Franklin is one of the few places where a rainy day doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Ducking in and out of the cozy shops and restaurants lining Main Street as steady rain patters outside feels a lot like appearing in the opening scene of a Hallmark movie – Grab a cute umbrella, a steaming cup of coffee from Frothy Monkey, and a backstory about leaving the big city for a charming small town, and you’re good to go.
Aside from downtown shopping, there are plenty of other ways to stay busy in Franklin when the skies are gray. Here are a few of my favorites.
Catch a movie or show at the Franklin Theatre
The iconic Franklin Theatre on Main Street is a must-see, no matter the weather. Built in 1937, the theater radiates Old Hollywood charm, while a state-of-the-art lighting and sound system ensure any act that takes the stage here looks and sounds fantastic. The Franklin Theatre’s upcoming calendar includes cinematic favorites like The Goonies and Meet Me in St. Louis, dance troupes, musicians, comedians, magicians, and local theater productions. No matter what’s playing, you really can’t go wrong.
Spend an afternoon at The Factory
This former stove factory was built back in 1928. Today, it houses some of Franklin’s most popular shops and restaurants, making The Factory at Franklin an ideal place to spend a rainy afternoon. Here, you’ll find everything from locally crafted jewelry and new and used vinyl records to Southern-inspired home decor, fresh flowers, and fine art. Food options include Pinchy’s Lobster Co., Five Daughters Bakery, Jeni’s Ice Cream, Mafiaoza’s, Mojo’s Tacos, among others, all of which are beloved by locals. And you’ll definitely want to make time for a latte at Honest Coffee Roasters — It’s always buzzing with activity.
Check out the Franklin Farmer’s Market
While a rainy Saturday puts a quick end to most community farmer’s markets, the Franklin Farmer’s Market has got you covered — literally! Every Saturday morning year-round, vendors sell their wares in a large covered space just outside The Factory at Franklin, and it’s one of the best farmer’s markets you’ll find in Tennessee. We love this market for its locally-sourced beef, exotic mushrooms, regional produce, lush plants and flowers, delicious baked goods, and arts and crafts, as well as its food trucks serving up tasty treats like donuts and handmade empanadas. I can guarantee you won’t leave this farmer’s market empty-handed!
Tour one of Franklin’s historic homes
The Battle of Franklin was one of the Civil War’s most harrowing battles, and the stories of the families who lived through it are riveting and unforgettable. Franklin has three historic homes open to the public for tours — Carnton, the Lotz House, and the Carter House — and since they’re all located close together, many visitors opt to tour all three. Each tour lasts between 30 minutes and an hour and recounts all three families’ experiences during what was believed to be the Civil War’s bloodiest hours. I can assure you that you’ll see and hear things on this tour you’ll remember for years to come.
Spend a quiet afternoon with coffee and a good book
When it comes to great coffee houses, Franklin is first-rate. Three coffeehouses, in particular, stand out in my mind as perfect rainy day hideaways. Located in a cozy historic home, the Coffeehouse at Second and Main has a wide range of coffee drinks, delicious crepes, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. The house’s rooms and side porches offer plenty of seating options, whether it’s just you and a friend or you have the whole family in tow. In Franklin’s Grassland Community, you’ll find The Good Cup, a neighborhood coffeehouse with a friendly staff, lots of comfy chairs, and an everybody-knows-your-name vibe. And for a more urban aesthetic, opt for downtown Franklin’s Frothy Monkey, where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in addition to all your caffeinated favorites.
Need a good book to go with that mocha? Landmark Booksellers in downtown Franklin is a true book lover’s paradise, offering new, old, and rare books inside Franklin’s oldest commercial structure. Built in 1808, visitors back to this building in the day included Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston.
Meanwhile, in Franklin’s Westhaven community, you’ll find Bound Booksellers, which has a well-curated collection of books, toys and games, gifts, and stationery.
Experience virtual reality with your friends or family.
If you haven’t been to a virtual reality arcade yet, you’re in for a treat! You’ll find VR arcade games (play as many as you want for a set price, either solo or multiplayer) and VR escape games (fantasy puzzle-solving games for two or four players) at The Rabbit Hole VR, and I’d be hard-pressed to think of a better rainy day activity for a family or group of friends looking for fun and adventure. Our kids range in age from 14 to 30, and VR arcades are one of our absolute favorite things to do when we’re all together.
Kids eight and up are welcome to play the VR arcade games at The Rabbit Hole as long as they’re big enough to fit in the equipment. All games are open to anyone aged 10 and up.
Test your aim at archery
A rainy day is a perfect excuse to test your aim indoors at Franklin’s Music City Archery. Sign up for a group class (ages eight and up) or individual training, and an instructor will guide you on your path to archery greatness. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced, they can accommodate you! All equipment is provided, or you can bring your own gear.