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.
San Diego Air & Space Museum
Airplanes, space ships, simulators and more are a perfect escape from the rain. Plus a rainy day is the perfect day to explore the Air & Space Museum’s immersive ‘Above and Beyond’ exhibit.
The hands-on, family-friendly, interactive exhibition explores the history and science of flight, from the Wright brothers to Mars exploration
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is one of the best of its kind in the country. 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.
Fleet Science Center
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. Celebrate 50 years of exploration and FUN at the Fleet with the all-new Flashback exhibit . Or become immersed in an IMAX film adventure like the new documentary film, Ancient Caves lets you Follow a team of paleo climatologists as they unlock the secrets of the Earth’s climate in a seemingly unlikely place: caves.—in the Giant Dome Theater.
The New Children’s Museum
Downtown San Diego
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 can immerse themselves in the all-new TKRTP Project, short for “The kids run this place,” a year-long project using video, photography, artmaking and more to document and celebrate the Museum community and enhance a sense of belonging.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
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.
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Rain or shine the trains have to run on time, even at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park. Come explore the 27,000 sq. feet of model trains, tracks and exhibits.
Big news! Kids 12 and under now get in FREE to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
At every twist, turn and tunnel, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum powers curiosity with re-creations of beautiful train routes, lively exhibitions and educational programming that encourages critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and you can find tickets here.
USS Midway Museum
Downtown San Diego
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.
San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)
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. Plus you and the kids can find out what animals are up to at night in the all-new Caught on Camera exhibit.
Comic-Con Museum’s newest exhibit “Animation Academy – from Pencils to Pixels,” offers fans a chance to explore your favorite animated cartoons and characters with more than 20 interactive stations to create your own stop-motion animated short, learn about the art of storyboarding, snap photos in the sets of animated TV shows and movies, and see the world’s largest traveling 3D zoetrope. The Museum is 0pen daily except Monday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and you can find tickets here.
Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum
The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad features 200 functional miniature engines plus miniature guns, ships, autos, cranes, music boxes, clocks, tools and more. Kids and adults will love explore the over 10,000 square feet of FUN! The Museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and offers free and easy parking.
Fun Tip: Carlsbad’s Museum of Making Music featuring galleries of instruments, special exhibitions & live events is less than a 10 minute drive from the Craftsmanship Museum and would make a FUN edition to your day.
San Diego Automotive Museum
Rainy days are perfect for a trip to the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park. Cruise into the San Diego Automotive Museum or an experience that will take you on an amazing journey of design, styling, and horsepower! Find your tickets to the FUN here.
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 more than 70 San Diego County museums, historic sites, gardens, parks, zoo/aquariums and more on the San Diego Museum Council Museum page here.