It’s true. Portland does experience quite a bit of rain — but that never stops us from enjoying our city to the fullest! The city has so much to do both indoors and out, but today, we’re focusing on the cozy, indoor activities you can do the next time rain (or snow!) is on the forecast.
From tea sipping to indoor skydiving, there’s something for everyone on this list!
Go Wine Tasting in the Willamette Valley
In Oregon, winery visits are not just reserved for the spring and summer. With the renowned Willamette Valley in our backyard, there are endless possibilities for wine tasting. Take a look at some of the best wineries in the Willamette Valley, featuring plenty of cozy interiors perfect for sipping on pinot noir and snacking on a cheese plate as you watch the rain fall on surrounding vineyards.
Get Dinner AND a Show at Lake Theater & Cafe
Retreat to Lake Theater & Cafe in Lake Oswego, a unique theater with plush seating and a full food and drink menu. This historic theater serves a variety of food and drinks to enjoy while watching a movie in one of their two intimate theaters. The main auditorium features stadium-riser seats, and the event space features cabaret-style seating with tables and chairs on the main floor and traditional theater seating in the balcony. Guests may eat and drink in both venues!
For more rainy-day activities in Lake Oswego, click here. And for more cozy theaters in the area with food service, check out Studio One, the McMenamins Kennedy School Theater, St. Johns Theater and Pub, Bagdad Theater & Pub, Living Room Theaters, the Empirical Theater at OMSI, and Cinetopia Progress Ridge in Beaverton.
Relax in the McMenamins Crystal Hotel Soaking Pool
Photo Courtesy of Kat Nyberg/McMenamins
There’s nothing quite as comforting as soaking in a hot tub on a gloomy, rainy day. While the indoor soaking pool at Crystal Hotel is open to overnight hotel guests only, the outdoor pool at Kennedy School is open to both guests and the general public. The heated pool is situated in a private courtyard surrounded by lush gardens. Admission for the general public is $5 per person per hour any day between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Eat Brunch at Ava Gene’s
After a temporary closure and revamp earlier this year, Ava Gene’s recently started serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — and it is already getting rave reviews. Alongside produce-heavy dishes (like granola with carrot yogurt, dates, berries, lemon curd and fennel pollen), you’ll find plenty of delicious sweet pastries made by pastry chef Nora Mace — and of course, Stumptown Coffee, a veggie-packed Bloody Mary, and various seasonal fruit juices. If your rainy day falls on the weekend, make your reservations before this popular brunch fills up!
Try a New Coffee Shop
With well over 700 coffee shops in our midst, it’s highly unlikely you’ve tried all of the shops in our highly caffeinated city. Duck inside one of the best coffee shops in Portland to wait out the rain while you read a book, visit with a friend, or catch up on your favorite podcast. We recommend Coava, Good Coffee, Stumptown at the Ace Hotel, or Prince Coffee, all of which provide especially cozy, homey atmospheres.
Get Crafty at DIY Bar
Photo Courtesy of DIY Bar
Make your very own project at DIY Bar, a craft workshop and bar that provides all the tools, materials and instruction you’ll need. Choose from a variety of projects, from macramé plant hangers to leather wallets, and book your session whether you consider yourself a crafty person or a not-so-crafty person! Don’t miss happy hour Tuesday–Friday from 3–6 p.m., when you can get projects for $29 and $1 off drinks.
Sip on Tea
If tea is more your…cup of tea, we have plenty of that too! Visit one of the Steven Smith Teamaker tasting rooms, retreat to the minimalist and beautiful Tea Bar, join the tradition of the Russian Tea Experience at the Heathman Hotel, or enjoy an elegant afternoon tea at Hotel DeLuxe.
Visit the Portland Art Museum
For some reason, it takes a while for a resident to do the main attractions in their city — and that often includes its museums and historic attractions. Founded in late 1892, the Portland Art Museum is the seventh-oldest museum in the country and the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. Step inside this historic art museum to see its internationally recognized permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions from both local and international artists. The ever-changing art collections at the Portland Art Museum means you can always revisit again and again!
Go to a New Brewery
Craft beer is another thing Portland does exceptionally well. Check out one of the best breweries in Portland, many of which offer behind-the-scenes brewery tours of their operation. This is an excellent opportunity to branch out to a new brewery you’ve been wanting to try — or revisit your neighborhood favorite.
Pretend You’re in Hawaii at Hale Pele
At Hale Pele, you can travel to Hawaii to escape the rain without dropping hundreds of dollars on a plane ticket. Hale Pele, which means “House of the Volcano Goddess,” is a tiki bar with classic and contemporary exotic cocktails made with fresh juices, premium spirits and house-made syrups, plus a variety of island-inspired small plates. Warning: no tiki experience is complete without a little danger — so be on watch for distant thunderstorms and fiery volcanic explosions!
Take a Cooking Class at Middleground Farms
Travel just 20 minutes south of Portland to Wilsonville, home of Middleground Farms. This working farm has a modern kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances tucked inside a refashioned cattle barn, where the team teaches a variety of cooking classes. The classes explore fundamental skills in the kitchen and garden, as well as the lost arts of handcrafting and preserving. Many of the ingredients used in the kitchen were sourced straight from Middleground Farms in addition to neighboring farms and local artisan producers.
Go Bowling at Punch Bowl Social
Photo Courtesy of Punch Bowl Social
Taking over the entire third floor of the Pioneer Place Mall in downtown, this 32,000-square-foot indoor playhouse is the largest Punch Bowl Social location to date. This entertainment destination offers fine cocktails, scratch-to-craft foods, and endless games and activities, including bowling, billiards, darts, and more.
Find Some Phở or Ramen
There is nothing quite as comforting as a big bowl of phở or ramen to warm you up on a cold, rainy day. To track down the best phở, check out this extensive guide from Thrillist, highlighting the city’s best Vietnamese restaurants. And consult this Eater guide to ramen in Portland, which includes a Beaverton hotspot and a food cart (to save for a sunnier day!).
Pick Up a New Book
Sometimes, all you want to do on a rainy day is curl up with a good book in front of the fire at home. But if you’re fresh out of reads, consult our Book Lover’s Guide to Portland, which outlines the city’s best bookstores, libraries, organizations and programs, book-loving businesses and more. Duck inside a local bookstore and return home with a book or two to get lost in while the rain falls outside your window.
Find a Speakeasy
Photo Courtesy of Rabbit Hole Photo/Jordan Fox via Nomad.PDX
For some reason, rain makes uncovering a secretive speakeasy even more mysterious and magical. But where do you look? Thankfully, we’ve done the work on uncovering a few of our city’s hidden watering holes, including Ash Bar tucked away in Nomad, the vintage Bible House in Westmoreland, the whiskey-obsessed Multnomah Whiskey Library, and the lush plant-filled Botanist Bar.
Roast Marshmallows at 1927 S’mores Company
What’s s’more cozy than an indoor s’more bar?! 1927 S’mores Company is bringing our favorite childhood treat to the heart of Portland with their relatively new brick and mortar location at 1126 SW Alder Street. Cozy up for a delicious sweet treat, including s’mores and other creative offerings like ice cream grahamwiches, a parfait, a 1927 Crispy Treat and more. The s’mores bar is open seven days a week, but you’ll need to make this an afternoon or evening activity — as they open at 3 p.m. on weekdays and noon on the weekend.
Practice Your Swing at Topgolf Hillsboro
A rainy day doesn’t mean you have to skip out on golf practice. Topgolf, the popular golf sensation with locations all over the country, has a facility in Hillsboro, which features more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays, a full-service restaurant and bars, over 200 HDTVs, and a rooftop terrace with a fire pit. Grab some friends, reserve one of their many covered bays, and enjoy a casual game of golf with all the food and drinks you could want!
Go Skydiving Indoors at iFLY
Photo Courtesy of iFLY
Skydiving on a rainy day? You betcha. iFLY in Tigard offers indoor skydiving, a surreal and exhilarating experience! Take your iFLY experience to the next level by adding Virtual Reality, where you wear a special headset that plays a thrilling video of either a skydive or base jump. Get started on your holiday gift shopping while you’re at iFLY with their Perfect Gift, which includes four flights shareable for two people, two digital photos to commemorate your flying experience, valid at any of their 30+ U.S. locations!
Splash Around at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville is home to more than just the Spruce Goose, the largest wooden airplane ever constructed. It is also home to the Wings & Waves Waterpark, an indoor, all-season waterpark with 10 waterslides ranging from tiny slides for little ones to slides for daredevils — plus a fun wave pool. You can even stick with the aviation theme by sliding out of a real Boeing 747 aircraft sitting on the roof!
Save This List For a Rainy Day!
And let us know about your favorite rainy day activities in Portland in the comments below.