Originally published November 7, 2016 | Updated January 24, 2018

Seattle = R.A.I.N. While locals try to fight grand perception of our lush city, Mother Nature’s tears are simply unavoidable during the winter months. However, a little wet stuff doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a day cooped up battling cabin fever. The Emerald City is brimming with plenty of things to do and places to explore sans the risk of soggy shoes, you just have to know where to look. Keep it cozy and dry this season with these seven ideas for ducking the raindrops.

Stroll Through a Tropical Paradise

The Volunteer Park Conservatory is made of an intricate wood and iron framework, with 3,426 glass panes. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
The Volunteer Park Conservatory is made of an intricate wood and iron framework, with 3,426 glass panes. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

On a damp day, 75-degree heat sounds like absolute perfection, right? Luckily, you can skip an exotic locale and instead escape the drizzle at the Volunteer Park Conservatory, a 100-year-old greenhouse made of 3,426 glass panes (but who’s counting?). Inside, the steamy air will transport you to a tropical paradise bursting with a world-class botanical collection ranging from cacti to hundreds of unique plants, some as old as the building itself.

Don’t leave the park without climbing to the top of the water tower. While a slightly steep trek up the flights of stairs, the breathtaking, panoramic views of the city – including the Space Needle, waterfront and downtown skyscrapers are well worth the trip if the clouds break.

If you find your stomach grumbling, The Wandering Goose happens to be nearby. Dry off inside and make a new friend or two at the communal table in a small, but cozy space. Our favorite dishes to feast on are the savory fried chicken biscuit sandwiches and homemade gravy, but it’s hard to go wrong!

Meet Creatures from the Deep

The 360-degree underwater dome at the Seattle Aquarium puts viewers inside a 400,000-gallon tank filled with hundreds of fish! Photo: Joe Mabel
The 360-degree underwater dome at the Seattle Aquarium puts viewers inside a 400,000-gallon tank filled with hundreds of fish! Photo: Joe Mabel

Want to connect with nature but avoid the raindrops with the kiddos? Check out the Seattle Aquarium and you’ll feel like you’re under the sea without ever getting wet! Stroll through the enchanting moon jellyfish ring, toward everyone’s favorite 8-legged animal, the giant Pacific octopus. Next, enter the dreamlike underwater dome, for a 360-degree view of the Puget Sound ecosystem. Finish up your trip with a visit to the ever-charming otter and seal exhibits.

Experience Seattle’s Vibrant Coffee Scene

Part of the Seattle coffee tour, Caffe Umbria serves up authentic Italian espresso in the heart of Pioneer Square. Photo: Dan Lacher
Part of the Seattle coffee tour, Caffe Umbria serves up authentic Italian espresso in the heart of Pioneer Square. Photo: Dan Lacher

Let’s be honest, there’s nothing better than warming up with a frothy latte foamed to perfection or a punchy double espresso. Better yet, perk your day up and enjoy coffee tastings from four of Seattle’s best coffee shops and roasters on the Seattle Coffee Tour. You’ll see the roasting process in action, participate in a coffee cupping and get a whole new experience in tasting your favorite caffeinated brew.

Sip Fine Wine in Woodinville

Just 30 minutes northeast of Seattle, Woodinville is home to 108 wineries and tasting rooms. Photo: Matt Long
Just 30 minutes northeast of Seattle, Woodinville is home to 108 wineries and tasting rooms. Photo: Matt Long

When it comes to rainy day activities, indulging in a wine tasting with your girlfriends by a fire is certainly hard to beat. Learn to sip like a sommelier with a quick day trip to the nearby town of Woodinville. Boasting more than 100 wineries and tastings rooms, you can cozy up with your friends and sip some of the best wines in the region (believe us, it doesn’t get more hygge than this).

For the full experience, hop on our guided Woodinville Wine Tour and visit three acclaimed boutique wineries for an inside look at the wine-making process and chat with the winemakers themselves to pick wine tasting techniques.

Discover Airplanes, Art and Audio in Seattle’s Museums

White Ford Tauruses in mid-free-fall welcome visitors to the Seattle Art Museum. Photo: Nam-ho Park
White Ford Tauruses in mid-free-fall welcome visitors to the Seattle Art Museum. Photo: Nam-ho Park

With a museum waiting to be explored in every neighborhood, indulging in some cultural or historical enlightenment is an excellent way to dodge the raindrops for an hour or two.  If you are an aviation aficionado or have an aspiring pilot in tow, the iconic Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center and Factory are a must-visit.

Travel through the heart of Boeing’s production factory, for a rare chance to get a glimpse of the inner workings of a commercial jet assembly plant and see the 747, 777 and 787 Dreamliner before they take to the skies. Budding astronauts can hop inside a full mock-up of the U.S. Laboratory Module Destiny to see what it’s like to live and work on the International Space Station.

Looking for something a little artsier? Walk into the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and the first thing that catches the eye are white mid-90’s Ford Tauruses suspended high above you. Venture further inside and you’ll discover why SAM is the city’s most vibrant arts hub. In addition to their permanent installations of both ancient and modern art, the museum features breathtaking temporary exhibits, including their current Everyday Poetics spotlight.

Equally as impressive and the most distinctively designed museum, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPoP) fuses the sci-fi and music communities under one roof. Get hands-on with musical instruments, check out an impressive lineup of iconic rock memorabilia (think Jimi Hendrix’s journal and Michael Jackson’s bedazzled glove) and discover a fascinating array of rotating displays. The Frank Gehry-designed building also houses a concert venue on the top floor, as well as the Seattle monorail, which runs straight through the center of the museum.

Enjoy a Night of Performing Arts

When The Paramount Theatre opened in 1928 it was enthusiastically heralded by the Seattle Times as a “magnificent cathedral of entertainment." Photo: Zach Zupancic
When The Paramount Theatre opened in 1928 it was enthusiastically heralded by the Seattle Times as a “magnificent cathedral of entertainment.” Photo: Zach Zupancic

From glittering crystal chandeliers to ornately detailed acoustic ceilings, the Paramount Theatre has it all, and it’s been putting on the best shows in town since 1928. Upcoming performances include Hamilton, CATS and Trevor Noah.

Meanwhile, the three-hour spectacle Teatro ZinZanni thrills with a combination of live music, dancing, theater, torch singing and acrobatics. Part circus, part dinner theater and always magical, each show is a non-stop display of twirling and colorful performances that will keep you on the edge of your seat all night long. There’s so much going on you might forget about that 5-course feast in front of you.

Shop for Local and Vintage Goods

E. Smith Mercantile keeps shoppers cozy inside exposed brick walls and offers a plentiful back bar. Photo: Scott Meis
E. Smith Mercantile keeps shoppers cozy inside exposed brick walls and offers a plentiful back bar. Photo: Scott Meis

Holiday cash burning a hole in your pocket? A rainy day is a perfect excuse to indulge in a little retail therapy. Located in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, E. Smith Mercantile not only offers locally produced goods but also boasts a well-stocked back bar, giving the shop the atmosphere of a Prohibition-era speakeasy.

Whether you’re an audiophile or just enjoy a good record on a rainy day, Everyday Music is the perfect place for connoisseurs of vinyl consumption. The shop always provides an excellent array of new records, as well as used copies of tapes, CDs and pretty much any format you might desire.

It’s no secret that Seattle is known for its antique and thrifting opportunities, and Pacific Galleries is the 40,000 square foot king of antique malls. You can spend hours perusing the countless independent consignment pop-ups and it’s a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts. Pick up a vintage Pendleton blanket to keep the cold away or that mid-century modern lamp you’ve been looking for to complete your living room.

With a fair number of stormy days this time of year, it’s easy to hibernate on the couch under a mound of blankets. Instead of waiting for the sun to show up, plan your week to include some of these fun ideas and we bet you’ll banish the rainy day blues in no time. Go ahead and lace up those duck boots, the official Northwest shoe of choice (after socks and sandals of course) and head out on your own rainy day adventure.

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  • After you’ve browsed records in Capitol Hill, head over to Garage on Broadway for a game of billiards or bowling with friends.

 

Feature Photo: Nick Harris