Rainy Day Activities In The Inner City

October 11th, 2019 - by Brad Gillespie

New South Wales has had a dry year with ongoing reports of drought conditions, so when it does rain, the locals tend to welcome it.

We need it, right? And it’s great for the garden.

However, there’s only so long that the average family can bear to confined indoors especially in a city that’s known for its outdoor lifestyle. Thankfully Sydney’s inner city is crammed with a range of activities that will prevent cabin fever from setting in.

Here are a few ways you can spend your time when the skies are grey.



Carriageworks is one of those inner-city institutions where there’s always something happening. The former Eveleigh Rail Yards has undergone an award-winning conversion and now hosts exhibitions, food markets, shows and festivals.

There’s a large industrial roof to keep you dry as you peruse the events and activities on offer. Local tip: If you come to the Carriageworks Farmers Market on a Saturday morning, you may even catch celebrity chef Kylie Kwong whipping up one of her delicious concoctions.

Powerhouse Museum

The Powerhouse Museum is a Sydney Institution. However, locals have less than a year to enjoy its Ultimo location in its entirety, as the museum is set to move west to Parramatta in 2023. The museum is child-friendly and interactive and a perfect place to entertain curious minds on a rainy day.

White Rabbit Gallery

The White Rabbit Gallery is one of the largest collections of Chinese contemporary art in the world. The Chippendale space is in a refurbished knitting factory and the four-story building provides a versatile area for the dramatic items on display.

There is a teahouse downstairs, with exquisite looking drinks and handmade dumplings are available for lunch. If you do plan a visit, check the opening hours as the gallery closes twice a year to update their exhibitions.


Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq

This is an arcade with a circus theme. There are dodgem cars, laser tag, retro arcade games like Pac-Man and even a 3D theatre ride. It’s great for children and ‘kidults’, with booze available after dark for the latter. The Alexandria location near Skyzone, Rocks Brewing Co and 9 Degrees contains enough activities for a weekend of torrential downpour.

Holey Moley Golf Club

The former Newtown Social Club was transformed into a mini-golf bar in 2017. There are 18 holes with puns as titles including “Smells Like Tee Spirit.” The puns extend to the menu with items like “The Hole In One.” Children are permitted before 5pm, after which it’s cocktail hour.

Jet Flight Simulator Sydney

For those with their head in the clouds and a generous amount of cash in their wallets, this Alexandria-based flight simulator experience will allow you to take off in all kinds of weather conditions. Enter the flight deck of a Boeing 737-800 and choose a route from 22,000 international airports. Fighter pilots who are keen for an extra dose of adventure can get ready for combat in the cockpit of an F18 Super Hornet.

Sydney Trapeze School

For the circus-minded among you, St Peters has its very own indoor trapeze school. Would-be acrobats can learn the flying trapeze, juggling, circus and aerial arts. If you have your umbrella handy, it’s just a short walk from St Peters and Sydenham train station.


9 Degrees

Alexandria is a wet-weather hub, with a range of options not dependent on the forecast. 9 Degrees is found in the same complex as Skyzone, Rocks Brewing Co and Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq. It’s a bouldering gym so climbers don’t need ropes, partners or harnesses. The walls are shorter than that of a regular rock climbing gym – and the padding is thicker.

There are 140 different climbs with nine levels of difficulty.

All Sorts Indoor Sports

For members of team sports, whose plans have been rained out, Alexandria’s 3,000sqm of multi-purpose court space is a great way to keep the ball in the air.
The venue provides facilities for badminton, basketball, futsal, netball and volleyball players among many others. It’s also accessible at any time of the day.

Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can’t go for a swim. The Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre in Ultimo is great for burning off some unused energy.

Facilities include a 50m indoor pool (don’t worry it’s heated) as well as a gymnasium, sauna and steam room.

This is the place to take children whose plans for a day at the beach were derailed.


If you are keen to release some aggression or bury the hatchet, then axe-throwing might be the sport for you. This St Peters warehouse provides a waterproof venue where you can safely throw sharp objects. Experts are on hand to teach your group how to aim. Each game consists of three rounds where every player is allowed five throws. Thongs and alcohol are banned for obvious reasons and bookings are required.

And, finally...

If you’re still looking for ideas try one of our great local cafes, exploring the new library at Green Square, taking a ride on the train from Redfern to explore a new suburb, or getting a bit of retail therapy or window shopping in the Supa Centa or Alexandria Homemaker centre.