17 Things To Do On A Rainy Day In Asheville

While Asheville is an excellent destination when it’s sunny out, we still get our fair share of rainy days. And that can lead to a sudden change in plans if you had an outdoor adventure on the agenda

But don’t let the rain keep you home! Grab an umbrella and check out any of these rainy day activities in Asheville to keep you entertained.

Things To Do On A Rainy Day In Asheville

Here are our top picks for the best indoor activities to do on a rainy day in Asheville. We share everything from popular museums, fun tours, our pick of breweries with great indoor seating and even details on a chocolate factory tour. We hope this list helps you stay dry and have fun!

Asheville Pinball Museum

Pinball games at Asheville Pinball Museum in downtown Asheville, NC

Old-school arcade in downtown Asheville

Don’t let the name fool you! Asheville Pinball Museum isn’t actually a museum. Instead it’s a cool arcade with a ton of vintage pinball games. They also have 35 classic video games too.

Play as much as you want for $15 per person. And expect crowds on rainy days! It comes with the territory.

Visit The Asheville Art Museum

Asheville Art Museum exterior in downtown Asheville

The Asheville Art Museum is located city-center and makes for an excellent stop if it’s too rainy to shop around. The museum features American art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Not only is the Art Museum enjoyable for adults, but they have a kids area. While it’s not the largest space, they have a ton of great exhibits. Our kids especially love the giant foam building blocks and the craft table.

Another thing that that we love about the Art Museum is Perspective Cafe located on the fourth floor. It’s a great eatery to grab a sandwich and stay dry.

The cafe has an open rooftop area if the skies clear. Otherwise, stay inside and enjoy playing one of the many board games they have in the cafe. It’s only accessible by visitors of the museum.

Vendor stall at Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville, NC

Whether it’s a vintage find from Regeneration Station, art or coffee table books from ScreenDoor or maybe a pew pulled from an old church at Antique Tobacco Barn, you are bound to find something great at an Asheville antique store.

Though you’ll have to drive between each if you plan to shop-hop, you can truly spend a few hours browsing which can eat up a rainy day in no time.

Escape The Rain At A Board Game Cafe

Well Played Board Game Café in South Slope has over 700 games with everything from the classics to games you probably have never heard of. And if you don’t know where to start, ask someone! They are always willing to point you in the right direction.

They are open all day and serve great food and drinks, including beer and wine. And by ‘all day’, we mean it! They open at 8am and serve breakfast items like croissants, bagels and french toast sticks. They also have a kids menu, sandwiches, small plates and a great selection of desserts.

Adults are $7 Monday – Thursday and $10 on the weekends. Kids 13 and under are $5 and kids 5 and under are free with a paying adult. Monthly plans start at $30– it’s an excellent deal if you are local!

Well Played is actually a great place to work remotely in Asheville. They have coffee and a few tables with outlets on the left side of the building.

Linger at a Local Bookstore

Battery Park Book Exchange downtown Asheville in the Grove Arcade

If the forecast isn’t clearing up any time soon, perhaps you should plan a trip to a local bookshop. And lucky for you, two of the most popular bookstores in Asheville are located just a three-minute walk from one another.

  • Battery Park Book Exchange is a great pick if you want to get lost exploring (and enjoy a latte or glass of champagne while doing so!)
  • Malaprop’s Bookstore is located next to Woolworth Walk and has a coffee shop inside. They carry a curated selection of books for all ages, as well as a variety of gift items.

We mentioned Screen Door above in the antiques section, but we wanted to call it our here, too. They have a great book section hidden toward the back of the shop. So, browse around and you’ll eventually wind your way through to the books. Even though they aren’t used books, most are heavily discounted! It’s where I get all of my coffee table books.

Tour A Chocolate Factory

View of equipment at the French Broad Chocolate Factory in Asheville, NC

Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at chocolate-making magic at the French Broad Chocolate Factory tour, and treat yourself to some delicious handcrafted goodies.

French Broad’s Chocolate factory tour includes education about the chocolate-making processtour of the factory and a tasting experience. Best of all, it’s free for kids under 6 and the admission price for children ages 7-12 is $8. Adult tickets are $12 each.

See A Movie At A Brewery

Exterior of Asheville Pizza Co in North Asheville

Part movie theater, part brewpub in North AVL

If the rain cancels your outdoor plans, see what’s playing at the Asheville Brewing Company’s north location. Here you’ll find pizza, beer, and two movie theaters.

They play movies throughout the day, from classics to films that just hit the theaters. It’s super laidback and casual and the perfect place to escape a wet day.

Visit The Grove Park Inn

Large fireplace at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC

Warm up by the Grove Park Inn’s enormous fireplaces

If it’s cold and dreary out, the mega fireplaces at the Omni Grove Park Inn may brighten your spirits. The historic hotel has breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, fantastic restaurants, amazing service and a unique arts and crafts appearance.

Everything about Omni Grove Park Inn is impressive and noteworthy– including their oversized fireplaces and award-winning subterranean spa. It’s the go-to hotel in Asheville for Presidential visits.

The Omni Grove Park Inn offers a no-cost 45-minute self guided tour. Check our complete guide to free and cheap things to do in Asheville for other fun ideas.

Tour The Biltmore House

Exterior of the Biltmore House with Christmas trees on the lawn

While touring the Biltmore House may not sound like the best thing to do on a rainy day, it’s actually a fun experience! You can stay dry inside while admiring the house and the views of the clouds and gray skies. This is an especially good idea if you have an annual pass because it includes house tours.

And the best part is that you won’t need to walk far because you can park in Lot C and take the complimentary trolley to the front of the house.

Gallery Hop in The River Arts District

Curve studios in the River Arts District

The River Arts District is a creative haven, with working artist studios and galleries filling former warehouses and mills. When visiting the River Arts District you can expect to find everything from pottery to glasswork, galleries, jewelry, fiber arts, painting, woodworking, antiques and amazing eats.

We especially love the NC Glass Center, Riverview Station (over 60 artists!), Marquee and Wedge Studios.

Go Bowling At The Restoration

Skeeball at The Draftsman inside the Restoration Hotel in downtown Asheville, NC

Cozy up at The Draftsman

The Draftsman is located in the basement at the beautiful Restoration hotel in downtown Asheville. It’s a bar and bowling alley with a pinball machine and skee ball.

They have a cocktail and beer menu with local brews on draft. The Draftsman also serves wine. For food, try the chicken nachos with white cheddar fondue! They even have a menu section dedicated to Hot Pockets, like a classic Ham & Cheese (but elevated with sorghum-dijon because this is Asheville, after all!)

The Draftsman hosts trivia every Wednesday night at 8pm.

Explore Woolworth Walk

Woolworth Building in Downtown Asheville

Admire local art, have a root beer float and stay dry!

Woolworth Walk is an iconic storefront in downtown Asheville. It is one of several shops downtown that serve as a marketplace for local artists and makers.

The Woolworth building is a two-story art gallery and emporium, complete with a nostalgic vintage soda fountain and diner inside.

It’s an amazing place to spend time if you are in downtown Asheville when it’s raining. It’s also a great place to visit if you are waiting for a table to open at a nearby restaurant. Like, say, Chai Pani for award-winning Indian food!

Go To Asheville Retrocade

Arcade games at Retrocade in Asheville, NC

$10 unlimited play arcade in West Asheville

Game lovers are sure to enjoy their day at Retrocade, which boasts over 5,000 games, from video games to pinball, skeeball and foosball. They also play retro music all day (and it’s only $10 for unlimited play!)

Asheville Retrocade is open every day of the week from noon to 2am. After 9pm is only for those over the age of 21, though.

Visit Sauna House

Exterior of Sauna House in Asheville, NC

Sauna House is the only sauna and lounge in Asheville with contrast therapy. It’s located on the edge of South Slope near local favorite MOTHER Cafe.

You can opt for a 2-hour bathhouse visit at Sauna House, a private hot-cold-relax room or an infrared sauna session.

It’s an excellent place to hide from the rain, especially during colder months!

Hunker Down In A brewery

Pinball machines at Hi-Wire's River Arts District Brewery

Brewery hop in South Slope

If you are looking to visit a few breweries in Asheville but it’s raining out, consider going to South Slope. You can easily bounce from Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium to Burial Beer, Hi-Wire, Green Man and even The Chemist distillery. Just bring an umbrella!

Visit The Asheville Museum of Science

Dinosaur fossil and climbing structure at the Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS)

Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, the Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS) is an engaging children’s museum and the perfect place for kids to learn and play on a rainy day.

Their exhibits include a water splash zone, a gem collection and even a climbing structure. They also have a padded area for toddlers.

You can get a daily pass or annual membership to AMOS. Locals can get a ZOOM pass once per month.

Take The Kids To Mountain Play Lodge

Mountain Play Lodge Indoor Jungle Gym Mini Car and Jail

Indoor jungle gym in South Asheville

Mountain Play Lodge is an indoor jungle gym and party center located in South Asheville. It’s about 15 minutes from downtown.

While kids of all ages can enjoy it (including adults!), the main area of Play Lodge seems best for the age range 4-8. There’s also an under 3 area to the side. Pool gates are used to keep older kids from entering this area.

There are a ton of slides, climbing structures and hideout spots inside Play Lodge. There’s also seating for parents and a canteen if you need a snack or coffee. If you plan to go, bring socks! They are required.

We recommend Mountain Play Lodge for anyone with energetic toddlers and limited space for them to run around. It’s heaven-sent on a rainy day!

And that wraps up our list! We hope this guide to things to do when it’s raining in Asheville proves handy the next time the skies turn gray. Don’t let a damp day derail your fun!

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Disclaimer: Hours, pricing, menus, etc. may have changed since we last updated this post, so make sure to confirm all of this directly prior to visiting any business or attraction listed on our site.

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