Fun Things to do on a Rainy Day in Melbourne
Explore the city in every weather with the best things to do on a rainy day in Melbourne.
Famed for our ‘four seasons in one day’ weather, Melburnians know to always expect rain around the corner. In response, we’ve created a vibrant culture full of things to see and do while staying dry. From high art and high tea to dodgem cars and drinks at the pub, these are the ways we love to spend a day when it’s pouring outside.
Scroll down for our edit of the best things to do on a rainy day in Melbourne.
Seek both shelter and inspiration at one of the many galleries located across art-obsessed Melbourne. Start with the big guns at the National Gallery of Victoria, where blockbuster international exhibitions accompany vast collections of Australian, European and Asian art. For thought-provoking contemporary works, hop over to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Southbank, St Kilda’s Linden New Art or take a drive to the picturesque Heide Museum of Modern Art.
While the rain cleans and revitalises the world outside, do the same for yourself with a luxurious spa session. Willow Urban Retreat offers restorative spa packages with massages, body scrubs, aromatherapy steaming and facials (including a 24K gold one if you’re looking to go all out), while sound bath healing sessions use quartz crystal singing bowls to soothe you into a peaceful, meditative state.
1203 High Street, Armadale
What better way to escape the cold than by digging into a hearty feed by the fire? When the mercury drops, our favourite cosy pubs dial up the heat with seasonal food and beverages that’ll warm your cockles. You can sip hot mulled cider at Fitzroy’s Rochester Hotel in winter, settle by one of the multiple roaring fireplaces at the Grace Darling in Collingwood, or tuck into a cracking roast at the 150-year-old Marquis of Lorne.
Roam around an indoor market
While nothing beats a sunny stroll through the open air, roving past gourmet delights at an indoor market is the next best thing. We love the deli hall at Queen Victoria Market, a bustling bazaar of every cheese and charcuterie imaginable that includes specialty stores selling Polish, African and Greek smallgoods. On the other side of town is South Melbourne Market, where you can load up on delicious seafood at various raw bars and grills while the croissants at beloved Agathé Patisserie always draw a queue.
Sip on Spirits
Warm yourself from the inside out with nips of high-quality spirits made right here in Melbourne. A number of Inner City distilleries have popped opened in recent years, including the shiny new Patient Wolf digs in Southbank, where they’ve turned a red brick warehouse into a playground of gin. A rainy day is the perfect time to duck in and try the whole range, from summery thyme gins to oak barrel-aged numbers. We also love Little Lon Distilling Co, a micro-distillery housed in a tiny heritage cottage in the CBD, for their gin masterclasses and cocktail workshops infused with history.
Rainy days call for hot cuppas, but why not up the ante by swapping the Lipton teabags for an indulgent high tea experience? White tablecloths and classical music at the Hotel Windsor will make you feel like you’re in a period drama as you nibble on dainty ribbon sandwiches and French patisserie.
Practise your swing at Holey Moley, a colourful indoor mini-golf and bar that puts the party in putt-putt. Challenge your mates over 18 holes peppered with pop culture references, while keeping fed and hydrated with splashy house cocktails and stone-baked pizza. If you’re keen to kick on, they’ve even got private karaoke rooms where you can belt out hits like no one’s listening.
590 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Get Lost in an Escape Room
Escape the rain, boredom and a locked room all at the same time with this out-of-the-box activity. Team up with your friends and family as you’re challenged to solve puzzles and riddles in a race against time. Each answer inches you closer to breaking out and claiming bragging rights. The Mystery Rooms in Fitzroy and Collingwood are a top pick for their intricately designed sets, while Ukiyo’s Deep Space rooms make you feel like you’ve been dropped in a sci-fi flick.
Head to the Movies
We’ve definitely all watched our fair share of Netflix these past few months, but nothing beats a good old fashioned flick at the cinemas. Immersive sound, cushy seats and hot buttery popcorn make the experience special – and what’s more, you can get an extra dose of architecture at historic cinemas like the grand Astor Theatre, where chandeliers and gold curtains hark back to old Hollywood, and the Sun Theatre, with its beautifully restored Art Deco facade. We love independent theatres like Carlton’s Cinema Nova, where they show blockbusters, arthouse, international flicks and classics all at the same time.
Hang at the Arcade
On dreary drizzly days, give your inner child a free pass to play. Arcades for grownups have made a big comeback lately, proving you’re never too old to enjoy an air hockey, dodgems or laser tag square off. Head to the vintage-themed B. Lucky and Sons in Melbourne Central, where an east-meets-west menu is joined by bubble tea cocktails.
Loved our edit of the best things to do on a rainy day? If the forecast is still looking gloomy, bunker down in one of these cool underground bars or book a table at these romantic restaurants. When the sun’s back out to play, make the most of the outdoors by exploring Melbourne’s best street art, scenic walks and picturesque picnic spots.
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