When rain clouds roll in, it’s tempting to hide inside, but why dread the rain when there are plenty of indoor activities in and around Memphis? If cabin fever has set in, get out of the house and explore — from arts and culture to dining and drinking, we’ve made a rain plan filled with more than 40 things to do on a dreary day in Memphis.
Art, Entertainment & Museums
What is Memphis known for if not for its music? There are plenty of places to celebrate Memphis’ soulful and bluesy musical heritage without fear of getting caught in bad weather.
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a fun place to pay tribute to the musical icons and spiritual founders of soul music. Groove through their thousands of artifacts and interactive exhibits before making a visit to The Blues Hall of Fame Museum to commemorate the heroes and history of blues. Then, pay homage to the King at Graceland, or make the pilgrimage to the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, Sun Studio.
If you’re looking for a meaningful afternoon, a visit to The National Civil Rights Museum is sure to be powerful, and the lessons learned immensely valuable. It can take hours to fully explore all that’s inside the walls of the old Lorraine Motel, so it’s a great place to spend the day as you remember those who fought to drive the causes of civil rights forward.
The art community in Memphis is blossoming, and there are plenty of ways to explore indoors. Take a stroll through the halls of the Dixon Gallery to enjoy their gorgeous collections and rotating exhibits, or hit Memphis Brooks Museum of Art for pieces spanning from antiquity to modern day. The Metal Museum is entirely dedicated to the art of metalwork, and is the only institution of its kind in the United States. After exploring the museums, stop by some small, local art galleries like Sue Layman Designs in the heart of South Main, or T Clifton Art Gallery on Broad Avenue to show your fellow Memphians some love.
Are your little ones going crazy cooped up inside? Don’t fret. We have you covered with some of Memphis’ best activities for children (or simply for the young at heart).
The Children’s Museum of Memphis is a great indoor option for children of all ages. Each room encourages hands-on learning that your children are sure to love. The Art Project, an interactive art studio for children, has created a paradise in Overton Square for your little Picasso. No need to worry about any “Do Not Touch” signs here — your kids can be creative and experiment with paints, pens and pencils to let out all that extra energy.
The Pink Palace Museum provides an educational environment for kids that they will enjoy so much, they won’t even notice they’re learning. (Don’t worry — we won’t tell.) Explore exhibits about Mid-South history and Memphis’ path to being a medical hub. Another spot for kids to play and learn is The Mississippi River Museum, where little ones can explore exhibits documenting 10,000 years of Mississippi River history and even hop aboard two full-size boat replicas.
Whether it’s a spa day, a hair treatment or an exercise class, you deserve to treat yourself. Why not use a rainy day as an excuse to do it? Skip your errands, and schedule some time for a little rejuvenation and self-care.
Heather Boutique and Spa can take care of many different beauty needs, all under one roof. At Heather, you can find premium skincare and makeup products, as well as the latest fashion trends. Get a fashionable new hair style from the gurus at Pavo Salon Spa, then treat yourself with other services like facials, waxing, massages and mani-pedis.
If you are a skincare aficionado, Mona Esthetics is a great stop for laser treatment, vein treatment, skin peels, masks and a full range of facial treatments. McDonald Murrmann Skin, Laser, and Healthy Aging can make you feel radiant on a rainy day with their non-invasive treatment solutions, as well as Solutions Medical Center, with hair removal, Botox and a variety of other skincare services.
Storms may keep you from exercising outdoors, but don’t let rainy weather keep you from your fitness goals. A little gloom outside is an excellent excuse to hit the studio. Practice some self-love and schedule a class at Hot Yoga Plus. Relax and increase both balance and flexibility, all while sweating out toxins for a rejuvenated, refreshed feel.
The perfect remedy to rainy day blues? Shopping! From Germantown to downtown and everywhere in between, there are stores calling you out of the storm and into their warm, retail-filled embrace.
At Laurelwood Shopping Center in East Memphis, you can go from looking at clothes and accessories to perusing gifts and home decor to nabbing beauty supplies and skincare, all in one fabulous and convenient location. Plus, many of the shops at Laurelwood are owned and operated by fellow Memphians! For another high-end destination, head to Saddle Creek for a mix of national name brands and restaurants.
Whether you’re shopping for a loved one or just for yourself, Social stocks an array of luxurious decor, accessories and gifts so that you are sure to find just the right thing to brighten your day. Spend hours perusing all the dishes, pottery, artwork and knick-knacks at Babcock Gifts, then fall in love with the gorgeous collection of home accents and personal accessories at Spruce.
La Maison Antiques and Gifts has something for everyone, with delightful home goods for varying styles and budgets. Many of the booths are curated by local designers, so glean some inspiration for your home while you wander through the shop. If you love fine furniture and art, make a stop at Chestnut Hall Fine Furniture & Interiors to swoon over their hand-picked selection of American-made furniture, lighting, art and more, then stop in At The Cabin for their rustic collection. Get lost in all that Palladio Home and Garden has to offer, where, throughout their three showrooms, courtyards, warehouse and pavilion, you are sure to find unique decor and art, fine antiques and reclaimed local pieces as well as modern designs and trends for your home and garden.
But First, Coffee
Rainy days and coffee go hand in hand. Cozy up at a local coffee shop and get some work done … catching up on your favorite book counts, too!
City & State serves delicious specialty drinks in the heart of Broad Avenue. The light and airy atmosphere makes work feel more dreamy than dreary. Plus, when you need a break, wander into their retail store full of fun goodies! Memphis’ latest coffee house is Edge Alley. Order a cappuccino and avocado toast made with their homemade biscuits! Beyond the baristas, Edge Alley is home to four micro-retailers, so do a little shopping before you go.
With their delicious coffees, delectable baked goods and expansive breakfast-to-dinner menu, you could camp out at Café Eclectic all day to avoid the downpour. Porcellino’s, Tamp & Tap and Muddy’s Bake Shop are some other great stops that mingle coffee and delicious eats. Also, if coffee isn’t your thing, or if you’re just looking to switch it up, try I Love Juice Bar Memphis or City Silo Table + Pantry for healthy, alternative options to brighten your diet and your day.
Eat, Drink & Be Merry
Get your brew on while you dodge the rain at one of Memphis’ many amazing taprooms and breweries. From Memphis Made Brewing in Cooper-Young and Wiseacre Brewing on Broad Avenue, to High Cotton Brewing Co. and Ghost River Taproom and Brewery, there are plenty of great spots to grab a locally brewed pint and hang with some pals while waiting out the rain. Or, hit up Old Dominick Distillery, where you can take a full tour of their facilities, learn about how they produce their spirits and top off your visit with a tasting of their whiskeys and vodkas.
Spend a night out enjoying Memphis’ finest dining! We could go on and on about the Memphis restaurant scene, but rather than ramble, we’ll just direct you to the SB App for a full restaurant guide to our favorite spots in the 901.
“Rain’t” no stopping us now! So, grab your umbrella and your rain boots, and get out there to enjoy all that Memphis has to offer. Find even MORE rainy day activities in our Memphis Events & Happenings calendar and in the SB App.
Discover the best of Memphis! Subscribe to StyleBlueprint.