7 Indoor Activities in Alexandria Virginia


Too hot, too cold, or too rainy, it doesn’t matter-- Alexandria has plenty of things to do when the weather is bad! Of course, there are numerous restaurants to try, and reading Restaurants in Alexandria, VA will give you a head start, but there is so much more to explore!

Start with these ideas for indoor activities in Alexandria, Virginia!

1) National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum

National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum via Wikimedia

Curious kids and adults alike will be fascinated while touring through the works of 500 inventors showcased in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Interactive features keep everyone engaged while the history of the U.S. is revealed through well-known and less obvious inventions. Added bonus--free admission!


2) Mount Vernon RECenter


Although Fairfax County Parks Authority has numerous outlets accessible from Alexandria, the Mount Vernon REC Center offers two things that most other centers do not: indoor ice skating and swimming, at reasonable prices.

The indoor ice skating and hockey rink is available year round, which means skating is perfect both in the winter when festive ambiance is ideal, and in the summer when scorching temps have families seeking relief.

An expansive pool that suits casual swimmers for play time as well as those looking for lessons and competition are well served. The RECenter is scheduled for major renovations, which means keeping up to date with availability is necessary, but the results of the new and improved center will be worth waiting for!

3) AR Workshop


Painters, crafters, and socializers have a cozy place to call home in Old Town, Alexandria. AR Workshop is a hub of creative ideas like designing your own home decor via plank wood projects or treating the kids to a class on how to paint on framed canvases or a bag. There is a project for everyone! Holiday themes are readily available in case you like to get your gifts in order early. Experience or propensity for the creative arts is not necessary!

4)Torpedo Factory Art Center

Torpedo Art Factory in Alexandria via Flickr user Ron Cogswell

Also in Old Town, and at one point in its history, really a munitions factory, the arts center inside is now home to dozens of artisans working on their artwork daily. There are 82 artists’ studios that include painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, printmaking, and sculpture.

The fine art is generally available for purchase, and their creators are known to take questions and offer information about their profession. For kids in the Alexandria area, a visit to the Torpedo Factory is a standard field trip during the school year.

5) Mount Vernon

Although the estate’s grounds are gorgeous any time of year, the indoor activities are so plentiful at Mount Vernon, that truly, an entire day can be spent inside while avoiding the heat, cold, and rain. The Education Center is the main draw inside. Within many exhibitions, there are either full blown 4D movies to watch, small TV specials to view, or scheduled discussions in the auditoriums during the day.

This is in addition to the traditional museum, shopping in the best gift shop of all the museums in Washington, D.C., and dining in a full service restaurant that reflects period decor and dishes.

Make the most of your time with this guide to your day trip to Mount Vernon!

6) Walking Tours

It may seem counter intuitive to want to walk through Old Town in uncomfortable weather, but there are times when it makes sense. As a local, you have the luxury of scheduling last minute, as you can monitor the weather from home. There’s nothing like a light drizzle on a chilly October night to set the stage for a Ghost Walk! Remember, when the weather isn’t ideal, this means popular tours of all sorts are more available because tourists head inside.

7) The St. James

Ok, so the behemoth sports center is actually located in Springfield, VA, but Alexandrians have an easy trip (especially if living on the west side of the city) to spend the day playing at the brand new sports complex. The St. James offers an impressive list of activities, almost anything you can imagine playing or competing indoors: court games, fieldhouse sports, pool activities, squash, golf, and gymnastics.The choices are almost endless under the roof that covers 30,000 square feet. The St. James is a traditional health club in that memberships are offered, but daily visits to explore and play are available.


These are just seven of dozens and dozens of things to do when the weather is not on your side in Alexandria. As you learn the layout of the city even better, you’ll begin to notice which attractions are worth the effort on any given day.