday & Friday mornings, IndiRock hold a toddler morning at the back with a climbing wall they can try out for just £6! There's also weekly instructed sessions on Friday's for kids aged 3-5. More info here

5. Utopia

Down at the other end of the high street, in The Royals shopping centre, you've got Utopia. This sandwich shop has a massive array of milkshakes and smoothies, and a decent food menu, including an amazing kids menu at just £3.80! Upstairs, there is a nice sized play area for kids... and yes, it has a play kitchen! A great place to go on a rainy day with your toddler in Southend. More info here

6. Belfairs Woods

What?! But that's outside and it's RAINING! Well yes, I've popped this one in there as there's sometimes nothing a tot loves more than getting their puddle suit and wellies on and jumping in some puddles! Get messy. Embrace the mud. The Inn at Belfairs is a beautiful place to stop off for some lunch if you need shelter, which does great kids food. More info on the woods here and on The Inn here

7. Ironworks

If you find yourself in the middle of Southend High Street, it's definitely worth popping in to the Ironworks for a cup of tea. There are hundreds of events/market stalls that happen throughout the year, and they are trying to get more floors opened up, but best of all (for the toddler) there is a huge play space of toys, fancy dress and... yes... a play kitchen. More info here

8. Jacqson Diego Story Emporium

At Jacqson Diego on London Road (near the Palace Theatre) every Tuesday and Friday at 9:30am, you'll find Sheldon's Storytime in this lovely little children's book shop! Vida and Sheldon (the tortoise) spend half an hour reading to the kids, and sometimes there's activities too. Also: on the last Saturday of every month they hold an extra story time. Totally free, too! More info here

9. Westcliff Library

Westcliff Library hold weekly StoryRhymes sessions every Tuesday, but you will need to book up the day before by calling them up (01702 341961). On other days, there is a large children's area (at tot-height) where they can clearly see through all the books, and little tables and chairs for them to go off and have some reading time. Also: there is always a nice amount of colouring in activities to do. More info here

10. ForestTots

We weren't going to write a blog without bigging ourselves up... Keep an eye on our events pages for upcoming sessions, including our "Secret Garden" and "Pumpkins and Potions" events, with more being added soon...

If you want to bring the magic of ForestTots home for a rainy day, then check out our shop and maybe grab one of our ForestTots At Home activity kits. The events can be found here, and the shop can be found here.

I hope this is of some use to you on an inevitable rainy day, and please if you have any other suggestions for places (we have definitely missed many!) then please comment below or get in touch by emailing us on

Thanks for reading!

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