Let’s face it, Sydney is a great city when the sun is shining, but what is there actually to do when it rains? When it rains it completely buckets down, the roads flood within minutes, and as I write this post as it’s pouring outside. Although Sydney is amazing for its outdoors, it can be difficult come up with some decent ideas to have a great weekend when the weather isn’t performing.
After living in Sydney since 2011, I had to do quite a bit of research to find out how I can have a fun weekend when hiking, the beach and other outdoor activities are off the agenda. So I’ve put my research all into this blog post.
Here’s my top 18 things to do in the rain in Sydney:
#1 Jet Flight Simulator, Alexandria
Ever fancied flying a 737-800NG or a F/A-18 Super Hornet? Based out in Alexandria, Jet Flight Simulator can tick that one off the bucket list! You can choose from over 22,000 airports from around the world, take off and land at your choice of airports and really get a feel of what it’s like to fly a big jet airliner! This is a popular one and you’ll need to book around 4-6 weeks in advance. Packages start from $179 for a 30 minute session. And, it’s next door to The Grounds of Alexandria so you could pop over for lunch afterwards 😉
#2 Board games at Coogee Pavillion, Coogee
Something that I’m sure many think of doing when it’s raining is to go straight to the pub. Even though heading to the beach is probably the last place to visit during these weather conditions, Coogee Pavilion actually has reason to visit. With their dedicated board games space, expect to see a giant jenga and scrabble boards, as well as ping pong and a big pizza menu to work your way through the rain!
#3 Bath Houses (Newtown, Glebe and Balmain) or Gillian Adams Spa (Turramurra)
Absolutely beautiful spa at Gillian Adams Spa
Bath Houses recommend you start with their famous baths, which at 39C will relax you in no time. For $31 for 30 minutes, this is a good way to start the weekend. They also offer loads of other treatments including massages and tarot reading and with their three locations, you should be able to get to one of them quite easily.
For those of you living in the North Shore, I found the gem, Gillian Adams Spa. The pool and steam will set you back $70 for 50 minutes and they have load of other services as well to try such as microdermabrasion, massage, full body exfoliation and many more. The pool looks absolutely beautiful though (pictured above).
#4 Art Galleries
White Rabbit art gallery tea rooms, Chippendale
An obvious one, but I find that visiting Sydney’s galleries like the MCA, Art Gallery of NSW or the world’s largest Chinese art collection at White Rabbit perfect for a winter activity. Don’t forget Brett Whitely’s Studio in Surry Hills. He famously married Wendy of Wendy’s Secret Garden and it’s definitely on my list to visit. I never go to galleries in Summer as I want to be outside, so it’s a good way to see some culture, get those steps up and I find that usually, there’s always a good cafe to have something to eat at afterwards. I hear White Rabbit have a fantastic tearooms and how could I forget to mention the beautiful cafe on the rooftop of the MCA?!
#5 Ice Skating (various locations)
Ice skating at Macquarie Centre
Embrace the colder temps and get yourself to an Ice Rink. It’s something for everyone, romantic for a date or a laugh with friends and family. Baulkham Hills plays hosts to an Olympic sizes ice rink at the Sydney Ice Arena. Ice Zoo in Alexandria offers up more than an ice rink where you can learn to play ice hockey or take a fitness class on the ice. It’s ran by ice skating Olympian, Liz Cain. Another good old favourite is the ice rink at Macquarie Centre. It’s open every single day of the year (except Christmas Day). Expect to pay around $25 per adult for a fun day skating. If you want to skate outside during winter; Bondi, Cathedral Square, Darling Harbour and Parramatta all have ice rinks during the season!
#6 Trampolining, Alexandria and Miranda
Well, let’s bring out the big kid inside and head to SkyZone for a fun day on the trampolines! I’m still yet to go here, but it looks like it would be a great laugh! It costs $20 for 1 hour of jumping!
#7 Axe Throwing, St Peters
There’s probably nothing more random than Maniax, an axe throwing centre with a brewery next door! Grab your friends and go and have a laugh in teams whilst you battle it out to become the axe throwing champion! This one has proved popular on my Top Fun Dates Ideas In Sydney post! You’ll need 8 people to play and it’s $50 per person for 2 hours.
#5 Indoor Skydiving, Penrith
Yep, that’s me, indoor skydiving at iFly, Penrith
#6 Cinema, Surry Hills and Cremorne
Another obvious one, but, have you ever been to The Golden Age Cinema in Surry Hills? They even have a bar there as well to have a few sneaky drinks before or after the movie! My local, The Orpheum, Cremorne is an amazing Art Deco cinema. Pop over the road to Radio Cairo, a North African popular restaurant before or after your movie for some incredible food (make sure you book)! And if you’re lucky, you should time it to go and see The Room which is a cult movie played once a month on a Friday. It’s the best interactive movie experience out there! Don’t forget Sydney has the world’s largest imax cinema as well in Darling Harbour!
#7 Laser Tag & Ten Pin Bowling
You gotta love a bit of laser tag. The Aussie made me take him to laser tag for his birthday at Macquarie Centre and there was bowling there as well so we killed two birds with one stone! We ended up playing against loads of 10 year olds and they totally kicked our butts! It was great fun! You’ll be able to find these in various locations around Sydney.
#8 Massage, Chatswood
OK, I’m calling it… the best massage place I have been to in Sydney has to be Magic Massage, in Chatswood Westfield. I know those massage parlours in a shopping centre always look a bit on the dodge side but this one is incredible. I’ve been there four times and every time it has been amazing!! A must visit and for $35 for 30 minutes, you can’t go wrong.
#9 Chinese Teahouse, Surry Hills
A proper little gem of a place we found recently was Zensation, an incredible tea house in Surry Hills. We spent a good few hours there just trying loads of different green teas. They also serve food as well like dumplings. This is a must visit and a great way to spend a Sunday. Just don’t drink too much tea as you’ll be buzzing all night from the caffeine!
#10 Sunday roast
When it’s wet and cold, there’s nothing better than going out for a Sunday roast. I even found one that’s on par with an English one! See here for where it is!
#11 Afternoon Tea
I found the most amazing tea rooms right in the middle of The Rocks that’s on par with the English tearooms back home. Best of all it won’t set you back as the prices are as friendly as the staff.
#12 Escape Rooms, CBD
#13 Sydney Trapeze School, St Peters
Have you ever fancied trying a go at trapeze? Get yourself down to Sydney Trapeze School for just $70 a class, this would be a brilliant day out in St Peters.
#14 Rock Climbing
Another adventurous day out indoors would be no other than rock climbing at Sydney’s largest climbing centre in St Leonards called Climb Fit. I’ve been here and for someone scared of heights, I absolutely loved it. You’ll find yourself around loads of like minded people who love the thrill of climbing. For $30, you’ll get entry and a harness to use.
#15 Ultimate Go Karting, near Campbelltown
And another fun thing to do in the rain is of course, go karting at the Ultimate Go Karting near Campbelltown. It runs in 10 minute sessions starting from $28 per person.
#16 Indoor Swim
Just because it’s raining, it doesn’t mean your exercise routine needs to be off the agenda. Why not go to one of Sydney’s amazing indoor pools for a swim! Two of the top pools include Cook & Philip right next to St Mary’s Cathedral (next to Hyde Park) and the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre (next to the Power House Museum).
#17 Yum Cha
There’s nothing better than spending the day eating! Sydney has some of the best yum cha restaurants around. Popular yum cha includes: The Eight, Marigold, Din Tai Fung, Palace, The Dynasty and for vegan options try Bodhi.
#18 Mitchell Road Antique Centre, Alexandria
You could spend hours looking at all of the incredible stalls at the Mitchell Road Antique Centre in Alexandria. This is a proper gem which I came across when I drove past it one day. I then spent a good few hours looking at all of the incredible finds!
That’s 18 things to do in the rain in Sydney! is there anything I’ve missed that worth a mention? Let me know in the comments below!
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