Things to Do

Rainy Weekend? Our Guide to Fun Indoor Activities.

Suggestions for a stormy couple of days, along with some cancelations.

Smithsonian American Art Museum's Modern and Contemporary Galleries. Photograph by Ron Blunt.

It’s going to be a wet weekend: The National Weather Service has the region under a Coastal Flood Watch from Saturday to Sunday morning, with gusts of wind up to 40 mph and near-constant precipitation expected. The bright side? Now is your chance to stop putting off all the indoor museum exhibits, activities, and community events around town. Here are some ways you can have a great weekend while staying dry.


Head for a Museum

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Witness day-to-day life in rural Ukraine as you walk through photography exhibit Lost Europe: On the Edge of Memories. It’s the first time these images from three Czech photographers are on display in the US, giving a glimpse into a changing country.

Kennedy Center

America’s Voices Against Apartheid, an exhibit on display in the Hall of Nations, explores the ways in which American figures like Harry Belafonte and Arthur Ashe took a stand against apartheid.

National Gallery of Art

The Land Carries Our Ancestors: Contemporary Art by Native Americans opens this weekend, and on Sunday from 12 to 4 PM, the exhibit’s open house will host artists whose work is on display. You can check out a weaving dance, attend several gallery talks, and listen to traditional songs from the Warpaint Singers.

National Museum of American History

A More Perfect Union: American Artists and the Currents of Our Time is a traveling exhibition of work from the State Department’s Art in Embassies program.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

See the complete reimagining of SAAM’s modern and contemporary galleries for the first time this weekend. After a long period of closure, the third-floor galleries are reopening, and you can now see 42 recently acquired pieces of art.


Stay Active

Play indoor pickleball or throw an ax

Kraken’s two DC locations offer lots of inside fun. Visit the pickleball courts and roller-skating rink at the Bryant Street one or smash breakables and try your hand at ax wielding in Penn Quarter.

Go bowling

Combine drinks and play at the Eleanor in NoMa, where bowling is half price from 11 AM to 3 PM on Sunday. You might even head back there later on Sunday evening for their trivia night at 7:30 PM. In Georgetown, find bowling, bocce, and food at Pinstripes.

Play mini-golf

The bar/golf combo at Puttery DC provides a trippy, whimsical putting experience. Another option is the local outposts of Swingers, with locations in Navy Yard and Dupont Circle that invite visitors to participate in what they call “crazy golf.”

Take an art class

Shop Made in DC is offering classes this weekend at both their Georgetown and Union Market locations. You can buy tickets to this weekend’s workshops (including sculpting and pom-pom garland-making) or swing by their free Crafternoon gathering on Saturday from 12 to 3 PM.

Jump into Theatre Week

During this three-week-long promotion from Theatre Washington, play tickets are offered at discounted prices. Visit the event’s free Kickoff Fest at Arena Stage for workshops, performances, and treats on Saturday from 1 to 5 PM. If you’re enticed, catch one of this weekend’s shows. Tickets for Evita, Drunk Shakespeare, and the new King of the Yees are still available for $20-$40.


Curl up at Home

Whip up a local fall dish

What better way to warm up in a storm than indulge in cozy foods? Follow Chaia’s Mexican veggie soup recipe for a touch of comfort. Or find your next favorite fall meal in a roast chicken or this bucatini with spicy pork-belly ragu. And of course, no autumn entree is complete without a side of biscuits and  dessert.

Watch a DC-related film

This summer’s Red, White & Royal Blue is a sweet escape from torrential rains, pulling you into a romance between a British prince and the son of an American president. The movie is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Check in on the Panda Cam

This weekend marks the beginning of the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Panda Palooza, a nine-day celebration in honor of the zoo’s giant pandas as their departure from the US nears. While the rain might deter you from seeing the cuddly creatures in person, you can still see pandas Xiao Qi Ji, Mei Xiang, and Tian Tian with this live feed.


Canceled Events

If you were headed to any of these, it’s time to make other plans: They’ve all been scrapped or postponed due to the bad weather.

Hope Cartwright
Editorial Fellow