Upset that you can’t spend the day working on your tan? Live vicariously through your favorite Christmas cookies. Use Skittles and M&M’s to give your gingerbread men bathing suits. After baking them, lay them on colorful napkins, their "beach towels," and stick them underneath drink umbrellas in order to shield them from the "sun." While they sunbathe, spend a little time playing in the "sand." Use the colorful sands available at craft stores to create interesting pieces of art. All of this baking and crafting making you thirsty? Sip on a Sex on the Beach. Or mix together some other fruity cocktails like strawberry daiquiris and piña coladas — or maybe you should only drink piña coladas if you actually like getting caught in the rain.
Who says you can only camp outdoors? If you have an empty room, go ahead and pitch the tent inside. If you don’t, pull out the sleeping bags anyways. Everyone can still spend the night exchanging scary stories and singing campfire songs. Unplug your electronics and flip off the light switches. Use only candles and flashlights all night, even if those thunderstorms didn’t knock out your power. Wishing that you could still roast some marshmallows over the campfire? Worry no more. Just follow this recipe and you will be eating s’mores in no time, no campfire required.
Step right up and recreate a carnival in your own home. Line up a bunch of bottles on your dining room table, and try tossing a napkin ring onto one of them. Certain settings on your laptop’s photo booth can make you feel as if you’re standing in the middle of a funhouse. Offer everyone some temporary tattoos. Give face-painting a shot, so everyone still has the chance to look like Spiderman. Don’t let the bad weather keep you away from fried foods. Funnel cake makers and cotton candy machines make it easier to recreate your favorite treats at home. Popcorn, a carnival staple, is an easy snack to make for everyone to munch on and always a crowd-pleaser.
The game got rained out? That doesn’t mean your entire day can’t still be about baseball. Try popping in one of your favorite baseball movies; there are tons to choose from. May we suggest The Sandlot? While you’re watching the movie, don’t even think about snacking on popcorn. Try stepping up to the plate by recreating some of baseball’s craziest stadium foods. Who says you need to go to the ballpark to score on some franks and burgers? But in case that doesn’t work out, try having a few boxes of Cracker Jacks and some ice-cold beer on hand, just in case.
Don’t let the rain stop everyone from digging for worms and jumping in the mud. Before you reach for everybody’s rain boots, hide some gummy worms in the bottom of a mud pie. Who wouldn’t enjoy shoveling for candy in a pool of chocolate? Or try serving up some "real" insects. But does the thought of eating authentic chocolate-covered ants make you queasy? Step into the kitchen to make some chocolate-covered bugs using caramels, licorice, and chocolate chips.
Don't put away those binoculars just yet. Although the birds may be hiding from the storm, there are plenty of things that can still be seen from your window. Scan the skies for chimneys, water towers, satellite dishes, lightening bolts — be creative. But don't leave the birds completely out of this. Take this opportunity to make your backyard more bird-friendly. Make your own bird feeders using pinecones, peanut butter, string, and birdseed. Feeling a bit crafty? Build your own birdhouse. Getting hungry? Chocolate Nests and Peeps will certainly fit in with the theme.
OK, fishing and the outdoors do go hand in hand. But, the rain presents you with a chance to use your creative side. Indoor fishing is possible; just experiment with all of the random supplies that you have at your disposal — string and gum, rubber bands and hooks. Getting frustrated? Go fish. While everyone is playing this card game, feature some of that snack that smiles back. In case people are hungry for more than Goldfish, try making some canned tuna fish sandwiches or zapping up some frozen fish fillets.
Pretend that there aren’t any tables or chairs in your home. That dining room table? Vanished. Those chairs in the living room? Never existed. All you have is a blanket and a picnic basket. That is all. Lay your blanket out on the floor and eat all of the contents from your basket — sandwiches, brownies, couscous salad, wine. Close your eyes and you’ll think that you’re sitting underneath the trees in the park... well, sort of.
Don’t start thinking that those scuba diving lessons were a waste of time; the rain is bound to stop eventually. Until then, you could always dive into your bathtub wearing your scuba gear. Or maybe it would make more sense to stay dry while you’re stuck indoors. Spend the afternoon with the fish — by sticking to an under the sea theme. Put Finding Nemo into the DVD player. Tune into the SpongeBob Squarepants marathon that is bound to be on Nickelodeon. Watch those Shark Week specials you have saved on your DVR. Suspend some Swedish fish in blue Jell-O. Slowly sip on some fishbowl cocktails. Blast Phish. Or not.