43 Fun Things to do in Vancouver When it Rains

What is there to do in Vancouver when it rains?

Well, honestly, the classic Vancouverite response to this would be: put on a solid rain jacket and do whatever you’d do on a nice day. 

But hey, if you find that kind of answer annoying, you’re in the right place. After all, sometimes you want to be enjoying some of Vancouver’s top activities while shielded from the elements, so in that case, this post full of rainy day Vancouver ideas is for you!

Read on for a list of fun things to do in (Metro) Vancouver when it rains, from arcades and axe throwing to VIP movie experiences.

1. Go axe throwing

For a super fun Vancouver rainy day activity, why not head out to wield some axes? 

Axe-throwing has become a popular past-time in Vancouver over the past few years, with several places around the city where you can throw axes and attempt bullseyes… after a thorough safety briefing and demo of course.

This violent-sounding outing is actually incredibly therapeutic, and a great way to spend a few hours when the weather is less than ideal.

Want to try some axe throwing? Here are a few places to try it in Metro Vancouver:

2. Brave an escape room 

Another fun indoor activity in Vancouver is the almighty escape room, where you try your hand at escaping from a locked room through solving puzzles, finding clues and best of all – teamwork!

Escape rooms these days can be found in all themes and levels of difficulty, with plenty of options to try in the city. Here are a few to add to your list:

3. Head to Vancouver Aquarium

For many Vancouverites, an outing to the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park is a nostalgic throwback to field trips gone by, but it can also be a very fun rainy day activity, especially with kids in tow or if you haven’t been in a while.

Vancouver Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the country, with thousands of stunning ocean species and aquatic life that you can admire up close. 

Looking for a unique experience? Check out the After Hours events that they hold on a regular basis.

4. Visit Vancouver Art Gallery

Another attraction in Vancouver that’s perfect for rainy days is the unfortunately acronymed Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG).

This beautiful art gallery in the heart of Downtown Vancouver has been an iconic piece of the city since opening its doors in 1931. Today, it offers a range of beautiful and unique exhibitions to peruse – a perfect way to escape from the rain and absorb a bit of culture as well. 

Bonus Vancouver Tip: Time your visit for a Tuesday evening, and entrance is even by donation.

5. Visit the Museum of Vancouver

Another excellent museum worth a visit is the Museum of Vancouver (MOV), whose goal is to cultivate a “deeper understanding of Vancouver through stories, objects and shared experiences.”

In the past, we’ve seen exhibitions here related to all aspects of Vancouver, from its old neon signs to its history of Chinese immigration.

This is one of our personal favourite museums to visit in the city (on a rainy day or otherwise) because it is so uniquely Vancouver. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, there’s lots to learn here, and the exhibitions are always very dynamic and beautifully presented. 

6. Play around the H.R. Macmillan Space Center

Housed in the same building as the Museum of Vancouver, you’ll find the H.R. Macmillan Space Center.

Since the 60s, this spot has been a go-to for educational outings for space enthusiasts of all ages, and today it’s one of the top Vancouver rainy day activities for both kids and kids at heart.

Besides the center’s exhibitions and displays, there are also a lot of fun immersive experiences that bring their teachings to life.

For instance, you can catch a show at The Planetarium Star Theatre, which shows a range of beautifully made films about space.

There’s also a schedule of live science shows and demos that bring scientific concepts to life in an up close and personal way.

And of course, there’s the Gordon MacMillan Southam Observatory, where visitors can peek through a ½-meter Cassegrain telescope into the stars. 

7. Visit the Vancouver Maritime Museum

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Located right by the water in Kitsilano’s Vanier Park, the Vancouver Maritime Museum is one of the most underrated attractions in the city, offering plenty to entertain visitors of all ages, especially on a rainy day. 

Boasting an impressive collection of model ships and maritime artifacts, this museum a must for anyone interested in maritime history and boating.

Their starring attraction? The St. Roch, a National Historic Site of Canada better known as the first vessel to traverse the Northwest Passage from west to east back in the 40s, and the first vessel to circumnavigate North America.

Visitors to the museum can hop on and explore as they please, offering a unique glimpse at one of the country’s most beloved maritime treasures.

8. Head to the UBC Museum of Anthropology

The award-winning Museum of Anthropology is another perfect place to visit in Vancouver on a rainy day.

With a mission of “promoting awareness and understanding of culturally diverse ways of knowing the world through challenging and innovative programs and partnerships with Indigenous, local and global communities”, visitors here will find an astounding collection of Northwest Coast First Nations art, and other global artifacts well worth perusing, all in a leafy setting tucked away in one of the city’s prettiest corners – UBC.

9. Have a spa day 

Looking for relaxing things to do in Vancouver when it rains? A spa day is the perfect way to unwind and enjoy a gloomy day in the city, with plenty of different options for every budget.

Here are some of the most popular spa options around Metro Vancouver: 

10. Go bowling

As far as Vancouver indoor activities go, few hold the old school nostalgic appeal of bowling. But hey, classics are classics for a reason, and Metro Vancouver is home to a number of unique bowling spots that are perfect for rainy day fun.

Here are a few popular bowling spots to check out in (Metro) Vancouver:

11. Hit up a trampoline park

Rainy days aren’t usually the most exciting of times, but book a visit to Extreme Air Park in Richmond and you’re guaranteed one of the most exciting workouts of your life… because yes, jumping on an endless sea of trampolines is a shockingly cardio-intensive activity.

Offering 42,000 square feet of trampolining fun, Extreme Air Park is actually the largest trampoline park in the country, and a perfect place to spend a few hours when the weather isn’t cooperating.

They even have an awesome “Black Light Action” period every 20 minutes, which adds an extra element of fun, especially if you’re into seeing your teeth glow.

12. Hang out at an Arcade Bar

Another cozy and entertaining place to hide from the rain is one of Vancouver’s many arcade bars which offer the perfect combination of retro arcade games and delicious drinks.

Want to play classic GameCube games from your table while sipping a beer? Or how about throwing hoops in between rounds of slushie flights? If that sounds like your idea of heaven, then be sure to add arcade bars to your rainy day Vancouver bucket list.

Here are some options for arcade bars around Metro Vancouver:

13. … Or visit a regular arcade

Of course, a more wholesome alternative to Vancouver’s hip arcade bars is simply hitting up an old school arcade. While these are becoming increasingly rare around the Lower Mainland, there are still a few that offer a great place to hide from the rain for a few hours, like…

  • Capital City Arcade in New Westminster: 80s and 90s video arcade where you pay per hour and get unlimited play time. Come on Wednesdays and Thursdays and you can pay for just one hour and play until close.
  • High Score in Downtown Vancouver: Retro game lounge with arcade games, pinball, plus retro snacks & munchies

14. Embrace your inner kid at Science World

It may be one of the most recognizable parts of the Vancouver skyline, but Science World is an attraction that many locals (and visitors) miss, apart from field trips with school back in the good old days.

But hey, whether you’re looking for fun indoor things to do in Vancouver with kids or simply curious to check out the displays as a kid-at-heart, there’s plenty of fun science-themed displays and exhibitions here to enjoy, plus special events catering to an adult crowd, like the Science of Cocktails and Science World After Dark. 

15. Hit up a brewery

And if it’s a boozier rainy day Vancouver activity you’re after, consider cozying up into one of the city’s many, many, MANY craft breweries.

BC is home to over 100 craft breweries, many of which can be found in the Metro Vancouver area, offering plenty of options for those eager to escape the rain with a cold pint and good vibes. Some spots like BREWHALL even have food and board games, making them perfect for a rainy day escape. 

Bonus Vancouver Tip: Some areas of Metro Vancouver even have such a high density of microbreweries that you can organize your own little brewery crawl, braving the rain for only a few minutes between stops. Some places ideal for this would be…

16. Check out the Vancouver Police Museum

If you can stomach it, another rainy day museum idea that’s often overlooked is the Vancouver Police Museum.

Housed in the old city morgue, this museum actually has the unique honour of being the oldest police museum in North America, with unique rotating exhibits related to everything from Vancouver true crime to gun culture, plus two permanent exhibits: the Coroner’s Court which was used for decades as the City Coroner’s Courtroom, and a recreated Morgue & Autopsy Suite which is… self explanatory.

For convenience, you can buy tickets in advance here.

17. Catch an improv show

A more light-hearted outing for rainy days in Vancouver is a visit to Vancouver TheatreSports on Granville Island.

Watching the improv comedy shows here is one of our favourite Vancouver date nights, with guaranteed laughs and a unique atmosphere, plus a lively location on Granville Island with many restaurants and additional activities to enjoy.

Bonus Vancouver Tip: Sign up for their Birthday Club and you can get a free ticket during your birthday month!

18. Go to a comedy show

Of course, if improv isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other great opportunities to enjoy comedy in Vancouver. 

While dedicated comedy clubs are far and few in between these days, there are still many venues that host comedy acts in Metro Vancouver. Here are some to check out:

19. Enjoy some live music

Rain or shine, we think live music is a fun way to spend the evening, and luckily, Vancouver has plenty of opportunities to do exactly that.

From large arena concerts to intimate live music nights at restaurants, bars, and breweries, there’s a lot of places to enjoy live music in Vancouver on a rainy evening.

Off the top of our head, here are some websites to check out for gigs, plus places we know that do live music evenings:

20. Go to an VSO movie night

It’s a no brainer that one of the top rainy day things to do in Vancouver is watch a movie, but for an extra special movie experience that you won’t forget, be sure to check out VSO Movie Nights by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, where you get to enjoy a movie at the gorgeous Orpheum Theatre with a live orchestra performing the score. 

Over the years, they’ve done classics from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter to (more recently) West Side Story and Rocketman. 

Check out the official VSO Events Calendar for info.

21. Catch a movie at a VIP Theatre

Cineplex VIP Theatres are a staple of the Vancouver date scene, but we think the experience lends itself particularly well to a first date because it’s fun, casual, and the experience gives you plenty to chat about if your classic first date convo runs dry.

Think your classic movie going experience except with comfier chairs, and cocktails, food, and desserts that you can order straight to your seat. There’s also a VIP lounge you can relax in before/after, giving you plenty of flexibility for that first date.

Best of all, there are several scattered throughout Metro Vancouver, which means you (probably) don’t have to travel too far to get to one.

22. Enjoy a Paint Nite

What sounds better on a rainy evening than wine, nibbles, and painting? Paint Nites have become a hugely popular activity in Vancouver over the past few years, offering patrons a chance to follow an instructor through the process of painting their very own beautiful creation.

Think Bob Ross, but in real life. It’s really therapeutic, especially with a glass of wine or two.

Check out local Paint Nite events here.

23. Go out for fondue

Whether your taste buds are craving cheese fondue (like at The French Table) or chocolate fondue (like at Mink), enjoying a fondue night is one of the coziest ways to spend a rainy day in Vancouver.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even book a mountaintop fondue experience at Grouse Mountain. If you get lucky, you may get so high up that you’re above the rainclouds!

24. Have a hot pot night

Speaking of fondue, did you know that hot pot is known in a lot of European countries abroad as “Chinese Fondue”?

Well, with that extraordinarily fun fact out of the way, we can segway into our next foodie activity for rainy Vancouver days: hot pot!

Let’s be real: hot pot and rainy days are a match made in heaven. Hot, slurp-worthy broth, a range of thinly sliced meats, veggies, and noodles… all with the happy bonus that it feels like a fun ‘activity’ rather than just a regular sit-down meal.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to hot pot in this city, but The Dolar Shop (contrary to its Dollarama-esque name) is a pretty popular pick if you want something more upscale.

25. Go out for some donuts

Vancouver is a donut city. There’s a truly amazing selection of donut spots to be found here, whether you’re into yeasty ones, brioche ones, or cakey ones.

So, wondering what to do the next time it rains in Vancouver? Why not head out to taste test some of the best donuts that Metro Vancouver has to offer? Sounds like a pretty sweet rainy day activity to us! 

Or if you’re not a donut person, here are some of the best dessert places in Downtown Vancouver.

26. Go on a brunch date

Or, if you’re looking for a rainy day food outing that’s a bit more substantial, why not go for Vancouver’s favourite meal – brunch?

This breakfast/lunch hybrid meal is practically a religion in Vancouver, and the perfect thing to do on a rainy weekend afternoon. 

Looking for inspiration? Check out our list of the best brunch places in Downtown Vancouver. 

27. Enjoy some afternoon tea 

Another fun foodie activity in Vancouver when it rains is enjoying a delicious afternoon tea. 

With a mix of hot tea, tiny sandwiches, and delectable sweet treats, this dainty food experience is a must-try at least once when you’re in the city.

Luckily, there are several options across Metro Vancouver that offer a classic afternoon tea experience, but a few popular options are…

28. Get cozy in a train-themed coffee shop

Okay, sure, grabbing coffee is probably one of THE most obvious things to do in Vancouver when it rains, but not all cafes (in our opinion) are built for immaculate rainy day vibes, so here’s our recommendation: Platform 7 Coffee.

Platform 7 Coffee (with two locations) is a wonderful rainy day place to visit in Vancouver.

The Kits location is styled after Belle-Époque Paris, whereas the East Van one will transport you to Victorian London. Both pretty wonderful if you ask us!

NOTE: We can definitely recommend their almond croissant if you’re looking for a treat.

29. Have an “experience” dinner

Okay, again, dinner is probably not the most inventive rainy day Vancouver idea, but we wanted to take a quick moment to shed light on some of the more unique dinner concepts in the city, which make for a great outing when it’s raining and your options are limited. 

Here are some ‘experience dinners’ you can enjoy:

  • Dark Table, where you dine in the dark and rely all your other senses (besides sight) to enjoy your meal
  • Ludica Pizzeria, where you can get pizza but also choose from a variety of board games to play
  • Sushi Aboard, where you order sushi and it’s delivered to you on a cute little bullet train
  • Osaka Teppanyaki, where chefs prepare your food tableside so it’s a bit like an interactive show

30. Do an Asian food crawl at Aberdeen Centre

If you don’t mind venturing out to Richmond, then another fun place to spend a rainy day is Aberdeen Centre, whose food court is honestly one of our favourite “hidden gems” of Metro Vancouver.

This modern Asian mall is conveniently located right next to the Aberdeen Skytrain station, with a unique range of shops from high tech massage chairs and Japanese crockery to the cheap (formerly) $2 store Oomomo. 

The star of the mall for us though is the food court, where you’ll find a delicious selection across the Asian food spectrum, from Korean fried chicken to juicy Chinese dumplings. Be sure to come hungry, because we guarantee there’s plenty you’ll be wanting to try.

31. Have a casino night

If the rain has you wishing for a balmy Vegas vacation, another fun Vancouver rainy day activity is getting dressed up to enjoy a night at the casino.

Which casinos in Metro Vancouver are perfect for this kind of outing? Parq Vancouver in Downtown Vancouver and River Rock in Richmond would both probably fit the bill.

32. Go Karting

For a more thrilling indoor activity, maybe it’s time to give Go Karting a try!

If this is a route you want to pursue, there are actually quite a few go karting spots in Metro Vancouver that you can check out. Here are some popular ones:

33. Try rock climbing or bouldering

Looking for an outdoorsy activity to enjoy when it rains in Vancouver… without having to go outdoors? 

 Hitting up a local rock climbing or bouldering gym sounds like it might be for you. Here are some popular options:

34. Try a dance class

And if you’re looking to try something different on your next rainy day, there’s always dance studios across town that offer lessons! 

The VS Dance Club even offers a complimentary first lesson, so you have no excuse 😉

35. Visit a cozy bookstore and read

For a low-key rainy day activity in Vancouver, why not cozy into a bookstore?

There are many nice bookstores and public libraries across Metro Vancouver to try out. Here are a few.

36. Visit Bloedel Conservatory 

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Located in Queen Elizabeth Park, Bloedel Conservatory is an often overlooked oasis in the city that’s well worth the small entry fee, especially if you’re looking for a unique Vancouver attraction to visit on a rainy day!

Inside, you’ll find hundreds of exotic birds and plants to admire, making it easy to forget you’re in the middle of the city.

37. Chill at a board game cafe

If your idea of the perfect rainy day is playing board games while cozying indoors, lucky for you – there are special cafes where you can do exactly that!

Here are a few you can find around Metro Vancouver:

38. Visit the Engine 374 Pavilion

For a fun little historical outing that’s shielded from the elements, the Engine 374 Pavilion in Yaletown is a great hidden gem that’s 100% free to visit.

Back on May 23, 1887 CPR Engine 374 became the first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver. Today, it’s on display for visitors to admire and enjoy, right next to Yaletown Roundhouse.

While this won’t be a full day activity by any means as it’s quite small, it’s still a fun stop to enjoy, especially when bundled with some of the nice cafes and bakeries in the area.

39. Check out the Pendulum Gallery

Another hidden (indoor) gem in Downtown Vancouver is the Pendulum Gallery, a unique art gallery housed in the atrium of the HSBC building.

With an ongoing exhibition program featuring 12-14 exhibitions each year, there’s always something new to admire here, which makes it a fun little stop if you find yourself downtown on a rainy day.

40. Visit Vancouver’s oldest building

Did you know that Vancouver’s oldest building is nowadays an adorable history museum you can visit, right by the beach?

Well, now you do! The Old Hastings Mill Store Museum is a true Vancouver time capsule housing all sorts of treasures and artifacts that reflect the history of the city. Built in 1865, the building stood east of Gastown for six decades, before being barged over to Point Grey in 1930. Today, it’s open to visitors on weekends.

Best of all, admission is by donation, so it’s a fairly affordable rainy day outing too.

41. Go for a moody bumble around Gastown

There’s no shortage of Instagrammable places to visit in Gastown, plus we’d argue there’s a special beauty to be found there when it rains.

So, if you don’t mind braving the moody weather, we’d definitely recommend a walk around Gastown, especially if you like avoiding the usual tourist crowds.

42. Go see a Canucks game

While not super popular as of late, another ‘very Vancouver’ rainy day activity is simply heading to Rogers Arena and cheering on the Canucks at a game. 

You can see their schedule here.

Bonus Vancouver Tip: If you want to get a good deal on tickets, consider joining some Facebook groups like Canucks Ticket Exchange, where verified season ticket holders sell their tickets.

43. Enjoy Fly Over Canada 

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Last but not least, it’s a little touristy, but if you want to try a unique Vancouver activity that’s rainy-day friendly, then give Fly Over Canada a try!

This immersive experience brings you on a flying ride that suspends you over a 20m spherical screen, making it feel like you’re journeying through all the incredible places you see before you, complete with scents and wind effects. If you’ve ever done “Soaring Over California” at Disneyland or Disney World, it’s just like that, but for Canada (and sometimes other destinations).

While a little cheesy, we do think it’s a fun activity to try once, especially if you’re looking for kid-friendly things to do in Vancouver when it rains. 

Did we miss any of your favourite rainy day activities in Vancouver?

Let us know in the comments so we can add more recommendations to our list!

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