10 Best Things to Do in Vancouver When It Rains

10 Best Things to Do in Vancouver When It Rains
| 4 min read

Vancouver, the bustling seaport with amazing nature, surrounded by mountains, thriving art, theater and music scenes, and … record breaker of rainy days (October ‘16). In fact, as Canada’s third most rainy city, it’s estimated to rain in Vancouver 161 days per year. That’s more than a third of the year! Thankfully, a reputation for rain also means that there are tonnes of things readily available for locals and tourists alike to do, even if you happen to be there on rainy day #156 of 161.

1. Keep warm in the 'garden under glass': Queen Elizabeth Park’s Bloedel Conservatory

Bloedel Floral Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park - Vancouver, Canada - DSC07618
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daderot used under CC0

Even if it’s raining outdoors, being at Queen Elizabeth Park’s Bloedel Conservatory will keep you dry while feeling like you’re actually outdoors. Sheltered by the second largest dome greenhouse in the world is a tropical garden with more than 500 varities of plants and 120 colourful, exotic birds flying freely. On a chilly, rainy day, this safe haven keeps the whole family thrilled and tropical warm.

Queen Elizabeth Park's Bloedel Conservatory

Address: 4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Y, Canada

Price: from 3.15 USD for children and 6.50 USD for adults.

Opening Hours: 10am–5pm, 7 days a week.

Duration: About 1 hour.

Access: The main entrance to the Bloedel Conservatory is located off 33rd Avenue between Cambie and Main Streets.

Contact: 604 8737000

Website: Queen Elizabeth Park’s Bloedel Conservatory

Visited this place?

2. Be mesmerised by the water creatures at Vancouver Aquarium

Source: Photo by Flickr user Colin Zhu used under CC BY-SA 2.0

A Vancouver highlight that’s not to be missed, the Vancouver Aquarium features a myriad of aquariums of stingrays, fish, jellyfish, octopus, sharks, otters and penguins, and even live dolphins. There are also a number of exciting shows starring dolphins, porpoises, and penguins among others, and a 4D theatre for an immersive underwater experience. It’s easy for visitors of all ages to spend a whole day here admiring the beautiful creatures.

Vancouver Aquarium

Address: 845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada

Price: From 21 USD

Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm In winter, the quietest hours to visit are on weekdays, and in summer, try to come before 11 am or after 4 pm to avoid the crowds.

Duration: Around 3 hours required.

Access: A short 15-20 minute walk from downtown. Follow the green signs leading into Stanley Park on the north side of Georgia Street or walk/bike along the Seawall. Take a bus. The most common routes are:Take the #19 Bus to Stanley Park, which runs along West Pender Street. Take the Skytrain to Burrard Station and connect to the #19 bus on West Pender at Burrard Street. Take the Canada Line or the Seabus to Waterfront and connect to the #19 bus on West Pender

Contact: 604 6593474

Website: Vancouver Aquarium

Visited this place?

3. Match the rainy mood with chills at Vancouver Police Museum

Coroner's Court
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bobanny used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

If you’re a fan of detective mysteries or always thought it would be cool to do what those guys on CSI do, the Vancouver Police Museum is the place for you. The museum is literally an old city morgue and autopsy facility, with more than 20000 artefacts including real confiscated weapons and counterfeit money. At the True Crime gallery, staring at the photos and real evidence from some of Vancouver’s most notorious and unsolved historical crimes, including the Milkshake Murder, Babes in the Woods, and the Kosberg Murder, might just give you the chills. And if that isn’t enough, you can visit the authentic autopsy suite, barely changed since the last autopsy was performed there in 1980.

Vancouver Police Museum

Address: 240 E Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1L3, Canada

Price: from 8 USD

Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Duration: Around 3 hours required.

Access: The #4 Powell and the #7 Nanaimo bus routes operate from Granville Street or Waterfront Skytrain Stations and both stop half a block from the museum.

Contact: +1 604 6653346

Website: Vancouver Police Museum

Visited this place?

4. Fascinate your inner geek at Science World

Science World at TELUS World of Science
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Differense used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Science World looks impressive enough from the outside, but step inside to be fascinated by all things Science, including many hands-on experiments and activities that are especially a hit with the kids. Both fun and educational, Science World gives you a chance to explore everything in the physical world that we often take for granted. While you’re here, make sure not to miss the especially popular BodyWorks exhibit, where you can power a drum with your heartbeat, see your face at age 70, squish yourself inside a small box and find out how high you can jump. Here are all the answers to questions you (or your kids) have always had like - What do I look like? What can I do? What’s inside of me? Where did I come from?

Science World

Address: 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Z7, Canada

Price: from $15.25 USD for children and $23.25 for adults.

Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: Around 3 hours required.

Access: Across the street from Main Street-Science World SkyTrain Station. Aquabus and False Creek Ferries make stops near TELUS World of Science. Five minutes away from downtown Vancouver along the beautiful False Creek seawall walking and biking path.

Contact: +1 604 4437440

Website: Science World

Visited this place?

Vancouver Tour Guide

Nazila Najafi

Nazila Najafi

I have over ten years of experience in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. My professional/volunteer background as a researcher, remote travel columnist, travel agent, travel consultant, and walking/step-on guide has helped me provide my VIP (private/group) tours with a memorable experience. As a professional Canadian Tour Guide Association of British Columbia member, I have been actively running mainly private cultural tours in Vancouver since 2019.

5. Savour the view at Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant

Source: Photo by Flickr user djromanj used under CC BY 2.0

The best part of Top of Vancouver is the spectacular sweeping views of the mountains, the ocean and the cityscape, with a side of fine dining. Located 553 feet high, the chilled out ambience of this upscale restaurant is perfect for a unique Vancouver-style date with the loved ones. You may not want to expect too much when it comes to the food, though it’s on the pricier end with pasta and meat priced between 20-40 USD and seafood between 30 - 60 USD, but the scenery almost makes up for it.

Top of Vancouver

Address: 555 Hastings St E, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Seymour Street)

Price: from 20 USD

Opening Hours: Lunch - Monday - Saturday : 11:30am - 3:00pm. Brunch - Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm. Snacks & Dessert - Monday -Saturday: 3:00pm - 5:00pm. Dinner - Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

Access: Top of the Harbour Centre Tower Downtown Vancouver. 2 Blocks southeast of Canada Place and the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.

Contact: 604 6692220

Website: Top of Vancouver

Visited this place?

6. Get trippy at the Vancouver Laser Show

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

For a slightly more quirky activity, try out the Vancouver Laser Show…because we’ve all watched films on a large flat screen, but have you ever watched astronomy images and laser lights on a huge 360-degree dome? The Laser Show has been a hit with the people of Vancouver for the past 33 years, and the videos projected on the dome have been paired with music from Rachmaninoff to Radiohead, from the Beatles to the Beastie Boys, and from the Poppy Family to Pink Floyd. For those who like space and music.

Vancouver Laser Show

Address: 3700 Willingdon Avenue, Building SW3, in Burnaby

Price: from 11 USD

Opening Hours: 7.00pm -11.00 pm, Fridays and Saturdays.

Duration: Around 1 hour

Website: Laser Show

Visited this place?

7. Laugh the gloom away at one of Vancouver’s fine comedy shows

Posted by Yuk Yuk's Vancouver on Sunday, 15 January 2017

One thing that won’t get dampened by a rainy day is a sense of humour, and Vancouver has loads of that to offer with its thriving comedy scene. There are stand-up acts, improv performances and shows suitable for all ages. If comedy is your thing, two popular comedy clubs you should check out here are the Comedy MIX and Yuk Yuk’s. They have shows every night with a host of different comedians bound to make you laugh any gloomy day away.

Comedy MIX

Address: 1015 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y5, Canada

Price: from 8 USD

Opening Hours: 7pm–12:30am daily.

Duration: Around 2 hours required.

Contact: 604 6845050

Website: The Comedy MIX

Yuk Yuk's Comedy Club Vancouver

Address: 2837 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3Y8, Canada

Opening Hours: 7pm –11pm daily

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Website: Yuk Yuk’s Stand Up Comedy

Visited this place?

8. Enjoy a matinee at Arts Club Theatre Company

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Calling all artists: we're inviting you to submit tapes for our 2020–2021 General Auditions by November 12, 2020! We...

Posted by Arts Club Theatre Company on Friday, October 30, 2020

If you could catch one theatre show while you’re in Vancouver, make it one from the Arts Club Theatre Company. Founded in 1964, they are the biggest theatre company in Western Canada and offer the best in the professional live theatre all year round at one of their three locations.

Arts Club Theatre Company

Address: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street (@ 12th Avenue) Vancouver, BC, V6H 3J3. Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street (next to the Public Market) Vancouver, BC, V6H 3R9. Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre, 162 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Y 0H6

Contact: 604 6871644

Website: Arts Club Theatre Company

Visited this place?

9. Visit one of Vancouver’s microbreweries

Growlers (10371364305)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ruth Hartnup used under CC BY 2.0

Something’s brewing in the neighbourhoods of Vancouver, and you’re welcome to have a taste of it. Craft and microbreweries have been popping up in Vancouver’s neighbourhoods, often with enticing taste rooms where you can sample unique local crafts. Some favourites for craft-tasting are the Brassneck Brewery on Main Street, Main Street Brewing, and 33 Acres Brewing.

Brassneck Brewery

Address: 2148 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C5, Canada

Opening Hours: 12 pm - 11 pm.

Contact: +1 604 2597686

Website: Brassneck Brewery

Visited this place?

10. Grab coffee and browse books

Source: Photo by Flickr user Paul Joseph used under CC BY 2.0

And as always, rainy days are perfect days to curl up with a book. Here, you can take your pick of cosy little bookstores. On Main, drop by at the renowned Pulpfiction Books, which hosts one of the best collections of new and used books. From there, you may want to head on to Macleod’s Books or the charming Paper Hound. If you feel like it, you could sit down for coffee at Gene Cafe. Or go to Regional Assembly of Text, a stationary store with quirky journals and writing tools. If you happen to drop by on the first Thursday of the month, you could even join in their socials - a time to write postcards and letters home to loved ones together.

Pulpfiction Books

Address: 2422 Main Street (on the east side of Main Street, halfway between Broadway and 8th), Vancouver, Canada.

Opening Hours: Mon-Wed 10am-8pm, Thu-Sat 10am-9pm, Sunday 11am-7pm, Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day; open all other stat holidays.

Contact: 604 8764311

Website: Pulpfiction books

Macleod's Books

Address: 455 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1V2, Canada

Opening Hours: Mon - Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm, Holidays 12noon-5pm

Visited this place?

Entertaining, potentially educational

Vancouver does seem pretty self-aware to the fact that it rains a lot there, and more than makes up for it with its countless entertaining activities that may end up being educational too. It’s almost as if these activities and the rain go hand in hand as part of the whole Vancouver experience - and why not?

Visited this place?
Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

A writer and educator in Malaysia who loves experiencing the world in all its diverse beauty, finding our place in it and educating the young about it.

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Vancouver
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.