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 when cabin fever sets in and you simply need to get out of the house, you’re in luck! There are plenty of great rainy day opportunities in Birmingham. From museums and self-care to dining, drinking and some good old-fashioned fun, here are the best ways to spend a rainy day in Birmingham!
60+ 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. Enjoy the views of the rainy downtown skyline and learn the history of the Steel City at Vulcan Park & Museum. Birmingham is also home to the Alabama Sports 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.
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 Theatre, Saturn, Iron City, the Nick, Alabama Theatre, the Alys Stephens Center and the BJCC. Or, find some comic relief at the Stardome. Looking for a musical or play performed by local actors? Check the schedules at Red Mountain Theatre, Virginia Samford Theatre, Terrific New Theatre and Theatre Downtown. You’ll be happy to celebrate indoors at these venues.
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 Makers DIY Experience in Vestavia. Or relax with a glass of wine while you channel your inner Picasso at Sips n Strokes.
RELATED: MAKEbhm — Avondale’s DIY Incubator
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, claim your bike and enjoy a class at Ignite Cycle. Between the loud music and the encouraging instructors, this is a workout that will surely sweat out the rainy day blues. Looking for a unique workout experience? Head to Homewood and put on your boxing gloves at Battle Republic. This high energy class will get your heart rate soaring and your adrenaline pumping! And if you want something just as intense but perhaps less aggressive, Pure Barre delivers.
Don’t forget about the classic rainy day activities! Catch a flick at the AMC CLASSIC Lorna Ridge 10 theater, where you can see current movies for just $1.99! Or, hit up the local bowling alley for some friendly competition. Head to Dave & Buster’s at the Riverchase Galleria and enjoy a full day of arcade games and good food. 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!
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 local shopping in the city.
MUSIC & BOOKS
Spend the day 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 a famous breakup 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
HIT UP A COFFEE SHOP
When you’re in need of a little caffeinated pick-me-up and some people watching, or perhaps you want a fresh scene in which to do a little work on the computer, Birmingham’s coffee shops are perfection. From Revelator to Red Cat, find your favorite neighborhood coffee shop HERE.
When the rain won’t stop, brighten up your day with a change of scenery. Book a stay at one of Birmingham’s beloved boutique hotels. From renovated historic gems to high-end resorts complete with spas, restaurants and bars, these provide the ideal escape for a rainy day. See eight of our favorite Birmingham boutique hotels HERE.
TAKE A BREWERY TOUR
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 TrimTab Brewing, Good People Brewing Co., Cahaba Brewing, Avondale Brewing, Ghost Train Brewing Company, Dread River, Ferus Artisan Ales or Slag Heap Brewing for an afternoon of fun.
SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
If the rainy day has you craving something delicious and sweet, the Magic City is home to some of the best dessert spots in the South. Enjoy Insomnia Cookies, Cookie Fix, Steel City Pops, Cookie Dough Magic, Magic City Sweet Ice, Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe, Mountain Brook & Edgewood Creamery, Big Spoon Creamery, Bendy’s Cookies and Ice Cream, and coming in Summer 2020, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Pepper Place. After visiting any of these tasty shops, you’ll be feeling cheery in no time!
HAVE DINNER & DRINKS
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, rain or shine!
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