What to Do on a Rainy Day in Houston

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Houston, we have a problem. Over 100 problems, actually. You see, each year an average of 45 inches of rain falls across around 106 days on our calendars, forcing us to abandon our plans for fun in the sun. Wet weather means no tearing it up at the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark, no kayaking along the Buffalo Bayou and absolutely no relaxing picnics down at Discovery Green. But even though there are gray skies, we’re not going to let a little bad weather rain on our parade.

Houston may have plenty of fun and exciting outdoor destinations, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without a heaping helping of great indoor activities. You might be surprised at just how many ways you can spend a rainy day exploring the city’s most popular hot-spots and hidden gems. At Smart City, we know the ins and outs of H-Town like the backs of our hands. We’re here hook you up with the best rainy day activities in the city of Houston.

When It Rains, It Pours — Houston’s Best Bars

Trust us — there are plenty of awesome ways to turn a rainy day around. With a city full of cool places to go, interesting people to meet and unique things to do, your schedule will be jam-packed before you know it. But where to start first? Museums, theatres and more are scattered around town, making your decision quite difficult. Here’s a suggestion — grab a drink while you think. Houston is one of Texas’ largest beer shippers and has plenty of bars where you can wait out the storm.

1. Houston Watch Company

What better way to kill time than at a watch company? The original Houston Watch Company called this space home in 1912. Over a century later, these modern mixologists have named their bar in honor of the former tenant. Run between the raindrops and cozy up on one of their leather couches with an old school spirit, glass of wine or frothy beer. Though the Houston Watch Company only provides a liquid lunch, its location just off Market Square Park places it close to many restaurants.

2. Tea + Victory

Thunderstorms + Beer x 500 Board Games = the perfect way to spend a rainy day in Houston. Grab your friends and puddle-jump your way down to The Height’s new board game cafe, Tea + Victory. For five bucks, you get all-day access to their mountain of board games. Enjoy your favorite local brews from Holler Brewing and Saint Arnold while you figure out who murdered Mr. Boddy in the study with the candlestick. Tea + Victory has even staffed trained Game Guides to teach you the rules of all 500+ games.

And did we mention that their menu features plenty of home-style, rainy-day delights like grilled cheese and tomato soup, chicken nuggets and popcorn? With tasty treats and plenty of beer — and not to mention a downpour falling from the clouds — it’s finally the perfect opportunity to play a game of Monopoly to the bitter end!

3. Neil’s Bahr

Board games are awesome. You know else is awesome? Comic books. Arcades. Old-school video game systems. Nerd, geek, dork — call yourself whatever you want. If you dig the iconic pop culture creations that defined your childhood, you’ll be welcomed with open arms at Neil’s Bahr. How do you want to spend a rainy night? Craft beer and cartoons? Mixed drinks and Mortal Kombat? If that’s not enough to get your Spidey Sense tingling, maybe Monday Movie Nights, Wednesday Karaoke or Tuesday Video Game Tournaments will.

If you just want to sip on a beer and make your way through Neil’s massive comic book collection, that’s cool too. We only ask that you heed the advice from one Filburt Shellbach — “Turn the page, wash your hands.”

Looking for the best watering hole in your Houston ‘hood? Give Smart City a call, and we’ll make sure your cup runneth over.

Get Weird, Not Wet — Houston’s Indoor Oddities

Newsflash! Austin isn’t the only Texan city that embraces its oddities. Yes, H-Town has its own colorful culture of weird and wacky people, places and things. Take a break from your usual routine and get to know the sillier side of your city when the sun stops shining.

1. The Wilde Collection

Imagine that Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allen Poe shared a storage unit. A self-proclaimed place “where the religious, the occult, the divine and the grotesque converge,” The Wilde Collection is a one-of-a-kind oddities shop that has something for even the strangest tastes. Drift room to room and explore curious antiques and artwork. Feast your eyes on a taxidermy showcase featuring your favorite zoo animals. Just a heads-up — you might come face to face with a real human skeleton and other biological beauties, so maybe skip that heavy breakfast.

And how could we forget? They’ll even purchase some of your gently-used macabre memorabilia — you know, just in case you need to find a new home for that stuffed vulture that’s been crowding your closet.

2. National Museum of Funeral History

If it’s a dark and stormy day, go all-in on the doom and gloom with a trip to the National Museum of Funeral History. Learn about the history of funeral rituals from a variety of cultures as you tour their permanent exhibits dedicated to the Day of the Dead, Japanese funeral ceremonies, fantasy coffins from West Africa and much more. Though it may not put the “fun” in “funeral,” this is a one-of-a-kind educational experience that celebrates the heritage of the funeral service industry and those we’ve lost.

3. Andes Cafe

Have you worked up an appetite from all of these weird and wonderful activities? Well, prepare your taste buds for a weird meal as well. Andes South American Kitchen cooks up delicious courses featuring steak, chicken and pork, but we’re sending you there for one of their signature dishes — the Peruvian and Ecuadoran delicacy cuy — or as you may know it, guinea pig. Deep fried to perfection and served with roasted potatoes, this is one worldly food you probably haven’t tried yet.

A little too out there for your tastes? Don’t worry — they have hamburgers, hot dogs and other scrumptious selections for the less adventurous.

Think your hangout spot is the Ultimate Oddity? Hit up Smart City and lead us down the rabbit hole.

Axes, Arrows & Adrenaline — Houston’s Hands-On Indoor Activities

Maybe you’d like to try your hand at a little friendly competition. We know all the indoor sporting activities to keep you busy even when it’s wet outside. Don’t sit inside at home on a rainy day in Houston. Jump inside one of these awesome attractions for an action-packed good time.

1. Houston Axe Throwing

When’s the last time you got together with your closest friends, grabbed your trusty axe and heaved it with all of your might across a room? We’re willing to bet you’re way overdue for an evening of competitive axe throwing. Houston Axe Throwing gives you the opportunity button-up your favorite flannel and unleash your inner Paul Bunyan. You and your friends will master the art of the axe as you compete to win the title of Lumber Lord or Lumber Lady.

2. X10 Archery

If axes aren’t your game, then perhaps arrows are more your speed? X10 Archery has 18 climate-controlled lanes ready for you and your friends to spend the day trying to nail that elusive bullseye. Don’t worry — you don’t need to be Robin Hood to have fun! Experienced archers and newcomers alike can find the training and equipment they need to stay on target for an afternoon of fun. Call ahead if you’ve got a large party or walk right in with three or fewer in your group.

3. Battlefield Houston

Playing video games is fun — living the video game is even better! Stop spending your rainy days holed up in the house with your platoon and get in on the action at Battlefield Houston. Play your way through hours of tactical laser tag scenarios similar to the ones you know and love in games like Halo and Call of Duty. Take on quick missions in a 30-minute game or go all-out and complete a dozen missions within two hours. Step out of the rain and into the game! With over 60 trigger-happy missions available, Battlefield Houston has everything you need to own every rainy day.

4. Tantrums

Does a rainy day make you so angry that you want to take a sledgehammer and smash everything in sight? Okay, maybe bad weather doesn’t make us that mad but grabbing a baseball bat and thwacking a set of dishes sounds pretty fun nonetheless. If you’re in the mood to blare music and yell, “Hulk Smash!” as you destroy furniture, windshields and more, then Tantrums is precisely where you want to be. Whether you need to release some frustration or have always wondered what’s behind the glass in an old television set, devastation equals relaxation.

Want more heart-racing excitement? Send Smart City a text, and we’ll send you in the right direction.

Clutch City & Chill — Houston’s Live Entertainment

A Rockets game is a perfect solution to a rainy spring day, but when you’re stuck in a midsummer downpour, you’ll need to have a chill spot lined up to spend a few hours away from the showers. If you find yourself down and out in the drizzling days of summer, check out one of Houston’s dozens of live entertainment venues. From the stage to the screen, there’s sure to be a show where you can laugh, clap or sing your rainy days away.

1. ComedySportz Houston

We’ve got a funny feeling sports fans will love this place. ComedySportz takes improvisational comedy to the end zone with their hilarious shows. Their marquee ComedySportz matches pit two improv teams against each other to see who can win the audience over. The EaDo Comedy Show is just as funny, with each cast member using audience suggestions to create a story. Improv! The Musical is also a hoot, but the interactive musical drinking experience Benji and the Beer Babies is a show not to miss.

2. River Oaks Theatre

Sweatpants, popcorn and your favorite hoodie are all you’ll need to enjoy one of the independent or foreign films at the historic River Oaks Theatre. Skip the latest blockbusters and wait for that comic book movie to stream — River Oaks has a schedule full of showings for movie lovers of all genres. Indie and foreign flicks, coupled with live recordings of stage plays and musicals, light up the silver screen. They even play classics and old favorites like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Room.

3. Burly Q Lounge

If local bands and open mic nights leave you unfulfilled, we suggest sneaking a peek at The Houston Burlesque Varie-Tease Show. Every show features live music, standup comedy and the hottest burlesque showgirls from around the world. This adults-only variety show puts talented women and men in the spotlight as they taunt, tease and turn your rainy day frown upside down. Trust us — this is one experience you don’t want to miss!

Can’t get enough live entertainment? Visit our Smart City blog to discover other cool places around Houston.

Let Smart City Help You Find Your Next Apartment

We won’t lie — when a rainy day hits, it’s tempting to order a pizza, crawl back into bed and binge-watch eleven hours of our favorite show. But a rainy day doesn’t have to be a boring repeat, especially in H-Town. Houston is booming with places to be and people to see, all readily available to provide you with hours of indoor fun. We’ve got bars and boardgames, strange sights and sexy performers and more than our fair share of chill spots.

Don’t get left high and dry just because you’re scared of a few showers. Grab your friends and go out on the town to discover exciting activities right in your backyard. Think our list is lacking a few notable hangouts? Let us know what our next rainy day date should be. Tweet us, slide into our DMs or hit us up on Instagram to make us jealous with your rainy day selfies at Houston’s finest indoor spots.

If your current apartment isn’t close enough to where you want to be, let Smart City find you the perfect apartment within walking distance from Houston’s best indoor activities. We’re hyper-personalized and completely free — there’s absolutely no catch to letting us help you find the perfect apartment.