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The Big, Stuff-to-Do-on-a-Rainy-Day List

Activities, experiences, and events for Shanghai rainy days
2021-07-27 19:00:00

Is anyone else forgetting what life was even like before the rain started? Kinda feels like we might have to fully restart society all over again from scratch after this typhoon passes us by.  

A new society with nothing but indoor things to do.  Here's a big list of just that: 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. 

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.

ChinaJoy Gaming and Cosplay Expo

Within that same vein, Chinajoy is on until August 2. It's a big gaming exhibition with showgirls, cosplayers, otaku, fanboys, photographers, and companies running their games on the latest hardware. It's not as sleazy as it used to be but that's good if you're coming for the games instead of the cosplay.

Song Cheng... Lights, Camera, Action?

Song Cheng calls itself the oriental Broadway, but pfft... let's be realistic — it's a bonkers "performance park" with stage shows ranging from acrobatics to crazy water works shows. 

Skiing in a Mall

Oh yeah, you can ski in a mall

Jump Around at Jump 360

With two locations in Shanghai, Jump 360 is a massive trampoline park in a 6000 square meter building with basketball and volleyball courts, a water slide, an obstacle course, and more. But you only needed to hear "trampoline park" maybe...

Old School Arcades

A dying breed, there's still a few old school Shanghai arcades for people who enjoy retro (and heavily ironic) gaming. 

The Weird Smurf Park 

Shanghai has a weird smurf park

Go (Indoor) Surfing

So, it's not exactly surfing. But it's the closest you can get without leaving the city. And it's fun!

A Simulated Escape at MrX

MrX is an escape room entertainment venue in the city center. It works like this: You and a group of friends are locked in a room together – no smartphones, no cameras – and your task is to get out. How do you do so? That's for you to figure out.

Take a Bath at New Star Bathouse

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

Puttin' It on Wax: Madam Tussauds

Mingle with the rich and famous kinda

Be the Last Person You Know to Go to Teamlab

Everyone else has their new WeChat profile pic.  Here's your opportunity... 

Indoor Climbing

Click through for five rock climbing gyms

Museum of Illusions

It's a zany museum of illusions. It is... mildly amusing

Cirque du Soleil

The only Cirque show currently happening in the entire world is in nearby Hangzhou. Click through for event info replete with a package hotel deal option. 

Sleep No More

Good way to burn calories climbing stairs and enjoying some avant theatre at the same time


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

Zotter Chocolate Factory

Mmmmm, chocolate factory!

Get Your Float On

If you need to get some tension out of your system via floating in a sensory deprivation tank like Ra's al Ghul, Floatasian are offering 20% off an immersive gravity-free experiences for new customers. Click through for info

Check Out the New Museum of Art Pudong

This is the new much-talked about art museum in Shanghai everyone is going to be taking their out-of-town guests for years to come. Really worth the trip down

Visit a Bookstore and Maybe Buy a Book

Yes, this is still a thing you can do. Shanghai has a few lovely bookstores in fact. Click through for a listing of nine unique and interesting ones. 

See "The Voice of Things" Exhibition

"The Voice of Things" is a collaboration exhibition between West Bund Museum and Centre Pompidou, which is a semi-permanent exhibition that will last for almost 2 years. The art show is inspired by objects in daily life, bringing about hundreds of creations from the 20th century till now, created by some real heavy hitters: Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Joan Miró, and more. 

Clean Your Aircon

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

Try to Get a Ticket to the Planetarium

Some day... some day they will let us all in to the new planetarium that just opened.  The pictures look really amazing. 

Cook at Home like a Professional Chef (with Someone Else's Help)  

Host people over to have  professional fine dining experience at your place with Cook It, a high-end grocery and meal prep service. 

Spend a Day at W Hotels Pool and Spa

W Shanghai has an exclusive deal with SmartShanghai that you should check out. "Take Me AWAY" is available every day from now until August 31, public holidays excluded. For 1,980rmb, you and a friend can enjoy happy hour with free-flow food and drinks from 6-8pm, FIT day passes (includesthe indoor swimming pool), and a 70-minute individual spa treatment (50 minutes of deep tissue massage and 20 minutes of mini facial).

Get Drunk for Cheap at Goose Island

For SmartShanghai readers, Goose Island is hosting a 138rmb free-flow craft beer deal at Goose Island Brewhouse. Runs every Saturday and Sunday before the end of July and comes with a free snack platter.  

Go on a "Grand Expedition"

First introduced in London in 2018, “The Grand Expedition” is an "innovative space drama" that combines immersive theater, installation art, and food. An audience of 100 people travels through five continents tasting local food and creating their own journey, amongst actors and dancers performing a narative in dinning hall-turned-steam punk theater space.

Learn How to Paint Like Picasso

Until September 19, learn the creative process behind drawing a caricature in Picasso's style.  Sepcial small art classes for all skill levels, taught in Mandarin, English, or Cantonese. Includes a black A3 frame.