Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

5 Things to Do On A Rainy Day in L.A.

Aquarium of the Pacific

It’s actually been RAINING quite a bit over the last several days in Los Angeles. There are only 35 days with rain on average per year in L.A., so when it does rain we kinda like it. It’s not so great if you’re here on vacation, though — but never fear! There are still quite a few things you can do if your trip has been tripped up by a rainstorm. Here are our Top 5:

1. See a Movie at the Chinese Theater

Chinese Theater in Hollywood

Chinese Theater in Hollywood

You don’t have to be a movie star to see a movie at the Chinese Theater! It’s open for movie showings most days of the year. It runs urgent release films in its 1,200 seat piece of cinema history.

The Chinese Theater opened in 1927 and has been the location of thousands of world film premieres ever since. Even today most films have their premiere here at the Chinese. Of course it’s also known for the famous footprints that have been placed by over 250 Hollywood stars including Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, John Travolta, George Clooney, Hugh Jackman and C3PO.

In 2013 the owners renovated the theater for presentation of films in IMAX format, and most films are now played in that dynamic format. There is also a regular screen that can be placed before it to allow the viewing of premieres and other films in regular format.

Go to the Chinese Theater’s tickets and showtimes page to see what’s playing today!

2. The Griffith Observatory

amily at Griffith Observatory

Some of our guests outside the Griffith Observatory

We often take groups to the Observatory on our Los Angeles tours for the beautiful views and the impressive architecture of this Art Deco beauty. But there’s also quite a bit to see inside. It’s full of exhibits on (of course) astronomy — stars, tides, a tesla coil, and one of those pendulums that proves the Earth turns on its axis (I could explain it but I think I’d only be mimicking). And that’s just upstairs!

The basement is twice as large with information on planets, the science of astronomy, and a 150-foot long exhibit on the history of the universe that will freak you out when you see just how small we really are.

In between exhibits be sure to see a show at the renovated Oschin Planetarium. All this will definitely fill the better part of a rainy day.

3. Acquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach

Acquarium of Pacific in Long Beach

Awe-inspiring fish tank at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Stay out of the rain and look at animals in water. With over 11,000 animals and 500 species, there’s a lot to absorb here. Don’t miss the Penguin Habitat to see the frenetic birds darting like jet fighters in their pool. There’s a shark lagoon with over 500 sharks including petting pools to touch sharks and rays. Other exhibits are divided into regions of the Pacific — Northern Pacific, Tropic Pacific, and Southern California/Baja.

4. The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary

This is not one that comes to mind to many people but I love it. Step on board and back about 60 years to a time when people traveled on ships like these not on a cruise but just to get somewhere.

The Queen Mary sailed the North Atlantic from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line. She took a break from civilian duty during World War II to serve as a troop carrier, ferrying American and Canadian soldiers to the European Theater. After she retired from service she came to Long Beach where she has stayed ever since as a tourist attraction and operating hotel.

Climb aboard and gawk at the finished wood and brass that is so rarely seen in modern construction. Walk the decks and imagine you’re a tramp in the 1930s, or even more crazy that you’re on the Titanic headed for an iceberg.

Take time to enjoy the exhibits on offer — there is a very large Diana collection featuring dresses and other possessions and gifts of the Princess and the Royal Family. In my opinion the most fun is the Haunted Encounters Tour. The Queen Mary has been named one of the 10 Most Haunted Places in the U.S., and this tour will take you to all the spots and tell you what happened. Just don’t scream until you actually see something scary.

5. The California Science Center

Family at the Space Shuttle Endeavour

Family at the Space Shuttle Endeavour

Think Smithsonian right here in Los Angeles! The California Science Center is a FREE museum ($10 for parking) that includes science exhibits of all types including ecosystems, biology, and best of all the Space Shuttle! Yes, you can see the Space Shuttle Endeavour, various fighter jets, and the actual Gemini 11 capsule, among others. There is also an IMAX theater if the rain just won’t quit. If you want to see the Shuttle, check ahead as on weekends and the summer you do need a reservation.