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Click Play on the podcast player above to listen to our Austinot Podcast, recorded in September 2012. In this episode, we cover local spots like Blazer Tag, Alamo Drafthouse and Texas Military Forces Museum. We’ve collected many more places to share since then, so read on for more ideas!
Let’s all agree that Alamo Drafthouse is any Austinite’s go-to rainy day activity. And if you’re like me, procrastination often keeps your from finding a seat when you want it most.
Fortunately, Austin is an amazing city filled with tons of stuff to do that doesn’t have to take place on an outdoor patio. So you can either stay inside and mope, or go out with friends and explore some of these amazing things to do when it’s raining in Austin.
Museums may seem like a boring answer to the rainy day question, but Austin is home to some of the coolest, most diverse museums in Texas! Many of them have rotating exhibits, allowing you to visit several times a year without seeing the same thing twice. University of Texas students have some of Austin’s top museums on campus, so they don’t have to travel far on rainy days. For the rest of us, here is my list of the top Austin museums.
LBJ Presidential Library and Museum
The LBJ Presidential Library recognizes our 36th president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who came into his presidency after the assassination of President Kennedy. The library features phone conversations from the presidency, as well as exhibits filled with fascinating relics from the 1960s. This library and museum represent a dynamic time in U.S. history.
2313 Red River St. – Website
Harry Ransom Center
Also found on the UT campus, the Harry Ransom Center has it all. The archives preserve over 65,000 American, European and Asian works of art alone! The free museum hosts several ongoing exhibitions and live performances. This is one of those places that is great to visit with a group of friends who have diverse tastes in art, since there’s something for everyone.
300 W. 21st St. – Website
The Blanton Museum of Art
Yet another University of Texas gem. The Blanton Museum’s blue atrium itself is a gorgeous art installation called “Stacked Waters.” The Blanton has a great mixture of art spanning ancient to modern times. Everything about this art museum is truly lovely. Visit on a Thursday for free admission.
200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. – Website
Bullock Texas State History Museum
If you aren’t originally from Texas, then you likely never had an opportunity to learn about the entire history of Texas in elementary, middle and high school. The Bullock Texas State History Museum is the place to make up for lost time. It’s also home to an IMAX theater. Now you can remember the Alamo while watching it on the big screen.
1800 Congress Ave. – Website
Texas Military Forces Museum
People don’t often equate Austin and the military, but Camp Mabry is right in our backyard. Not only that, but it’s open to the public. Simply show your I.D. at the gate and get directions to an amazing museum full of military vehicle and items dating back to the 1800s. Best of all? It’s free!
2200 W. 35th St. – Website
I can’t forget about our readers with families! Although, if you have kids you probably already have this children’s museum in your back pocket. Still worth the mention to keep those kiddos active!
1830 Simond Ave. – Website
What better way to drive out the rainy day gloom than with laughter? Austin’s comedy scene is on the rise, and we have some outstanding venues in town! Typically open evenings and weekends, you’ll be glad you left the house to check out one of these Austin comedy clubs.
Take “Saturday Night Live”-type sketches and mix with musicals and magic, and you have Esther’s Follies! This comedy club/magic show fantasy world has been around for 35 years and they don’t miss a beat. A guaranteed good time!
525 E. 6th St. – Website
You don’t have to walk far in the rain to continue with the barrels of laughs because Velvetta Room is right next door to Esther’s Follies.
521 E. 6th St. – Website
Cap City Comedy Club
For our North-enders, you don’t have to travel far on those slick roads to get your belly laughs. Cap City Comedy Club brings in some amazing national talent with local comics as openers. These people don’t joke around when it comes to comedy.
8120 Research Blvd. – Website
Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean you can’t move your body. Here are some of my favorite and more playful rainy day activities.
Austin Bouldering Project
If you can’t climb at the Greenbelt, that doesn’t mean you should start climbing your walls at home. The Austin Bouldering Project is the newest outlet for getting out the urge to climb, and it provides a great activity to do with the kids.
979 Springdale Road #150 – Website
Nostalgia is the perfect pair to a rainy day. Move those fingers at Pinballz Arcade with over 200 games to choose from.
8940 Research Blvd. – Website
Probably the easiest thing to do when it’s raining in Austin is drink beer–responsibly, of course. Drowning your rainy day sorrows never tasted so good than at these indoor taprooms in Austin. Disclaimer: this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the best breweries in Austin.
Now with two locations, NXNW has much to offer from its full restaurant to live music. Grab your friends and explore the flavors.
10010 N. Capital of Texas Hwy – Website
Hops and Grain
Hops and Grain offers a fun, albeit loud, environment for friends to chill, play games and even listen to music. If you’ve never visited, be sure to take a tour of the brewery–they’re free!
507 Calles St. #101 – Website
Black Star Co-op
Black Star Co-op is an interesting hangout. This place is an obvious rainy day choice, especially if there are sports to be watched. Good beer, good food, good people.
7020 Easy Wind Drive – Website
And the best part about rainy days in Austin? Traffic is typically better because fewer people want to explore like you do!
@jpino9 wants to know:
What do you do when it’s raining in Austin?
Do what Seattleites do. Fly to Hawaii ….
Go see Improv. Austin has an amazing Improv community, with five separate theaters offering shows 7 nights a week. Parents can even take kids to see family friendly shows like What’s the Story Steve at ColdTowne, Saturdays at 10 AM or Flying Theater Machine at The Hideout, SUndays at 2 PM.
Good call, @disqus_c8U9PAlg3j:disqus! Thanks for all the details.
Drop by “Craft” on S. First to do some DIY crafting for fun.
That sounds like a lot of fun! What kind of stuff have you made there @10af86f00568c0609c12533db241f2cd:disqus?
Lots of museums on the UT Campus.
@ianprikryl:disqus, is there a full list somewhere? I’m familiar with the Blanton and the Ransom Center…not sure I’ve been to any others.
Appreciate it. 🙂
Came across this while looking for weather information for my Masters program.
Always love when I randomly see these pages Eric
Hey, glad you found my blog Ryan! Best to you on your Masters program. ~ E
Thanks for the great article! saw on Yobored.com that its supposed to be rainy in Austin this weekend, Esther follies could be fun 🙂
For Some More Suggestions on What to do when its Raining in Austin check out http://blog.yobored.com/2016/08/16/what-to-do-when-it-rains-in-austin/
There’s lots of awesome ways to Join the Adventure!