It’s raining, y’all! Sadly, you know what this means: No, you cannot go play outside (unless you like getting soaked and messy). But, because every Austinite knows that the skies might not open back up and dump on us for a while, we’re going to make the best of it.
In cases like these, we use this handy list of 10 perfect indoor activities that will be your boredom umbrella (or your life jacket, in certain cases) until the storms pass…
1) Let’s nerd our way out of this muddy mess.
When it pours, unashamed nerds everywhere flood into Austin’s best local arcades and comic book stores to escape the rain in the form of geeking out. Wade on into Pinballz Arcade if you’re all about variety, but if you dig old school Japanese arcade games, you should make Arcade UFO your storm shelter of choice. If you like to read comic books on rainy days, grab a new issue at Capstone Comics or Austin Books and Comics. But for the total storm escapism package, slog your way over to Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy or Tribe Comics and Games, which are essentially a slices of heaven for comic, RPG, and board game fanatics.
Pinballz Arcade: 8940 Research Blvd. 512-420-8458. Open Mon – Thurs 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., Fri – Sat 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Website.
Arcade UFO: 3101 Speedway. 512-380-1725. Open Mon – Thurs 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., Fri – Sat 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sun 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. Website.
Capstone Comics: 1745 W Anderson Ln. 512-339-4251. Open Mon, Thurs – Sat 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tues 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wed 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun 12 to 6 p.m. Website.
Austin Books and Comics: 5002 N Lamar Blvd. 512-454-4197. Open Mon – Tues, Thurs – Fri 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wed 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun 12 to 6 p.m. Website.
Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy: 2438 W Anderson Ln B1. 512-454-2399. Open Thurs – Tues 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., Wed. 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. Website.
Tribe Comics and Games: 3005 S Lamar Blvd. 512-693-4300. Open Mon – Fri 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Website.
2) Sweet music can soothe your stormy soul.
Stressed or annoyed by the rain? Slightly deficient in vitamin D from the cloudiness? In these dark and dreary days, you need to take care of yourself. What’s our prescription? Music, of course. Head into Waterloo Records & Video and treat yourself to a new album. Like only a local company would, Waterloo will happily allow you to listen to entire CDs on-site before you purchase them to ensure that you are totally satisfied with your choices. Waterloo’s “Our Picks” list is a excellent place to start your search.
Maybe you’d rather see a concert? Use this handy list to locate your favorite live music venues and figure out who’s playing when. Another great way to discover new bands and get the show lineup scoop is to check with us each Thursday and read our very own Lauren Gribble’s Aus10 Live and Aus10 Rocks lists, featuring top 10 show recommendations for the upcoming weekend and lovingly cultivated playlists, respectively.
Expert tip: Subscribe to our mailing list from our homepage to get Aus10 Live and Aus10 Rocks and other timely articles delivered directly to your inbox!
Waterloo Records & Video: 600A N Lamar Blvd. 512-474-2500. Open Mon – Sat 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Website.
3) Erudite? Find a good book and a comfy nook!
Austin may be known for its numerous live music venues and record stores, but we also have some amazing libraries and local bookstores at our disposal as well. As far as libraries go, Austin Public Library is doing things right; they operate 21 individual branches, a history center, and a recycled book store, on top of maintaining a prolific events schedule with programs for all ages and an extensive virtual catalog for those who would prefer to read from the comfort of home. The LBJ Presidential Library is a great place to brush up on your knowledge of local heroes Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson. If you’re into rare and research-oriented books, spend some time at UT’s Harry Ransom Center for a nice fix.
The go-to feminist bookstore in town is BookWoman, although politically-charged shops like Monkeywrench Books and Brave New Books stock plenty of feminist texts as well, if that’s your thing. Above all, we highly recommend visiting BookPeople, a shop on Lamar that has been providing Austinites with great reads of all genres since 1970 and is easily ATX’s favorite independent bookstore. They’ve even got book clubs, a webstore, a snug on-site cafe, a consignment program, and a massage chair!
LBJ Presidential Library: 2313 Red River St. 512-721-0200. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Website.
Harry Ransom Center: 300 W 21st St. 512-471-8944. Open Mon – Wed, Fri 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thurs 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat – Sun 12 to 5 p.m. Website.
Monkeywrench Books: 110 N Loop Blvd E. 512-407-6925. Open Mon – Fri 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat – Sun 12 to 6 p.m. Website.
BookWoman: 5501 N Lamar Blvd A-105. 512-472-2785. Open Mon – Sat 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun 12 to 6 p.m. Website.
Brave New Books: 1904 Guadalupe St Suite B. 512-480-2503. Open Mon – Sat 12 to 9 p.m., Sun 12 to 6 p.m. Website.
BookPeople: 603 N Lamar Blvd. 512-472-5050. Open daily 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Website.
4) Don’t let a little rain stop you, Ms. Adventure.
We’re willing to bet that you outdoorsy, adventurous types are feeling more than slightly stir-crazy. Don’t let Mother Nature steal your thunder! There are plenty of indoor Austin activities that you can do to expend some of your pent-up energy and experience that adrenaline rush you’re dreaming about.
Want to go skydiving? It’s totally possible inside, thanks to iFly, a company who uses wind tunnels and aerodynamic flight suits to simulate the exhilarating feeling of true skydiving. You’ll experience a similar rush if you spend a day at one of Austin Rock Gym’s two facilities. For $15, you can learn bouldering at the North gym — which regulars affectionately refer to as the NARG — or classic indoor wall climbing at the SARG. Make sure to factor in $12 for gear rental into your adventure budget unless you have your own climbing shoes, harness, and belay device.
Are you competitive? First suggestion: check out The Goodnight. This bar + bowling center hybrid offers bowling, pool, table tennis, board games, shuffleboard, dinner, drinks, karaoke, and more. You might also drag several of your friends along with you to play laser tag and arcade games, gorge yourself on pizza, and navigate your way through an aerial ropes course at Blazer Tag Adventure Center. Finally, consider taking a Israeli Krav Maga course at The Mat Austin. Learning self defense can be a huge confidence booster and provides a killer workout!
iFly: 13265 N Hwy 183. 512-774-4359. Open Mon – Fri 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sat – Sun 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Website.
The Goodnight: 2700 W Anderson Ln #101. 512-459-5000. Open Sun – Thurs 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Fri – Sat 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Website.
Blazer Tag Adventure Center: 1701 W Ben White Blvd. 512-462-0202. Open Mon 4 to 9 p.m., Thurs 4 to 10 p.m., Fri 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Website.
Austin Rock Gym: 4401 Freidrich Ln #300. 512-416-9299. Open Mon – Wed, Fri 3 to 10 p.m., Thurs 3 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Website.