No matter the season, the weather in St. Louis, Missouri, can be unpredictable. When the forecast turns rainy and dreary, don't worry. Instead, grab your umbrella and head out, as there are still plenty of fun things to do around town on a wet day in St. Louis. You'll find something for everyone, from exploring science and art museums to catching a glimpse of one of the world's largest collections of mosaics at a local cathedral to seeing a historical courthouse. There is also a famous theater with Broadway shows, concerts, and comedians.
On a wet day, head to the City Museum in downtown St. Louis, an entertaining destination for kids and adults alike. The 600,000 square foot building is mainly filled with exhibits made from recycled and repurposed materials such as architectural and industrial objects. Popular attractions include numerous slides—with a 10-story one being the longest—indoor caves, a train, and tunnels. There are fresh and saltwater creatures, some of which are real, at the Artquarium on the second floor (confirm construction schedule with the museum). For small kids, Toddler Town provides a safe place to play on slides and climbing equipment.
The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End neighborhood has one of the largest collections of mosaics in the world. It took nearly 80 years to install the more than 41 million glass pieces in over 7,000 colors that adorn the inside of the church. Visitors are welcome to look around on their own, but the church highly recommends calling to make sure the building is open, since it closes for various special events like weddings, confirmations, funerals, and private masses. The Cathedral also offers guided tours Monday through Saturday (by appointment) or on most Sundays after mass at noon.
St. Louis Art Museum is located in Forest Park, just a 15-minute drive from St. Louis. Visitors will see a large diversity of works from classic paintings to modern sculptures. There are over 30,000 pieces in the museum's permanent collection, including works by world-famous artists like Picasso, Monet, and van Gogh. Curators also bring in special exhibits from other top art museums around the globe. Free, family-friendly activities take place all year, such as Family Sundays which offers hands-on art activities for kids and a tour of the museum for the whole family. Onsite you'll find a full restaurant and a casual cafe.
Open Tuesday through Sunday, the museum has extended hours on Friday nights. The site is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission is free.
Put your umbrellas down and delve into some history at the Old Courthouse, with its restored courtrooms and galleries. This building is known for being the site of the first two trials of the famous Dred Scott slavery case in 1847 and 1850, and is part of the National Park Service's National Underground Railroad Network To Freedom. It's also where Virginia Minor's trial for a woman's right to vote took place in the 1870s.
The Old Courthouse is open all year, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Turn a dreary day around by taking in some of the numerous exhibits at the Saint Louis Science Center in Forest Park, such as the motion-based Virtual Reality Transporter or GROW, an educational gallery about agriculture. You may want to enjoy a bite to eat at EZ Pizza or BBQ Grill. The Saint Louis Science Center is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission is free.
While you are there, don't miss The OMNIMAX Theater (check with the theater regarding their construction schedule) which offers an intense film experience in which the giant domed screen puts viewers right in the middle of the action.
First established in 1929 as a movie palace, the Fabulous Fox Theatre in the Grand Center area of St. Louis is one of the country's most beautiful venues to watch live concerts, Broadway shows, and comedians. Tours of the building lasting about 1.5 hours are given every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning (except holidays or during a private event); purchase tickets at the box office. Performances at the Fabulous Fox are not cancelled due to weather conditions, so it's the perfect place to stop on a rainy day. Also, several eateries are located within walking distance.
On a rain-filled day, a library is a great place to spend hours. The Central Public Library in St. Louis is much more than a home to books. Built in 1912 by famous American architect Cass Gilbert, the large structure features beautiful ceilings and art, light-transmitting glass floors, stained glass windows, and an oval central pavilion surrounded by light courts. The library, open daily, not only houses over 4 million items in its collection but is a host to special events and speakers.