Please note: British Columbia is in Step 3 of its COVID-19 restart plan. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including physical distancing and frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home.
When the weather outside is frightful, the indoor adventures can be quite delightful. Here are some of the city’s best rainy day activities — no Gore-Tex required.
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Learn sword fighting
Channel the spirit of Brienne of Tarth or Conan the Barbarian at Academie Duello. This swashbuckling school teaches swordplay and archery, which means you’ll be wielding a weapon like Aragorn or Inigo Montoya in no time. Liven up a birthday party or corporate team-building event by booking one of their private classes.
Play a round — virtually — at Pebble Beach, Pacific Dunes, Nicklaus North, Cabo Del Sol or several other of the world’s best golf courses at One Under. Right in the heart of downtown’s Financial District, this luxurious club boasts six golf simulation bays along with handcrafted cocktails, an array of craft beers and tasty nibbles such as sliders, charcuterie, banh mi and pizza.
Watch live hockey
Go Canucks, go! Root for the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena as NHL hockey returns for a full season after two abbreviated seasons due to the pandemic. Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter, JT Miller and the rest of the boys are scheduled to play 82 games, and fans will be cheering them on live in the arena for the first time in over 19 months. Can the hapless team — which was ravaged by COVID, then finished last in the North Division earlier this year — manage to redeem itself? Only time will tell.
While away a leisurely morning wandering through the Vancouver Art Gallery and admiring pieces by Emily Carr (the VAG has the world’s largest collection of her work) and other BC artists along with thought-provoking temporary exhibitions. Vancouver Special: Disorientations and Echo (to January 2) looks at contemporary art in Greater Vancouver. Jan Wade: Soul Power (to March 13) draws upon the artist’s mixed cultural heritage and her lived experience as an African Canadian. GROWING FREEDOM: The instructions of Yoko Ono / The art of John and Yoko (October 9 to May 1) features both Ono’s solo works and collaborations between Ono and Lennon.
Roll the dice at Parq Vancouver. Whether you’re a high-roller, a newbie or somewhere in between, you’ll find the right game of blackjack, craps, baccarat or poker for your skill level. Try your luck at the roulette wheel or on the slot machines, then refuel at Honey Salt, for farm-to-table cuisine; The Victor, for steak and sushi; or BC Kitchen, for comfort foods. Discover top tipples at Lotus Whiskey Lounge or D/6 Bar & Lounge. If you’re truly lucky, you may even stumble upon the secret lounge inside D/6 (hint: examine the bookshelf).
Make magic potions
Attention, witches and wizards: Don your finest robes, grab your magic wands and make haste to The Wizard’s Den. This enchantingly boozy pop-up bar on Granville Street will have you sipping mead while brewing potions and casting spells under the careful tutelage of the potions master. Don’t delay, because this magical spot disapparates after October 31.
Throw an axe
Release your inner lumberjack at Urban Axe Throwing in Port Coquitlam. Throwing axes for an hour or two releases tons of tension and provides a good upper body workout, and the thud of the axe hitting the target is surprisingly satisfying. Plus, it’s just plain fun to ignore your mother’s advice and throw sharp, heavy objects.
Visit a Peloton showroom to test out a bike and discover why so many people are obsessed with this exercise brand. Some folks rave about the convenience of doing a group fitness class at home, while others love the selection of thousands of cycling classes, both live and on-demand, ranging from 10 to 90 minutes. For Raincouver residents, the advantage is clear: cycling all fall and winter long without needing to venture outside.
Learn to cook
Hone your kitchen skills at The Dirty Apron Cooking School. Hands-on classes start with clear, easy-to-follow instructions and end with everyone sharing their culinary creations over a glass of vino in the dining room. There’s a class to please just about every palate, from French, Italian and Thai to Hawaiian, brunch and vegetarian. And remember: Calories consumed in the pursuit of knowledge don’t count. (That’s a thing, right?)
Raise a glass to Vancouver Brewery Tours, which transports eager hopheads to sip, sample and savour handcrafted local brews in popular brewery districts. Depending on the tour you choose, you may find yourself visiting Brewers Row, Brewery Creek, Yeast Van or North Van. But bring a rain jacket — and a spirit of camaraderie — if you choose one of the North Van tours given on a 14-seater party bike. Cheers!
Watch a movie
Films truly are ideal rainy day activities. Catch the latest flick by booking a private movie night at Cineplex. You and 19 friends can enjoy a new release or an old favourite such as Bridesmaids, Mean Girls, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park or Mamma Mia! Don’t forget the popcorn.