Rainy Day Guide: 25 Indoor Activities in Melbourne When the Weather is Crappy

Photo of author
Article written by: Rebecca
Last updated:

Looking for indoor activities in Melbourne to escape the rain? I’ve got you covered!

If you’re reading this article, it must be raining in Melbourne. Sorry. Unfortunately, it’s not that uncommon for rain to descend upon this city that’s well known for its “four seasons in one day” weather. Trust me, as a Melbourne local, I know all too well what a dampener the weather can put on your plans.

But a downpour doesn’t need to rain on your parade (pun intended). There are plenty of indoor activities in Melbourne to keep you busy.

So, if you’ve woken up to grey skies outside your hotel window, here are the best things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining. Having experienced a lot of rain in Melbourne, I can recommend these activities as great ways to escape the weather!

Bonus: You can even use this Melbourne rainy day activities list for when it’s super hot Melbourne summer day outside and you’re trying to stay cool!

Melbourne is well known for having "four seasons in one day" - but there are still plenty of indoor activities in Melbourne if the weather is bad

This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

Rain in Melbourne

It can rain at any time in Melbourne. When planning a trip to Melbourne, always check ahead for the forecast so that you can pack appropriately and plan your activities. Check out my guide to the best time to visit Melbourne for more information about timing your trip to the city.

Melbourne averages around 139 days of rain each year – but don’t worry, it’s generally a light shower or drizzle, unlike the heavy rains that cities like Sydney and Brisbane get. It’s just unpredictable, which can make it hard to plan far in advance.

The wettest months of the year tend to be October and November, when you can expect a Melbourne rainfall of around 60-66 millimetres each month. Which really isn’t a lot! But, as we all know, even a light shower can put a dent in your carefully laid plans. But luckily there are plenty of Melbourne indoor activities that make great fallback plans.

Things to do on a rainy day in Melbourne

If it does rain during your visit, here are a few indoor things to do in Melbourne that allow you to stay active but also – importantly – stay dry.

1. Get cultural in one of the city’s galleries

Exploring the art at NGV International is one of the best things to do in Melbourne when it rains

Melbourne is known as the Culture Capital of Australia, so if you love galleries, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy on a rainy day in Melbourne.

Open every day, NGV International has incredible blockbuster exhibitions as well as an array of permanent displays. With free entry to the permanent collection, NGV International is a great way to spend a rainy day. Explore art from around the world and throughout history in this stunning venue.

At the NGV’s sister gallery, the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, you’ll discover some of Australia’s best artists. There are more than 10,000 works from more than 600 artists on display, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs.

In Southbank, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is in a huge, award-winning building. You want want to linger too long outside in the rain to admire the architecture, so duck inside for exhibitions covering all types of mediums.

2. Learn something new at a museum

The Immigration Museum is a great place to while away a few rainy hours in Melbourne

It’s not just galleries that make a great respite from the rain – we also have heaps of museums in Melbourne ready to teach and entertain.

Here are a few of my favourite to visit:

  • Melbourne Museum – a fun, interactive museum that’s great for everyone, with dinosaur exhibits, First Nations displays and plenty more (I love the Milarri Garden Trail, but it’s outside, so opt for the indoor Forest Gallery instead)
  • Immigration Museum – learn about Australia’s immigrant past and present
  • ACMI – play video games, watch movies and create your own epic playlist at this entertaining museum
  • Scienceworks – from storytelling for the little ones to nerding out in the Lightning Room, Scienceworks is a lot of fun for all
  • Australian Music Vault – a celebration of Australian music legends

3. Escape the rain in an Escape Room

Gather your most intelligent friends and run from the rain into an escape room. With the clock ticking down and plenty of riddles to solve, you’ll quickly forget that it’s pouring outside. 

Some of the most popular escape rooms in Melbourne are:

  • Trapt – classic escape rooms to while away an hour or two
  • Rush Escape Game – be warned: some of the rooms here are truly, truly scary
  • Ukiyo – Japanese-inspired escape rooms 
  • The Mystery Rooms – a variety of rooms to suit all ages 

4. Catch a flick 

The Sun Theatre in Yarraville is one of Melbourne's most beautiful cinemas
Yarraville’s Sun Theatre

This is a no-brainer. When it’s raining, there’s nothing better than curling up in a comfy seat with a bucket of popcorn to catch the latest blockbuster or arthouse movie.

Try IMAX for huge screens that’ll make you feel like you’re part of the film. Carlton’s Cinema Nova is the biggest independent cinema in the Southern Hemisphere, while Yarraville’s Sun Theatre is in a dreamy art deco building. 

The Astor Theatre in St Kilda features old-world glamour: chandeliers, red velvet seating and plush gold curtains. It’s famous for its selection of cult favourites and classic films, as well as its double features. 

Or there are plenty of Hoyts and Village Cinemas around Melbourne that always show the latest movies and have plenty of viewing times.

5. Immerse yourself in art at The Lume

When the Melbourne skies turn grey, it’s the perfect time to immerse yourself in a world of colour and art at The Lume.

This digital art space is one of my favourite places to visit in Melbourne. It’s mesmerising to sit or lay on the ground or walk around while iconic artworks are projected onto walls, floors and ceilings. It really does feel like you’re in the art.

The vibrant visuals combines with evocative music making it very easy to forget the drizzly Melbourne weather outside.

6. Grab a drink at a pub or bar

Cosy up in one of Melbourne's many pubs or bars if it's raining - one of the best indoor activities in Melbourne
The Grace Darling Hotel

It’s very easy to while away a rainy Melbourne afternoon with a drink in hand. Finding a classic Melbourne pub or hip bar is one of the easiest ways to escape the rain in Melbourne.

Some recommended spots when it’s raining in Melbourne:

Although really, any indoor bar or pub will do the trick!

7. Take an indoor food tour

Some of the samples I tried on the Queen Vic Market Ultimate Foodie Tour, yum!

The Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere – and most of it is undercover, which makes it one of the best indoor activities Melbourne when it’s raining.

You can explore the market by yourself or join the 2-hour Queen Vic Market Ultimate Foodie Tour. I highly recommend the tour – I was absolutely stuffed from all the samples! 

Winding through the maze of vendors, this tour stops at seafood stores, butcher shops, cheese mongers, bakeries and pastry shops, spice and tea vendors, and sweets stores.

Book the Queen Vic Market Ultimate Foodie Tour here.

Looking for more tours? Check out my guide to the best tours in Melbourne and even more Melbourne food tours.

8. Discover a new cuisine with a cooking class

Melbourne is a foodie’s dream, with cuisines from all around the world to tempt your tastebuds. I love checking out restaurants in Melbourne, but I’m also partial to learning how to cook a cuisine myself.

Foodie Trails offers great food tours of Melbourne’s multitude of cuisines, and also teaches budding chefs how to whip up Indian, Sri Lankan, Greek and Thai dishes. Check out their upcoming Melbourne cooking classes.

To learn how to make traditional Italian dishes, try La Cucina di Sandra – where you’ll whip up pastas just like her Nonna made. 

Free to Feed is an excellent organisation helping people seeking asylum find meaningful employment. Their cooking classes are run by newly arrived immigrants and cover Colombian street food to Iraqi vegetarian dishes to Syrian delights. Warning: their classes book out quickly so reserve well in advance.

Class Bento collates a heap of different cooking classes, from Greek to Italian to Japanese and specialties like paella, beer and barbecue, and pasta making from scratch. 

A cooking class is one of the best Melbourne rainy day activities that will get you out of the terrible weather and fed.

9. Browse for books 

Rainy day weather in Melbourne calls for some book browsing - Readings in Carlton is one of the best bookshops in the city
Readings Carlton

With the raining pattering on the window panes, spend a few cosy hours browsing books in Melbourne. 

A fave of many Melburnians is Readings in Carlton, an independent book store. With thousands of titles jammed into the bookshelves, you’ll be hard pressed to walk out of here with nothing.

Hill of Content is one of my favourite bookstores to browse. Located on Bourke Street, the staff are extremely knowledgeable and happy to spend time finding your perfect next read.

If you want to team a glass of wine with your book browsing (yes please!), then Willows and Wine is the place for you. Choose one of the pre-loved books and read a few chapters with a drink in hand. If you like it, you can buy it.

If libraries are your comfort place, then head directly to the State Library Victoria. One of the most beautiful buildings in Melbourne, it’s also home to more than 2 million books. Spend some quiet time flicking through old tomes, scanning the newspaper or catching up on the latest reads – one of my personal fave indoor activities in Melbourne when it’s raining.

10. Play some games 

Want to chat with your friends over a beer and a board game? There are several indoor places to visit in Melbourne with games to keep you occupied.

Bartronica has retro arcade games and pinball machines, while Ballers Clubhouse has ping pong, darts, shuffleboard and virtual reality games over a whopping 2500-square-metre space. Fortress has tonnes of video games and boardgames that’ll take you hours to get through.

Definitely one of the most fun things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining!

11. Take a tour of grand old buildings

You can visit some of Melbourne's grand buildings when it's raining - it's one of the best indoor activities in Melbourne
Parliament House

The wealth that came from the Victorian Gold Rush ushered in many ornate and grand buildings throughout Melbourne, and on a rainy day in Melbourne you can tour some of them.

If politics gets you excited, catch the action in person at Parliament House. Behind the scenes tours are held daily Monday to Friday during non-sitting weeks and Monday and Friday during sitting weeks. The tours are excellent for those with an interest in architecture, the parliamentary process and history.

Built in the 19th century, the Old Treasury Building is one of Melbourne’s most recognisable buildings. There’s always a fascinating exhibit to explore, or you can visit areas that are usually inaccessible to the public on a tour.

12. Hit a round of (indoor) golf at Holey Moley

Grab a putt but stay dry while playing a round or two of indoor mini golf at Holey Moley Golf Club. There are several locations throughout Melbourne, including conveniently located venues at Crown and on Little Bourke Street.

The set up is unique, with fun, themed courses with plenty of neon lights and photo opps. There’s also a full-service bar and kitchen, so you won’t go hungry or thirsty on this rainy day Melbourne activity.

Note that kids under 18 aren’t allowed at Holey Moley after 5pm.

13. Go shopping

One of the easiest indoor activities in Melbourne is shopping
Shopping at Emporium Melbourne

Grab your credit card and shop until you drop – or at least shop until the rain stops. 

Melbourne is a shopper’s paradise, with everything from affordable basics to high-end labels. The city is famous for its shopping streets – like Prahran/South Yarra’s Chapel Street and Fitzroy’s Brunswick and Smith Streets – but we also have plenty of indoor shopping so you can stay dry between stores.

Chadstone Shopping Centre bills itself as the largest mall in the Southern Hemisphere. With more than 550 shops, you can easily do some damage at Chaddy. In the CBD, Melbourne Central and Emporium Melbourne have hundreds of stores to choose from as well, along with food courts, cinemas, bowling alleys and games venues. With so many indoor things to do in Melbourne in just one shopping centre, you’ll easily keep yourself occupied until the weather gets better.

14. Try indoor rock climbing 

When it’s raining in Melbourne, it doesn’t mean you can’t do adventure activities that are normally done outside.

One of the most fun wet weather activities in Melbourne is to check out an indoor rock-climbing gym. You can keep your body moving while staying out of Melbourne’s at-times bitterly cold rain.

Hardrock is great for beginners. You can learn how to use ropes or just stick to the bouldering walls. Experienced climbers will find some fun challenges with the 44 top rope walls that are up to 16 metres high. Boulder Project has more of a community feel but they also welcome newbies.

15. Go bowling

The rainy weather may deserve a strike (sorry, that was a lame play on words!), but you can aim for a few strikes of your own at one of Melbourne’s indoor ten-pin bowling venues. Grab some shoes, snacks and drinks and challenge your friends or family to see who can get the most points at this indoor activity.

Some of the best bowling alleys in Melbourne are at Kingpin – where if you get bored of bowling you can also try your hand at laser tag or the more than 150 arcade games – or Strike, which also has a bar, kitchen and escape rooms.

16. Take yourself to the spa 

One of the best things to do in Melbourne on a rainy day is to get wet in another way – at one of the city’s bath houses.

Sense of Self is Melbourne’s newest bath house. Located conveniently in Collingwood, the stylish venue features a mineral bath and Finnish sauna, along with massage to top off the experience. Or try The Japanese Bath House, the first of its kind in Australia. Enjoy a bath (at 40-41 degrees Celsius) then relax with a shiatsu massage.

Or snuggle up out of the rain in a cosy room for a facial or body treatment. Some of Melbourne’s best day spas are Miss Fox and the Chuan Spa at The Langham.

17. Take tricky pictures at ArtVo 

Have you ever been to a trick museum? At these museums you can actually become a part of the image.

ArtVo in Melbourne stretches over 1,400 square metres and has more than 11 themed zones to discover.  

Get out of the rain and have some fun creating trick photos that look like you’re inside a giant wine glass or traipsing through a fantastical world filled with fairies.

18. Go ice skating

Escape the rain and hit the ice skating rink. No matter whether you’re an expert level skater or a beginner, you can find your place on the ice in Melbourne.

Go ice skating at the O’Brien Icehouse near the Docklands for a family-friendly venue that’s safe for all ability levels. This venue has two rinks and is open 364 days a year. 

19. Savour High Tea

There’s something inherently comforting about indulging in a traditional high tea on a rainy day. While it’s pouring outside, you can be sipping on a warm cup of tea and nibbling on sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and other sweet treats.

The Langham Hotel, Hopetoun Tea Rooms and Mary Eats Cake all have amazing high tea experiences that are worth every penny. I particularly love the scones at The Windsor.

20. Go to the theatre

It started to rain as I took this photo!

Rainy days in Melbourne are a fantastic excuse to enjoy the city’s rich theatrical scene.

With several theatres showing everything from slick new musicals to classic dramas, there’s usually a matinee or daytime show to catch.

The plush seats, dimmed lights and the magic of live performances offer a warm and cosy respite from the wet outdoors.

21. Escape your (rainy) reality

Ever tried virtual reality? Battle dragons, walk on alien planets or escape zombies in these hyper-realistic worlds – where it never rains.

Virtual reality places are popping up everywhere in Melbourne. Some are free-roaming while others have you seated throughout the experience. Start your otherworldly exploration at Zero Latency or Apsis VR.

22. Get up to some Hijinx

Located at Chadstone Shopping Centre, Hijinx Hotel is a playground for both kids and adults.

This entertainment paradise has tonnes of games, from classic arcade favourites to virtual reality experiences. No matter how long the rain lasts, the games here can outlast it. Challenge your friends to bowling or navigate your way through a laser maze.

And, given you’re at Melbourne’s shopping mecca, there’s plenty of browsing and buying to do outside Hijinx’s doors.

23. Take a gin masterclass

If you’re a gin lover, a rainy day is the perfect excuse to learn more about the spirit.

Little Lon Distilling Co has a couple of masterclasses most weeks. These classes introduce you to the distillation process and the unique Australian flavours and botanicals that go into their bespoke gins. You’ll also learn about the intriguing deviates who once graced the distillery’s little cottage.

No need to let the rain dampen your spirits when you can lift them with a glass of finely crafted gin!

24. Go all out with bottomless brunch

Rainy days in Melbourne are perfect for settling in for a long brunch – preferably accompanied by bottomless booze.

Some of my fave bottomless brunches in Melbourne are:

  • Bodega Underground – moreish Mexican food with choices of mimosas, palomas and espresso martinis
  • Bomba Bar – delicious tapas and sangria, bellinis and mimosas
  • Blacksmith Bar & Grill – $75 will get you plate-loads of food and flowing drinks

Expert tip: You’ll need to book ahead for most of these bottomless brunch options, so check the forecast and book in advance!

25. Walk among rain drops at Rain Room

Speaking of rain, why not experience it in a whole new way at the Rain Room?

This immersive art installation allows you to walk through a downpour without getting wet. Very different to what you’d get outside!

Thanks to motion sensors, the rain stops wherever you walk, creating a surreal and magical experience – a fitting activity for a rainy Melbourne day.

Don't worry if it's raining in Melbourne - there are still plenty of things to do!

Rainy day activities Melbourne – final thoughts

While Melbourne’s rainy days do come around more often than I’d like, there are still plenty of ways to explore the city. With this guide to rainy day indoor activities in Melbourne you’ll have plenty of ideas to stay dry and have fun!

Found this article useful? Consider buying me a coffee as a way to say thanks!

What do you do on a rainy day in Melbourne?

Related posts

Before you go… you might like these Melbourne travel blogs:

Best Melbourne resources


Save this guide to indoor activities in Melbourne to Pinterest in case you need it for a rainy day!


I’m Rebecca, a Melbourne local excited to show you the best of Melbourne. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. After living abroad for 8 years, I’m back home in Melbourne, rediscovering this city that I love and have missed. My aim is to help you find the best things to do in Melbourne.

2 thoughts on “Rainy Day Guide: 25 Indoor Activities in Melbourne When the Weather is Crappy”

  1. Absolute help.
    I am running programs for Disabilty Sector and always looking for indoor/ outdoor and sensory places to visit.
    Got some great ideas.


Leave a Comment