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Nantucket Oldest House

Rainy Day Matters!

“Nothing can strike as much fear in a parent’s heart than a rainy vacation day.”   That’s a sentence  from my dissertation on summer vacation history, 1880 -1938.  I went on to demonstrate how parents  put that fear to rest by describing a broad range of activities that families came up with to entertain themselves on soggy summer days.  They ranged from “pine cone fire” to “charades” and other quaint late 19th and early 20th century family fun activities.  As a child, I remember that rainy summer days were perfect for long drawn-out games of Monopoly with siblings and friends, catching up on the summer reading list, and building “forts” with blankets all over the furniture in the house. 

Nantucket offers so much to do on a rainy day.  Visit the island’s fine museums:  the Whaling Museum, the Maria Mitchell Aquarium and its Natural History Museum, the birthplace of Maria Mitchell, the Shipwreck and Life-Saving Museum, the African Meeting House, and the Lightship Basket Museum.  On some rainy days the Dreamland Theater adds extra movies!   Yum, Popcorn!

If you’re staying home, get our your Nantucketopoly game (sales  benefit the Nantucket Cottage Hospital)  and see how long your friendly family competition can last!   Pick up a picture puzzle from Island Variety and bet on who will get that highly sought after “Last Piece!”  Find your favorite novel at the Atheneum, take it home, and read aloud to each other – there’s something magical about hearing a story read at whatever age.  It’s even better when you’re sitting in front of a cozy fire.   Play endless games of gin rummy while you listen to ACK-FM.  

Summer rainy days inspire nostalgia in me.  With Nantucket’s fabulous family friendly Fourth of July still fresh in my memory, I’m swimming in nostalgia.  So, put away all electronic devices and get into some good old-fashioned family fun.  Enjoy the rainy day!

Janet Schulte is Executive Director of the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce.