The Very Best Things To Do in L.A. When It’s Rainy and Chilly Outside

Though your instincts tell you to hibernate under 14 blankets at home, the city knows what you really want

It’s storming. Again. Your knee is bouncing and you’ve already watched the Breaking Bad marathon…twice. But this is L.A. There is as much to do indoors as there is outdoors. Here are some entertaining places where rainy days (or Mondays) won’t get you down.

Flip Through The Stacks at Atomic Records
Magnolia Park

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Time loses all meaning while you peruse the floor-to-ceiling albums, CDs, and DVDs in this packed ode to vinyl and silicon. You will spend an hour minimum sitting on a box flicking through the 99-cent CD’s and the DVD selection against the back wall is awash in ‘90s. The jazz/blues section? Bonkers.

RELATED: Magnolia Park Neighborhood Guide

Bowl and Imbibe at The Highland Park Bowl
Highland Park

This has to be the most gorgeous bowling alley you’ve ever set a scuffed bowling shoe in. The 1933 Group restored L.A.’s oldest bowling alley—a 1927 Spanish Revival beauty—last year and the results are downright movie set-ish. There are 8 open lanes where repurposed chandeliers reset the pins and cocktails like “The Dude Abides” – a modernized White Russian – are served at the bar. Not bad for a place that actually opened during prohibition.

Eat Your Way Through Grand Central Market
DTLA

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Start at EggSlut and eat and drink your way through to Horse Thief BBQ in the bustling covered food emporium. There is food from every corner of the globe, a trivia night on Tuesday (the first and third of the month), and Drag Queen BINGO on Thursday night.

RELATED: Inside The Gentrification Of Grand Central Market

Catch An Exhibition At The Annenberg Space For Photography
Century City

This intimate space is designed to look like the inner-workings of a camera (the lighting is amazing) and hosts gorgeous exhibits from photographers like Helmut Newton and the pros at National Geographic. They offer 30 minute guided tours (take that). Admission is free. The parking structure is massive, but when you find your way out to the Space, you’ll be overjoyed.

Climb Every Mountain At L.A. Boulders
Arts District

When you can’t scurry over rocks outside take it inside to L.A. Boulder’s 12,000 square feet of indoor mountain climbing in DTLA. The joint is colorful and encouraging and will make your rainy day glooms go away. $20 day passes available after a 30 minute intro class. There are a few locations, but we also dig the ginormous (26,000 square feet of climbing terrain) Cliff of Id in Culver City.

Let The Kids Play in Noah’s Ark at The Skirball Cultural Center
Brentwood

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See what we did there? Rain. Ark. The immensely entertaining playground in the Skirball fashioned after the epic Bible story (with an educational bent) will provide hours of entertainment for wee ones tired of being cooped up. Children can do everything from climbing all over the interactive exhibit/playground to loading up the animals two-by-two to arts to crafts classes to roleplaying and even cleaning up fake animal poo. Reserve tickets in advance or get them at the door. (Children under 2 – free).

Watch A Movie at an iPic Theater
Westwood and Pasadena

Why an iPic? Because they are super fancy and have comfy recliners and fuzzy blankets in the theaters. You’re gonna want that on a cold and rainy day. AND you can have a flatbread and a cocktail while watching a flick. It’s like watching a movie inside a cozy, upscale restaurant with a great sound system. The Tuck Room, the restaurant connected to the Westwood location, ain’t bad either if you are still peckish pre or post movie.

RELATED: 21 Movie Theaters In L.A. You Need To Experience Before You Die

Zen Out With The Creatures At The Aquarium Of The Pacific
Long Beach

Your first thought may not be to head to the water when it start falling from the sky, but you should. There is nothing more zen than watching jellies and otherworldly leafy seadragons at this spectacular aquarium on a rainy day. When it is drizzly, you may not want to sit through their outdoor animal presentations, but that is the only part outside. Pop by the huge gift shop on the way out, it’s a good one. Parking is nearby and covered so your hair won’t even frizz up.

Shop Like A True Valley Girl – Westfield Fashion Square
Sherman Oaks

It’s indoors, it’s not too big and not too small and most importantly … not too busy. We love you crowded Glendale Galleria, and soon the construction will be over at The Beverly Center, but for now we’ll have our huge milk chocolate macadamia nut cookie at the Mrs. Fields (they still have one here!) at this Valley mall.

Kari Mozena is the Special Projects Manager at Los Angeles magazine and LAMag.com. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram. She wrote Seven Insidery L.A. Spa Treatments For The Next Time You Have A Blessed Afternoon Alone.

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