7 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Portland


Olivia Galbraith, Staff Reporter

Living in Portland, dreary and rainy days are a given. While diving into a good book, binge watching a series, or choosing to be productive around your house are all comfortable activities for when it’s cold outside, Portland also offers a wide variety of activities to do alone or with a group when the Oregon weather limits you. From shopping around the city to having a relaxing day out with some friends, here are seven activities to do on rainy day in Portland.

Visit the Portland Art Museum

The Portland Art Museum is the oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest, and will most likely capture your interest with its historical artwork and various exhibits, both temporary and permanent. Admission for ages 17 and under is free, making it an ideal place for high schoolers to roam around. The museum has quite a few upcoming exhibits that will begin at different times throughout the year, the first on February 9th, called “the map is not the territory,” which the museum describes as a search “to reconcile and reimagine the Northwest.” The museum has all of their current exhibits to offer right now, which include ranges of art under the category of modern realism, and even photographs from a photojournalist during WWII.

Relax at Powell’s Books

Located in the Pearl District, Powell’s Books is great for relaxing alone or with a group. The bookstore, which is the largest in the world for both new and used books, offers more than just shopping: people can also enjoy a drink from the store’s coffee shop or attend one of the readings the store hosts with writers who visit. The store has around one million books in total, and you’re bound to find something interesting in one of their uniquely color coded rooms. Powell’s Books never ceases to entertain me with the seemingly endless choices throughout the bookstore.

Visit the Hawthorne District

With a variety of different shops around the area, the Hawthorne District is great for when you are looking for something new, but don’t know what. Many of the restaurants in the district aren’t chain restaurants, but independently owned. With the wide range of choices, there’s bound to be something new to try. Popular spots to visit include Por Qué No, The Waffle Window, Kure, Jackpot Records, Buffalo Exchange, and lots others. The various shops around Hawthorne are part of a unique group, with thrift stores, clothing stores, gift shops and more.

Go see a movie

Portland has many movie theaters scattered throughout the city; each varying in style. Of course, there are theaters at malls, but there are a lot of other movie theaters that are more unique and that have possibly gone under people’s radars. The Living Room Theater, for example, can serve food and drink to the people in the theater for them to enjoy during the movie. At the Hollywood Theater, where classic and contemporary films are the main genre, there are sometimes live performances or special guests. Others include the Roseway, Laurelhurst, and Bagdad theaters. Seeing an upcoming movie in 2019 is entertaining at any of these movie theaters and more.

Visit Pioneer Place

Covering four city blocks, Pioneer Place has shopping, dining, and entertainment, while also acting as a spot for simply hanging out. The mall has a wide variety of shops to browse, and has stores like Coach and Tiffany & Co. for the fashion lovers out there. With over 40 separate places to visit inside, Pioneer Place can be the spot to go to when looking to relax with a group or shop to your heart’s content.

Spend time at a local cafe or coffee shop

While Dutch Bros. or Starbucks may give you the caffeine needed to get through the day, there are coffee shops all around the city that can give off a more relaxed, calm vibe ideal for studying or hanging out. My favorite coffee shops are in the Sellwood neighborhood. Sparrows and Tea Chai Te are both small shops with comfortable seating and a simple yet broad menu. One of Tea Chai Te’s unique aspects that I love is its layout; inside the shop there are seats designed to look like train booths with chalkboard walls for customers to write on. Another popular cafe is Tea Bar, which has multiple locations around Portland. Strum is a newer shop in Portland that sells instruments, hosts musicians live, and serves beverages all in one location.

Go bowling with friends or family

There are bowling alleys all around the Portland area, ranging in style and price. Spending an afternoon bowling with family or friends at one of the various alleys can be a great way to hang out indoors. Punch Bowl Social, for example, is a bowling alley located in Pioneer Place that has dining, private bowling, and an arcade with lots of games. Other alleys include KingPins, Grand Central, and Kellogg Bowl, which are all great places to chill on a rainy day.