As moms, we’ve all been there. We have a fun day at the beach or an exciting outdoor activity planned for the family and suddenly the weather isn’t being a team player. Thanks a million, Mother Nature!
If you find yourself facing a 30A rainy day, don’t fret. There’s plenty to enjoy beyond the beach. I’m sharing a few fun activities that provide indoor entertainment and even a few sweet souvenirs to take home.
This is probably a mom’s go-to escape! Luckily there are tons of shopping options around with unique, carefully curated shops in Seaside, Rosemary Beach, 30Avenue, Grayton Beach and Gulf Place plus much larger shopping centers at Grand Boulevard, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Destin Commons and Pier Park.
Our beach towns have SO MANY good restaurants, bars and festive hangouts. I mean truly. There are enough that you can’t cover them all in one trip and even as full-time locals, there are plenty to circle back to. Rainy days give you a chance to check off a bucket list spot or linger longer without guilt that you’re missing the beach and pretty blue skies. You can even make it a progressive meal and hop around.
This is easily one of my favorite experiences! Mary Hong is a previous Artist of the Year for Visit South Walton and creates gorgeous glass art for her galleries and clients. For a rainy day on 30A (or anytime!), she also offers a super fun, hands-on experience at The Shard Shop for all ages. You don’t need any skill or art background to enjoy it, but if you’re even slightly art-inclined, this will be a favorite activity for you and your family. Locations in Grayton Beach, Grand Boulevard, Baytowne and Destin.
As much as I love Audible, there’s nothing like wandering through a quaint bookstore to stumble upon a favorite new read. We’re so lucky to have two of the best with Sundog Books in Seaside and Hidden Lantern Bookstore in Rosemary Beach. Both have an impressive selection, knowledgeable staff and plenty to soak in. Sundog’s children’s section is a magnet for kiddos that will be hard to pry them away from. Emery always finds a new book, toy or activity to love just like I do. And if you need a grown-up recommendation, here’s a list of what I’ve been reading lately. // Bonus: Central Square Records is upstairs if you need rainy day music!
Check the schedules for Emerald Coast Theatre Company at Grand Boulevard or Seaside’s The Rep theatre. Both perform shows onsite at their home bases but also travel around 30A for various shows in season.
Both Grand Boulevard at Sandestin and Pier Park in Panama City Beach have movies theatres (The Boulevard 10 and The Grand 16, respectively) and you can typically find at least one family-friendly movie on the lineup. The Boulevard 10 even boasts a 3D option and a dine-in theatre will a full food and drink menu. Both are great, but check to see which is closest to you.
Our family absolutely loves playing mini golf and there are a ton of local places to go, however, when the rain comes down, the place to be is Rainforest Blacklight Golf in Miramar Beach. They have 18 holes, an arcade and plenty of fun.
Even if you’re staying in a rental, especially a family friendly property, chances are you can find board games, cards or a dice game to entertain you. It’s rare in such a technology driven age to take time to play such an analog activity, but it’s such a fun moment for everyone to come together. And if you really need your phone, you can play Heads Up or trivia to your hearts content.
Make it a family fun day with arcade games and a little friendly competition. Check out Blast Arcade and Laser Maze in Sandestin (Village of Baytowne Wharf), Thrills Laser Tag and Arcade in Seascape or Dave & Buster’s at Pier Park Panama City Beach.
Located only a few miles from the east end of 30A, the Museum of Man in the Sea is a hidden gem. They have some pretty cool submarines on site and kids will love learning more about the history of diving and underwater travel at this hands-on museum.
Aim for a strike with an exciting game of bowling at Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl at Destin Commons, Hurricane Lanes in Destin or Rock It Lanes in Panama City Beach.
Try one of the new-ish trampoline parks at Just Jump in Panama City Beach or Surge Trampoline Park in Mary Esther. It’s a great way to release rainy-day energy then see how fast the follow-up naps lasts!
Learn all about dolphins, sea life and other fun facts at either of our local marine parks: Gulf World in Panama City Beach or The Gulfarium in Destin.
Go full tourist mode and make your way through these spectacular museums. They focus on wild facts and true stories shared in a way that can capture any kid’s attention. Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not and Wonderworks are located in Panama City Beach, right across from each other.
There are so many picture perfect scenes around 30A and it can be a lot of ground to cover. Use a rainy day as an excuse to drive from one end of 30A to the other and turn it into a family discussion of your favorite houses, neighborhoods or things you spotted along the way. Even in the rain, she’s a beauty and you can see why 30A has the Scenic Highway designation.
Not to be unsafe, but if the rain and conditions are light enough, just embrace the situation. There’s nothing quite like splashing and playing in the rain at the beach. Gauge the situation and go for it. 😊
If you have any other favorite rainy day activities I didn’t mention, comment below and let me know!