Los Angeles doesn't have that many rainy days in the year, but when it does rain, it's a good idea to stay off the streets and freeways and find something to do near where you are. Here are some of the best things to do on a rainy day in LA to keep the fun going, despite inclement weather. If possible, use the Metro to get across town on a rainy day to avoid driving. Seriously - avoid driving on LA freeways in the rain if you can. Angelenos can't drive in the rain, and even visitors from wetter areas are unprepared for how slick our dusty roads get when it rains.
OK, this one is a no-brainer for most people. Even people who don't naturally gravitate to museums will most likely find a way to entertain themselves with over 230 museums to choose from. LA museums cover everything from art and history to planes, trains and cars, and from bunnies to police memorabilia, to martial arts, to death, and the death of relationships - just to name a few. There are also many great museums that can keep the kids entertained for the entire day.
Dig in to LA's Great Selection of Museums.
Your photos from the bus or van won't be as pretty as on a sunny day, but if you have a limited amount of time in town, it's a good way to get an overview of the city or see some celebrity homes. You can kill a few hours, learn some interesting LA history and stay dry, as long as you don't take an open-top tour.
Take a Spa Day
The closest thing we have to a destination spa in the LA Area is the spa at the Four Seasons Westlake Village, where you can easily spend an entire day or week being pampered. But many of the top LA luxury hotels around the city also have lovely spas on site, or relationships with nearby day spas. Treat yourself to a massage, manicure, pedicure or facial, or any of the other healing and pampering modalities, or just enjoy the hot tub, sauna or steam room. You'll feel much more like you've been on vacation than running around the city full force.
Check out the Top Couples Spas in LA
You can see a movie anywhere, so it's not normally something you want to do on vacation. However, seeing a family film at the classic El Capitan Theatre accompanied by pre-show organ music, live character visits and prop exhibits is something special, and a great way to spend a couple rainy hours with kids. You can extend the time with a meal or ice cream at the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Disney Studio Store next door.
Most of LA's top shopping locations have lifted the roof to become outdoor shopping centers, but there are still some indoor malls where you can shop till you drop without exposure to the elements. Check out the Top Indoor Shopping Malls in LA and OC.
Los Angeles Farmers Market
The LA Farmers Market is a permanent indoor market in the Fairfax District on the west side of Hollywood. There are produce vendors, butchers, gift shops, food stands and sit-down restaurants. You can even take a food tour of the market. If you are in the Downtown LA area, Grand Central Market is another indoor farmers market.
That's right, if it's just an ordinary rainy day, and not a torrential downpour, a rainy day is a great time to visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. You can see all the shows and ride the enclosed rides without waiting in long lines. Open-air coasters will be closed, but since you don't waste a lot of time waiting, you can see most of the shows and do all of the many indoor rides at both parks in one day. So grab a rain poncho and have a Disney adventure.
Kart Racing at MB2 Raceway lets you hit the track indoors in electric karts. Speed demons 48" and taller can test out their track skills at locations in Sylmar or Thousand Oaks. Junior and adult karts available.