If you’ve ever lived in Seattle for an extended amount of time, you’ve probably realized that it doesn’t rain as much as you’d expect. That said, there are plenty of wet days year-round and it can be tempting to wait out the rain from the comfort of your couch. A much better approach, however, is to embrace Seattle’s rainy days! There are so many fun things to do on a rainy day in Seattle. In fact, we curated this guide of 30 things you can—and should—do when it’s raining in Seattle. Whether you like to get active, learn something new, or just want to get warm and cozy, there’s something on this list for you.
Read on for the top 30 things to do on a rainy day in Seattle:
This Van Gogh exhibit deserves to be seen any day no matter what the weather is, but there’s something special about wandering around the immersive artwork while it’s cold and rainy outside. You can even sign up to take the upcoming yoga class this January!
Tickets are available now for The FRIENDS™ Experience: The One in Seattle! If you loved this classic TV show and hate the rain, you’ll happily spend hours having fun and staying dry inside this immersive experience.
3. Visit Chihuly Garden and Glass
Located centrally at Seattle Center, this beautiful glass artwork stuns whether it’s your first or tenth time seeing it. It’s particularly cool being inside the glass structure when it’s raining outside.
4. Go to the Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium is such a cozy and fun place to spend a few hours when it’s coming down hard outside. Afterwards, you’re in a prime spot to dash over to one of the many delicious restaurants located in Pike Place Market and Downtown Seattle.
5. Stroll through Pike Place Market
Speaking of Pike Place Market, the entire market is covered so it’s a great place to spend a rainy day. You can eat, drink, shop, eat some more, and people watch. Hours will fly by here before you know it.
6. Have afternoon tea at the Fairmont
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle is a stunning place to visit. Having a fancy afternoon tea there on a rainy day is a truly delight.
7. Warm up by a fireplace while you eat and drink
Looking for the warmth of a roaring fire? We created a guide of cozy restaurants in Seattle with fireplaces—perfect for rainy days.
8. Get steamy in a sauna or hot tub
Another great way to warm up on a rainy day is to visit one of the best saunas and hot tubs in Seattle.
9. Visit Seattle’s Starbucks Reserve Roastery
We will always recommend warming up with a cup of coffee at a small neighborhood cafe first and foremost. There’s so many amazing cafes in every area of Seattle! But if you haven’t been to the Seattle Starbucks Roastery in Capitol Hill yet, make a day out of it the next time it’s raining. It’s a whole experience: you can even get cocktails there!
10. Find a good read at a Seattle bookstore
Once you’ve got your coffee, head to one of these cozy Seattle independent bookstores for an hour or two of browsing before heading home to curl up with your new book.
11. Go rock climbing
Seattle has a wealth of rock climbing gyms and they’re all very friendly and welcoming to beginners. One favorite is Seattle Bouldering Project in the Central District (it has yoga studios and a cafe) and another is the Pinnacle wall located in the REI flagship store.
12. Explore Seattle’s best thrift stores
Maybe you can find the perfect raincoat! There are too many Seattle thrift stores to list them all here but these are some of our favorites:
- Fremont Vintage Mall in Fremont
- Two Big Blondes Plus Size Consignment in the Central District
- Throwbacks Northwest in Capitol Hill
- Lucky Vintage in University District
- Red Light Vintage in University District
- Fremont Sunday Market on Sundays in Fremont
And don’t forget about the many Goodwill and Crossroads Trading locations in Seattle!
13. Grab some of Seattle’s best comfort food
Looking for some comfort food in Seattle to warm you up on a rainy day? We recommend Tio Baby’s in Fremont, Wayward Vegan in Roosevelt, The Pink Door for Italian food in Pike Place Market, and this Vietnamese speakeasy that will warm you up with pho and cocktails.
14. Shop at the best Seattle boutiques
If thrift stores aren’t your speed but you want to spend a rainy day in Seattle doing some shopping, we got you. Check out some of our favorite local boutiques and indie stores via our neighborhood shopping guides below:
- The best shops in Ballard
- The best shops in Wallingford
- The best shops in Fremont
- The best shops in Pioneer Square
- The best shops in Capitol Hill
15. Grab a beer (and more) at Chuck’s Hop Shop
Chuck’s Hop Shop is a beer bar with three locations in Seattle: Central District, Greenwood, and Seward Park. You’ll also find food trucks, tons of snack options, and non-alcoholic beverages at each location. The Seward Park location is tucked within Third Place Books, so you can grab a coffee and browse the bookstore too!
16. Catch the game at Seattle’s first women’s sports bar
If you want to watch the Seattle Storm or OL Reign play, you can now head to Ballard and catch those games and more at Seattle’s first women’s sports bar. Read all about Rough & Tumble Pub.
17. Take a cooking class
18. Warm up at a tropical bar
Inside Passage is one of our favorite tropical bars in Seattle. Want even more suggestions? See our list of the best themed bars in Seattle.
19. Take an arts and crafts class
Banish rainy day blues by learning something new and making friends at one of the many fun classes offered by The Works Seattle.
20. Visit a Seattle cat cafe
21. Tour the Theo Chocolate Factory
The Theo Chocolate Factory is located in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood (you’ll smell it before you see it). It’s the sweetest rainy day activity possible (yes, you get free samples!). Book your factory tour here.
22. Take the Seattle underground tour
Another classic Seattle tour that’s perfect for rainy days is the underground tour! You’ll get to actually go underneath Seattle and explore the forgotten streets from when the city was a full story lower. Book your underground tour here.
23. Find a Seattle speakeasy
A dark and stormy night is the perfect occasion to slip into one of Seattle’s hidden speakeasy bars and treat yourself to a warming cocktail.
24. Go dancing
If you want an energetic mood boost after a dreary rainy day, you should go dancing. Here are our favorite Seattle spots for a night of dancing:
- Chop Suey in Capitol Hill
- Dragster in Fremont
- Monkey Loft in SODO
- Gold Bar in Capitol Hill (Thursday nights only)
25. Take your friends to a board game cafe
Mox Boarding House in Ballard is a great place to go in Seattle on rainy days. You and your friends can borrow one of their many games (or bring your own) while enjoying food, coffee, and craft beer. They also have private rooms you can rent and a fun schedule of events.
26. Grab a cold one at a Seattle brewery
We probably don’t need to tell you just how many breweries there are in Seattle. Let’s just say there’s a lot. One that recently opened by the waterfront is Here Today. In addition to beer and a cool retro vibe, it has delicious food, cocktails, and a covered patio.
27. Go to the Seattle Central Library
Even if you’re not a big reader, you have to visit the Seattle Central Library at least one. Its an architectural marvel and is so fun to explore, especially on a rainy day. Go and look for the red room.
28. Visit a Seattle museum
A classic rainy day activity. Plus: Did you know you can visit Seattle museums for free?
29. Browse some vinyl
Why not make a rainy day better by bringing home some new-to-you vinyl to listen to? See our list of the best record shops in Seattle. Bonus: pictured above is Life On Mars, which is a cool bar with a great vinyl collection.
30. See a live show
There’s never a shortage of cool live shows in Seattle. Some suggestions are Unexpected Improv in Pike Place Market, live music at The Triple Door, live music in a more intimate setting at Neumos, and a wide range of performers at the Paramount. You’ll forget all about the rain coming down outside.