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These Fun & Cheap Indoor Activities Will Lighten Your Mood When it Rains

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I’m so over the rain. I know I’m not the only one. I am trying to hard to soak in as much sun as I possibly can before Bob The Atmospheric River comes to rain on my parade (again). My seasonal depression has fully kicked in so I am in need of some serious laughs and smiles. These indoor activities in San Francisco and The Bay Area will help me shift my mood a bit.

Today, Friday the 17th, there are plenty of Saint Patrick’s Day events to attend. Saturday is sunny but might be a recovery for me personally. Come Sunday, expect more rain. So, where do we go when we need to bring a smile to our face but the weather is not on our side?

Here are some fun places to get out of the rain this weekend which won’t break the bank:

Arcade Games For The Win:

Thriller Social Club
Along with a playful array of arcade games, Thriller has a golf simulator game that is uber high-tech. You can practice your swing while staying out of the rain. They even have a swing and a hidden ball pit!
Address: 508 4th St, San Francisco

Some of the arcade games in Thriller (left). My friend Becka and myself inside the infinity mirror (right). - photos by Katy Atchison

Some of the arcade games in Thriller (left). My friend Becka and myself inside the infinity mirror (right). – photos by Katy Atchison

Musee Mecanique
This museum of vintage arcade games has free admission and with all of the rain we’ve had lately you’ll likely see less tourists at this spot which is right on Pier 39.
Address: Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

Pacific Pinball Museum
I just wrote about this place the other day and I just can’t get it out of my head. It’s one of the best little gems. Admission gets you unlimited pinball while you’re in the museum. With over 100 games to play, this place will keep you out of the rain for a while.
Address: 1510 Webster St, Alameda

Free Gold Watch
This is one of those somewhat secret gems in San Francisco with over 50 pinball machines and classic arcade games. I love that you can preview what games they have on their website. White Water is my favorite obscure pinball machine and they have it at Free Gold Watch.
Address: 1767 Waller St, San Francisco

Outer Orbit
Opened mostly on weekends (Thurs-Sunday), this place has the trifecta of awesome happening – hawaiian food, beer and pinball. I’m not sure there’s anything better than that combination. They say on their website, “We love SF and we love Hawaii and here at Outer Orbit you can experience this Hapa culture. We love our Hawaii-influenced food, craft beer, our synthy-gothy-punk music, local pinball community, and chill vibes.“
Address: 3215 Mission st, San Francisco

More places to escape the rain and stay playful indoors:

Urban Putt:
I’m always impressed by the craftsmanship inside Urban Putt but I get most excited by the cocktails, tbh. The games don’t change too much (although they do evolve), it’s the cocktail menu that you’ll see change with seasonal featured cocktails. It makes for a fun afternoon or evening. Grabbing yourself a cocktail and then enjoying a round of mini golf. When I was there last time, we headed up stairs for some tacos and a small meal after the game. Such a lovely way to round out some indoor fun.
Address: 1096 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

Urban Putt in San Francisco


I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but the Exploratorium is the best place to take a date. You learn so much about your date when you come to a place like this. You’re guaranteed to learn if your date is curious, playful or down to be silly while learning. Are you a solo adventurer? The Exploratorium is also perfect for solo adventurers since most of the exhibits aren’t contingent on being there with another person.
Address: Pier 15 Embarcadero at, Green St, San Francisco
dome in the exploratorium

Church of 8 Wheels
Even if you’re a beginner, Church of 8 Wheels will get the good times rolling. Personally, I am pretty darn klutzy on roller skates but every so often I’ll get out there, with all my safety gear on, and look adorable while I fall over and over again with a smile on my face. It’s the kind of place you don’t want to take life too seriously.
San Francisco’s Roller Disco
Address: 554 Fillmore Street, San Francisco


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Katy Atchison

Katy Atchison

Katy has lived in The Bay Area since the age of 3. While other kids were attending summer camp & soccer practice, she was raised selling wares at craft shows with her working artist parents and spent vacations in a small 1920s Montana log cabin. This has all given her a unique perspective on the ever-changing texture of San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Currently a blend of all that is The Bay Area - she's a web designer at a tech-company, artist and DIY teacher.