As the last few weeks have reminded us, we're smack-dab in the middle of rainy season here in South Florida. Summer might be coming to an end but hurricane season isn't, so you can count on some rainy days in the near future. The rain creates a dilemma in Broward: What do we do when the best part about living here — the sunshine — is kaput?
We've become so accustomed to getting outside and enjoying the elements that we sometimes overlook the perfectly good options that even the palest northerners would enjoy. So the next time it's pouring in Broward, don't think that Netflix is your only option. All you need is an umbrella, some sweatpants, and a little motivation to kill some perfectly good chill time at these places the next time it's raining.
10. Read a book with a cup of coffee at Warsaw Coffee Company.
815 NE 13th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-990-4189.
Books are still a thing, we swear! The best thing about them? They are totally electricity proof. Believe it or not, books actually do not rely on an outside source for power, so they are completely usable during a rainstorm. Few things are better than a book and a cup of coffee, so why not run out to Warsaw Coffee Company and kill two birds with one rain-covered stone? There you'll find 3,800 square feet of space to stretch out and enjoy while you're waiting for the sky to clear up. They also have a full menu — not that pre-packaged microwavable crap you'll find at Starbucks.
9. Visit the Sky Zone Fort Lauderdale trampoline park.
1834 SW Second St., Pompano Beach; 954-417-3999.
Rain is the ultimate South Florida downer, so why not do something that will literally bounce you back up? The trampoline park at Sky Zone Ft.Lauerdale features numerous fun options that will no doubt have you totally forgetting what is happening outside. For as little as $10 (30 minute Jump Pass) you can hop on one of their trampolines and fly away. Want to stay dry longer? Jump (heh) into one of their dodgeball matches, or purchase a Glow Zone Pass that includes 120 minutes of trampoline time and a GLOW shirt. On a budget? Sky Zone routinely posts promos and deals on their website.
8. Take a tour of the Funky Buddha Brewery.
1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park; 954-440-0046.
Not being able to do anything productive outside is a bummer, but it also doubles as the perfect reason to drink, and we are always looking for more of those. The Funky Buddha Brewery tour is the perfect combination of being all artsy on a rainy day, but also a very informed alcoholic. If the rain falls on a Thursday, Saturday, or Sunday just five bucks will get you a tour of how the Funky sausage is made, a pint glass to keep, and beer samples along the way. You can also set up a private tour of 10 people or more for $10 a person, but those require a reservation.
7. Adopt a pet at the Humane Society of Broward County.
2070 Griffin Rd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-989-3977.
You know what's better than getting under the covers and vegging out during a rainstorm? Adding a puppy to snuggle with to that equation. Luckily for you. the Humane Society is open, rain or shine. You can actually view all the pets available for adoption in advance on the Humane Society website, then run down and pick up your new loved one just in time for the shows that start that night. You can even name your new dog or cat after the tropical depression, or just Snuggles would work, too.
6. Ride some Go Karts and play some video games at Xtreme Action Park.
5300 Powerline Rd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-491-6265.
You can pay all your bills online now, so do that, then go be a big kid. Xtreme Action Park is the sort of place you would have died to go on a rainy day as a kid, so technically you have a lot of catching up to do. You can bowl, ride Go Karts, climb a rope obstacle course, or just grab a bite to eat and a beer at Xtreme, so there is a little bit of everything to entertain the entire family. There are always family and "date night" offers available on their website.
5. Smoke a cigar and sip some espresso at Cigar & Espresso Too.
9623 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs; 954-255-5280.
If cigars and caffeine are your thing, boy have we found the perfect place for you to spend a rainy day. Cigar & Espresso Too is the sort of place you stroll on into when you're in no rush at all (see it's pouring outside). Browsing the selection of vaping supplies, cigars, and good espresso will more than kill some time while you're waiting for the sky to open back up. This isn't exactly a kid friendly option - but let's be honest — they are probably playing XBOX anyway.
4. Throw your kids a nonbirthday/birthday party at Monkey Joe's.
10301-B Royal Palm Blvd., Coral Springs; 954-796-6500.
Lets address the big creepy mouse in the room; Chuck E Cheese is so yesterday. Kids these days want more than just a slice of pizza and some way too easy carnival games. They want places Like Money Joe's, to be more specific. We're talking bounce houses, updated arcades, raffles, party rooms, and concessions that blow that mouse out of the water. The lively colors and sound of children laughing will more than make you forget that it's Armageddon outside.
3. Shop for some used books and CDs at Big Apple Bookstore.
5461 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; 954-772-7761.
If there was ever a day to dive into some second-hand treasure chests, a rainy day is it. Big Apple has a wide assortment of gently used books, CD's, and DVD's that are sure to bring you back to a time before bluetooth technology and Kindle's ruled the day. There really is no better time to find that long lost Outkast album you forgot about or that book you read in High School that you would love to read again. For the fraction of the price of a new book or CD, it's a great deal, and a fantastic way to better yourself while the rain won't let up.
2. Play laser tag at Laser Quest Sunrise.
2101 N. University Dr., Sunrise; 954-747-1474.
Who plays laser tag anymore? You kids, maybe, but when is the last time you did? Remember how much fun you used to have doing it with your friends in High School and College? Why not rekindle your love for laser tag (ok, that might be a little bit strong) on a day when there is nothing else to do? This also gives you an opportunity to teach your kids a lesson, as in, who is still boss. You might not be able to be at them in basketball anymore, but you sure as hell can sniper their asses like you're 20 years-old again.
1. Go bowling at Strikers Family Sportscenter.
8500 NW 44th St., Sunrise; 954-749-1400.
Right off the bat let me remind you; Bowling alleys have alcohol. Bowling always seems like a great idea, but we rarely end up actually doing it. A rainy day is the perfect time to grab a pitcher or beer and play a couple frames. It's the rare sport that you have the upper hand on your kids, so that's an added bonus too. What is best about bowling is it's easy to do, and after you're done doing it, you go sit down and drink some more. Sounds like the perfect rainy day to me.