black and white photo of three people under umbrellas with the back toward the camera

10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Chattanooga

Whether you’re exploring Chattanooga for the first time or enjoying its familiar charm as a longtime resident, a rainy forecast does not need to put a damper on your day. Luckily, Chattanooga has plenty of options to get you out of the house, or hotel room, and engaged in fun indoor activities with the whole family no matter the weather.

From rock climbing gyms and museums to natural wonders, these Chattanooga indoor activities are bound to pique your interest!

1. Creative Discovery Museum

The mission of the Creative Discovery Museum is “To inspire all children to explore, innovate, create, and play.” With permanent and temporary exhibits, science demonstrations, art lessons, and interactive displays, the Creative Discovery Museum offers kiddos the chance to play, interact, and learn in the process!  Their newest permanent exhibit, Treehouse Adventures, is now open. Keep in mind, the new exhibit’s availabiliity is weather dependent but there is tons to do inside the museum rain or shine.

Instragram post from the Creative Discovery Museum showing a toddler playing at a splash table

2. Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium consists of two buildings centered on river and ocean ecosystems allowing visitors to “trace the path of water from the mountains to the sea.” The aquarium is dedicated to the research, education, and conservation of the Southeast region’s rich freshwater ecosystem.

The aquarium offers a variety of different displays and exhibits, as well as an IMAX theater. There’s so much to see and learn. We recommend allowing at least 2-3 hours to take in all of the amazing animals and exhibits the aquarium has to offer!

Tennessee Aquarium Instagram post of a lemur with a birthday sign

3. Hunter Museum of Art

Not only is the Hunter Museum an extraordinary work of architecture with a lovely view of the Tennessee River and North Chattanooga landmarks, but the museum is also home to an incredibly diverse collection of American art.

The Hunter museum features art from the present day all the way back to the Colonial period. The staff and curators at the Hunter Museum strive to help visitors better understand American history and culture through art. The museum also features exhibits and interactive areas that are perfect for families with small children!

Hunter museum of art

4. Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls has been an iconic destination in Chattanooga for over 90 years! The tallest underground waterfall accessible to the public, Ruby Falls provides an awe-inspiring destination for people of all ages. You can pick your cave adventure and Ruby Falls guides will lead you along the paved cavern trail to the waterfall. You’ll learn about how the waterfall was accidentally discovered, see ancient geological formations, and the gorgeous light show at the waterfall is a crowd pleaser. Best of all, rainy days are the very best time to see the waterfall because rainfall in the area increases the volume of water flowing through the mountain to the waterfall, which makes the falls especially beautiful!

Go online and purchase your tickets in advance because admission is by time-entry ticket and tours sell out quickly especially during the summer, holiday weekends and school breaks.

People in the Ruby Falls cave with purple lighting

5. High Point Climbing Gym

High Point Climbing and Fitness is one of the nation’s largest and most unique climbing gyms! Located in the heart of Downtown Chattanooga, High Point is easily recognizable by its iconic translucent outdoor climbing wall.

High Point’s facility includes two large bouldering rooms, yoga classes, weight rooms, a 60-foot lead climbing cave, and a kid zone that allows children as young as 3 years old to climb! In the kid zone, you’ll find auto belays, speed climbing routes, and even an obstacle that allows the kiddos to safely run on top of skyscrapers like King Kong while safely strapped into a harness.

Instagram post from High Point climbing gymy

6. Pinball Chattanooga

The Classic Arcade Pinball Museum is one of Chattanooga’s newest destinations. Born out of a love for classic pinball machines and arcade games, the museum features 50+ machines, some of which were originally produced in the 1940’s!

Each machine features a brief history and story and the museum is organized to highlight technological advancements throughout the years. If classic gaming is your thing, the Classic Arcade Pinball Museum is the perfect option for a rainy day!

7. Tennessee Valley Railroad

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum exists to collect preserve, operate, and display railroad artifacts in an authentic setting to educate the public! Railroads have played a major part in the history and development of the region.

The TVRM offers trips with varying durations on these historically-restored trains. There are also many special events and trips offered such as Valentine’s, Christmas, and Haloween special trips. For families with younger children, be sure to check out the ​Day with Thomas​ events!

Instagram post of a red and yellow train

Alright, these next three are catered towards groups without children!

8. Comedy Catch

The Comedy Catch has been Chattanooga’s home for standup comedy since 1985! With a full bar and kitchen at its disposal, the Comedy Catch has all the ingredients necessary for an unforgettable night out in Chattanooga!

The Comedy Catch caters to audiences with weekly comedy nights and special events such as open mic nights, fundraisers, and even clean comedy nights! Enjoying a show at “The Catch” is a great way to avoid the inclement weather, but it may leave your stomach sore from all the belly laughs!

9. Craft Axe Throwing

Score points by throwing axes at Chattanooga’s new Craft Axe Throwing!  Whether you are competitive by nature or just want to blow off steam, it’s pretty exciting when you hit the bullseye. Never thrown an axe before? No worries, the staff will show you how to safely throw an axe and even give you a few tips before your time officially begins.

10. Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery

“Making up for 100 years of prohibition” is Chattanooga Whiskey’s motto. The first distillery to produce whiskey in Chattanooga for a century, Chatt Whiskey offers tours the invite the public into the production and aging process.

The Experimental Distillery Tour takes each guest through the cellar which includes over 100 barrels and offers a glimpse into the past and future of Chattanooga Whiskey. For guests over the age of 21, each tour ends with a flight of uniquely-crafted Chattanooga Whiskey!

Chattanooga whiskey photo of people doing a tasting

A rainy day will not keep you from having a blast in Chattanooga! 

Lara Caughman

Corporate Communications Manager