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Don’t let a little rain stop you from experiencing the beautiful west coast of Canada. As there are plenty of fun things to do in Victoria, BC on a rainy day for adults and kids of all ages.
Ask any local (including myself), what can you do in Victoria on a rainy day, and you’ll get the same answer, anything you want!
Growing up on the island I’ve played in its puddles as a child, ventured outdoors for work, and now share the joy of rain-soaked Victoria adventures with my own children. There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment as the saying goes.
But not to worry, we’ve put together our list of favourite rainy day indoor activities as well, to escape the weather. As well as local & downtown attractions, tours, and even a few outdoor rainy day gems.
There’s a world of fun awaiting. So rain boots on, and let’s go!
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BEST THINGS TO DO IN VICTORIA IN THE RAIN
First of all, lets dispel the myth that Victoria rains ALL the time. It doesn’t. It actually gets much less rain than Vancouver, British Columbia.
- Summer months (dry months): June, July and August, there’s usually very little rainfall.
- October to April (rainy months): This is when Victoria gets the most rain, so pack your rain gear.
- The average monthly rainfall: In winter it’s about 85 mm (3.35 inches) and in the summer averages 18.3 mm (0.72 inch).
So if you’re visiting in the rainy months, or living there year round, then this guide on the best things to do in Victoria, BC in the rain will help you have a fun time. No matter the weather.
1. Craigdarroch Castle
On those drizzly days in Victoria, BC, a visit to the historic Craigdarroch Castle is an absolute must. The castle boasts 39 uniquely decorated rooms, each with its own restored theme.
Self guided tours will take about 60 minutes, and there are helpful staff to answer any questions you may have.
Kids will love being able to climb the tower of an actual castle.
The castle is open Wednesday through Sunday, and is located off Fort Street.
LOCAL TIP: Grab the Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour and have it take you around town and to the Craigdarroch Castle. That way you get to see the highlights of the city, without having to walk everywhere in the rain.
2. Wander the Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens on rainy days can be magical.
They even provide you umbrellas to use!
You will be wandering in the drizzle outside so wear a rain jacket and waterproof shoes / boots.
Wandering the contemplative Japanese Garden and then a quick side jaunt to the boat dock is our top recommendation in the rain. Besides of course riding the Rose Carousel at least 3 times.
Indoor spaces include the gift shop, carousel ride and cafe.
LOCAL TIP: If you don’t have a car, take the Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle from dowtown Victoria. It usually leaves hourly from Downtown and from the gardens.
RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES DOWNTOWN VICTORIA
There are so many amazing, fun things to do in downtown Victoria.
If you’re looking for lodging we also have a list of the best family hotels in Victoria.
3. Victoria Waterway Tours from Inner Harbour
Victoria Harbour Ferry offers a fun way to get around the Inner Harbour with their water taxis and tours of the surrounding waterways.
For the adults there’s the Gorge Waterway Tour featuring historic neighbourhoods, shipyards, as well as maritime history and First Nations history of the Lekwungen speaking peoples of this area.
Or try a Pickle Pub Crawl Tour, stopping in at four different pubs located on or near Victoria’s waterfront. You chose your starting time and 4 out of their 13 participating establishments.
For families, the 45 minute Harbour Tour leaving from the “empress Dock” is recommended. Ocean views, marine life and history.
4. Visit a Downtown Victoria Museum
A visit to a museum in downtown Victoria is the perfect way to spend an hour or three on those overcast and dreary rainy days.
The Royal BC Museum is my all time top choice. I’ve been hundreds of times, and still try to take myself and the kids here at least once or twice a year.
With 3 floors of exhibits from permanent natural & First Nations history to changing and traveling exhibits. Walking through Old Town is a perennial favourite in our family.
Other museums downtown to visit include:
- Miniature World – Over 80 exciting miniature dioramas and displays. Personally I find this one a little creepy, but found it fascinating as a kid.
- Maritime Museum of BC – Open Tues to Sat. You can explore this small museum dedicated to the nautical history of BC and ocean sciences.
- Visit the National Toy Museum – A blast from the past. See if you can find your cherished childhood toy in their displays. Moving to a new location on Yates St.
5. See A Movie
What better way to spend a rainy Victoria day than to go and see a movie.
You have a few movie theatre options downtown or around town:
- Imax Movies – At the Royal BC Museum, so make it a twofer and do both
- Cineplex Odeon & Capitol 6 – Long time downtown movie theatres playing all the latest movies.
- Cinecenta – Uvic’s movie theatre that runs the gamut of artsy and international films, to modern classics, and the occasional recently released film.
- The Roxy on Quadra Street – For unique & fun movies & theatre performances. The all time best place to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Check their schedule for events as they aren’t open all the time.
- Silver City at Tillicum Mall – Large complex, arcade games, latest movies & DBox seats.
🐳 You may also like the Best Whale Watching from Victoria.
6. Play Haunted Mini Golf
Playing haunted mini golf, may not be top of mind when you think of things to do in Victoria, Canada.
However, their 18 hole haunted manor is an interesting and immersive twist on your regular mini golf experience. Who doesn’t like a good game of mini golf?
Plus you can rent out their private ping pong lounges if you want a little friendly competition.
Or set up your kids’ birthday party here.
7. View Art At The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
On a rainy day in Victoria, find sanctuary within the walls and garden of The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
Explore art works that span historical Asian artifacts to contemporary Canadian works, with more focus on Pacific Rim artists.
Open Tuesday to Saturday.
LOCAL TIP: Thursdays evenings The AGGV is open 5 to 9pm by donation.
8. Visit Emily Carr’s House
Nestled in the quaint James Bay neighbourhood of Victoria, BC, stands the beautifully restored Carr House, both a provincial and national historic gem.
It’s the very place where the iconic writer and artist, Emily Carr, was born.
Delve into her world, uncovering Carr’s legacy with passionate, knowledgeable guides. Don’t miss the guided tours held 3 times daily; it’s a journey into artistry and inspiration.
LOCAL TIP: If you are looking for Emily Carr’s artwork, there is a collection of paintings, sketches and journals you can see online through the Royal BC Museum. However, there aren’t currently any exhibits of her work in Victoria, BC.
9. Play an Interactive Game
Board games, and escape rooms have made their comeback in Victoria.
When you want to get the kids (and adults) off their devices and actually interact with other humans then we recommend either one of these Board Game Cafes or Escape Rooms.
- Interactivity Board Game Cafe – Over 800 games to try and Victoria’s first board game cafe. You can sit in their 19+ section (bring on the drinks), or their family friendly section too.
- Board with Friends Cafe – Rent a board game, or play in their cafe for $5. Open 7 days a week.
There are three options for Escape Rooms in Victoria, Quest Reality Games, Victoria Escape Games and Horror Escape.
Quest Reality also offers Cluetivity, an outdoor treasure hunt with GPS-Geocaching and live escape game elements. For when the weather improves.
10. Learn To Throw an Axe
Paul Bunyan look out!
For a unique rainy day activity head to Victoria’s latest craze Axe & Grind.
Their motto is “ There’s a lumberjack in all of us,” so really you can’t go wrong. Wearing your plaid flannel shirt is optional.
Not to worry, there are trained staff to help you learn how to throw safely.
11. Visit the Greater Victoria Public Library
Many rainy days have I wandered around this downtown library, looking for a good book.
If you aren’t a local with a library card, there are lots of places to grab a book, a newspaper or a magazine to read in a corner. They also have kids programs that happen regularly and public computers to use.
For little kids I much prefer the Nellie McClung Library away from downtown. This is where I took my daughter weekly when she was little.
It’s also one of many free activities in Victoria you can try.
12. Look at Cool Bugs At The Victoria Bug Zoo
Look at this cool praying mantis mom!
For all things insect, arachnid and tropical bug visit the Victoria Bug Zoo.
If you visit this small Zoo outside the summer time, they’ll even let the kids (and brave adults) handle some special bugs with the Educators.
It is quite small, so don’t expect to spend hours here.
It’s also a Victoria winter activity you can do in downtown, as it’s open year round.
13. Grab A Rain Jacket And Walk The Inner Harbour
Walking the Inner Harbour in Victoria, BC on a rainy day provides a unique experience. The reflection of historic buildings on wet cobblestones enhances the area’s charm.
With fewer crowds, it’s easier to navigate and explore nearby attractions. Plus, the misty atmosphere gives the harbour an authentic Pacific Northwest feel.
14. Warm up with a Hot Chocolate, Coffee & A Treat
Murchie’s Tea and Coffee in Victoria, BC have been brewing up deliciousness for almost 125 years!
When the weather’s all drizzly, pop in for a warm cuppa (tea, coffee, hot chocolate), and maybe a pastry or a sandwich. And don’t skip their gift shop; it’s got cool souvenirs and some specialty teas.
Other downtown family favourites are Bean Around the World in Chinatown for the ambiance and local pastries, and Cafe Fantastico, though our preference is for the one across the harbour near Foi Epi, also a must-do bakery destination.
15. Tour The Parliament Buildings (Free)
Free tours of the Parliament Buildings are held year round.
Pop in for a self guided or guided tour and learn all about Canada’s parliamentary system, the history of the building and some interesting stories.
Bring home a souvenir from their gift shop.
INDOOR RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES IN VICTORIA, BC
For indoor rainy day activities in Victoria around town, you’ve come to the right place.
16. Drive The Scenic Marine Route
Take a scenic oceanside drive along Dallas Road and Beach Drive ending at 10 mile point. The full trip is about 16 km (10 miles)
This is the way I most often choose to drive to get from downtown Victoria to the Uvic area. I just love the salty ocean air, homes, and views.
Be sure to set aside time for some of the following if you want to get out of the car:
- Watch the hang gliders and kite fliers at Clover Point
- Stop at the pull outs and take scenic ocean pics
- Walk the Chinese Cemetery at Harling Point or the Ross Bay Cemetery
- Dip your toes in the ocean at Gonzales Beach
- Have lunch at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel
- Marvel at the mansions in Uplands
- Let the kids climb the Cadborosaurus at Gyro Park
LOCAL TIP: Watch out for bicyclists (narrow road in spots), as well as deer (lots of deer!), kids, dogs, and walkers / runners crossing the roads.
Day trips from Victoria are another fun idea for rainy days.
17. Swim at Commonwealth Pool
Kids and pools go together like PB&J. And what better way to get all that kid energy out is to take them to the pool.
Our top pick for pools in Victoria would be the Commonwealth Pool for their wave pool, waterslide, and large inflatables to play on.
Not to mention the tot pool for the littlest and hot tub, steam and sauna rooms.
18. Shop & Roll at Mayfair Mall
Shopping is always an option for rainy days, one which your tweens and teens will likely even appreciate.
Younger kids will get a kick out of riding the large mechanical animals around the mall. Rent them at the Info Centre.
We always pick up a Boba Tea from Orange or our newest addiction Chewgurt. It’s weirdly satisfying with the chewy rice & ice texture mixed with yogurt and fruit.
Plus some Purdy’s chocolate to take home. One of our famous Victoria chocolatiers.
19. Jump at the “World’s Largest” Indoor Trampoline Park
Visit the Flying Squirrel and fly through the air on their epic trampolines.
If you’re a parent who doesn’t want to jump, relax with a beverage in the lounge area. But why wouldn’t you want to jump in on the fun if you can?!?
Go for some extra dance party vibes at their Neon Lights event on Friday and Saturdays.
Kids age 6 and under have their own Kiddie Court as a safe place to bounce away from the bigger kids if needed.
20. Play Old School Arcade Games
Relive your youth, and pass on the joys to the next generation at the local Quazar’s Arcade.
With a rotating cast of classic arcade games and pinball machines, you can lose a few hours here easily.
Or spend a gazillion dollars to win a toy from China that costs 50 cents with the claw game, which is my daughter’s long-time must play game at the arcade.
Mr. Tubbs is another long standing Victoria family owned business. An ice cream parlor combined with a family fun zone = a fun rainy day afternoon.
21. Have A Coffee at Pure Vanilla Cafe & Bakery
Pure Vanilla is a popular spot with locals to grab a coffee after a morning run, a morning muffin or scone and some tasty bakery treats to go.
In warm weather they have a large patio in the back and seating outside in the front. On rainy days you may have trouble finding a table as their inside seating is more limited, depending on when you go.
Our regular orders include hot chocolate & seasonal decorated sugar cookies for my youngest, and an americano and cheese and garlic bun for myself.
You can’t go wrong with anything though (unless you are gluten free – then this is not the spot for you).
22. Fly Away To The Victoria Butterfly Gardens
The Victoria ButterflyGarden is a warm reprieve from all the rain.
With over 70 species of butterflies, as well as flamingos, fish, and reptiles to find, it’s a tropical scavenger hunt.
We always try to spot the resident iguana.
23. See a Live Performance At A Local Theatre
Rain pelting on the roof? Victoria, BC offers the perfect silver lining. Dive into the world of performing arts at the likes of the Royal Theatre, McPherson Theatre, or the ever-unique Belfry Theatre.
Whether you’re jazzed for a Broadway tour, ready to applaud drag shows, or groove to everything from opera to jazz, these stages got you.
The Belfry even raises the bar, being set in a chic, renovated 19th-century church in Fernwood. With a focus on contemporary plays, and an emphasis on Canadian work.
24. Day Trip to Sidney & Shaw Centre for Salish Seas
Rain clouds gathering? Perfect day for a jaunt to Sidney, where if you’re in luck, it may not even be raining there.
Take a walk in the rain along Sidney’s 2.5 km waterfront walkway; it’s a delightful dance of droplets and views.
Next, dive deeper at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. Get connected to the Salish Sea Bioregion and its fascinating ecosystems, located on the traditional territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) people.
Take a pic in the bubble, where it looks like you are swimming in the sea too.
And remember, no drizzle can dampen Sidney’s Thursday Night Market throughout the summer – it’s a go, rain or shine! Enjoy local food, artisans, crafts, music and seasonal fresh fruit and produce.
25. Take A Class
As Victoria is a city, there are oodles of classes you can try out for an hour or three.
If you’re living in the city there are even more options for longer term weekly classes.
- Yoga – With everything from hot, Iyengar and Ashtanga to Hatha Yoga and more. Lots of class options and times to choose from.
- Swing Dance – Drop in beginner class & dance Saturday Nights
- Cooking Classes – The London Chef offers a variety of lunch hour, evening & weekend online classes, and the occasional in-person class. Check out their in person schedule here
- Grab a Gym Day pass – The Victoria Athletic Club in the Hotel Grand Pacific is popular for visitors and locals.
- Circus Classes at the Island Circus Space
- Parent & Tot Drop Ins – Many local churches, libraries and community centres offer drop in times for families like the Fairfield Gonzales Community Centre, Quadra Village Community Centre and through Oak Bay Rec.
26. Enjoy a Public Skate
Ice skating, and skate rentals are available year round at the Oak Bay Rec Centre.
Offering different skate times throughout the week for adults only, everyone welcome skates, as well as Stick and Puck (must bring your own stick and gear) practice for ice hockey.
Ah yes, I remember those Friday night skate nights of my youth so well.
LOCAL TIP: The “Everyone Welcome” skates on Tuesday evenings are only $3 and rentals $2 making for a cheap & fun night out.
Friday Night Roller Skating
Friday Night Roller Skating is back!
If the 70’s disco pants, and skate dance moves weren’t a clue, roller skating is making a comeback. I just wish the 70’s p*rn-stache would go the way of bad shoulder pads of the 80’s…extinct.
Victoria is also home to some epic Roller Derby events at Archie Browning Centre in Esquimalt.
Often this is seasonal, so check the schedule beforehand.
RAINY DAY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN VICTORIA
27. Cruise Around In A Hot Tub Boat
I mean if you’re already wet anyway, why not cruise around in the hot tub boat in the rain?
Relax in the hot tub with your friends or family as you explore the Upper Harbor and Gorge Waterway. A unique thing to do in Victoria in the rain.
28. Beach Comb at Willows Beach
It’s always a good time to beach comb.
Put your young kids in Muddy Buddy rain gear, put on the rain boots and get ready for puddle wave jumping (at the shore edge).
Look for special rocks and beach treasures while keeping an eye out for eagles, and Great Blue Herons and other sea birds.
LOCAL TIP: Stop in for a hot chocolate or coffee at Sunday’s Child cafe in Estevan Village to warm up. Or the Pure Vanilla Cafe we mentioned earlier, just up the road from Estevan Village.
29. Walk in PKOLS (Mount Doug Park)
The canopy at PKOLS / Mount Doug Park makes it an ideal spot for a rainy day hike, jog or walk.
Dog & kid-friendly, there are numerous trails to explore around the base.
Or hike to the top for epic 360 degree views of Victoria, the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains and Mount Baker in the distance.
With over 21 kms of trails, a playground, “Cougar Cave” (if you can find it), and a beach to explore, you won’t be bored, even on a rainy day.
I’ve been coming to this park since I was little, and I always see something new and interesting every time I go.
30. Wander The Gardens at Government House
A walk along the Woodland Trail and through the gardens at Government House in Rockland is a delightful way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Government House is the office and official residence of the Lieutenant Governor, and the grounds and gardens are open to the public 365 days a year from dawn to dusk.
Go on a scavenger hunt with the kidlets.
31. Walk Cattle Point to Oak Bay Marina
This easy walk from Cattle Point to the Oak Bay Marina is a scenic stroll along the ocean.
Start at Cattle Point, where you’ll find Garry Oak groves, benches and rocks to scramble.
Follow the trail to Willow’s Beach and keep to the Esplanade walkway which follows the beach and ends at the Bowker Beach Access.
Willow’s Beach is our family’s all time favourite Victoria Beach. Perfect for beach combing year round. Or to read a good book on the beach or under the shaded trees in warmer weather.
Head up Bowker to Beach Drive, then stroll along Beach Drive, until you reach the Oak Bay Marina.
Keep an eye out for Great Blue Herons as I’ve often found them at the crescent beach near the marina.
There’s ample parking in either spot, so you could do the 4 km (2.5 mile) round trip walk in reverse as well.
LOCAL TIP: Come to Cattle Point at night for a little star gazing, as it has a “Dark Sky” designation, so no lights.