Let’s Explore 10 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day in San Diego
Rain? In San Diego? Yes, the city known for its perfect sunshine occasionally gets rain every now and then. Rain or shine, there’s nothing better than spending the day indoors exploring San Diego’s cultural treasures. From world-class museums to a 64,000 square foot aquarium, here are some of the best cultural attractions in San Diego for a rainy day.
Looking for a FUN indoor space to burn off some energy? That’s where The New Children’s Museum comes in. This exciting and totally interactive museum offers dozens of exhibits and themed areas for children to explore, climb, play, and create. Plus your kids take a look behind the curtains in the world of Teatro Piñata by designer David Israel Chávez Reynoso. This immersive theatre installation allows kids to explore the FUN of being onstage and behind the scenes.
Animal lovers who can’t take advantage of the San Diego Zoo on a rainy day should go online now and reserve a spot at the Birch Aquarium for a chance to encounter some pretty fascinating wildlife even in bad weather. Explore the fun with a side of science through interactive exhibits and come face to face with exciting creatures including a rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle, a Giant Pacific Octopus, Leopard Sharks and jellies. For a limited time, guests can see a Pacific Footballfish — a rare deep-sea specimen — on display in Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections.
There’s something for the whole family at the newly designed Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The Mingei celebrates the “every-day-ness” of art—the belief that everyday objects and materials that often serve a useful purpose can also be objects of great beauty. The Commons Level always is free for all and the Gallery Level is free for Kids. Find out “What’s On” at the Mingei here.
Come in out of the the rain and explore the “Super Kid Friendly” Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 fun and interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity. Or become immersed in an IMAX film adventure like the new documentary film, Antarctica that shows the wonders of the planet—and beyond—in the Giant Dome Theater.
There’s plenty to discover on the The USS Midway Museum even on a rainy day. The immense aircraft carrier is one of the city’s most popular attractions, and a rainy day may be smart way to beat some of the crowds. It’s a family friendly museum and kids are encouraged to climb in planes, push buttons, and pull levers. Visitors will learn all about the history of this iconic craft and her 50-year service, which spanned several wars and multiple campaigns. Keep in mind that parts of this attraction are outdoors, so be prepared for a little bit of weather.
From fossils and dinosaurs to live animals and immersive exhibitions, get to know the natural history of Southern California—from past to present—at The Nat. The Nat has four floors of FUN to explore with your kids plus a giant screen in their 300-seat, stadium-style theater now showing three films including Dinosaurs of Antartica. There’s even a special, new space at The Nat just for young, curious minds ages 0-5. Little learners can expand their horizons in The Backyard, an all-new exhibit space where the youngest visitors can learn and explore the natural world through play.
The child-friendly Heritage of the Americas Museum houses a collection that would be considered incredible by any standards. The museum is on the campus of Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego where you’ll find a unique collection of art, artifacts, and natural history specimens displayed in four exhibit wings. The museum is actually four museums at one location, represented by the four wings: Natural History, Archaeology, Anthropology, and Art. A visit to the museum truly takes you on a journey through time.
Located just one mile north of Balboa Park, the JA Cooley Museum is a great place to see terrific vintage cars, model trains, nickelodeons, iron toys and more. The museum features over two-dozen automobiles from 1886 to 1933. Each car highlights advances in technology at the very beginning of car manufacturing. There are over 25 different categories of collections on display including lamps, bells, irons, purses, trains, clocks, spittoons, posters, cameras, cast-iron toys, typewriters, household appliances, music machines, telegraphs, telephones, and phonographs. The museum is open 7-days a week from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Looking for kid-friendly activities in North County on a rainy day? The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum is the perfect place to experience a world of wonders with FUN hands-on activities for the entire family. Set sail on the Explore Discovery sailboat, experiment at the Magnification Station, and discover nature in the Children’s Discovery Garden. There’s even a toddler area for the little ones.
Airplanes, space ships, simulators and more are a perfect escape from the rain. The San Diego Air & Space Museum is one of the best of its kind in the country. Aviation history is truly a remarkable story, and it all unfolds at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. It’s family friendly and – most of all – FUN! There’s so much to explore inside the Air & Space Museum that you’ll forget all about the weather outdoors. Plus, check out the new fun and interactive “Galileo: Space Visionary” exhibit.
Rainy Day Fun in San Diego (or any day for that matter)
This little list proves a little rain doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your visit to San Diego. These are just some FUN museum ideas for a rainy day in Americas Finest City. Get more ideas and explore the fun at 50+ San Diego County museums, historic sites, gardens, zoo/aquariums and more on the San Diego Museum Council Museum page here.