Despite the clouds rolling in, Wellington has plenty to do on rainy days.
Despite the clouds rolling in, Wellington has plenty to do on rainy days.

 When you’re in a city for 4 months, you’re bound to run into a rainy day or two. It’s not the city’s fault, sometimes the weather has a mind of it’s own. If you’re like me, then you have to be doing something at all times. So what does an energetic person do when it rains in Wellington? Rainy days don’t have to be boring and dreary. Here are some ideas for student budget friendly activities that will keep your rainy day occupied and fun.

1. Visit Te Papa

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is not something to skip out on. This national museum and art gallery is truly an amazing place. With multiple floors, home to countless exhibits, it is easy to get lost in there for a whole day. You’ll find something you like, whether it is art or history. My personal favorite is the Māori cultural history exhibit. I learned so much about native culture, which helped me to get a grasp on how New Zealand evolved over time. There’s a café where you take a break and get some coffee, and one of the best parts is that Te Papa has free general admission.

A boat from my favorite Māori cultural history exhibit.
A boat from my favorite Māori cultural history exhibit.

2. Go “Op Shopping”

Regular shopping can be fun, but thrift shopping is definitely more entertaining. Cleverly called “opportunity shopping” in New Zealand, thrift shopping is a fun activity to do with friends on a rainy day. Get a group together and wander the stores; most of the time I just browse and wander around, but discovering the cool items op shops have is sometimes the best part. You don’t have to spend money in order to have a good time op shopping with friends. I recommend checking out Paper Bag Princess on Cuba Street and the op shops in the Newtown area, which is just a bus ride away. From there, a plethora of op shops are all within walking distance of each other.

3. Host a Potluck

Potluck dinners are great social events that are fairly easy to plan. If the weather forecast is looking poor, create a Facebook event, and invite as many friends as your house can hold. Have everyone bring a food dish to share and a plate and fork for themselves, that way there’s little to do in the way of planning and preparation. It could even be fun to make a themed potluck, like one that is all desserts. Potlucks are perfect social events for rainy evenings.

4. Check out Midnight Espresso

This café is by far one of my favorites in Wellington. The unique, vibrant décor of this coffee shop cannot be compared to. I have found myself sitting there for hours, lost in conversation or people watching out the window. The staff is friendly and outgoing, and the food is delicious. I highly recommend the nachos, and any of their desserts. Each day they change up some of their dishes, and once you try one, you’re enticed to come back and try more. Midnight Espresso is notorious for its vegan and gluten free options, and better yet, its reasonable prices; students can go there without stressing about money.

Midnight Espresso, a café located on Cuba Street, is still bright and lively on a rainy Wednesday morning.
Midnight Espresso, a café located on Cuba Street, is still bright and lively on a rainy Wednesday morning.

5. Go Climbing

If you like rock climbing, head down to Fergs Climbing wall on the next rainy day. Located right on Wellington’s waterfront, Fergs Climbing is open to all experience levels, and offers student discounts.

Kate Farrell is a student at the University of Hartford and a TEAN Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with TEAN in Wellington, New Zealand.