When the storm clouds come rolling in and Alabama skies turn grey, it’s tempting to curl up on the couch and read a good book. But after months of spontaneous rain, cabin fever may set in, and you’ll feel the need to get out and explore. You’re in luck! Birmingham offers tons of indoor activities perfect for escaping the showers. From cultural outings to retail therapy, dining and drinking and some good old-fashioned fun, here are some of the best ways to spend a rainy day in Birmingham!
Arts & Culture
Birmingham is overflowing with stunning, state-of-the-art museums. Escape the rain and explore your creative side at the Birmingham Museum of Art or take a walk through history at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute or Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. You’ll forget it’s even raining outside with all the playful activities available at the McWane Science Center, including the IMAX Theater, which has to be the most spellbinding way to wait out the rain.
Get artistic on a shower-filled Saturday with some hands-on art! Cahaba Clayworks and the Red Dot Gallery offer pottery classes for all skill levels, and MAKEbhm offers a vast selection of classes from painting to ceramics. For a more relaxing artistic escape, try out Do It Yourself Crafts in Homewood. Or search for a local “sips ‘n’ strokes” class often offered at Birmingham’s breweries.
Live Music & Entertainment
The rain has nothing on Birmingham’s live music and entertainment options. You can find a show for almost any night of the week at local venues like WorkPlay, The Lyric, Saturn, Iron City, The Nick, Moonlight on the Mountain, The Syndicate Lounge, Alabama Theatre and the BJCC. Or, find some comic relief at the Stardome. You’ll be happy to celebrate indoors at these venues.
Don’t let the grey skies get you down. Stay motivated and attend an exercise class! P2 Platinum Pilates offers tons of full-body Pilates sessions including individual, duo or trio private sessions, perfect for grabbing your best girlfriends and getting that workout glow! Classes are also available for individual purchase. Or, combine dance and intense body toning at Neighborhood Barre, where your muscles will thank you for a rejuvenating workout.
Good Old-Fashioned Fun
Don’t forget about the classic rainy day activities! Catch a flick at the Dollar Theater, where you can see current movies for just $1.50! Or, hit up the local bowling alley for some friendly competition. Bounce the day away at Urban Air Trampoline Park, Steel City Jump Park or AirWalk Ultimate Trampoline Arena; reach high speeds at Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events; or try your hand at the popular breakout activity at Locked In: The Birmingham Escape Game or Breakout Games – Birmingham!
For the Fashionista
As long as you’ve got an umbrella to protect you, Birmingham’s boutiques are calling! There are way too many fabulous local shopping destinations to list, so visit our SB Guide or download the SB App, where you can navigate the best shopping, restaurants and events in the city!
Update Your Vinyl or Book Collection
The rain can’t dampen your creative side! Waste a day away exploring music both old and new from one of Birmingham’s record stores, namely Charlemagne Records, Renaissance Records and Seasick Records. Or, if a new book is more your style, check out the Little Professor Book Center, Alabama Booksmith or Church Street Coffee & Books to find your next treasures. SB Tip: Don’t leave Church Street without their to-die-for break-up cookie!
Arguably, the very best way to escape the rain is by pampering yourself. Find tranquility with a therapeutic massage, body treatment or soothing spa manicure at Escape Day Spa, or refresh your skin with a rejuvenating facial at Smart Skin Med Spa. Give yourself the gift of a hair makeover at The Collective, where the creative stylists are experts in balayage and hair painting, or try out eyelash extensions at Tonya Jones SalonSpa — they’re one of Birmingham’s best for natural, beautiful lashes and more!
Dining & Drinking
Birmingham is full of gorgeous and unique hotels worth visiting. From renovated historic gems to high-end resorts complete with spas, restaurants and bars, boutique hotels are the ideal escape for a rainy day. See eight of our favorite Birmingham boutique hotels here.
One of the best ways to explore the Magic City is through its local breweries. Birmingham is booming with options, all ideal for a day spent avoiding the rain. Visit Trim Tab Brewing, Good People, Cahaba Brewing, Avondale Brewing, Ghost Train or Red Hills for an afternoon of fun.
Grab Drinks & Dinner
Finally, if none of the above grabs your attention, a good meal always does the job. Lucky for you, there are TONS of culinary destinations worth crossing off your bucket list in Birmingham. See our roundup of the newest eateries in the Magic City here, visit our SB Guide or click here for all the latest in dining destinations.
And there you have it — tons of ways to make up for washed out plans. Get out and explore the Magic City!