Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

The Rainy Day Guide to Oakland

Photo by Lance Iversen, via SF Gate 

Just when we thought spring had come to stay, it rains. But, just because it's wet outside doesn't mean you have to stay holed up inside your apartment. We rounded up some of the best indoor activities around Oakland to motivate you to explore on days when the weather has you dreading the outdoors. 

Dinner and a Movie 

Snuggle up with a movie at one of these Oakland theaters. The New Parkway Theatre off Broadway plays blockbuster hits, small independent movies, and flashback flicks all from the comfort of the various couches and armchairs situated in front of the screen. There’s also a full service dinner and beer menu serving comfort food and 12 local brews, along with your typical movie snacks. And they make their popcorn fresh and unbuttered so that you can season as you please at the concession stand. Or, if it’s thundering outside, set an eerie mood with a movie at the historic Grand Lake Theatre. The turn of the century theatre is all drama. Head there on a Friday or Saturday evening when a mighty Wurlitzer organ rises for a brief concert before the show. 

Get Educated 

Ever wonder how Blue Bottle baristas makes that perfect latte? Do rainy days make you want to drink tons of coffee and learn something new? Perfect. Blue Bottle offers a free public discussion and cupping of their coffees at the Oakland Roastery every Tuesday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., no reservation necessary. So grab a pastry and get sipping. 

Travel Through Time 

The Oakland Museum of California is one of the best museums around. Conveniently located across the street from Lake Merritt BART station, you needn't get wet while travelling there. This month you can explore the work of 15 artists associated with the groundbreaking magazine Giant Robot, an ahead-of-its-time celebration of Asian American pop and alternative culture, as well as experience the social and cultural phenomenon of listening to, collecting, and sharing records on vinyl. Make a day out of it with lunch at Blue Oak Café, located inside the museum. 

Drink (and Eat) Your Blues Away 

A toasty day at Beer Revolution will have you warmed up in no time. Oakland's best specialty bottle shop, the walls here are lined with rare brews in addition to the 47 different beers on tap. Perch at one of the barrel tables situated around the bar, and order something from next door neighbor, Souley Vegan; they'll deliver on plates straight to the bar! It gets pretty cramped though, so make sure to arrive early. 464 3rd Street 

Root for the Home Team 

Cheer on the Golden State Warriors with tickets to a rainy day home game. This Sunday they're taking on the LA Clippers in the playoffs so grab your tickets now (they're getting pricey), buy some blue and gold face paint, and prepare for an epic night of hoops, beer, and hotdogs. 

Explore Space  

Chabot Space and Science Center is the East Bay version of Cal Academy, and just as cool. Plus, it's the largest public telescope facility in the country with free telescope viewings on Friday and Saturday nights. Best of all, they have laser light shows to the soundtracks of Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, U2, and Pink Floyd. Immerse yourself in the darkness of the planetarium and enjoy the trip.