Singapore may not have the four seasons (beyond hot and scorching hot), but we still get the occasional rainy day or hazy week, depending on what Mother Nature decides to throw our way.
Don’t let the weather get you down, though — there’s plenty to do when it’s thundering outside, beyond the usual activities of hitting the city’s best shopping spots or digging into fancy set lunches.
So break out your brolly (or mask) and follow us around the island for some indoor entertainment.
Break out of escape rooms
The puzzling scenarios that escape rooms put you in may require more thinking and strategic moves than you’re willing to offer, but that’s what brainy buddies are for. So if the idea of testing your teamwork skills and surviving a horror movie-type scenario appeals to you, immerse yourself in escape room attractions like Freeing SG, which features realistic, 5D fantasy experiences, or Lost SG, for creepy themes and supernatural settings.
On a more light-hearted note, The Escape Hunt leads you down the detective road, where you’ll get to play pretend as Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew, while Lockdown SG lets you solve mysteries with its bear mascot at the helm.
Chill at a book cafe
Sweater weather is the best time to curl up by the window with a mug of coffee or tea and a good book. Even if you don’t have the fluffy pillows, fairy lights, and other Pinterest-worthy trimmings of a reading corner, these book-loving hangouts are just as cozy.
The Moon, for example, exudes the kind of boho shop house ambience you only wish your home could have. And The Reading Room, which appeared in the movie Crazy Rich Asians, is a quaint little space along Bukit Pasoh Road.
If pastels make you happy, pop by Looksee Looksee and plop unto one of the cushy bean bag chairs or sofa seats to read up on art, design, and food. Otherwise, the Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop highlights homegrown talent with its selection of local literature.
For a grander experience, Cook & Tras Social Library at Six Senses Maxwell gives off major Beauty and the Beast vibes, and it’s stocked with an array of more than 3,000 titles covering everything from wellness to natural history.
Catch an alternative film
Mainstream blockbusters aside, sometimes you just want to appreciate a proper film without being bombarded by explosions, superheroes, or monsters. Enter The Projector, a quirky cinema in Golden Mile Tower that screens indie, foreign, and cult faves. Or The Screening Room, an intimate space that transforms into a champagne lounge after 10pm. Or Objectifs, which shows the occasional documentary and short film at its Bugis location.
Also watch out for Salt Media and its line-up of inspirational titles, EagleWings Cinematics, which features a mix of popular flicks and faith-based films, and Oldham Theatre’s Asian and local selection at the revamped National Archives of Singapore building.
Enter the virtual world
Escape from the dreariness of life and dive into virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) games, where you can save the world from a zombie apocalypse, hop on an adrenaline ride, or travel back in time.
Headrock VR, otherwise known as the country’s first theme park of its kind, offers all kinds of thrill-seeking experiences, from jungle rafting with dinosaurs to fleeing a haunted house in the Amazon forest. If you’re more of the sci-fi type, try Virtual Room for some time-traveling action, or Sandbox VR to hunt for treasure and soar through the sky in a futuristic city.
Get your art on
Art jamming may no longer be as trendy as it once was, but it’s still a great way to spend a lazy afternoon without having to deal with the clean-up mess afterwards. Try Arteastiq for a painting session followed by afternoon tea and Artify Studio to create your own watercolor pieces, or create an intentional mess at Splat Paint House, where you’ll make art the unusual way — with spray bottles and water guns.
For another creative outlet, sign up for craft classes like brush writing or book-binding by Bynd Artisan, soap-making by Soap Ministry, silversmithing by Fat Anvil Studios, or crepe paper flower sculpting by Miss Petal & Bloom.
Culture, heritage, and history await at local landmarks like National Gallery Singapore, National Museum of Singapore, Asian Civilisations Museum, and Singapore Art Museum (which is undergoing redevelopment works until 2021). For a more futuristic, interactive experience, swing by the ArtScience Museum for digital art and an ever-changing line-up of intriguing exhibitions (past ones include Marvel superheroes and creatures of the deep).
On the quirky side, the Vintage Cameras Museum takes you on a journey through retro cams and photos, while the Mint Museum of Toys brings you back in time to your childhood days. Other cool galleries to explore include the Trick Eye Museum at Resorts World Sentosa, the Singapore Science Centre, and the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.
Ricochet off the walls
Bounce off that pent-up energy from being cooped up indoors and burn calories at the same time at these activity parks, where you’re encouraged to flex those muscles and show off your nimble skills.
At SuperPark, the huge new adventure concept in Suntec City, you can tackle the obstacle course, parkour area, flying fox, or basketball court. For dodgeball games, climbing walls, and a Ninja Warrior-like arena, try Bounce Singapore. Otherwise, execute your best spins and flips at trampoline places such as Amped and Katapult.
Take the entertainment indoors
Who needs nature hikes when you can go cosmic bowling, shoot some darts, sing your karaoke heart out, and annihilate arcade games all in one spot?
The neon-lit K Bowling Club provides some pretty neat entertainment options when you’re done with retail therapy in Orchard, but Timezone is also a great place to beat high scores and kill time. Its outlet at VivoCity, especially, houses a mini bowling alley, bumper cars, and loads of prizes to be won.
Oh, and if you’ve got an axe to grind, throw it (literally) at the bullseye. Axe Factor is where you can vent those frustrations by hurling the weapon at a target board 14 feet away, and fret not, you’ll be safe under the guidance of the brand’s “axe-perts”.
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This article, 8 indoor things to do on rainy (and hazy) days in Singapore, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!