You know what they say: “April showers bring May flowers,” so let’s plan on it and be prepared with a fantastic day in Virginia’s Blue Ridge regardless of the weather or season.
Center in the Square | Roanoke
Multiple museums in one makes Center in the Square an ideal place to crash in downtown Roanoke. See all kinds of interesting exhibits, the largest reef aquarium of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic, and play a few rounds at the Pinball Museum. Food is nearby and there’s plenty to see and do within these walls. Duck in, stay dry, and have a blast!
River Rock | Roanoke
Learn to climb rocks at this indoor climbing facility. Everything you need is available on-site and instructors will literally “show you the ropes.” Dust your hands and climb on up, then have a beer and lunch next door at Wasena City Tap Room and Grill.
Salem Museum | Salem
Museums are great places to learn what you don’t know. For example, we’d bet you didn’t know there used to be a huge amusement park in Salem (a mecca of fun for surrounding cities, in fact), or that Salem was a key stopping point for immigrants headed west. What else is there to learn about Salem that you don’t know? Well, you’ll have to visit to find out.
Explore the Caverns: Dixie Caverns & Caverns at Natural Bridge | Salem & Natural Bridge
One set of caves was discovered by a dog and his boy; the other is the deepest on the East Coast. A steady 50-something degrees, caverns are great shelter during the rain and cool reprieves on hot days.
Launching Pad Trampoline Park | Salem
A trampoline park is just for kids, right? Not hardly. But just in case you want to avoid tiny jumpers, mid-week in spring is the perfect time jump around, jump around, get up, get up and get down. Plus it’s indoors, so that’s the perk you’re looking for on a rainy day.
Trains are mighty beasts and O. Winston Link may be the photographer who best captured the rolling cylinders of iron and steel. Peruse the Link Museum to see some of his finest works of art. The museum shares its space with the History Museum of Western Virginia, which offers an excellent overview of the history of the Roanoke Valley and surrounding parts of Virginia.
Do the Skating Rinks: Firehouse Skate ‘N Play, Skate Center of Roanoke Valley, Star City Skate Center
Disco balls and hardwood floors. All that’s missing is you and a pair of old school, four-wheel skates. Gather the gang and drop it like it’s hot, but don’t develop a Saturday night fever. The goal here is fun times with great friends in a rain-free environment.
Browse the Art Museums: Taubman Museum, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Olin Hall Galleries
Fine art, unusual art, meaningful art … all of it can be found in the art museums of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. At the Taubman, the first bit of art you see is the building itself. Soaring, reaching lines at unconventional angles certainly require you to stop and take it in. Don’t linger too long; we’re trying to avoid the rain, remember?
The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University holds an Andy Warhol portrait of Maria Shriver in its permanent collection, as well as rotating exhibits across nearly 4,000 square feet of gallery space. The Olin Hall Galleries at Roanoke College also holds a few Warhol’s in its permanent collection. Make it an 80s day with these flashbacks!
See a Movie: Buchanan Theatre, Grandin Theatre, Westlake Cinema
Should you choose to forego the bowling in Blacksburg, head to a more traditional movie theatre for big screen showings. The Buchanan Theatre and the Grandin Theatre are both iconic neighborhood movie houses with a delightful marquee out front. Westlake Cinema in Hardy is a modern day cineplex near Smith Mountain Lake. Hit them all!
Go Shopping: Valley View Mall & Tanglewood Mall | Roanoke
You know we love our neighborhood and downtown boutiques and sweet finds, but let’s face it: rain doesn’t make for delightful sidewalk shopping. Rather, head to one (or both) of our Roanoke malls to find not only the national anchor stores but unexpected shops along the way. At Valley View, seek out Altar’d State, a shop-for-good retailer focused on bettering the lives of children.
Rainy Day Drinking at Our Wineries & Breweries
First and foremost: Designate a driver. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Second: What are you waiting for? We have resources to guide you along.
Stay dry and have a blast in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! Be sure to capture your fun and share socially with #BlueRidgeDay. We may share our favorites!