Even though most days on the Gulf Coast are sunny, an afternoon rain show is not uncommon. And, while your beach condo or house is a perfect spot to relax and wait until the sun emerges once again, your family may want to get out a bit and explore some of the area’s fantastic indoor activities.
From arcades to museums and movies to shopping, there are plenty of adventure-filled indoor activities to explore on the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast.
Looking for a fun rainy day activity? An arcade can fill the bill for vacationers of all ages.
Arena The Next Level
Play in more than 10,000 square feet of fun on the upper level at The Wharf in Orange Beach.
Get competitive with your friends during a round of laser tag. Or, play Bazooka Ball, which is a combination of laser tag and paintball. While safe for younger players, the game provides an adrenaline rush for seasoned players too.
Fat Daddy’s Arcade
Open daily at 10 a.m., Fat Daddy’s Arcade is located in Orange Beach and offers more than 100 arcade games, interactive rides, a photo booth, food and more.
Interactive games include Guitar Hero, Jumping Jackpot, Big Buck Hunter Open Season, Terminator Salvation and The Fast and the Furious. Other games include coin pusher games, prize claws, Barber Cut, Deal or No Deal and more. There are even more traditional arcade games like Skee Ball, Hoops, Pac Man and Air Hockey.
Shrimpy’s Mini Golf & Arcade
Located at 204 East 2nd Ave., in Gulf Shores, Shrimpy’s Mini Golf and Arcade is a colorful spot to play. And, right next door is a seafood restaurant, making for a perfect evening of fun.
The Track Recreation Center
In Gulf Shores, just north of Gulf Shores on Ala. Hwy. 59 is The Track Recreation Center, where a large arcade is a perfect spot for a rainy afternoon of fun. In addition to fun arcade games, there are also interactive thrill rides inside as well.
Waterville USA is more than just water slides and wet and wild fun. An on-site arcade and the House of Bounce stand ready to welcome the entire family.
The House of Bounce is a 2,500-square-foot indoor playground that dares the family to tackle the obstacle course, dare the giant drop slide and play in the inflatable play area. Parents can hang out in the arena as the kids bounce to their hearts’ content.
Browse & Learn At Museums
The Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast is blessed with numerous museums and learning centers that help tell the story of the area.
Baldwin County Heritage Museum
Located in Elberta, only a few miles from the Gulf Coast Beaches, the Baldwin County Heritage Museumcontains exhibits that were collected from the daily lives of the men and women who built Baldwin County.
The museum’s exhibits are located within 20,000 square feet of space and allow visitors to reconnect with the early history of Baldwin County.
The museum also features special exhibits and events, and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.
Gulf State Park Nature Center
Gulf State Park’s Nature Center is a living museum of plants and animals that are native go the Gulf Coast region.
Weekly programs include guided nature walks, beach walks, pier walks and a nature time.
The center, located within the state park campground area, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum
Originally a schoolhouse when it was built in 1910, the Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum has been a museum since 1995.
The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, but group tours may be booked at other times.
The museum houses local artifacts and memorabilia related to Orange Beach’s Native American and fishing heritage. Families of early fishermen have donated supplies and collectibles that show the challenges and achievements of the early days of the area.
National Museum of Naval Aviation
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the National Museum of Naval Aviation is the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida.
The museum contains more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation. Historic and one-of-a-kind aircraft are displayed both inside the museum’s nearly 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and also on the 37-acre grounds.
A 325-seat giant screen theater presents a variety of films, including “The Magic of Flight,” offering a “Fly with the Blues” experience that tells the story of human potential and the importance of training and importance.
Admission and parking are free. Visitors to the museum 16 years of age and older must have a valid photo ID and all bags are subject to search.
Fort Morgan Historic Site
Located 23 miles west of Ala. Hwy. 59 on scenic Fort Morgan Road, the museum at the Fort Morgan Historic Site is filled with displays of artifacts portraying the artillery, uniforms and history of the area for more than 200 years.
The museum and gift shop are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily.
Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center & IMAX Dome Theater
The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, located in Mobile, features exhibits that explore science, math and technology in an effort to provoke innovative and critical thinking that leads to discovery.
The center features a variety of permanent as well as special exhibits. Permanent exhibits are housed in three galleries: Hands On Hall, Wharf of Wonder and My BodyWorks. There are also live demonstrations held in the ChemLab and BioLab.
Special exhibits have included solving a murder mystery at the Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery exhibit, the Da Vinci: Machines & Robotics exhibit and more.
The J.L. Bedsole IMAX Dome Theater shows films on a variety of topics, such as great white sharks, mummies, the Hubble telescope, airplanes, Greece, Everest, space and more.
The Exploreum is open daily, and admission prices depend on age.
Gulf Shores Museum
Housed in a World War II-era home on land donated by one of the founders of Meyer Vacation Rentals,Claude O’Connor, the Gulf Shores Museum first opened in 1982 as a library and later as a youth center. Today, it tells the story of Gulf Shores with a variety of artifacts that appear in permanent exhibits. Seasonal programs and events are also offered.
The museum is located on 19th Avenue in Gulf Shores, near the public library and city government buildings.
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
Named Alabama’s 2015 Attraction of the Year, USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park offers self-guided tours of the USS Alabama, USS Drum submarine, the Aircraft Pavilion, park memorials, military equipment and a recreational area.
The USS Alabama, a South Dakota-class battleship, was commissioned in 1942 and served in World War II in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. She was retired in 1962 and in 1964 taken to Mobile Bay and opened as a museum ship the following year. She was added to the National Historic Landmark registry in 1986.
The park is open 364 days a year.
Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Located in Fairhope, the Weeks Bay Reserve encompasses more than 6,000 acres of land and water in and around Weeks Bay and along Mobile Bay.
The Reserve has a free educational interpretive center and two boardwalks. One boardwalk is behind the Reserve Interpretive Center and leads to Weeks Bay; the pitcher plant bog boardwalk connects to Fish River.
The Reserve is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
A little teamwork and an adventurous spirit go a long way for these next rainy day options.
Breakout Orange Beach
Not your average outing, Breakout Orange Beach invites visitors to solve mysteries. With different rooms that follow unique storylines, you and your friends have 60 minutes to escape your adventure of choice by cracking codes, solving puzzles and following clues.
Themes at this uniquely adventurous spot include “Kidnapping,” “Operation: Casino,” and “Hostage.” Escape themes are periodically changed.
Breakout Orange Beach is located on the second story of The Wharf at Orange Beach, so when you’ve “escaped,” there are plenty of restaurants, shops and other attractions to explore.
Gulf Coast Escape Room
Escaping is also the key at the Gulf Coast Escape Room, located at the Bayou Village shopping center next door to Matt’s Ice Cream shop.
Visitors have 60 minutes to solve puzzles, find clues and escape a themed room. Players are advised to communicate and cooperate with one another to maximize the experience created by this sophisticated code-cracking adventure game.
Themes at this experience include “Zombie Autopsy,” “The Doll Room,” and “Stop the Oil Spill.”
For either of these venues, reserve tickets in advance online for the experience of your choice.
Catch A Movie
Two movie theaters are located in close proximity to Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key: Carmike Cinemas Wharf 15 in Orange Beach and Cobb Pinnacle 14 Theatres in Gulf Shores.
The Wharf 15 is located at 23151 Wharf Lane in Orange Beach. Call (251) 981-4444 for show times.
The Cobb Pinnacle 14 is located at 3780 Gulf Shores Parkway. For movie times, call (251) 923-0100.
Explore The Arts
There are lots of opportunities on the Gulf Coast to peruse beautiful works of art and also to make your own.
Blue Girl Beading Company
A “bead boutique,” Blue Girl Beading Company is located at 2200 East 2nd Street in Gulf Shores.
Owner and designer Tara Gifford teaches visitors how to design their own jewelry using wire, metal work and intricate stitching. Drop by to design your own piece, or register for a class. Classes are taught for a fee, which also includes materials.
Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach
Love the arts? There is plenty to see at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. A gallery and gift shop showcase watercolorists, potters, painters, photographers, sculptors and textile artists. Artwork is frequently changed so there is always something new to see!
Also on site is a hot shop, where you may visit to see glass blowing in progress. There are also glass blowing lessons, group demonstrations, glass fusing and lamp work done on site.
The Clay Studio features the work of ceramics artist May Blame-Cantrell. You might also enjoy creating your own pottery Monday through Friday.
Make reservations for the Hot Shop or Clay Studio in advance by calling (251) 981-2787.
More Fun Stuff
Looking to let the family blow off some steam during a rain shower? The below activities are pretty high energy!
Open jump sessions are held throughout the day at The Factory, where participants are invited to play now and grow up later.
The park features 12,000 square feet of connected trampolines – more than 50! The famous angled wall trampolines and a series of launching decks from different heights create even more fun.
The Factory also offers air dodgeball, a basketball goal to dunk on, and foam pits to soar into.
A flight simulator allows you to experience air-to-air combat, stunt flying and interactive roller coaster rides. Combined with patented, fully interactive, 360-degree pitch and roll technology, kids and adults will find this indoor attraction very exciting!
Gulf Bowl Family Entertainment
Need to keep everyone busy for a few hours? Bring them to Foley to play at Gulf Bowl Family Entertainment, which is more than just a bowling alley.
Call ahead – (251) 943-4575 — to reserve a lane.
Come early to eat at Captain’s Choice, which serves everything from fried pickles to oysters Rockefeller. A full bar is also available, featuring specialty drinks as well as premium or import draft beer.
Combine your bowling excursion with a game of laser tag at the multi-level laser tag arena on site. Or, enjoy playing arcade games and winning prizes.
When the rain showers come, many visitors gravitate toward shopping. After all, you don’t want to return home empty handed!
Pelican Place at Craft Farms
Located just north of the Intracoastal Canal Waterway bridge in Gulf Shores and anchored by Target, Cobb Theatres, Books A Million, Bed Bath & Beyond, Publix and a Courtyard by Marriott, Pelican Place at Craft Farms is a lifestyle center featuring a streetscape intersected by a pedestrian restaurant plaza and splash fountain.
Several restaurants and boutique-styled shops are located at Pelican Place. It’s a great place to explore, enjoy an ice cream, watch a movie and browse the shops.
Looking for great deals on your favorite designer or brand name clothing? Check out Tanger Outlets in Foley. Shops are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
At Tanger, you’ll find accessories and jewelry, apparel, children’s apparel, food, footwear, housewares and home furnishings, and specialty goods.
Some of the popular stores include American Eagle, Charlotte Russe Outlet, Coach, Golf 4 Less, New York & Company, Nike Factory Store, Old Navy Outlet, Under Armour, Levi’s Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren, Claire’s, Michael Kors, Journeys, T.J. Maxx, Le Creuset, Bath & Body Works, and Yankee Candle.
The Wharf in Orange Beach
The Wharf in Orange Beach is a diverse entertainment destination featuring a 112-foot-tall Ferris wheel, a music and lights show, uniquely coastal shops, restaurants, an amphitheater and a marina.
Restaurants featuring everything from burgers and pub food to steaks and fresh Gulf seafood.
The Wharf Putt-Putt is an 18-hole mini golf course open seven days a week. The Arena offers indoor fun for kids with arcade games, Bazooka Ball, Mission Impossible and Laser Tag. New at The Wharf is Breakout Orange Beach, where you and your friends and family work together to escape a themed room.
Also on site is a 15-screen movie theater, and a 10,000-seat amphitheater that headlines artists such as Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Twenty One Pilots and more.
The marina at The Wharf is located on the Intracoastal Canal Waterway and offers everything from boat slip rentals to excursions to see dolphins play or watch the sun set. Charter a fishing boat, rent a boat for a day, tour the bayous and marshlands on a nature tour or relax on a cruise.
50 Years Of Making Your Memories Our Business
Meyer Vacation Rentals has been helping families create forever memories at cool pools across the Gulf Coast since 1967.
These fun indoor activities are near Meyer’s condos and beach houses in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan,Orange Beach and Perdido Key.