As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. And while we love those May flowers, the endless rain in April can be difficult to put up with. But hey, we live in Toronto — there’s no need to cancel plans just because of a little bit of rain! The next time the gloomy weather outside has got you down, here are 10 things to do in Toronto to make the most of the rainy day.
Enjoy the flowers — indoors
Bad weather doesn’t have to stop you from stopping to smell the roses. Toronto is home to a few greenhouses and conservatories, and they’re possibly even more enjoyable to explore with the sound of the rain hitting the greenhouse around you. Allan Gardens is a classic for a reason — you’ll find six greenhouses filled with everything from cacti to flowers you’d never find in Toronto at any time of year. There’s also the Centennial Park Conservatory, which has two greenhouses — one for tropical plants and fruit trees, the other an arid house for cacti and succulents.
Head to a board game cafe
Turn the perfect at-home rainy day activity into something a little more social — head to a board game cafe in Toronto with some friends in tow and relish in winning at your favourite game in the company of fellow game-lovers. Twilight Café offers not only a selection of over 200 board games, but a menu that includes bubble tea, slushies and bubble waffles. The Guild House has everything from board games to role-playing games and even games workshops. Or head to the classic, Snakes and Lattes for a nice warm drink while you play.
Get your anger out at a rage room
Rainy weather got you in a mood? Take a trip to Scarborough to visit the city’s only rage room, Go Smash. You can book a room with a group or just for yourself, and you’ll have the opportunity to smash everything from dinnerware to electronics, or even your own things if you’ve got a box of your ex’s stuff that you want to get rid of.
Travel to the ’80s with a visit to an arcade bar
Also known as “barcades,” there are a few Toronto bars that are serving up drinks with a side of nostalgia. Packed with arcade games from the ’80s and ’90s, you can play vintage games such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. Try Zed*80 for a tiny arcade bar with a lot of heart, Get Well for the perfect rainy date night or The Rec Room if you plan on playing all day.
Belt your heart out at open mic night
Open mic nights are back with a bang in Toronto, and they also happen to make for the perfect rainy night activity. The Painted Lady on Ossington hosts open mic Mondays and cover is free, while Free Time Cafe hosts them on Tuesdays and allows anything from music to spoken word to comedy.
Learn how to make your own pottery
Spend your day inside, honing a new skill that you can show off in your home. Places such as 4Cats, with locations on the Danforth, Leaside, The Beaches, Avenue Road and Baby Point, help you do more than just paint some pottery. The art studio offers workshops to teach you everything from how to make flower imprinted clay plates to the basics of using a clay wheel.
Tour some Toronto breweries
Get a taste of some of the city’s best beer by going on a guided tour of a few of Toronto’s best breweries. Toronto Brewery Tours offers public tours with round trip transportation and will take you to three breweries in the west end, where you’ll get to enjoy a flight of beer at each.
Go on a food crawl
Toronto’s culinary scene is pretty amazing, so take some time on a rainy day to really enjoy it all with a food crawl across the city. There’s something for every palate — you can explore the secret food history of Old Toronto, taste some of the best food in Chinatown and Kensington Market or enjoy the best Italian food in Toronto.
Go rock climbing
Still want to stay active even if you can’t do so outside? Rock climbing is a fun activity to try with family or friends, and it’s great for those who are super active or those who are more into couch surfing since each person can decide how challenging to make their course. Check out Basecamp at Bloor West and Queen West, The Rock Oasis in Leslieville or Joe Rockhead’s Indoor Rock Climbing in Liberty Village.
Catch a show
Sure, visiting museums and galleries might be the classic rainy day activity, but we’ll raise you one better — catching a theatre performance! There are plenty of amazing local theatre shows premiering this spring, including Vierge at Factory Theatre, The Simon & Garfunkel Story at CAA Theatre, Maanomaa, My Brother at Berkeley Street Theatre and Body So Fluorescent at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.