It’s that time of year: the time when Victorians need to start mentally preparing for five months of rain.
After those weeks of unexpected sunshine, the weather appears to be swinging back to the traditional West Coast rainfall. ‘Tis the season where indoor activities become far more appealing.
From cozy cafes to unique activities, here are 11 things to do on a rainy day in downtown Victoria.
1 – Head to a museum or an art gallery
Victoria is home to some of British Columbia’s best museums and art galleries, including the Royal BC Museum, Miniature World, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and the Robert Bateman Centre. These are just a few in town. Why not make a day (or week!) of visiting these attractions?
The RBCM features several floors of exhibits. Some are permanent, including the First Nations exhibit, and some that change from time to time. The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has a wonderful collection of art in a beautiful setting! Many permanent collections as well as special exhibits on an on-going basis.
2 – Spend the day at the Board Game Cafe
It's not rocket science, it's just basic math!Beer + Board Games = AwesomeHowever, if you prefer:Milkshake + Board…
This cafe is open for all ages and brings the fun to everyone. The Interactivity Board Game Cafe offers a vast library of board and card games, you simply pay $5 at the counter and the whole place becomes your oyster!
Many Victoria locals come here to hang out, try new games and to meet new people. It’s a relaxing environment offering yummy nibbles and milkshakes (or alcoholic beverages, if you prefer). Let your inner kid out at the Board Game Cafe!
3 – Catch a flick at the theatre or the IMAX
What’s better than snacking on popcorn while watching the latest blockbuster in the cozy new seats at the Cineplex Odeon?
The IMAX – located at the Royal BC Museum – always has something for the whole family. Each film is approximately 45 minutes and run consecutively, so you can watch one, two… or spend an entire rainy afternoon!
4 – Step into virtual reality
Step into the future and see what all the hype is about at the Virtual Reality Lounge. Try out games with your friends or check it out solo, drop-ins are welcome!
5 – Escape Rooms
Victoria is home to three escape rooms. The Horror Escape, Quest Reality Games and Victoria Escape Games. All three businesses offer a variety of live action games that will have you working with others against the clock.
6 – Throw some axes
One of Victoria’s newest attractions is gaining in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. Axe & Grind is an axe-throwing club in downtown Victoria where visitors throw axes like the game of darts’ more metal brother.
“If you have a bad day and want to get something off your chest, come on down,” co-owner Danny Hamilton told Victoria Buzz. “It feels great.”
7 – Take a cooking class
Cooking classes are a great activity for friends, family, or as a date. There is nothing better than crafting (and eating) a delectable dish and taking home the knowledge to recreate your meal for all your friends! Victoria is home to many businesses that offer a variety of cooking classes, such as; Cook Culture, The London Chef, and Spice Jammer.
You better come to class with an empty stomach and a hunger to learn!
8 – Go for a walk in the rain
It’s a rainy day classic. You don’t need to be a kid to enjoy one of life’s most basic and primal pleasures—puddle jumping! So, grab your gumboots and head out for a rainy evening. Roam the streets and squares to see the lights in Centennial Square or Trounce Alley. Once sufficiently drenched, head to your favourite soup spot to warm up (see #11 for soup-spot suggestions).
Need a quality garments to fend off the downpour? Downtown Victoria hosts numerous excellent locations to purchase your waterproof garments. Mountain Equipment Co-op, Patagonia and Robinson’s are great spots to get your quality rain jackets. Footloose and Capital Iron offer sensible (and stylish) rain boots. And, of course, the Umbrellatorium and Canery offer a wide variety of beautiful umbrellas to keep you dry and looking your best.
9 – Visit the library
In 2011, the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) reported that more Canadians visit public libraries than watch the NHL on game night, and that people go to the library almost as often as they do the move theatre.
There’s good reason for that! The Greater Victoria Public Library offer more than just books. Libraries have movies, video games, free internet and computer access, events and activities for all ages, and more! The best part: libraries are free! So if you’re on a budget, why not rediscover the Greater Victoria Public Library during the next rainy day?
10 – Explore the Bug Zoo
The Victoria Bug Zoo has fascinated tourists and locals alike for over 20 years, and for good reason. There are insects, arachnids, and all manner of many-legged creatures at this unique destination. A visit to the Bug Zoo is guaranteed to be memorable and educational.
The brave and curious can even hold some of these crawlers in the palms of their hands!
11 – Enjoy a tasty bowl of soup
Nothing’s better than a warm bowl of soup on a chilly autumn day. Luckily, downtown Victoria is home to endless soup spots for every taste! Try Soupa Café for all your favourites, Pagliacci’s Restaurant for classic Italian, Red Fish Blue Fish, Ferris’ Oyster Bar, or Fishhook for scrumptious West Coast chowder, Green Leaf Bistro or Pho Vy for pho, and so many more.