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Museum of Graffiti
Photograph: World Red Eye

Here are the best things to do in Miami when it rains—no umbrella required

What washout? Keep the fun going strong with our list of weather-proof things to do when it rains in Miami.

By Ryan Pfeffer and Falyn Freyman
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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 rainy 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 soggy day. 

Best things to do when it rains in Miami

Books & Books Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Books & Books/Johnny Louis Photography

1. Browse the selection at Books & Books

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.

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
Photograph: World Red Eye

2. Explore Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

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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Ice Skating
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Fall down at Kendall Ice Arena

Things to do Games and hobbies West Kendall

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.

CMX Cinemas, movie theater
Photograph: Courtesy CMX Cinemas/Roca Photo

4. Catch a movie at CMX Cinemas

Things to do Film events Brickell

What is it? A super luxurious movie theater inside the equally luxurious Brickell City Centre. No creaky seats and stale popcorn here. Expect comfy recliners and an impressive menu.

Why go? It ain’t easy to beat Netflix and chill these days. But CMX gives you plenty of reason to leave the house with its full bar and tasty food, plus super comfortable plush recliners.

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Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
Photograph: Iwan Baan

5. Explore the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

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.

golf ball, golf club
Photograph: Shutterstock

6. Hit some balls at Topgolf

Things to do Games and hobbies Miami

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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Aventura Mall Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Aventura Mall

7. Do more than window shop at Aventura Mall

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, Luke’s Lobster and tons more choices in Aventura’s massive food court to end all food courts.

Sweat Records
Photograph: Anish Parekh

8. Go crate diving at Sweat Records

Shopping Music and entertainment Little Haiti / Lemon City

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.

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Trampoline
Photograph: Shutterstock

9. Work off some energy at Sky Zone

Sports and fitness Gyms and fitness centers Doral

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.

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

10. Book a bowling lane at Kings Dining & Entertainment

Things to do Games and hobbies Doral

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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Brickell City Centre
Photograph: Courtesy Brickell City Centre

11. Stroll through Brickell City Centre

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.

Museum of Graffiti
Photograph: World Red Eye

12. Check out street art at Museum of Graffiti

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. This December, the museum debuts a new work by prolific ’80s artist and frequent Keith Haring collaborator Angel Ortiz.

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HistoryMiami
Photograph: Courtesy HistoryMiami

13. Get schooled at HistoryMiami

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.

Mac's Club Deuce Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Mac's Club Deuce

14. Let loose at Mac’s Club Deuce

Bars South Beach

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.

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iFLY
Photograph: Shutterstock

15. Skydive inside at iFLY

Things to do Games and hobbies

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.

Go-Kart
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Warren Jones

16. Hit the track at Xtreme Action Park

Things to do Games and hobbies

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.

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Rubell Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Rubell Museum/Chi Lam

17. Wander the Rubell Museum

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.

Lapis Spa
Photograph: Courtesy Fontainebleau Miami Beach

18. Treat yourself to a day of pampering at Lapis Spa

Shopping Cosmetics Mid-Beach

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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The Tank Brewing Co.
Photograph: Courtesy The Tank Brewing Co.

19. Sample local craft beer at The Tank Brewing Co.

Bars Breweries Medley

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.

Aqueous
Photograph: Courtesy Aqueous

20. Experience the immersive works at Artechouse

Art Digital & interactive South Beach

What is it? This digital art gallery is a decidedly 21st-century experience: All the art here is digital and a lot of it is interactive too.

Why go? Are you the kind of person who finds themselves wanting to go up and touch the art they’re looking at? You probably can at Artechouse. This fall and winter, the museum presents Aqueousan aquatic-themed celebration of the Pantone 2020 Color of the Year: Classic Blue.

Has all that exploring made you hungry?

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