Fall is here, and while that brings an abundance of fun autumn activities (pumpkin patch explorations, cozy apple cider dates and many more cute instagrammable things!) it also means that here in Victoria, we’re going to have a few solid months of rain. While it’s nice at first to curl up inside with a good book (a.k.a. say you’re going to do your readings then actually just watch Netflix,) there are still days when you want to be out and about. What are you to do when the skies go grey and we live up to our #westcoastwetcoast name? Well, enjoy some of Victoria’s often overlooked indoor attractions, of course!
1) Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Want a little culture in your life? Head to Victoria’s main art gallery, where you can find everything from modern art to a variety of Emily Carr pieces to ancient Chinese artifacts. Situated in the Rockland neighborhood, this gallery is an easy ten minute bus ride from UVic and always has lots of stunning art to see. What makes it even better? Student admission is just 11 dollars, making this an affordable option for those on a budget.
Nearby bonus: Craigdarroch castle is literally a block away, so if you want a little history to go alongside your art, head there to enjoy some uniquely Victorian heritage!
2) Horror Escape
As Halloween approaches, everybody needs a little spookiness in their life! Taking inspiration from digital escape games where the player finds clues and attempts to get out before the time is up, Horror Escape adds a spooky twist by making their real-life escape rooms themed after everything from serial killers to haunted manors. This attraction is perfect for those who like a little scariness, and is a great idea for an anything-but-ordinary way to spend an afternoon with your friends!
3)Hermann’s Jazz Club
Picture this: a 1930’s film noir set with smoky jazz music, dim lights and cozy leather seats. Add yourself to that scene, and you’ve got an evening at Hermann’s Jazz Club. If you’re an old soul at heart, or maybe just want a calmer night out, try this old school jazz club! With great food (I’d highly recommend the hummus platter) and soulful live music, Hermann’s is a great place to go for a more low key night out.
Nearby Bonus: Head down the street for Peacock Billiards if you want something a little more active after all that jazz! With a variety of pool tables available, this place is great for a little friendly competition – just make sure you have a basic understanding of the rules!
4) Royal BC Museum
While most museums seem to be full of creepy stuffed animals, boring exhibits and not much else, the Royal BC Museum is much more interactive and gives visitors a chance to explore a 19th century town (complete with the smell of cinnamon in the air), experience a variety of First Nations languages, pan for gold, and much more! For those new to Victoria, the Museum is a great way to learn some of the city’s and BC’s history, while for those born here it’s a great way to relive some old memories of going there as a kid.
Nearby Bonus: Craving a snack after all that ~learning~ ? Head down Government Street to grab a caramel apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and be sure to get your picture taken holding it and looking adorable (gotta look cute for Insta!). Alternatively, sit down for a delicious tea latte at Murchies – a Victoria classic!
5) Lotteria Karaoke Bar
Want a totally different girls night? Try heading to this karaoke bar on Yates Street for a fun evening of embarrassing singing and bad dancing! When you first walk in, the internet cafe might throw you off (confession: my first thought was “what the eff are we doing here”) but just ask for one of the karaoke rooms and get ready to sing your heart out! The rooms are private, so have no fear of stranger seeing you and your squad as you sing badly to Britney Spears. The rooms ome with colourful lights and a variety of song choices. And don’t worry, the backup music is loud enough that nobody can hear if you’re a bit off key!
6) Russell Books
A good way to spend an hour or two on a rainy afternoon, this cozy bookstore has books on just about any topic you can imagine, as well as a cozy atmosphere where you don’t feel guilty for sitting down and reading. Find a book you really love? Most books here are used, so you won’t break the bank by buying a new book – or ten – to take home with you!
Nearby Bonus: Tacofina, one of the best taco places in town, is just up the street if you get hungry!
7) Crag X
Feeling adventurous? This downtown climbing gym is great for climbers of all levels and offers beginner lessons with equipment included for those climbing for the first time. This gym is totally safe and has staff on hand at all times, but don’t worry, you’ll still get that adrenaline rush! As a bonus, Uvic students can get amazing deals here, just be sure to check the website in advance to find out what’s currently offered!
(Disclaimer: obviously not an activity for everybody!)
8) Moksha Hot Yoga
Victoria is a big yoga city, but hot yoga in particular is a great way to beat that chilly fall feeling! Moksha is a cute little studio on Fort Street which offers a variety of fun yoga classes for people of all skill levels. With super friendly staff and a relaxed, positive atmosphere, this isn’t a yoga studio where you feel intimidated by all the insanely toned and kind of scary girls with yoga mats. Instead, this is a studio where everybody feels confident and at ease – as long as you’re ready to sweat, that is!
9) Royal Theatre and McPherson Playhouse
These two beautiful theatres, both located downtown, offer a variety of cultural events throughout the year. Everything from comedy acts to ballet to local theater groups to opera can be found at the McPherson and Royal Theatres. As winter gets closer, look into the classic Nutcracker Ballet, a performance everybody should see at least once in their lifetime. And be sure to check out student pricing on events, as nothing is better than getting to see an amazing ballet, opera or play for a good price!
10) Silk Road Spa
Feeling stressed out by school already? Lucky for you, Victoria is home to an abundance of spas, providing lots of different relaxing treatments. One spa that not everybody knows about is the Silk Road Day Spa, located in the cozy basement of the Silk Road Tea Shop. With some of the less pricey facials in town (you’re on a student budget, after all!) this spa gives you glowing skin and a relaxing afternoon.
Nearby Bonus: Once you’ve grabbed some tea from the store upstairs, head over to Chinatown to do a little shopping in Fan Tan Alley!
Have an awesome winter checking out these indoor activities in Victoria!