After what seems like years and years and years of drought, it’s finally raining A LOT in SF. And while that’s a very good thing—especially if your idea of an amazing day is sleeping late, napping, watching Netflix, doing puzzles, or hunkering down in a bar and day drinking until you’re night drinking, (and also if you like the idea of our entire state not drying up and turning into a desert), if you’re the type of person who likes to get out and rally (ahem, ahem)—the incessant rain can start to feel, well, like you’re drowning.
Which is why we stayed inside one recent rainy day and came up with this list of super fun things to do while wearing galoshes, none of which are going to a museum (even though that’s always an amazing option).
“But mini golf is outside,” you’re thinking. “And closed when it rains!” Those things are usually true, but not in the case of Urban Putt, SF’s very own indoor miniature high-tech golf course in the Mission. There are 14 holes, some of which are SF-themed, and all of which are whimsical and unlike any other mini golf course situation you’ve ever experienced before.
Even better, you won’t be teed-off (yes, we said that) if there’s a wait because Urban Putt totally has two bars, one upstairs and one on the course, where you can get beer, wine, and “inventive” cocktails (this is San Francisco, after all).
You can also grab a seat in the dining room where there’s a full menu of food available with dishes like poutine, empanadas, a wedge salad, deep dish pizza, a burger, and more.
A round of golf costs $12 per person and is first come, first served, and though Urban Putt doesn’t open until 4 P.M. on weekdays, it’s open at 11 A.M. on Saturdays and Sundays, so it’s the perfect place to escape the rain and do something that’s not totally par for the course. (Sorry. We had to!)
Unfortunately, when it rains, most of SF’s ping-pong tables (all of which seems to be in the backyards of dive bars) become unusable.
Luckily, as of last year, there’s SPiN, a ping pong “social club” in SoMa with 19 ping-pong tables, two bars where you can get beer, wine, and specialty cocktails, and plenty of places for lounging and hanging out between ping-pong battles to the death. Or, uh, friendly games, or whatever.
SPiN opens up every day at 11 A.M. and pricing depends on whether it’s a peak time ($29 for 30 minutes, $49 for an hour) or off-peak ($19 for 30 minutes, $29 for an hour).
There’s also a food menu with five different flatbreads, salads, sliders, and lots of shared plates, like a charcuterie, cheese plate, short rib, fries, wings, and more. Because, yes, you totally burn calories playing ping-pong, so it’s imperative that you refuel accordingly.
The thing about when the rain is really coming down is: you just don’t want to go outside. Not even to go to a fancy spa, which you’d need to have booked long in advance of when you got the weather forecast anyway.
The solution? Turn your home into a spa. And, no, we’re not talking about lighting some candles and drawing a bubble bath. We’re talking the best thing that happens at a spa: a luxurious massage.
Thanks to Soothe, you can get a five-star massage ordered to your home in as little as an hour.
You get to choose what kind of massage you want (deep tissue, Swedish, sports, or prenatal), the gender of your therapist, whether you want a couples massage, and how long you’d like it to be (60 minutes for $99, 90 minutes for $139, or 120 minutes for $169).
The massage therapist will arrive at your door with everything needed for the massage (table, sheets, oils, music, etc.), and tip is included so there is literally nothing to worry about except chillaxing, which probably isn’t a word anyone uses anymore.
We tried it (in the name of research, of course), and it’s seriously so amazing. But be warned: it could be very, very habit forming. Like, you may want a massage even when the sun is out. *gasp*
Eat and Drink Your Way Around Ghirardelli Square
Going on a bar crawl is last thing you want to do when it’s raining like a Saint Bernard relieving himself after his mama didn’t take him out for 12 hours (too specific?). Or so you think. What if we told you it was possible to go on a bar (and restaurant) crawl without having to walk more than a few feet at a few time? Interested now? Yeah, we thought so.
Well, you can totally drink your way through Ghirardelli Square, a place you’re thinking is totally touristy, but is actually way less touristy than you know, pinky swear. Start at the Bluxome Street Winery Tasting Room, where you can taste five wines for $15. (Good luck leaving without buying a bottle though.)
After you’ve gotten a tiny buzz, head to The Pub at Ghirardelli Square, where you can drink a little more and maybe get a nibble or watch the game. Then, you’re back upstairs to the Wattle Creek Winery Tasting Room followed by McCormick and Kuleto’s, where you’ll grab a seat at the bar, which normally has great views but probably won’t ‘cause: rain.
Once you’ve really worked up a wine and booze-fueled appetite, head to Waxman’s for more drinks (and dinner)—the bar doesn’t open until 5 P.M. Tuesday through Thursday and 4 P.M. on the weekends. But skip dessert because before you go home, you’re totally going to gorge on a sundae from Ghirardelli Chocolate. You kind of have to since you’re there, right?
You may not know this, but Dave & Buster’s, yes the place to play hundreds of arcade games and also drink beer, just opened at Serramonte Center in Daly City. And before you complain that Daly City is so far away, it’s seriously just like a 20 minute car or Uber ride, which is just as long as it would take you to get from the Upper Haight to Ghirardelli Square.
So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are all of the reasons why you want to spend your rainy day at Dave & Buster’s:
- Full bar
- Fried food you wouldn’t normally eat, but that you’ll totally eat because who’s going to say no to Pretzel Dogs, Beer Battered Onion Rings, Cheesy Spinach Dip, and Loaded Tots?
Yeah. Do we really need to say more?
Didn’t think so.
Bowl a Strike
If there is one activity in the world every single person thinks is fun, it’s bowling. And if you know someone who disagrees, probably, you shouldn’t know that person anymore.
You get to wear adorable shoes that have been worn by hundreds of people before you, knock pins down with a heavy ball, come up with an inappropriate name to call yourself on the computerized score sheet, play terrible (good) music on the jukebox, eat nachos with your dirty bowling fingers, and, yes… DRINK BEER. Sorry, but we really like sports where you also get to drink!
Bowling is one of our favorite activities even when it’s sunny out, but it’s for sure our top choice when the sky is aggressively spitting on us. Which is why we’re bowled over (did you expect anything else?) by the fact that SF has a pretty decent selection of bowling alleys.
There’s Mission Bowling Club ($38-59/hour; 6 lanes) for the cool kids who want to make sure everyone sees their cute butt in their tight jeans, and, uh, also eat good food (the burger!), and drink craft cocktails.
Then there’s Presidio Bowl ($29-45/hour; 12 lanes) for everyone who likes to drink Bud out of a bowling pin-shaped bottle and play songs on the Internet juke box.
Lucky Strike ($50/hour; 12 lanes) is for the SoMa tech kids, anyone who wants to bowl and watch football, and people who appreciate a full bar.
Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center ($27-48/hour ;12 lanes) is kind of everyone’s last choice, but is still a perfectly acceptable place to try to score. NOT LIKE THAT.
Basically, whatever your personality, there’s totally a place to bowl in SF that’s right up your… alley.
Dance in the Rain on an Urban Hike
Rain in SF can be magical if you let it. So instead of hunkering down indoors, put on your most waterproof clothing and head outside to soak it all up (literally and metaphorically).
Do the Land’s End hike (with drinks at The Cliff House after), hike around Mount Sutro, explore Golden Gate Park, or discover new spots in The Presidio. You just may find you see the city in a whole new way when everyone else is hiding inside.
Just be sure to bring your phone; after all, if you don’t Instagram what you see, it doesn’t even count. #RainySF #YouWontMelt #WellYouMightButItWillBeWorthIt
Hate all of our ideas?
Then may we recommend our other rainy day go-to: having lots of sex, eating Chinese food straight out of the carton, and watching the entire “Back to the Future” trilogy. Come to think of it, that sounds kind of like an amazing activity for even the sunniest of days.