Saying Portland’s weather is unpredictable is an understatement. Within a matter of minutes, you can seemingly experience all four seasons, sometimes all at once. However, for the days that Oregon has decided to stick to a steady drizzle, here’s a handy guide of where to go, and what to do. Whether you’re wanting to get cozy and stay inside, or venture out into the lush wonderland that is Portland’s precipitation: we’re confident you’ll find something in here..
Looking for something to do while it’s pouring outside in downtown Portland? Look no further. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite things to do in this city when it’s wet outside.
Read a book at The Society Hotel Café
We’ll admit it. We’re a little biased here. But with massive windows for watching the rain, an all-day cafe & bar, leather couches and a fireplace: we’re hard-pressed to think of a better place to spend a rainy day.
Walk Through Forest Park
Immerse yourself in the sights and smell of a freshly rained-upon forest. The trailhead at the end of Thurman Street is paved for a good ways into the walk, but if you want to venture deeper – don’t forget to pack shoes you don’t mind getting muddy!
Go Ice Skating at the Lloyd Center
How many malls can you think of have an ice-skating rink in the middle of them? We’ve got one, and it’s a great spot to get your kids (or first date) out of the house and onto the ice. (See Map)
Catch Dinner and a Show at The Living Room Theater
Complete with recliner chairs, tables, food/drink delivery, and one of the most tasteful film selections in town, Living Room Theaters is a truly unique theater experience, and a great way to kill some time. (See Map)
Go Shopping at Pioneer Place
With a three-block connected network of covered skywalks and underground tunnels, you can go gift shopping, pick out a new outfit, go bowling and catch a movie, all without leaving the building. (See map)
Go Roller Skating at Oaks Park
This iconic wooden skate rink has been around since 1905. Attached to Oaks Park, which is one of the top 10 oldest amusement parks in the country, this skating rink feels like you’re truly traveling back in time as you skate around the world’s-only skate rink-installed Wurlitzer Organ – which happens to hang from the ceiling, and is the size of a semi truck. (See Map)
Walk the Chinese Gardens
Lan Su not only has covered walkways to meander around the lush gardens, but a traditional tea house to sip warm, freshly-prepared traditional Chinese tea while you watch the tiny ripples across the surfaces of the water.
Go Bowling at PunchBowl Social
Pretty much a massive adult indoor wonderland, this is a great spot to take a group of people to eat, drink, play darts, or start up an inevitably competitive bowling match. No bumpers allowed! (See Map)
Walk the Waterfront, and Catch up on a Podcast
Grab an umbrella and some cheap headphones and take a relaxed walk around Portland’s waterfront. Listen to an audiobook or podcast as you watch the rain dancing across the surface of the Willamette River, while catching epic photo opportunities of Portland’s bridges.
Get Lost in Powell’s Bookstore
Have you ever casually wandered into a bookstore, only to come staggering out 4 hours later wondering what year it is? Chances are pretty good you’ve been to Powell’s. (See Map)
Rent a Biketown Bike and Annihilate Some Puddles
The neon orange bikes you see all over town make for some excellent puddle-slaying, due to their heavy weight, traction, and “I don’t have to wash this myself later” business model.
Play Classic Arcade Games at Ground Kontrol
Portland’s downtown “Barcade” is a great spot to fill your pockets with quarters and go nuts on a bunch of timeless video games either alone or with friends. Most importantly: this place has a decent selection of snacks and local beers, and each machine has a drink holder!
Try a Sensory Deprivation Chamber
Want to REALLY block out the rain? How about your sense of sight, smell, touch and hearing too? (It’s not nearly as scary as that sounds) Float tanks are quickly growing in popularity, and you can find them all over Portland nowadays. It’s a weird experience at first, but ultimately is a really relaxing way to spend 90 minutes. Recommended: Float on, The Everett House, Enso Float)
Visit a Tea Shop
Portland’s tea scene is brimming with both the traditional and the experimental approaches. Nothing quite beats a warm cup of tea with the sound of raindrops outside, especially with some of the cozy ambiance than so many places here offer. Pictured: Tea Chai Te