5) Do not panic, as there are plenty of ways to entertain bored little goblins.
Face it — your kids are cute, but they’re dangerous when they’re bored. Before they transform into gremlins and tear your house apart, get out. Dress ’em up in rain jackets, load ’em into the van, and cart ’em somewhere they’ll learn, laugh, run themselves into the ground (in the best of ways), and fall fast asleep on the car ride home.
Formerly known as the Austin Children’s Museum, The Thinkery is guaranteed to delight your kids’ minds and invigorate their imaginations. In fact, this museum’s elaborate and interactive science, art, technology, and math exhibits not only entertains kids, but it also teaches them that learning and problem solving can be really fun! For help navigating The Thinkery, check out the Statesman’s amazing guide.
When it’s raining, you can’t really take your kid to a classic outdoor playground — so why not take them to an indoor playground like Mount Playmore or Jumpstreet instead? Mount Playmore is a locally owned and operated facility that features a gigantic playscape, an arcade, a kid-friendly restaurant, and 1400 square feet of sequestered toddler play area. Jumpstreet specializes in all things bouncy and provides the young at heart with opportunities to do traditional trampoline jumping, play dodgeball, practice safe stunt jumps, a ride mechanical bull, and play in the arcade.
The Thinkery: 1830 Simond Ave. 512-469-6200. Open Tues – Fri 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat – Sun 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Website.
Mount Playmore: 13609 N IH35. Phone. Open Sun – Mon, Wed – Thurs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri – Sat 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Website.
Jumpstreet: 12617 Ridgeline Blvd, Suite B. 512-506-8583. Open Sun – Thurs 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri – Sat 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Website.Austin
6) Call them gloomy, but cloudy days do have a way of encouraging reflection.
You might not particularly enjoy drizzly days like Portland natives, but you have to admit: it’s easy to be pensive when it’s cloudy outside. As the rain comes down, you may prefer to curl up in a chair by the window, ponder life’s mysteries, and all that, but if you want to be out and about, visiting a history or art museum would be a great way to spend your day.
As the Capital of Texas, Austin’s got more than enough history to go around. Together, The Bullock Texas State History Museum, The Texas Military Forces Museum, UT’s Texas Memorial Museum, and The Republic of Texas Museum, will give you a holistic run-down of Texas’ colorful roots, while the Austin History Center provides the opportunity to learn about Austin’s past, specifically. Two awesome museums that every self-respecting Austinite must visit at some point are the South Austin Popular Culture Center and the Texas Music Museum, since both are focused around Austin’s rich musical heritage.
With regards to art, gallery-hopping between venues like Yard Dog, grayDUCK, and The Contemporary Austin is the best method for admiring locally-flavored modern art, but if your tastes run more toward the classics, the Blanton Museum of Art is where you’ll feel most at home. Now, if you’re the type who likes to explore off the beaten path, or the type who likes to mix your art with your history, visit the O. Henry Museum, where you’ll learn about the life and times of Austin’s own famous writer, or the Elisabet Ney Museum, the former studio and residence of an independent lady who worked as a sculptress long before women were widely accepted as artists.
Bullock Texas State History Museum: 1800 Congress Ave. 512-936-8746. Open Mon – Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun 12 to 5 p.m. Website.
Texas Military Forces Museum: 2200 W 35th St. 512-782-5659. Open Tues – Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Website.
Texas Memorial Museum: 2400 Trinity St. 512-471-1604. Open Tues – Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Website.
The Republic of Texas Museum: 510 E Anderson Ln. 512-339-1997. Open Mon – Fri 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Website.
Austin History Center: 810 Guadalupe St. 512-974-7480. Open Tues – Sat 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun 12 to 6 p.m. Website.
South Austin Popular Culture Center: 1516-B S Lamar Blvd. 512-440-8318. Open Thurs – Sun 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Website.
Texas Music Museum: 1009 E 11th St. 512-472-8891. Open Mon – Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Website.
Blanton Museum of Art: 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. 512-471-7324. Open Tues – Fri 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun 1 to 5 p.m. Website.
Yard Dog: 1510 S Congress Ave. 512-912-1613. Open Mon – Fri 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun 12 to 5 p.m. Website.
grayDUCK: 2213 E Cesar Chavez St. 512-826-5334. Open Thurs – Sat 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun 12 to 5 p.m. Website.
The Contemporary Austin: Jones Center — 700 Congress Ave. 512-453-5312. Open Tues – Sat 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun 12 to 5 p.m.; Laguna Gloria — 3809 W 35th St. 512-458-8191. Villa open Tues – Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Grounds open Tues-Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Website.
O. Henry Museum: 409 E 5th St. 512-472-1903. Open Wed – Sun 12 to 5 p.m. Website.
Elisabet Ney Museum: 304 E 44th St. 512-458-2255. Open Wed – Sun 12 to 5 p.m. Website.Austin
7) Maybe if we laugh at the storms, they’ll leave us alone…?
With severe thunderstorm after severe thunderstorm slamming into Austin throughout May, we’ve all been a little on edge, expecting flood waters, golf ball-sized hailstones, and tornadoes to wreak havoc in our own neighborhoods at any minute. Comedy clubs like Esther’s Follies and The Velveeta Room will have the stress rolling off in waves, and they’ll stuff you full of awesome eats and drinks while they’re at it. We’ve got a number of awesome classic theatres and production venues around town as well. ZACH Theatre, Paramount & Stateside Theatres, the Long Center for the Performing Arts, and the Texas Performing Arts Center all maintain year-round program schedules for folks looking to learn, listen, and laugh.
But hey, maybe you’re not in the mood for comedy. If that’s the case, why not buy tickets to see something epic, like a film at the Bob Bullock IMAX Theatre? And if you’d like to dine and drink while you watch, there’s no better place to kick back than the infamous Alamo Drafthouse.
8) Looks like you’ve worked up quite an appetite.
Stuffing your face with amazing Austin eats is never a bad idea. If rain puts you in the mood for breakfast food, you know exactly where to go: Kerbey Lane Cafe, where queso + pancakes = pure and utter bliss. Skip Franklin and Stubb’s this time, since eating at either generally involves waiting for hours outside to get in; instead, for good old fashioned Texas barbecue, get to The County Line or The Salt Lick by any means necessary. If you have a hankering for burgers and ice cream, make your way over to Sandy’s Hamburgers near Auditorium Shores or the Phil’s Icehouse and Amy’s Ice Creams conglomerate on Burnet Rd. Pizza, you say? Try a Nature’s Choice or Lonestar pie from Promise Pizza — you won’t regret it!
And don’t you think for one minute that you have to forsake food trailers on rainy days. You just need to find trucks with covered outdoor seating, such as the ones parked at South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery. There, you’ll find Torchy’s Tacos, Conscious Cravings, and Holy Cacao, as well as a magnificent covered pavilion complete with picnic tables, couches, ceiling fans and heaters, foosball, ping pong, a flat screen TV, and more.
The County Line: On the Hill — 6500 Bee Cave Rd. 512-327-1742. Open Mon – Thurs, Sun 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri – Sat 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; On the Lake — 5204 FM 2222. 512-346-3664. Open Sun 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mon 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tues – Thurs 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sat 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Website.
The Salt Lick: 3350 E Palm Valley Blvd (Round Rock). 512-386-1044. Open Sun – Thurs 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri – Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Website.
Sandy’s Hamburgers: 603 Barton Springs Rd. 512-478-6322. Open daily 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Website.
Phil’s Icehouse: 5620 Burnet Rd (2 other ATX locations). 512-524-1212. Open Sun – Thurs 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri – Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Website.
Amy’s Ice Creams: 5624 Burnet Rd (12 other ATX locations). 512-538-2679. Open Sun – Thurs 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Fri – Sat 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Website.
South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery: 1311 S 1st St. Open daily, hours vary by trailer. Website.