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[The Big List]: Everything to Do in Shanghai on a Rainy Day

Activities, experiences, and events for those Shanghai rainy days...
2023-07-28 12:00:00

We're staring down the barrel of yet another typhoon this weekend in Shanghai, with results expected to fall somewhere between, "Hey, it's raining again" to "Hey, whoa, it's really raining again."

Luckily, we're living in a city with tons -- TONS -- of stuff to do when it's raining out, which is what this listicle is all about.

(Well, not "TONS" but still... there's a few things you can do.)

Here's The Big List of stuff that you can do in Shanghai when it's raining out. Some wonderful stuff, some baffling stuff, some stuff that's both. Keep this one in mind for the next time it rains in the city.

Which is right now... and probably tomorrow.

Go See a Movie

Yeah, we're starting off big and obvious. Is it raining out? Go see a movie. Come on Barbie, let's go party! SmSh has a big list of all the super high-tech, gigantic, baffling, 5D, IMAX, Dolby THX surround sound, whatever cinema places in town.

We barely even understand all the technical specs of these theaters but the person who wrote this article does and we trust them!

Dress Up at ChinaJoy, Gaming and Cosplay Expo

Chinajoy is on this weekend. It's the biggest yearly gaming expo, with cosplayers, otaku, fanboys, photographers, and companies running their games on the latest hardware.

But the event also features a venue with a roof so... it's on rain or shine.

Go Skiing in a Mall

Oh yeah, you can ski in a mall.

Go Surfing in a Mall

Oh yeah, you can surf in a mall.

Jump Around at Extreme Jump

Extreme Jump is an indoor trampoline park out in Pudong, known for having the most extreme indoor entertainment facilities in Shanghai!

(It's not THAT extreme but it's a fun afternoon out, good for several hours worth of jumping, bouncing, leaping, and flying through the air in a few different formats. Great for kids, too.) Get your tickets here.

Go GoKarting (!)

In that mall right by Line 7's Dachang Town is W1NNER, a slick, neon-drenched indoor go-karting track. The cars accelerate fast, the tires go wheeeeeee, and the body gloves are sexy. On weekdays, it's 138rmb, 168rmb on weekends and holidays include outfits!! Tickets here.

Go Indoor Rock Climbing

Click through for five rock climbing gyms.

Check Out That Weird Smurf Park

Shanghai has a weird smurf park.

Spend an Afternoon at Sega Joypolis

Joypolis is a big, indoor Sega arcade and amusement park. It's spread out over two entire floors of this mall in Changning, and features a whole bunch of Sega's most cutting-edge arcade technology, which, these days, is state-of-the-art virtual rides, driving simulators, and 3D interactive games.

Sonic really grew up, eh.

See a Show at Song Cheng... Lights, Camera, Action?

Song Cheng calls itself the "oriental Broadway", but pfft... let's be realistic — it's just two scoops of classic Shanghai bonkers, with stage shows ranging from acrobatics to crazy waterworks shows. Zany times!

Escape This World at Motrix-Ubisoft VR Escape Game Serial

Not just a snappy name, but also a pretty fun experience, on rainy days in particular!

Motrix-Ubisoft VR Escape Game Serial is like an escape room thing plus a Virtual Reality thing. There are a bunch of different storylines --"Escape The Lost Pyramid", "Beyond Medusa's Gate" and "Prince of Persia: The Dagger Of Time" -- and it's a fun way to spend an afternoon, teambuilding with three of your closest friends. Read more about it here.

"Motrix"? Surely, it's supposed to be "Matrix"?

No? Okay.

Go for a Skate at Piinkie Riinkie

Ever since that Barbie movie came out Riink has been calling themselves "Piinkie Riinkie" and it's just the most delightful thing ever. It just totally brightens up our day whenever we see it. Piinkie Riinkie!

Makes us want to go for a skate.

And oh would you look at that: SmartTicket has food, drinks, and roller skating packages right here.

Put It on Wax at Madam Tussaud's

Mingle with the rich and famous kinda.

Be the Last Person You Know to Go to TeamLAB

Everyone else has gone to TeamLAB and has a new WeChat profile pic. Have YOU?

Get Bathed in Light

Temple of Light: It's got some TeamLAB vibes but also some modern art vibes! Check it out if you wanna.

Check Out the Museum of Art Pudong

I know we're always banging on about the Museum of Art Pudong, but that's because it's actually really good! They've got four -- FOUR! -- worthwhile exhibitions on right now, and you only need one ticket to get into all of them.

Check out the New Urban Planning Museum

Yeah, a lot of these are going to be museums but this one is different in that it's actually worth going to. The OG Urban Planning Museum just reopened after some serious renovations and it's now even more of a great place to visit if you're interested in Shanghai's urban evolution over the years.

Finally Go to This Planetarium That's Supposed to Be Amazing

Some day... some day, we will go to the world's biggestplanetarium ever that opened last year in Pudong. The pictures look really amazing.

Check out that Cirque du Soleil Show in Hangzhou

Did you know there's a Cirque show in Hangzhou?! It's called "X Land of Fantasy" (of course it is) and it's got all that trademark Cirque acrobat stuff you know and love. The audience seating is on these hydraulic platforms that spin around during the show. It's nuts. has tickets to the show PLUS an optional hotel deal for Shanghai people coming from out of town. Neat.

Go See "Sleep No More" (Again?)

Sleep No More: still Shanghai's favorite way to burn calories climbing stairs, enjoying some avant theater at the same time. Tickets here.

Go See Even More Avant-Garde Theater

Ghent-based theater collective "Ontroerend Goed" is in Shanghai with not one but two shows that assail traditional ideas of theater, stagecraft, the dichotomy of audience/performer, narrative, experience, truth, self, God, reality, everything, you get the idea.

With rave reviews in The Guardian, The New York Times, La Liberation, and more, the Belgian provocateurs bring the "dark stage" to Shanghai.


Check out "The Smile Off Your Face" here and "Game of You" here.

Embrace the New "Era"

There's a new ERA show on. You know you haven't experienced Shanghai unless you've experienced ERA, so they say...

Go Around the World in 80 Days

With pieces from the British Library, the Shanghai Library East Branch is hosting "Around the World in 80 Days", a show with 24 themed exhibition spaces (24) featuring different cultures from France to Egypt, Italy to India. A family-friendly one for sure.

Stuff Your Face at the Zotter Chocolate Factory

Mmmmm, chocolate factory!

Try Floatasian's New Fire and Ice Treatment Thing

Floatasian is Shanghai's original sensory deprivation tank spa place, wherein you can float in a tank in total darkness, recharging your life force like Ra's al Ghul. They've got a new "Fire & Ice" treatment, which is basically exactly what it sounds like. You dunk yourself in an ice bath and then jump into a sauna. It's... a thing you can do!

It's run by two of the most affable Scandos you'll ever meet so there must be something to this sensory deprivation thing...

Take a Bath at New Star Bathhouse

Get wet the way you actually want to get wet at this palatial bathhouse.

Spend a Day at an Indoor Pool

Hey, we just published our yearly swimming pools article.Yes, a lot of those pools are outside and closed when it's raining but if you read through, a lot of them are inside as well and open all the time. One of the great features of Shanghai, we've discovered, is that when it's pouring rain out, it's also still hot as balls outside!

(Yes, you're welcome!)

Never a wrong time to go swimming is what we're saying.

Enter the Shaolin

Check out Shanghai's Shaolin Cultural Center. They've got classes for adults on how to become a lethal weapon but also classes on being really chill about how you're this totally badass, lethal weapon.

(They've got indoor classes, is what we're saying. All good when it's raining.)

Get into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Along those same lines, check out Method MMA. This mixed martial arts gym accepts students of all levels with the single-minded goal of teaching people how to choke other people unconscious.

(Just kidding, that's not the only goal... just maybe the best goal.)

If you're looking for a new community to get involved with and get active, it's one to look into.

Clean Your Aircon

Whether you've got it blowing hot or cold, it's also blowing all kinds of nastiness all around your place if you don't get it cleaned enough. A rainy day inside is a good time to do this. Click through to find out how.

Clean Out Your Closet

Declutter your life. Get rid of unwanted clothes and donate them forward to worthy causes. Here's a bunch of Apps explained so you can do just that over your phone. Easy peasy.

Think About Maybe Becoming Someone Who Goes to the Gym

This happens a couple of times a year, doesn't it? That thought, "hmmm, maybe I should be going to the gym? Other people seem to be doing it, aren't they?"

If you're looking for FREE inroads into maybe becoming a gym person, PURE Fitness has this deal wherein you can try out a free gym session at their gyms all over town or a free yoga class trial. Details here.

Get Your Teeth Cleaned and Whitened

Now we're entering the personal maintenance portion of this list. When it's raining out, it's a great opportunity to stop and spend some time on yourself. Sunny Dental has this great deal on Ultrasonic Teeth Cleaning, for as low as 220rmb. Fix those pearly whites.

And you can also...

Get Your Body Hair Fixed Up

Strip is a new brand that merges the Singaporean chains Strip and Browhaus, which provides all waxing and brow-grooming options for all sexes. Get all your stuff waxed up. Details here.

For just the fellas, we're recommending the services of JSquared. In addition to their hair removal services, they've got a new spa treatment that gets rid of acne, blemishes, and general hideousness.Read about that here.

Get Everything Fixed at QY Medical Spa

And if you're looking to go the full distance with physical self-improvement, check out QY Medical Spa, your go-to for the latest high-tech medical spa treatments. We're talking Glacial Cryotherapy here, people!

Take an Art Class

Lois Art is a cute little art studio that has classes in crafty art things. Currently, they offer three projects for people to create either a marble-like scarf, a personalized glass, or fluid art on canvas. More info here.

Take a Cooking Class

CieCAS is a pro cooking school in a legit restaurant kitchen environment with accredited chefs leading classes on cuisines from around the world. They accept students from all skill levels, backgrounds, and commitment levels for cooking classes. If you're looking for a bit of fun and to up your culinary game, check them out here.

Find a Good Food and/or Drinks Deal and Just Ride It Out

One of the great things about Shanghai restaurants and bars is that most of them have roofs on them, and also offer happy hour deals. Check out SmSh's brunch listings, happy hour deals, dinner deals, and more.

Sometimes you just gotta ride it out...