Here are some great ideas for things to do on a rainy day
5 Things to do on a rainy day in Brisbane
Brisbane summers often mean days of rain. So if you don't want to hang out at home, let's look at some great activities that can be done in all weather. Doesn't matter if you are trying to stay out of the rain or the just avoid the summer heat.
Brisbane's cultural precinct provides a great opportunity to escape the rain and experience some culture. With 2 art galleries, a museum and a library (which also has some small galleries) you could spend hours here. With four cafes and a restaurant you can easily spend the whole day there. While most galleries and cafes close at 5 pm, on week nights the Library stays opens until 9 pm. Also the museum sometimes opens in the evenings, meaning you can just hang out here from morning to night.
The cultural precinct at South Bank is a great place to escape the rain and the summer heat
Another notable museum to visit to keep out of the rain is the Brisbane Museum in Brisbane City Hall. You can visit the City Hall building, go to the museum, ascend the clock tower and enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the cafes.
Given the year round warm weather, Brisbane is actually not a good location when you are trying to find indoor locations for sport. However there are a few.
For swimming, Brisbane is home the oldest indoor pool in the Southern Hemisphere, the Spring Hill Baths. Queensland University of Technology also has a 50m indoor pool at Garden Point and a 25m pool at Kelvin Grove. Redcliffe has an indoor swimming pool that is word class but few locals use (because they head to the lagoon instead). Many other aquatic centres around Brisbane also have small activities pools, usually used for swimming classes and aqua aerobics.
Photo courtesy of Spring Hill Baths
For indoor sporting facilities, one of the best is the University of Queensland's Sports Hall at St Lucia. Along with gym and classes rooms they also have Badminton Courts, Squash Courts and a Sports Hall that anyone can hire.
Other indoor sports include indoor soccer (futsal), cricket (yes people still play indoor cricket even though it is not as popular as it was in the 1980s), netball, handball, volleyball, beach volleyball and even beach tennis and bubble football.
Looking for something to do on a rainy day with your friends, then consider going to Karaoke Rooms. Now if you are not familiar with karaoke rooms, they are a very different experience than a karaoke bar. You get your own private room, which can be anything from a small couples room to a large room that can accommodate 20 people. You order drinks, snacks and in some places full meals, and just hang out with your friends, singing songs or if you don't want to sing, just listening to music and dancing.
Photo courtesy of Music City Karaoke
There are several Karaoke Rooms in the CBD and Fortitude Valley. Fat Louies is a grungy bar with live music and karaoke rooms out the back, Music City is a nice dedicated karaoke place on Adelaide Street, but the premium place in the city is Strike Bowling at Wintergarden on Queen Street Mall. Here is a combination of bowling, laser tag, a bar and karaoke rooms. While a little expensive, the trick is to look out for specials at off peak times. Usually these are a combination of bowling, beer, laser tag and karaoke.
In Fortitude Valley there is the 24 hour 2002 Cyber City. The front is a Chinese canteen, pool hall and video games and down the back are the karaoke rooms. A bit grungy, but this is where you go for meals and singing.
For the Karaoke Restaurant experience try Newway Karaoke Restaraunt experience in Sunnybank. This restaurant features Chinese Hotpot and karaoke rooms.
Just find a place to chill
A rainy day can be a great time to go and find a place to chill and watch the rain. In Brisbane that is not as easy at it might sound. Being a summer city, there are many places that are open to the weather. So you have to to think carefully about where you will go to find the perfect place where you are snug inside but can also watch the rain come down.
Rain approaching Brisbane as seen from Mt Coot-tha
Cafes are the obvious choice. The Kuta cafe on Mt Coot-tha is a great option for this. With a view from the mountain you can watch the rain coming up from the south or in from the coast. The real problem is that the umbrellas on the outer deck provide poor shelter from the weather, but if you are lucky you can find a spot inside.
The Kuta Cafe has indoor and outdoor locations to view the rain
A creative choice is GoMA. The top floor of the gallery has a great place to sit, relax and chat. Unfortunately there is no coffee, but the free WiFi makes up for this as does the view out over the river.
The upper floor at GoMA has a nice place to chill and admire the view
For restaurants, Eagle Street Pier is home to many great restaurants. While you might think most are very expensive, and this is true, others like The Jade Buddha has lunch time specials that are perfect enjoying on a rain day, with a beer, glass of wine and a meal while looking out over the river and Kangaroo Point.
The obvious thing to do when it is raining is to go shopping. Now of course the city is not that good for raining day shopping because the shops are spread out around Queen Street and getting from one to another might expose you to the rain.
Queen Street Mall has lots of undercover shopping centres to escape the rain
Three locations stand out as places to shop in the rain. Garden City Westfield and Chermside Westfield are the two largest shopping malls in Brisbane. I actually think that the one in Garden City is a little bit better, but mostly they the exact same shops.
Westfield in Chermside lets you escape the rain for hours
An alternative shopping location is one of the DFOs, either at the Airport or Jindalee. The main disadvantage is no sheltered parking. Other than that, these are great places to wander around for hours. They are good places to buy last seasons fashions or out of seasons fashions, as well as find a good price.