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Love Where You Live



By Jamie Moore (Tourism Nanaimo)

When you live on Vancouver Island, you own a waterproof jacket and you learn to fully embrace the rain. But there are days when even the locals head inside for some fun – rock climbing, craft beer tasting, Nanaimo Bar pedicures, museums, unique shopping and more. Here’s what to do and where to go if you’re visiting on a rainy day.

Try the Romper Room or Airhouse for an all-ages, action—packed afternoon. No rock-climbing experience? No problem. The Romper Room has a few self-belay devices that even kids can use after a quick tutorial. At the Airhouse, everyone ages 5 and up can drop in for a trampoline session.

Rainy days are a perfect excuse to get lost in one of Nanaimo’s many art galleries. Head to Commercial Street for the Nanaimo Art Gallery and Artzi Stuff. Explore the Nanaimo Museum and immerse yourself in Nanaimo’s Indigenous and coal mining history. The Vancouver Island Military Museum is a hidden gem.

Nanaimo’s three escape room companies keep you guessing with a diverse collection of themes and puzzles. Will you and your friends, family or teammates break out in time? For details, check out Breakout Nanaimo, Escapism, or EXIT Nanaimo.

Nanaimo has a growing specialty coffee scene, led by local favourites such as White Rabbit Coffee Co. and Regard Coffee Roasters. Other great stops include The Vault, Brud House, and The Buzz – and don’t forget to stop at Drip Coffee for great views of Departure Bay beach!

Nanaimo’s two indoor pools and two ice rinks are weatherproof fun for the entire family. Try out the waterslides, a huge wave pool, dive-in movie nights and other themed events for kids. In summer the outdoor pool is open. Skating runs year-round with fun events like glow in the dark sessions.

No matter what the weather is doing, find peace and renewal at one of Nanaimo’s spas, yoga studios or wellness centres. You can indulge in a massage at a green-certified spa or challenge yourself in a hot yoga class or ballet barre class. The signature Nanaimo Bar pedicure experience at Kiyo Salon and Day Spa is one-of-a-kind.

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