Hilton Head Island Rainy Day Survival Guide

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IT’S RAINING, IT’S POURING, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S BORING.

So you’ve arrived on Hilton Head Island for a week of sunny vacation bliss, baking under the rays while you sip a cool piña colada with your toes in the sand.

Well first of all, not to burst your bubble, but alcohol isn’t allowed on Hilton Head’s beaches.

Second — and this might burst your bubble — sometimes it rains.

While postcards and brochures may portray Hilton Head Island as a bright, cloud-free paradise, the fact is that during the summer we do occasionally get days where it doesn’t just rain, it pours. We just don’t put photos of those days in the brochures.

The good news is these cloudbursts generally don’t last for longer than half a day or so. The even better news is that there is still plenty of ways to get your kicks here on Hilton Head when the heavens turn on the waterworks. Rather than let a little downpour ruin your vacation, check out a few of the following.

Island Playground

Island PlaygroundIf the rainy weather has your kids bouncing off the walls, you may as well take them somewhere where they’re supposed to.

The Island Playground, located just across the bridges on the mainland in the Bridge Center, is a wonderland of bouncy houses, inflatable slides, a climbing wall, separate toddler play area and gym-class style rope climbing.

It’s a total win-win even if you’re not rained in — the kids have a great time and you get to enjoy the relative peace and quiet of the parents’ corral while sipping coffee, using the free Wi-Fi and thinking about how well your wild ones will sleep that night. Plus, it’s super affordable. Kids ages 3 and older get in for $9.95, while adults and siblings older than 12 get in free. Closed Sundays, Island Playground offers open play from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Visit www.island-playground.com for details.

Coastal Discovery Museum

Discovery LabWhile many of the attractions at the Coastal Discovery Museum are outdoors throughout Honey Horn, the Discovery House serves as the museum’s visitors center and is good for an hour or two of fun. The 6,000-square-foot former plantation home contains permanent interactive exhibits, temporary exhibits and a gift store with locally produced items. Listen to interviews with influential islanders and historic figures, watch a video of nesting loggerhead sea turtles, or visit the inviting art gallery. The new Tom Peeples Discovery Lab houses hermit crabs, snakes and more. It’s open from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through the end of August. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Go to www.coastaldiscovery.org for more information.

Get Artistic

The Art CafeEven under a deluge, Hilton Head Island is an inspiring place to create. Just ask any of our many local artists.

If the natural beauty of our area has you itching to pick up a paintbrush, there are plenty of opportunities to do so, rain or shine. The Art Café on Lagoon Road (artcafehhi.com), above Rockfish Seafood & Steaks, lets you choose from a huge variety of pottery and ceramics, then gives you all the tools you need to paint it and make it truly your own. Pick up your piece in two days, or the Art Café can ship it to you. On Wednesday evenings, parents can enjoy a night out while their kids paint pottery and play games. This weekly painting session fills up fast, so call for a reservation, 843.785.5525.

Looking to put your art on canvas? The Art League of Hilton Head Academy has a rotating schedule of classes you can check out on their website (artleaguehhi.org/academy). There’s also Idea Studio on Mathews Drive, offering an array of classes for kids and adults, plus regular workshops and special events. Check out www.scartstudio.com/home for more information.

Escape Rooms

Wall Street RevengeThe escape room craze that has taken off nationally has made itself home in the Lowcountry as well, with HHIEscape on the island and Trapped in Bluffton.

Located on Beach City Road, HHIEscape offers two scenarios: the 30-minute “Basement Lab” and the 60-minute “Wall Street Revenge,” each testing your wits and puzzlesolving abilities as you attempt to gather clues and escape.

In “Basement Lab,” attempt to escape quarantine by piecing together the clues behind a mysterious outbreak that could devastate the Lowcountry. In “Wall Street Revenge,” join the FBI in gathering evidence against a crooked Wall Street investor as the clock ticks down. Visit hhiescape.com for details.

Bluffton’s Trapped, located on Pennington Drive, throws you into a life-or-death race against time with “May River Murderer.” You and your friends find yourselves trapped in a room by the notorious May River Murderer and must figure out how to escape three different rooms before he returns. Visit www.trappedbluffton.com for details.