There's no reason to let an all-day downpour drag you down—especially when the city offers so many great indoor escapes. Here are some of our favorites:
Fight the storm with fiction at Myopic Books
Wedged into a row of eclectic shops, restaurants and bars, this Wicker Park shop is a dreamland for bookish types, though the cramped multi-level interior is more akin to the dark corridors of a dungeon. Floor-to-ceiling shelves of used gems line Myopic's walls, while recent additions sprawl over a number of glass-topped counters. It's easy to come in with one title in mind and leave with something more like ten. Chicago bookstores
Stay dry at the Davis Theater
This old-school theater will take you back to the days of 50-cent flicks and Hollywood glam. Well, you'll have to imagine the glam part, as the rustic interior itself isn't so glitzy anymore, but it doesn't take much to imagine the appreciation it garnered back in its heyday. The movie selection here isn't as vast as those chain places, but affordable ticket prices keep the Davis ahead of the big guys.
Chicago movie theaters
Beat boredom with board games at Guthrie's Tavern
Board games, like most of life's classic pastimes, are more enjoyable when paired with beer. Guthrie's Tavern will be the first to attest to this with its cabinet full of nostalgic games like Yahtzee and Trivial Pursuit. The neighborhood pub also has a screened-in back porch, where you can shake your victorious fist at the rain - and your Scrabble competitor.
More bars with indoor games
Start a scrapbook at Paper Source
Now that you've got some extra time on your hands, you can finally get to those boxes of photos that have been sitting around your apartment since you moved in. Instead of tucking them into a set of humdrum frames, we recommend bringing the pics to life in a self-made scrapbook. Paper Source has just about everything you need, from meaningful backgrounds to whimsical cutouts, to get the job done. Of course, it'll take longer than one rainy day to complete, giving you something to look forward to with the next storm.
Host a movie marathon with North Coast Video
Instead of sulking around your apartment alone waiting for the sun to shine, call up a few friends and host a movie marathon. Pick a theme (zombies, heart-felt dramas, documentaries, etc.) or rent the entire first season of your favorite series at North Coast Video. New releases are just $3.35, which is about two bucks cheaper than those national spots, saving you more dough for beer and popcorn.
Get inspired at the Andersonville Galleria
Most people flock to the mall on a rainy day. It makes sense, all that indoor shopping right at your fingertips. But we like to keep it local, so when the shopping bug hits, we hike it to the artisan-focused Andersonville Galleria. The multi-level indoor market features over 90 local tenants in its loft-like space, offering everything from clothing and jewelry to antiques and gourmet goodies. You can easily kill a couple hours here, along with your bank account. But try to save some cash for dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants
Entertain your inner child at Sluggers
You could jump and splash around in the puddles, or you could do something slightly more socially acceptable and head to Sluggers. The family-owned and operated bar offers a little something for the kid in all of us. We like the skee-ball best, but you can also try your hand at a round of pool, air hockey or electronic basketball. Sluggers is also home to a number of batting cages and virtual driving and skiing games, among others. It isn't any surprise that this place has been called a "sports bar on steroids."
Work up a sweat at the Galter LifeCenter
You can forget about that long jog you were going to take along Lakeshore, but the crummy weather isn't an excuse to skip your workout altogether. Instead, head over the Galter LifeCenter and pick up a guest pass for $15, which gets you a day's use of the entire 69,000 square-foot facility. The fitness center also offers a myriad of programs like yoga, pilates, tai chi, precision cycling, and boot camp fitness, along with wellness services like massage, reflexology, watsu and acupuncture. Temporary memberships are also available from one-week to one-month and range from $55-$100.
Chicago gyms and yoga studios
Play with a pooch at Red Door
When none of your pals can come out to play, you can find a furry friend at the Red Door animal shelter. The cage-free space provides a temporary (and sometimes permanent) haven for cats, dogs and rabbits. The only risk here is falling in love with one of the cuddly creatures. But if you can't commit to a long-term relationship with Fido, Fluffy or Thumper, you can check out Red Door's foster care program, which allows you to care for an animal in need until she finds an adoptive family or a space at the shelter.
More ways to pamper your pet
Pamper yourself at Allyu Spa
So your plans to spend a day of rest and relaxation at the beach are looking grim… you can still treat yourself to a lazy afternoon at Allyu Spa, and even manage to soak up a little heat in the sauna. Sure, you'll probably end up spending more dough at the River North facility than you would've forked over at the beach, but you'll feel 10 times more refreshed and rejuvenated when it's all over.
More Chicago spas