While Austin gets more than 300 sunny days each year, sometimes the rain's gonna fall! Fortunately, Austin has plenty of awesome indoor activities to entertain you on a rainy day or night. Here are 24 of the best things to do on a rainy day in Austin, Texas!
Top Ten Things to do on a Rainy Day in Austin
1. Learn about the history of Texas
Just because you are not seeing Austin due to the rainy weather, you can still get to know a lot about Austin at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. The Bullock Museum does a fantastic job of chronicling the history of the Lone Star State from the time it was still a part of Mexico up to the present. Some of the subjects the museum explores are the discovery of oil, Austin's famous local music scene, and the lives of the Texas Comanches.
2. Challenge yourself at an escape room
Get rid of the rainy day blues by playing an escape room at The Escape Game Austin. Put your detective hats on if you want to escape a ‘locked’ room in just 60 minutes! Solve riddles and crack codes to find a way out of one of several escape rooms. Each room has a unique mission of varying difficulty levels. In the most difficult game, Prison Break, teammates work across two cells to escape a 1950s prison. In Classified, you must gather critical information to stop a major international attack. Turn those raindrops into an exciting adventure at the Escape Game Austin!
3. Learn the Texas Two-Step
Learn to dance like a local by learning the Texas Two-Step at The Broken Spoke, One of the most fun indoor places in Austin, TX! A popular spot to learn this classic line dance is The Broken Spoke which opened in 1964! Its slogan, hanging on the outside of the dance hall is “The last of the True Texas Dance Halls, and damn sure proud of it!” Lessons are on Wednesdays through Saturdays, 8 pm-9 pm. Be sure to sign up in advance. After your lesson, dance the night away confidently!
4. See Austin by bus
Stay dry and see Austin on a rainy day by taking a sightseeing bus tour. These tours are typically between 90 minutes to 3 hours and provide a nice overview of the city along with stories and facts from an entertaining and knowledgeable guide. AO Tours has tours offered in a glass top, convertible, Mercedes tour buses. The Best of ATX Panoramic City Center Tour is 90 minutes long and covers Downtown Austin and nearby areas. When the sun is back out, you can go back to sights and attractions that piqued your interest. By the way, if the bad weather you are facing are high temperatures, a bus tour is just as effective as staying cool on a hot day in Austin.
5. Tour a brewery
If you like the idea of a tour and love a good beer, take a brewery tour. Austin has dozens of fantastic breweries that offer tours and tastings. The ATX Beer Bus has a few tours that include 3-4 stops. If you want to go straight to the source, here’s a list of 20 Austin breweries to check out. Unlike other bus tours, this one is strictly for adults in Austin!
6. Immerse yourself in color and light
Wonderspaces is an incredible immersive art show located in cities across the country that presents amazing artwork from international artists. Some of the current pieces include “Spheres”, an interactive interstellar journey where space is filled with music. “Submergence” is an immersive installation comprising 8,064 individual points of light. The lights change colors continually, as does the corresponding music as visitors walk through.
7. See some sea creatures
On a rainy day, the Austin Aquarium will keep you dry while its residents are literally wet all over! The aquarium has thousands of sea creatures, as well as amphibians, reptiles, birds, and even a few mammals. This aquarium offers so much more than viewing incredible aquatic life in tanks. The Animal Encounters allow guests to hand-feed fish, birds, and sharks. You can interact with mammals like lemurs and sloths. For a unique Instagrammable moment. Schedule a photo with one of the aquarium’s “mermaids”!
8. Visit the Texas Governor's Mansion
Since 1856, this gorgeous Greek Revival-style historic home has been the official residence of Texas governors and their families. It is the fourth oldest continuously occupied governor’s residence in the United States! The Texas Governor’s Mansion has a storied past and you can learn about its history and that of the state of Texas through fa ree 20-minute tour. Tours are offered on select dates and reserved one week in advance. Find out more here.
9. Attend Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits is the longest-running televised music series in U.S. history. Every week at the Moody Theater, bands and singer-songwriters play in front of a live studio audience. ACL showcases legends to newbies from every musical genre. Whether it's rainy or not, going to Austin City Limits ACL should be on the to-do list of every music lover.
10. Catch a flick
Going to a movie is always a good choice for a rainy day, but in Austin, it’s a great choice! At the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, your movie is served up with delicious food brought right to your seat! The theater also serves handcrafted cocktails and beers from local microbreweries. The movie selection includes blockbusters, independent films, classics, and foreign films. What a great way to spend a night indoors in Austin! Check the schedule in advance to make sure that “Singin’ in the Rain’ is not playing when you want to go!
Austin Museums and Attractions for a Rainy Day
Art lovers with a taste for every era will love the Blanton. The museum houses the University of Texas’s collection of 21,000 pieces of art, including Roman-era pottery, early Renaissance paintings, modern art, and Native American, Latin American, and African American art. The museum is not overwhelming though and visitors will have ample time to pass the hours on a rainy day at this top-notch Austin museum.
This Austin museum might just make you happy that it's rainy outside! Explore 12 multi-sensory installations that educate guests about the history of ice cream. Along the way enjoy unlimited ice cream. The best part? Have your camera ready for a jump in the sprinkle pool! This museum is sure to be a hit with your teenagers in Austin because it's so darn Instagram-worthy!
The seat of the Texas government resides in Austin in an enormous three-story Renaissance Revival style building, the largest capitol building in the United States. It was completed in 1888 and was modeled after the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. but it is even taller by 15 feet! A visit is a must when in Austin, so it's a perfect indoor destination on a rainy day. To gain insight into the building and the politics taking place within, you can take a free tour. Be sure to stop by the Capitol Visitors Center where you can see exhibits and movies about the Capitol’s history, and a LEGO Capitol made from 65,000 LEGO pieces.
One of Austin's most popular tourist destinations is the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. Former president Lyndon Johnson's life, including his tenure in political service, is chronicled in the museum’s permanent exhibition. The Library has more than 45 million pages of historical documents from LBJ’s 35-year political career. Tough-provoking temporary displays address contemporary problems like civil rights in America, a cause Johnson fought for during his presidency.
Since 1984, this museum has been collecting artworks, cultural objects, and literature by Chicanix, people who are born in the United States with Mexican heritage. The museum’s collection is vast, but the museum itself is small. Its mission is to “enrich the community through education programs, exhibitions, and the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture for visitors of all ages.” Accordingly, the museum has a casual and welcoming feel, and hosts festivals and special events.
Highly-regarded Texas artist and sculptor, Elisabet Ney (1833-1907), moved from Germany to Austin where she spent the final 20 years of her life. In her studio, she sculpted famous Texas public figures like Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston. The life-like busts she mastered are arguably her best-known works. Many are on display in such prominent places as the U.S. Congress and the Smithsonian Museum. The Elisabet Ney Museum houses the largest collection of her work. This Austin museum is free.
Austin Indoors Recreation
17. Pinstack Arcade
One of Austin’s best indoor arcade and entertainment centers, Pinstack has loads of activities in its 45,000-square-foot venue. The arcade has 100 video games and simulator technology games. Twenty feet above the arcade is a high-ropes course for an exciting challenge. There’s also a 24-foot rock climbing wall, bumper cars, and state-of-the-art bowling lanes. A menu features pizzas, burgers, and oversized milkshakes. Not a bad way to spend a rainy day in Austin!
18. K1 Go Karting
Brighten up your rainy day by heading to the indoor go-kart circuit K1 Speed Austin. You can race at up to 45 miles per hour in the K1 go-karts thanks to their karts' 20-horsepower electric motors! On Friday nights, the LED lighting that lines the track flashes bright neon colors and the music is lively. It's like go-karting in a disco!
Check out indoor skydiving at iFLY Austin if you've always wanted to feel what it's like to leap out of an airplane, but haven't yet mustered up the courage! First, you’ll receive training from an instructor. Then you’ll head into a man-made wind tunnel, strapped in, and then feel what it's like to defy gravity safely from just a few feet off the ground! This is a thrilling way to pass some time inside in Austin when the skies are gray!
20. Top Golf Austin
This three-floor entertainment complex has more than 100 all-weather, covered hitting bays. You can play a variety of games, the most popular being “Topgolf.” It’s like driving-range target practice, but instead of aiming for a hole 500 yards away, players aim for giant targets around the range. Scores are tallied based on the accuracy of shots and the distance of the target. Make a reservation as soon as you can so you don't have to wait in line.
If you feel like you are missing out on Austin’s great outdoors, you can be active at the Austin Bouldering Project, where you can try indoor rock climbing. Plus, their state-of-the-art 50,000-square-foot facility offers a full range of fitness activities. Take one of their yoga classes for all levels of skills, even beginners. Work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center. A day pass gets you a full day and, for first-time visitors, free climbing shoe rentals.
22. Austin's Park
Less than a 30-minute drive from Austin is this 23-acre amusement park that offers both inside and outside fun and games. It's one of the most family-friendly attractions in Austin. There’s an indoor roller coaster and a tower drop as well as bowling, rock climbing walls, virtual reality rides, laser tag, arcade games, and more. When it stops raining, there are plenty more things to do at Austin’s. Outside activities include miniature golf, bumper boats, batting cages, go-karts, and more. With great food like artisanal pizzas and Tex-Mex, you could keep occupied inside for hours!
Music and Theater for a Rainy Austin Night
23. Hear Live Music
One of the best things to do at night in Austin is to see live music. It is after all, known as the "Live Music Capital of the World"!
The Moody Center is Austin’s arena for big concerts with a seating capacity of 15,000+ seats. Top performers from around the world roll into Austin and play here.
24. See Performing Arts
The Bass Concert Hall, a venue for theater, dance, comedy, and other types of performances, hosts touring Broadway productions that change every week as part of its "Broadway in Austin" series. The “Texas Welcomes” series showcases contemporary bands, family shows, and comedians. Examples of the kinds of performances you might see here are top-notch comedians like Trevor Noah or the Broadway hit, “Pretty Woman”.
Find out more things to do in Austin here.
For suggestions on how to spend your time in Austin, see our Austin 2-day itinerary!
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