What you’ve heard about Vancouver is true, it gets a lot of rain. Rainy days don’t have to be gloomy days though because there’s always something to do in the city, rain or shine. Sometimes the rain can be grey and melancholy, other days it may be comforting and soothing. To avoid the rainy day blues, take in some of the culture, art, and history that Vancouver has to offer.
Get Your Geek On
What better time to learn something new about the world than on a rainy day? If you have kids they will definitely love this attraction and if you don’t, there is no better place to be a big kid than at Science World. It’s a hands-on, interactive place of science, scientific discoveries, and tons of geeky fun. They often have special exhibits going on and they always have incredible, educational films playing on the immense and immersive screens of the Omnimax theatre.
Enjoy Some Art
Head to the Vancouver Art Gallery for the day and immerse yourself in the world of artistry. As one of North America’s most respected visual art institutions you can be assured they will always have fabulous exhibitions going on. It features over 11,000 permanent art works, including an extensive Emily Carr collection, First Nations artists, and art from the Asia Pacific region.
A Day at the Museum
The Museum of Anthropology, located on the UBC campus, in a great place to take refuge from the rain while learning about world art and culture. Special attention is paid to the art and history of the First Nations people as well as other cultural communities of British Columbia. Just a 15 minute walk away is the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, a natural history museum with over 500 permanent exhibits on display.
Make a visit to the Vancouver Public Library where you can sit, relax, and read from a massive selection of both fiction and nonfiction. Internet access is available for library members and there is an inspiration lab where you can use professional audio and video equipment to record media, convert media into digital formats, and edit images, audio tracks, and video clips. If you get hungry or thirsty you can head to the Library Square Public House which is based on the same block as the library.
Stop and Smell the Roses
If you’re craving a bit of nature but want to stay dry, check out the Bloedel Conservatory. The conservatory is a glass-domed aviary filled with over 200 exotic birds and over 500 unique plants. If you’re feeling a bit brave, you can venture out into the rain to visit the Queen Elizabeth Quarry Gardens or take a quick drive over to the Van Dusen Gardens. Strolling through the Van Dusen hedge maze in a mild drizzle can provide a charming sense of tranquility.
Light, Cameras, Action!
Going to the theatre on a rainy day is always an excellent idea. Vancouver has plenty of cinemas and live performance theatres to keep you busy if you’re looking for some indoor entertainment. For an elegant venue showing international and film festival works you can check out the Vancity Theatre. The Vancouver Playhouse is a performing arts venue which hosts both resident companies as well as international acts. For popular new releases, check out the Scotiabank Theatre.
Check Out the Aquatic Life
Take the family or go with friends to the Vancouver Aquarium. The aquarium features exhibits both indoors and outdoors. If you don’t mind a few raindrops and want to enjoy the smaller crowds, take your time exploring the outdoor exhibits and get wet with the aquatic life. The trainers interact with the animals rain or shine so there will always be plenty going on at the Vancouver Aquarium, regardless of the weather.
Explore Granville Island
Nestled on its own peninsula, Granville Island seems like its own little world. Visit the unique shops and restaurants or take in some live entertainment at the Backstage Lounge. Stroll through the many stalls of the massive Public Market and browse the wares of every type of vendor. If you’re bringing your children, a stop at the Kids Market cannot be missed.
Be One with Nature
Heading to the park on a rainy day doesn’t seem like a great plan but Stanley Park can be a whole new experience when explored under a drizzling mist. The rainforest is so thick that you’ll be mostly protected if you take a hike through the park to see the totem poles and luscious vegetation. You can hop on the covered Stanley Park train for a 2 km ride through the park. The train and the park are a must-see around Halloween and Christmas when the park is transformed into a spooky haunt or a winter wonderland.
Shop ‘til You Drop
Shopping is a great activity to do on a rainy day and the department stores are the best places to go to. If you head north on Granville Street you will find Hudson’s Bay and CF Pacific Centre, the largest mall in downtown Vancouver. From there you can head west on Robson Street to discover a ton of shops selling clothing, accessories, jewelry, and souvenirs. You can head east over to Main Street to check out the vintage wares on Antique Row or to browse the markets and imports of Vancouver’s Chinatown district.
Vancouverites are used to inclement weather and no amount of rain can shut this city down. There is so much to see and do in Vancouver that it could rain every single day and you would never get bored. If you’re visiting in the spring or fall, investing in a rain jacket and umbrella may be a good idea. Keep in mind that the weather can be incredibly unpredictable here so don’t be surprised if the morning looks bleak but you later find yourself enjoy a balmy summer day.