16 Things to Do in Cork on a Rainy Day | Maldron Explore Hub

Posted 3.5.24

16 Things to Do in Cork on a Rainy Day

While it sometimes feels easier to stay cooped up at home or in your Cork city hotel room when it’s raining out, you shouldn’t let a little downpour dampen the spirits and keep you from going out and experiencing what this spectacular city has to offer. As you’ll see from the list below, there’s no shortage of things you can do in the real capital when the heavens open up.

Our top picks for indoor activities in Cork

If you’re wondering what to do in Cork when it’s raining, we’ve rounded up a list of interesting ways to spend your day off from the outdoors. There’s something for everyone, including solo explorers, families, groups of friends or couples.

Best for kids:

When rainy weather keeps kids cooped up inside, it can be hard to keep everyone entertained. These boredom-busting activities below are all perfect for when the weather’s gone rogue and your young ones are in dire need of an energy release. 

1. Tire out your little monkeys at the Monkey Maze.

Opening hours: Daily from 10:00am to 4:30pm

Cost: €8 per child

TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

Monkey Maze is a hugely popular indoor activity centre among local kids for good reason. Spread out over a whopping four levels, there are tunnels to crawl through, ropes to swing on, ball pits to play in and with and a whole load of slides. 

A separate area also gives little ones under four years old a safe, soft place to play. Bonus points for the parents’ hangout area, too. 

2. Give your kids an adrenaline rush at Planet Entertainment Centre. 

Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday from 11.00am to 11.00pm, Friday and Saturday from 11.00am to 11.30pm

Cost: Check out their detailed price list for the full breakdown

TripAdvisor rating: 3.5/5

From bowling to laser tag and soft play, this place has it all for both young children and teens as well as the young at heart. 

3. Have an out-of this-world experience at Blackrock Castle Observatory.

Opening hours: Daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm

Cost: €7 per adult, €5 per child under 14 years

TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

Adults will love this one too, but if you’re looking to inspire any budding astronomists, we heartily recommend Blackrock Castle Observatory. How did life on Earth begin? Visitors will find out on this journey through time and space. 

Kids are also given a guided tour of the skies using telescopes in the observatory (and may even get to make contact with a space station while they’re at it!)

Best for thrill-seekers:

Looking for an adrenaline-filled way to spend a rainy day in Cork? That’s fair enough: Pretending you’re still young enough to do flips on a trampoline is good for the soul, even if it’s not quite as good for the body.

4. Get ready to jump for joy at Jump Nation.

Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, weekends from 12:00pm to 6:00 pm

Cost: €10 per person

TripAdvisor rating: 3.5/5

No need to waste a perfectly good day sitting on the couch in your hotel room when you can bounce away to your heart’s content at Jump Nation.

5. Reach new heights at Awesome Walls.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00am to 10:00pm, closes at 8:00pm on weekends

Cost: Starting at €8 per person

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

Awesome Walls, an indoor rock climbing gym located on the Model Farm Road, proves that the weather doesn’t need to be sunny and dry for adrenaline seekers to have a good time in Cork (and burn some serious calories in the process). With 800sqm of climbing terrain including an 18m-high bouldering wall, this activity is great for all ages and experience levels.

6. Escape more than the dreaded rain at We Escape.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00am to 10:00pm, closes at 8:00pm on weekends

Cost: Starting at €8 per person

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

Get a group of friends together, hone your puzzle-solving skills and see how good your teamwork is in Cork’s best escape room. You’ll get to choose from four interactive escape rooms (themes include Sherlock Holmes and an abandoned mine), with only 60 minutes to solve all the clues and riddles. 

You’re also guaranteed to stay dry in here (we think). 

Best for culture vultures:

When it’s raining outside, it’s time to bring the fun indoors. Here are just some of the cultural attractions you can’t miss out on when you’re in Cork.

7. Find butter even older than the expired one in your fridge at the Butter Museum.

Opening hours: March to October daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm

Cost: €4.00 for adults, €1.50 for kids, no charge for under 12s in a family group

TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

It’s time to suspend your disbelief – the humble butter is indeed deserving of its own museum. Who among us doesn’t want to have a sniff of a thousand-year-old lump of bog butter? 

Bonus: The museum is a mere three-minute walk to this Cork hotel.

8. Take a haunting tour through Cork City Gaol. 

Opening hours: October to March from 10:00am to 4:00pm, April to September from 9:30am to 5:00pm

Cost: €10 per adult, €6 per child

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

Only a stone’s throw away from the English Market lies one of Cork’s leading attractions. 

If the notion of bog butter didn’t quite sell you on the delights of Cork on a rainy day then this just might – the gaol comes with its own resident ghost! If you’re feeling particularly brave, they even offer nighttime tours. Spooky stuff indeed.

Check out our top 7 Cork tours here.

9. Discover Irish art at the Triskel Arts Centre and Crawford Art Gallery.

Museums are usually a no-brainer unpleasant-weather diversion and the Triskel and Crawfold are no exception to this rule. Contemporary art galleries in the city centre, they’re both great places to while away a few hours looking at some beautiful artwork by leading Cork artists. (Heads up: The Triskel also screens art house films five evenings a week!)

And if the rain decides to let up (after all, this is the country where you’ll often experience four seasons in one day), you’re in a prime position to explore Patrick Street without having to battle the usual crowds. 

10. Catch a show at the Granary, Everyman or Opera House.

There are plenty of shows and plays on at these theatres that should keep you warm and cosy inside for a few hours at a time. 

11. Step into the past at The Titanic Experience.

Opening hours: October to March from 10:00am to 5:30pm, April to September from 9:00am to 6:00pm

Cost: €10 per adult, €7 per child

TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

Think Belfast has the market cornered on all things Titanic? Think again! 

About a 40-minute drive from the city centre lands you in Cobh, which was known as Queenstown up until 1920. Cobh was also the last bit of land seen by those who sailed the Titanic and there’s a permanent exhibit there where you can relive the events of that fateful voyage.  

We wanted to give a special mention to Cobh Heritage Centre if you’re into learning more about the history of Irish emigration. While you’re down there, it’s well worth taking a spin to see the Instagram-worthy colourful houses scattered around this quaint little town. 

Best for anyone looking to eat, drink and be merry:

Cork is well known for its culinary credentials and there are options to suit every budget. 

12. Stuff your face at the English Market.

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

If it’s good enough for the Queen, then it’s good enough for us. Make the most of being in the beating heart of Cork’s city centre and head over to the thriving English Market on the Grand Parade. 

No foodie worth their salt can leave this market out of their Cork itinerary, where you’ll find first-class local fare from some of the finest artisanal food vendors in the county. 

13. Take your pick of Cork’s coffee shops.

TripAdvisor rating for both coffee shops: 4/5

A guaranteed cure for those rainy-day blues. Enjoy a flat white and slice of cake, bring a book or simply have a catch up with friends at one of Cork’s many locally-owned, independent coffee shops.

We love camping out from the rain in Bookshelf right by this hotel on the South Mall in Cork or Alchemy on Barrack Street. 

14. Laughter is the best medicine at the City Limits Comedy Club.

Opening hours: Doors at 9:00pm

Cost: Around €10 per person

TripAdvisor rating: 5/5

We know you could stay inside and binge-watch the best stand-up specials on Netflix, but there’s plenty of time for that sort of thing in the depths of winter. If you love a good laugh, then drop into City Limits and check out side-splitting sets from Cork’s best-loved comedians. 

It almost goes without saying you can also park up in a pub or two – the fact that it’s raining just gives you the perfect excuse to linger a bit longer. A popular spot offering live music is the Crane Lane. Cork is also well supplied with sports pubs. The Thomond is a perfect place to take in a match accompanied by top-notch food that’s a cut above your standard pub grub.

Best for anyone who’s run out of things to do:

15. Take cover in Mahon Point Shopping Centre.

Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday from 9:30am to 7:00pm, Thursday to Friday from 9:30am to 9:00pm, Saturday from 9:30am to 7:00pm, Sunday from 11:00am to 6:00pm

TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

A rainy day is the perfect excuse to do some shopping at Mahon Point, the go-to shopping centre in Cork. Lots of the bigger-known stores are here, including Debenhams and Irish brands including Lifestyle Sports. Located around 15 minutes from the heart of the city, there’s plenty of free parking to be found. 

If you’re not in need of some retail therapy, you can have a nice cup of tea or coffee and indulge in a spot of people watching in one of the centre’s cafés instead. And if all else fails, you can just sit back, relax and while away a few hours watching the latest blockbuster at the Omniplex cinema. 

16. Take a nap in your hotel room.

Who doesn’t like a good snooze session? Okay, we know that’s not really an option for those of you with kids to entertain. Luckily, our Cork city hotel on Shandon Street now comes with a 20m swimming pool, complimentary for guests. So pull out those swimming togs – there’s even a kiddie pool for little ones. 

After everyone’s all tuckered out, you can make a cinema upstairs in your room – a tried-and-true way to avoid wet socks and buoy those waterlogged spirits. 

As you’ll see from the above, even on a rainy day, there’s still plenty of fun to be had in Cork. Whether you like to meander around an art gallery, shop (and eat) until you drop or prefer to try something a little more adventurous, you’re sure to find plenty of indoor activities to keep you entertained no matter the weather.

And don’t worry. The sun will (hopefully!) come out tomorrow.