Entertain Yourself During All Four (Rainy) Seasons
No matter the time of year, we all need to prepare for a rainy day in Portland.
What to do? Staying at home binge-watching Game of Thrones or The Office for the tenth time is certainly an option. But eventually cabin fever will force you to go OUT (to forage for food, if nothing else). Here are five frugal options for fun on those inevitable rainy days in Portland:
1. Go to the (cheap) Movies
Of course, you can watch movies at home (see binge-watching reference above). But there’s something about sitting in a theater and looking up at that big screen with a greasy tub of popcorn that just completes the movie-watching experience.
Luckily, Portland has a wealth of inexpensive “second run” movie theaters and that should make all frugal types happy. You can even catch the new releases on special discounted days at these cheap Portland movie theaters.
My favorite cheap movie spot is Jubitz Cinema. I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t Jubitz a truck stop?” Trust me. This facility will make you rethink everything you know about truck stops. Plus, the theater is newly remodeled and shows $6 movies every day. It is definitely worth a rainy day drive up the North Portland.
Academy Theater is a great second-run bargain movie option. Prices are only $4 adults, $3 for 12 and under (and seniors) and they have specials that go beyond those low, low rates such as Two for Tuesday: buy one ticket get one free. They also offer child care in case your little ones can’t sit through a whole show.
2. Museum Hopping
If you’re a tourist, you probably already consider museums a top option for ANY day, not just the rainy ones. They are a great way to learn about the area you’re visiting. But even us natives could use a little refresher course on, say, our Oregon history or (gulp!) cultural pursuits.
In keeping with those sentiments the Oregon Historical Society museum is a fantastic option and for Multnomah County residents it is FREE ($10 for others). I guarantee that you will learn a ton about this fascinating state. You will be surprised. You will be enriched. Even if you don’t live in Multnomah County and, hence, get in free, you should consider it.
The Portland Art Museum is an awesome facility with a world class inventory, well worth a long, immersive visit. It is free on the first Thursday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m. This is the best day to visit and I recommend opening the calendar on your phone and making a note. Regular adult admission to the museum is now a whopping $20!
Other free and low cost museums to consider include the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, Portland Police Museum and Historical Society and Here’s a guide to free and cheap Portland museum days to help you plan your trip.
Exploring history, art and culture is not a bad way to spend a rainy day!
3. Hang Out at Your Favorite Local Coffee Shop
Portland always ranks near the top (the VERY top) of “most caffeinated cities in the country” lists. Why? I like to think it’s because we’re quite erudite (sipping espresso and reading The New Yorker or The Economist) and/or that we thrive on community – and coffee shops are where we congregate. But it could just be the weather. The other two cities that typically round out the Coffee Triumvirate are Seattle (no surprise!) and San Francisco—not cities known for their year-round sunshine.
Whatever the reason, get thee to a coffee shop! According to one recent survey, Portland is home to more than 1,500 caffeine distribution establishments. So you should be able to find one close by.
Bring your books and/or lap top (and/or friends!) and while away the afternoon.
4. Browse Those Books
While you can enjoy this rainy day activity at any book store, the beauty of Powell’s City of Books is that, along with countless new and used books to wander among, you can find refuge in the World Cup Coffee area to re-caffeinate, rest your feet and check out your prospective purchases.
This Portland icon is often packed on rainy days with like-minded individuals (so expect to sit next to a stranger in the coffee shop).
Another great places to peruse when it is downright gloomy outside are the many cozy independent bookstores in Portland. They all have their own flair and offer a wonderful refuge from the impending downpour.
5. Roller Skating – or Roller Skating Watching
Not everyone is cut out for roller skating. I, for one, consider it a spectator sport. At Oaks Park Roller Rink you can decide which role you want to take on. Roller Skating Sessions start at $7.50 per person and skate rentals begin at $2. As a spectator, I pay nothing to watch. 🙂 It’s especially fun if some of your bolder-but-no-more-capable friends are out there, wheeling around wildly.
Every Wednesday, Oaks Park offers a $6 skate night, which includes a conventional skate rental from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Not that you’ll need these tips, because it’s not going to rain the rest of the summer, and into the winter, but, just in case you need something to do, we’ve got you covered.
I’ll see you at Oaks Park.
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