Rainy Day Activities

Vinson Gotingco/New University

By Colleen Humfreville

Once rain starts falling from the sky coupled with the brisk Santa Ana winds, we often run for cover and refuse to come out, escaping into a cyber-reality of homebred comfort. Our comfort consists of movies, surfing the internet and good ol’ social networking.

Irvine may be known for its calming trees and identical buildings, but a little rain shouldn’t send us all under the covers snuggling up with Netflix. There are plenty of fun, hassle-free and inexpensive activities to do in Irvine on a rainy day.

Plan One: Soak up some local Orange County culture. If your beach plans get rained on, stop by the Orange County Museum of Art located near the Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach. . The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. To 5 p.m., and, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. The museum offers a variety of featured exhibits and permanent collections, and you can augment your trip with a visit to the museum’s shop, café, or one of their special events (with everything listed on their website, ocma.net). You can see everything from “100 Pounds of Clay,” “15 Minutes of Fame” and thousands of other works of art – with a special emphasis on California’s own talented and creative artisans. You might just come across the next regional masterpiece.

Plan Two: Take a trip down to the Discovery Science Center – who knows what you’ll discover next? It is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Science Center in downtown Santa Ana offers possibilities for any day. Offering a broad creative range of rainy day activities such as a 4-D movie theater, earthquake replication experience, digital laboratory, rocket lab, play place, and specialty exhibits such as the “Science of Hockey” and “Secrets of Circles.” You may be missing out on your original plans, but you’ll have a world of new possibilities to explore at the Science Center. With a fast food dining area (that offers access to free Wi-Fi!), you too can experience a day in a scientific adventure with experimental science and rocket buildings. You can even catch a movie at the end of the day.

Plan Three: Offering a selection of everything from Disney brand coffee mugs to clothes fit for any fashionista, to the highest quality of jewelry and diamonds, South Coast Plaza has limitless options for your next shopping and dining adventure. No matter what food you’re craving or what price range your college-student budget has caused you to stick to, you can find your own Valhalla (if you pardon the cheesy reference) with choices featuring fast food options to fine dining with Italian, French, Persian, Indian, seafood and all American cuisine. You can shop ‘til you drop and pick up all of the accessories you need to show off your sense of fashion even when its dreary and gray.

Plan Four: If the other three ideas mentioned don’t catch your interest, there’s something that’s more adventurous, guaranteed to be a once in a lifetime experience – visit Disneyland or California Adventure, even if the weather isn’t a typical sunny days. This might not be the best choice if it’s pouring out, but if it’s just sprinkling out, why not don a raincoat and some rain boots? The rain will eliminate pesky lines and allow you to walk onto all the rides offered at the park. Now that sounds like a day packed full of fun to me, if you don’t mind getting a little wet, that is.

And if these options aren’t sounding like the perfect plan, don’t be afraid to brainstorm your own creative ideas. Plan a get-together at your house so that no one has to be alone hiding from the rain. Or be a home- body — cook the new recipe that seems absolutely to die for. Get festive and throw an “ugly raincoat” party instead of an “ugly sweater one.” The point is that the ideas are endless, and fun times are just around the corner. Rain doesn’t have to spoil your day. Grab an umbrella and have some fun!