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Kings Dining & Entertainment Miami, bowling lane
Photograph: Courtesy Kings Dining & Entertainment

The best things to do in Miami when it rains—no umbrella required

Don’t let a little sprinkle ruin a good time! The best things to do when it rains in Miami promise weather-proof fun.

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Written by
Ryan Pfeffer
&
Falyn Wood
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When the clouds come rolling in, we all immediately rack our brains for a list of things to do on a rainy day in Miami. Contrary to popular belief, that list includes more than just Netflix and ice cream, extending into best things to do in Miami territory. Sure, the best movie theaters in Miami or the best Miami museums will do the trick. And we won’t stop you if that’s your vibe. But it’s nice to spend a soggy day doing something a little less obvious, isn’t it? The crappy weather can provide an excuse to try something around the city that you’ve been putting off or procrastinating on. Check out some of the best rainy day options below and make the best of a wet day. 

The best of the city under one roof

  • Restaurants
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

Time Out Market Miami is where you want to find yourself the next time a storm hits. Take cover in the 18,000-square-foot dining destination filled with delicious things to eat, tasty drinks to sip and good tunes to keep you company while you wait out the rain. On weekends, it pays to hang out long, too now that happy hour is offered twice on Fridays and Saturdays: first from 4 to 7pm and then again from 9 to 11pm. There’s covered parking attached to the Market, which means zero chances of getting wet door to door.

Best things to do when it rains in Miami

  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • Coral Gables

What is it? Heaven for book-lovers. Books & Books is a superb independent, well-stocked store with bestsellers, small publishers, gorgeous coffee table gifts and reliably excellent staff recommendations.

Why go? The Gables location is the one to pick for a rainy day reading session. Its cozy areas include a room for antiquarian rarities and another for kids’ books. There’s also a tasty café and regular author readings and signings.

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Downtown

What is it? Miami’s popular waterfront science museum. The shining facility appeals to just about every curious member of the family with an aquarium, live animals and cool interactive exhibits.

Why go? Frost will give you your money’s worth (or score free admission with your Miami-Dade library card if you’re lucky). It’s entertaining and informative from the ground floor all the way to the rooftop. Get your mind blown in the planetarium and don’t forget to pet a stingray before you leave.

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  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Allapattah

What is it? This massive 50,000-square-foot space in Allapattah is dedicated to the production of experiential mediums—and it’s pretty incredible.

Why go? Its inaugural program, titled "Every Wall Is a Door," features a new immersive environment by stage designer Es Devlin, a transcendent digital experience by Japanese art collective teamLab and an extrasensory light-based work by American artist James Turrell. Plus, Meadow, a kinetic installation by Amsterdam-based artist studio DRIFT, is also on view in Superblue’s main lobby area.

  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • West Kendall
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Miami’s largest indoor ice-skating rink where you can pretend, for a brief time, that winter exists!

Why go? If it’s an awful day outside, why not hit the ice for a change of atmosphere? Seriously, when’s the last time you skated? Pop in, rent a pair and swish around to music from a live DJ.

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Miami
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? A driving range for the 21st century. This golf range features private bays for you and up to eight of your buds, as well as full service from the bar and kitchen.

Why go? Rain usually dampens sports, but at Topgolf, the weather isn’t a factor. The covered range allows you to hit no matter the moisture. Plus, you can order a bucket of spiked Arnold Palmer. The more you drink, the less you care about sucking.

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  • Things to do
  • Cultural centers
  • Design District

What is it? A sleek museum showcasing three floors of spectacular contemporary art plus a lush sculpture garden in the heart of the Design District. Exhibits have shown work from big names like Judy Chicago as well as important local artists.

Why go? Museums and rainy days are a natural fit. Plus, the insane Museum Garage (itself a piece of art) is right across the street, so you won’t have to walk in the rain. Oh, and admission to this museum is free—just make sure you book your tickets in advance.

  • Shopping
  • Bags and luggage
  • Aventura

What is it? The largest mall in Miami, with both indoor and covered outdoor areas, is a killer place to spend a rainy afternoon.

Why go? Shop around at Zara or browse fancy watches and designer handbags (the mall boasts more 300 luxury stores and shopper favorites). Then, eat at Shake Shack, Jrk! and tons more choices in Aventura’s massive food court to end all food courts.

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  • Shopping
  • Music and entertainment
  • Little Haiti / Lemon City
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Miami’s favorite record store. Sweat is a local treasure, where music lovers of all types gather to dig through the racks of new and used vinyls and nerd-out over a cold brew.

Why go? Aside from the intrinsic awesomeness of supporting your local record store, Sweat has a fantastic selection and great atmosphere. Afterward, maybe a grab a bite to-go up the street at Haitian barbecue spot Bon Gout. It’ll help you deal with your weather-related blues.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Doral
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? An indoor trampoline park that is as fun as it sounds. Sky Zone has a location in Doral and offers fitness classes, dodgeball, SkySlam basketball and a free-for-all open jump.

Why go? One builds up a decent amount of energy being trapped inside during a storm. Is there any better way to release such energy than going absolutely mad in a room full of trampolines? We think not.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • West Coconut Grove

What is it? A small milkshake counter located within the delicious burger joint LoKal. The kitchen’s concoctions are monuments to sugar-fueled indulgence.

Why go? There’s something comforting about being curled up in your mom’s kitchen during a thunderstorm, pigging out on ice cream. Vicky’s is modeled after the owner’s old ’80s kitchen and—no offense—serves sweets better than your mom ever could.

  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Doral
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? A big, funky bowling alley in Doral. Bowling not your thing? Book one of the private karaoke rooms, order a couple cocktails and sing your heart out.

Why go? Bowling is a heck of a rainy day activity, and Kings is probably the most impressive bowling facility Miami has. Plus, you can snack on wings and burgers as well as some drinks from the rum lounge.

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  • Shopping
  • Shopping centers
  • Brickell

What is it? A covered, somewhat outdoor mall with an impressive selection of stores and really stunning architecture.

Why go? The City Centre boasts something called a “climate ribbon,” which—no—is not just a fancy way of saying “roof.” Its purpose is to keep Miamians cool by trapping the natural breeze and funneling it into the Centre. When it rains, the ribbon creates a truly unique atmosphere, capturing the air’s cool, damp feeling while somehow keeping you dry.

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Wynwood

What is it? The Museum of Graffiti tracks the history of tagging, from its genesis in 1970s New York to its ascendance as a respected global art form.

Why go? You made the trip to Wynwood to see the art and a little rain shouldn’t stand in the way of that. Head indoors and browse the institution’s permanent collection of iconic taggers’ indelible work. 

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  • Things to do
  • Downtown

What is it? It’s young, but South Florida does have a past and a lively one at that. Tracing the history of the region, from early Indians to rafting Cubans, HistoryMiami succeeds in educating while entertaining.

Why go? Brush up on your Miami history learning about the Whitman family, who founded hotels as well as the Bal Harbour Shops, the African diaspora and South Florida’s folkloric traditions and so much more.

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Allapattah

What is it? Don and Mera Rubell’s prized private art collection is housed in this former warehouse in Allapattah, where hundreds of their nearly 7,200 contemporary works are on display.

Why go? From Basquiat and Warhol to Koons and Sherman, the 20th century’s seminal artists all have a home here. Once you’re tired of browsing (though we can’t imagine feeling that way ourselves), head to the museum’s splashy Basque restaurant, Leku for an equally arty spread.

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  • Bars
  • South Beach
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? An infamous dive that’s charmingly out of character for the area, a mere block from the ocean. “Eclectic” doesn’t begin to describe the mix of South Beach denizens who gather here nightly.

Why go? You’re on the beach and it’s raining—why the hell not? The Deuce attracts the motliest, coolest, scariest crowd of any bar in Miami. (Late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain often touted his love of the place.) For anyone who ever fancied a bit part in a Charles Bukowski story, this dive bar would be the right place to audition.

  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • price 3 of 4

What is it? An indoor flight chamber, which blasts you into the air and simulates the feeling of free-falling. You’ll have an instructor by your side and the whole experience, including the pre-flight training, will last just under two hours.

Why go? It’s just a really cool thing to do. Turn a crappy day into an amazing, adrenaline-packed one.

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  • Art
  • Digital & interactive
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? This digital art gallery is a decidedly 21st-century experience: All the art here is projected and most of it is interactive, so not only will you get to see it but you’ll also become part of it.

Why go? "Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies," the current exhibition, examines themes of Black identity with groundbreaking visuals and major Black Pantheinspo. You’ll love tapping into the different metaphorical wavelengths of Afrocentricity (read: digital crowns are involved) and may even find yourself doing a TikTok dance in front of one of the interactive screens.

  • Shopping
  • Cosmetics
  • Mid-Beach
  • price 3 of 4

What is it? The massive upscale spa inside the luxurious Fontainebleau Miami Beach boasts co-ed plunge pools, rain showers, saunas and 30 private treatment rooms across 40,000 square feet.

Why go? Relaxation and the gentle sounds of rolling rain and thunder go hand in hand. From the moment you drop off your car at the valet to your walk down into the cavernous spa and every second in between, you’ll be safe from the elements. And should the day clear up you’ll have the opportunity to lounge by the hotel pool as spa guests receive access to the hotel’s public amenities.

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? A sweet indoor race track with go-karts that can reach 45mph. Race sessions are eight minutes long and all you need to bring are closed-toe shoes, a driver’s license or another form of ID.

Why go? Who doesn’t want to let it rip on a go-kart, no stop signs or traffic jams in sight? And if you just want to watch your buddies crash, don’t worry. There’s a bar.

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Medley
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? A local brewery with a sprawling taproom located in Doral.

Why go? Unlike many breweries, The Tank’s taproom is all indoors and filled with plenty of games, making it a great space to pass the time during a storm. With long rows of communal seating and couches on which to kick back, the vibe is at once industrial and homey, an accurate reflection of the Doral neighborhood it calls home.

Has all that exploring made you hungry?

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