Top Austin Activities When It's Rainy and Cold
Austinites like to be outside – we like to tailgate, sit on patios, hike, bike, swim, and camp. It doesn’t rain here often, especially the last couple years, nor does it get cold for too long, but when it does get chilly and wet it puts a damper on our outdoor-loving ways. However, there are plenty of indoor activities around Austin to enjoy on those wet occasions.
Go Bowling. Although there are a handful of bowling alleys scattered around the city, my favorite lanes are the ones at Dart Bowl, 5700 Grover Ave. I think the best kind of bowling alleys are the ones that look like they haven’t been updated in about 40 years, and with Dart Bowl’s laser-themed purple décor, I’d say it’s been at least 30 there. The bowling alley features a decent restaurant and cheap beers. If you really want to get nostalgic, they serve Schlitz. If you do go, remember these two words: cheese enchiladas.
Play Some Video Games. Keeping with that old school theme, put down the Wii remote and head up to Pinballz Arcade, 8940 Research Blvd. This video game arcade features a huge collection of pinball machines, dating from the 1960s to the present day. They also have arcade games ranging from Donkey Kong to Mortal Kombat, as well as games for the kiddies, air hockey, and much more. They also allow you to bring in your own beer, although one drink at a time per person. Take a look at Shane Shelton's Austin Inside Out video for an intimate and closeup look at Pinballz.
Go See a Movie. This one’s a no-brainer. The Alamo Drafthouse has several locations around town that feature first-run releases, Saturday afternoon children’s movies, 80s action flicks, and much more. It’s an Austin institution that’s spreading around the country. Not only do you get to get out of the cold and damp, but you can also whet your whistle with a tasty beverage and a mid-viewing meal.
Check Out Some Art. You can go the “fine” route with the University of Texas’s Blanton Museum of Art or the “modern” route with the Austin Museum of Art – Arthouse or the “pop” route with the South Austin Popular Culture Center. There are also a host of local galleries throughout the city, and some East Austin studios are often open for browsing.
Sample Some Beer. Austin is becoming a great destination city for brewpubs, and a rainy day is the perfect time to post up in a bar somewhere (and try out public transportation). There’s Uncle Billy’s on Barton Springs Road, North By Northwest in the Gateway shopping center, Black Star at Lamar and Airport, and of course, The Draught House on Medical. Rainy days often make for slow days in bars and restaurants, so the bartenders might even have time to give you a little Beer 101 to help you with your sampling.
Rent a Movie and Order In. We’ll end with the rainy day favorite, watching a movie at home and ordering a pizza. This is Austin though, so Netflix and Pizza Hut won’t do. Keep it local by visiting I Luv Video on Airport or Guadalupe or Vulcan Video on 29th or West Elizabeth (read our article about Vulcan here). Both locations have a great selection of television shows and movies, including hard-to-find independents and foreign films, as well as new releases. Try East Side Pies (delivery) or Home Slice (take out) for pizza, and make your locally inspired lazy rainy day complete!
Pinballz is an old-school arcade in Austin with more than 100 pinball machines (including some sought-after classics), arcade games and lots more. Shane Shelton reveals why Pinballz is such a good time in his Austin Post exclusive video.