The weather is unpredictable and can change at a moment’s notice, even when you’re in sunny Florida. So what happens when the rain puts a damper on your list of things to do in the sun? Does that mean you’re destined to have a dull day?
Absolutely not. Tampa has a wealth of indoor activities for kids and adults alike – you just need to know where to look. Luckily, OutCoast has all the bases covered! Here’s our guide to indoor activities in Tampa.
1. Henry B. Plant Museum
Admission: $12 for private tours, $10 for adults, $7 for seniors/students, and $5 for children under 12
Don’t let the name fool you – the Henry B. Plant Museum isn’t a museum about the lush flora of Tampa, but it’s still worth the visit.
In 1891, railroad magnate Henry B. Plant decided to build the extravagant Tampa Bay Hotel in the opulent style of the Gilded Age. Over a century later, the Tampa Bay Hotel’s Moorish architecture has found new life as the Henry B. Plant Museum, which affords visitors a well-maintained look into the past. The museum is also part of the University of Tampa campus, one of the most beautiful places in the area.
Rain or shine, the museum has plenty to see: exhibits containing antique photos, paintings, century-old furniture, and a permanent collection made of beautiful vases and statues – all narrated by an educational self-guided audio tour. If you and your partner are looking for an experience to take you back through time, the Henry B. Plant Museum should be the first place you go!
OutCoast tip: If you’re looking for more art, you can head down to the Tampa Museum of Art just a stone’s throw away.
2. Tampa Theatre
Admission: Depends on the event
Attractions don’t make it onto the list of “America’s 21 Wonders” without offering a truly unique experience, and the Tampa Theatre has definitely earned the title.
Despite its rather nondescript exterior, the theatre is pure luxury on the inside. It has its own shining night sky stretching over the stalls flanked by a vast, intricately designed facade. The result is the feeling of sitting out in an open-air plaza, just like the theatres of yore.
Adults and kids alike will find all sorts of things to ooh and aah over on a rainy day in this Tampa, FL haunt, from concerts and films to historically accurate candy counters. But that’s not all there is to this palatial place of fun!
The theatre is known to host comedians, local and foreign movies, and entire film festivals. We recommend checking out the event calendar on the theatre’s website for all types of shows and screenings.
3. Museum Of Science & Industry
Admission: $7.95 for children under 12, $10.95 for seniors over 60, and $12.95 for everyone else
If the rain has put a damper on your plans for fun in the sun, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, Florida is a fun indoor alternative that’s also educational! With some of the most comprehensive collections and exhibits about science and technology, people of all ages and walks of life are bound to find something that interests them.
Unlike some interactive museums in Tampa FL (like the Glazer Children’s Museum), you don’t just get accurate information and a good session of brain stimulation. MOSI offers a wide range of interesting experiences – from eSports to gaming nights with complimentary beer and wine samples to summer camps entitled “How to Be a Mad Scientist!” It’s definitely one of the most flexible and fun options in the Tampa Bay area.
4. Tampa Bay Rum Company
Full disclosure: our next rain or shine suggestion is one for adults only, so leave the kids behind for some boozy fun with your partner.
No visit to Tampa Bay, Florida is complete without visiting some of its famous breweries, and the Tampa Bay Rum Company is one of the best in the area. Located in the historic Ybor City, this intimate little brewery has a tasting room filled with its award-winning rum plus a few select alcoholic drinks.
It also conducts walk-in tours led by a few select partners who really understand rum and all its intricacies. That said, you’ll have more than enough time to stop over at the Buccaneer Bar (no craft beer here, sorry). We also recommend grabbing some pirate-themed swag before you head off to visit a few other listings and activities on your rainy day adventure!
5. The Florida Aquarium
Admission: Price varies, but expect to pay $35-40 for admission
Who says indoor activities need to be strictly limited to museums and exhibits? Located along Channelside Dr, The Tampa Aquarium has a wealth of options available for every sort of visitor.
Travelers can start with a visit to its in-house cafe, which serves an all-American menu of hotdogs, chicken tenders, and kid-friendly snacks. Once everyone’s tummies are full, you can check out the event calendar for the day, which can have anything from a Wild Dolphin Cruise, a “Backstage Pass” to hang out with the penguins, or a romp in the Splash Pad.
But if you’re looking for the classic aquarium experience, you can always hide from the rainy day weather among tanks full of colorful fish and sea animals. All exhibits have their own fact sheet full of scientific data and valuable content for the would-be marine biologist!
6. Breakout’s Imagine Escape Rooms Tampa, Florida
Admission: Entry starts at $22.99
Escape rooms are the ultimate indoor activity. It’s fun, exciting, and not to mention challenging – you have to flex your thinking and problem-solving skills while working with your teammates!
When you visit Breakout’s Imagine Escape Rooms, you’ll be able to choose from various activities and themed rooms. Some of our favorites include a room that requires visitors to break out from a kidnapping scenario and a vaguely Indiana Jones-y jungle room. Be sure to check out the website and book a ticket for one that tickles your fancy.
As far as escape room experiences go, Breakout is a pretty standout place. It has top-tier customer service, challenging yet realistic puzzles, and a decked-out photo booth to show everyone that you and your friends made it through…or not.
7. iFly Indoor Skydiving
Admission: Packages start at $59.95
Indoor skydiving is arguably one of man’s most significant accomplishments. It doesn’t matter if you’re scared of heights or claustrophobic, indoor skydiving is the perfect way to experience the thrill of hurtling through open air without any risk.
iFly’s inclusive service is available to people of all abilities – that means anyone can make their dreams of flying come true! And if you’re worried about getting injured, rest assured that iFly keeps things extra safe with its state-of-the-art wind tunnel.
There aren’t many places in South Tampa and beyond that value safety as much as iFly. That’s why so many people trust it for pre-skydiving training and summer camps for their kids.
OutCoast insider tip: if you’re not too keen on this stomach-flipping thrill, we recommend checking out the nearby Sky Zone trampoline park.
8. Vertical Ventures Rock Climbing
Admission: $65 for a 5-day punch card or $75 for a one-month membership
Vertical Ventures is an indoor rock climbing gym located in the Tampa Westshore Business District. It has 28 spacious indoor routes with cutting-edge safety equipment alongside careful training and assistance from its team of seasoned instructors, making it the best way to get your climbing fix while staying safe and dry.
So if you’re looking for a physically challenging activity for you and your family, be sure to drop Vertical Ventures an email or check out its website for more information about classes and schedules!
Final Thoughts: Tampa’s Best Indoor Activities
When the weather in Tampa gets tampa-stuous (ha!) and you’re robbed of your waterfront views and outdoor laser tag sessions, it’s natural to feel like you’ve wasted your time. However, there are so many things to do in Tampa, even when the weather doesn’t agree with you – and that’s the OutCoast guarantee.
Need more Tampa activity info? Check out Tampa Bay regional page for lots of travel tips.
**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.