UPDATED MAY 2021
It’s been POURING in Austin for the last couple of weeks so what’s there to do? Here are my top picks for the 17 best indoor activities to do on a rainy day in Austin!
SEE ALSO: 5 Best Spots For Glamping Near Austin
Wonderspaces Austin — the permanent, interactive art exhibit with rotating works — has added four new art installations from renowned artists at its 28,000-square-foot space (located at 1205 Sheldon Cove), the first rotation since it opened in the summer of 2020. Additionally, the Wonderspaces team is thrilled to launch its thoughtfully curated bar program to complement the art displayed, complete with cocktails, beer, and wine and featuring all Austin and Texas-specific products.
10% off with code: ATASTEOFKOKO
1205 Sheldon Cove # 2-A, austin.wonderspaces.com/
Museum of Ice Cream
Museum of Ice Cream is open in Austin at The Domain with it’s Instagrammable museum of ice creamI Its U.S. flagship outlet is located in New York, providing the culturally-rich Broadway area and its visitors a place for human connection and creativity. Its first ever international establishment is located in Singapore, bringing the sold-out interactive museum experience to Asia.
With the Holidays fast approaching, Museum of Ice Cream Austin (MOIC) is gearing up for its upcoming event, Pinkmas. Kicking off on November 18 and through January 9, guests can expect a Pinkmas wonderland filled with limited time offers including drink specials, exclusive retail products, themed activities, and more.
The magical immersive experience will feature festive drink specials at the cafe, including a gingerbread milkshake, Pinktini, and a Sprinkle Pool sundae. Additionally, guests can expect a variety of celebratory activities such as a “winter-fied” game of I Spy, sing-alongs to holiday favorites, candy cane hunts, educational information about holiday celebrations from around the world and more. Additionally, there will be a special donation opportunity. Any guests that bring a toy to be donated to Toys for Tots will receive a complimentary ice cream scoop at the cafe.
Tickets for the Pinkmas celebrations start at $44 and include holiday themed ice cream treats for guests to enjoy as they go through the experience. Add on the special Pinkmas bundle for $39 to stock up on limited edition retail items like a headband, piñata plushie, MOIC ticket pin, and a sprinkle bag.
11506, Century Oaks Terrace, #128, museumoficecream.com
Viva Day Spa
I can’t imagine a better way than enjoying a hot stone massage or hydrating Hydrafacial while listening to the sound of rain. Viva Day Spa is my go-to and there are three locations in Austin: The Domain, 35th St, and North Lamar.
For the holidays, Viva Day Spa has a couple of holiday packages and I treated myself to both of these and loved them!
Melt your cares away with a deeply relaxing Spa La La Holiday Massage Package in Austin at Viva. Smooth basalt stones plunge healing warmth deep into your neck, shoulder and back muscles during you Swedish massage. Your massage therapist will wrap up your service with our Magic Mint Scalp Treatment among other massage extras, sending you on your merry way refreshed and rejuvenated!
- 75 Minute Swedish Massage with Hot Rocks on Neck, Shoulders & Back
- Holiday Spice Hydrating Body Wrap
- Full Body Dry Brush Exfoliation
- Hot Herbal Steam Towel Treatment
- Merry Mint Scalp Treatment
- Take Home Gift Bag
- Served with Hot Spiced Chai
Treat your skin to a deep cleanse and renewed radiance with our Holiday Glow HydraFacial Package. It combines our popular 30-minute HydraFacial MD facial with a Perk Lip or Eye treatment, custom masque, Neck, Shoulder & Arm massage and other skin care goodies.
- HydraFacial MD Treatment
- Choice of Perk Lip or Eye Treatment
- Additional Manual Extractions (if needed)
- Custom Masque, based on skin type
- Neck, Shoulder, & Arm Massage with Holiday Spice Hydrating Butter
- Moisturizer & UV Sun Protection
- Take Home Gift Bag
- Served with Hot Spiced Chai
** Gift $500 and get a $100 spa voucher
View this post on Instagram
Mesmerize Get ready to travel through parallel universes & explore the cosmos in Austin’s newest immersive art experience, MESMERIZE, located inside of Native Hostel. 807 E 4th St, thisismesmerize.com
celebrating wine wed with the largest wine on tap winery in the world that’s in AUSTIN TX – with more than 56 wines on tap!
- Every weds: all wines on tap are 50% off from 12-11p with live music
- more than 56 wines on tap!
- self-pour & you’re only charged for the ounces you pour!
- reservations not needed
- southern italian food truck parked in the back, @theheelofthebooteats
610 N Interstate Hwy 35, wanderlustwine.com
An obvious choice for rainy days. Watch a movie and grab dinner at the same time. My favorite combo is the bottomless popcorn with extra butter, fried pickles, buffalo cauliflower, and boozy milkshake.
*Multiple locations, drafthouse.com/austin
The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center
The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center has a new exhibit: Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams and Crit Group Reunion. Guests are invited to step into the surreal universe of visionary musician and artist Daniel Johnston, filled with love, loss, ghosts, aliens, superheroes, and the eternal battle between good and evil.
As Austin’s only museum solely focused on contemporary artists and their work, The Contemporary Austin offers exhibitions, educational opportunities, and events that start conversations and fuel the city’s creative spirit. Known for artist-centric projects and collaborations, The Contemporary invites exploration at both its urban and natural settings—downtown at the Jones Center on Congress Avenue, lakeside at the Laguna Gloria campus (including the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park, the Art School, and the historic Driscoll Villa), and around Austin through the Museum Without Walls program.
700 Congress Ave, thecontemporaryaustin.org
Texas Farmers Market Mueller
The Texas Farmers Market in Mueller is getting a new permanent home at Mueller’s Branch Park Pavilion that is indoors so no more worry of rain! Designed by The Lawrence Group, the Pavilion will feature 19,800+ square feet of gathering space and vendors will be inside of the Pavilion, wrapping around the perimeter of the building and set up on the closed-down Philomena Street segment between Aldrich St. and Mattie St.
Grand opening: Sunday, June 27th at 10am for a ribbon-cutting ceremony
Hours: 10am-2pm every Sunday rain or shine
2006 Philomena St, texasfarmersmarket.org
Escape from the rain and play at Austin’s newest Instagrammable bar, Wonder Bar, at the Domain!
11500 Rock Rose Ave Suite D, Austin, TX
Visit Tasting Rooms In Fredericksburg
When it pours, you might as well head down to Fredericksburg to the different winery tasting rooms. A couple of my favorites:
- William Chris Vineyards
- Ab Astris Winery
- Grape Creek Vineyards
I just went to Pinballz for the first time last month and it was so much fun! Pinballz is similar to Dave & Busters with all the arcade games but with one major difference… it’s BYOB! Or in my case, BYOW – bring your own wine. I brought canned wine to sip on while playing all the games!
8940 Research Blvd, pinballzarcade.com
Every time it rains in Austin, there’s nothing more than I want to do but slurp a steaming bowl of ramen. Here’s my guide to the best ramen in Austin!
SEE ALSO: Best Asian Food in Austin
Austin Central Library
Curl up to a book at the Austin Central Library with the sound of rain on the rooftop garden that has an incredible view of Austin and overlooks Lady Bird Lake. If you’re hungry, head downstairs to the Cookbook Cafe.
710 W Cesar Chavez St, library.austintexas.gov/central-library
Topgolf is completely covered so rain or shine, swing away! They’re also dog-friendly.
2700 Esperanza Crossing, Austin, TX 78758, topgolf.com/us/austin/
Visit a new coffee shop
I’m guilty of always visiting my favorite local coffee shops in Austin so why not try a new stop? A couple of new spots:
- El Tigre
- Revival Coffee
The children’s museum elevated. Want to avoid the kids? The Thinkery closes the museum on one Thursday of every month for Thinkery21 – adults can eat, drink and mingle while experiencing innovative science and art.
1830 Simond Ave, Austin, Texas 78723, thinkeryaustin.org
The Escape Game
You can get out of the rain and put your puzzle-solving skills to the test in these immersive escape rooms. They have 5 adventures to choose from that might have you finding gold, breaking out of prison, taking part in an art heist, and more. You can get more information and reserve here!
Located on the University of Texas Austin campus, The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the largest university museums in the nation. Admission is free on Thursday.
200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
We have dozens of local Austin breweries in Austin that make their own craft beer.
BookPeople is one of the few locally owned bookstores in Austin and the largest bookstore in Texas. Koko’s Guide To Austin is sold here!
603 N Lamar Blvd, bookpeople.com
Enter the safe house of a Soviet spy and try to reveal his true identity. You have one hour to figure out your way out of the room with your friends. We made it just 10 minutes over!
5555 N Lamar Blvd Suite K110, Austin, TX 78751, austin.mazerooms.com
Austin Bouldering Project
The world’s largest bouldering gym is located in Austin at the Austin Bouldering Project with a 50,000 square foot facility. Everything is bigger in Texas right?
I recommend getting the day pass for $16 and spending the day at the facility. Austin Bouldering Project has rock climbing, yoga classes, a gym, food options, and an area to work upstairs.
979 Springdale Rd #150, austinboulderingproject.com
It’s on my bucket list to skydive (even though it terrifies me) so I’ll opt for indoor skydiving for now. Skydive at iFly’s high-tech indoor attraction located in North Austin boasts a vertical-wind-tunnel-powered skydiving simulation. That’s me in the photo above!
13265 US-183, iflyworld.com/austin/
Punch Bowl Social
21,000-square-foot venue with a craft-beverage bar, a gastropub diner featuring high-end comfort food, private-party facilities and a one-of-a-kind Old School entertainment space offering pool, pingpong, shuffleboard, darts, vintage arcade games, board games and a private karaoke room.
11310 Domain Dr, Austin, TX 78758, punchbowlsocial.com/Austin/
No-frills old-school bowling alley with ample snack options, full bar & discount specials. Ask for the COOL Glow Bowling (Electric Bowl) where you can bowl with the lights down–great music turned up and awesome special effects lighting.
** Dart Bowl has sadly closed
8909 Burnet Rd, highlandlanes.com
IKEA is always packed and it’s a nightmare, but not on rainy days! Go for some home inspiration, or browse their new collections.
1 IKEA Way Round Rock, TX 78665, ikea.com
Blazer Tag in South Austin is the largest laser tag arena in Texas with a 10,000 sq/ft laser tag arena with towers & ramps.
1701 W Ben White Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, blazertag.com
Vigilante Gaming Bar
Before you say, “Gaming bar? Really?” Vigilante has every single board game possible (200+ options) with food, sake cocktails, wine, and beer. It’s $10 a table so if you have 3 friends plus yourself, that’s $2.50 per person for the entire day and unlimited board games. If you want some privacy and have a large group, Vigilante also has private rooms to rent.
Let it pour outside while you discover a new board game and toss back sake bombs!
7010 Easy Wind Dr #150, Austin, TX, vigilantebar.com
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Opened in 2001 as the official history museum of the State of Texas, we engage the broadest possible audience to interpret the continually unfolding Story of Texas through meaningful educational experiences. We also collect and archive first-person stories about Texas through the Texas Story Project, because the memories and experiences of Texas people, places, and objects contribute to a better understanding of the generations that came before us.
The Bullock Museum is currently open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you’re not into a history museum, Bob Bullock also has an IMAX Theatre.
1800 Congress Ave, thestoryoftexas.com
The Mexic‐Arte Museum is dedicated to enriching 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.
419 Congress Ave, mexic-artemuseum.org
Harry Ransom Center
The Harry Randsom Center is an archive, library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin housing 36 million literary manuscripts, one million rare books, five million photographs, more than 100,000 works of art, and complete copy of the Gutenberg Bible. Admission is free and you can go on daily tours of exhibits related to literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts.
300 W 21st St, hrc.utexas.edu/
LBJ Presidential Library
Also located at the University of Texas at Austin is the LBJ Presidential Library that is the presidential library and museum of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States.
Free admission to the public is available on several days throughout the year.
2313 Red River St, lbjlibrary.org
Texas State Capitol Building
If you want to be a true Austinite, you have to visit the Texas State Capitol Building at least once and a rainy day in Austin is the best time.
Capitol Tours are typically free but currently suspended due to COVID. Self-guided tours of the Capitol and Grounds are allowed. You can pick up free self-guided Capitol and Grounds tour brochures at the Capitol north entry or Capitol Information and Guide Service 1S.2.
1100 Congress Ave, tspb.texas.gov/prop/tc/tc/capitol.html