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59 Best Things To Do In NYC On A Rainy Day (By A Local!)

By Jessie Festa. This guide to the best rainy day activities in NYC contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Looking for the best things to do in NYC on a rainy day?

Then you’re in the right place!

On average, NYC gets 121 days of rain a year. The chance of rain varies, though spring and summer tend to have the highest probability.

The good news:

If it does happen to rain during your trip to New York, it doesn’t mean that your days have to be boring! There are loads of fun rainy day activities in New York City that can easily become highlights of your stay.

From escape rooms to coffee shops, rock climbing, and comedy clubs, keep reading to discover the best things to do on rainy days in NYC.

This guide on what to do in New York on a rainy day is written by a local New Yorker, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite rainy day activities with you.

Remember, too, that NYC is well-connected by the subway, so you’ll be able to stay warm and dry while you commute!

Short on time? Here is a snapshot of some of my favorite unique NYC experiences & tips:

🏨 Top-Rated New York Hotels:
NoMo SoHo
Arlo Williamsburg
The Ludlow
➡️ Click here for a full list of NYC hotels!

🗺️ Rainy Day New York Tours:
New York Catacombs by Candlelight
Brooklyn Graffiti Lesson
Tenement Museum Visit with Tour
➡️ Click here for a full list of NYC tours!

📸 Need help capturing your uniquely New York experiences — with you in the photos? On days that it doesn’t rain, book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or step your game up even further with an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional NYC Photoshoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

💸 Save Money:
New York CityPASS
New York Pass
Go City: New York Explorer Pass

🥘 Cooking Classes: EatWith

🏥 Travel Insurance: SafetyWing

📞 Staying Connected:Airalo eSIM

❤️ Safety Essentials:
– She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm
Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Garments 
Speakeasy Travel Supply Hidden Pocket Scarves

travelers sharing an umbrella while walking down the street on a rainy day in New York City
Couple walking in the Rain in New York City. Photo via Kyler Boone for Unsplash

Table of Contents

NYC Travel Guide

But first, before we dive into some unforgettable things to do in NYC inside, I invite you to grab a copy of my NYC Top Picks From A Local Guide.

The printable PDF guide takes you beyond the popular attractions to discover a more local and lesser-known side of New York City.

Just a few highlights from the guide include:

  • Where to get creative java drinks — in beautiful Instagrammable cafes in NYC, too!
  • How to discover unique opportunities for exploring nature in New York City!
  • Ways to get off-the-beaten-track to explore a side of the city many tourists miss!

Once you’ve grabbed your copy, keep reading to discover what to do on a rainy day in NYC.

Things To Do In NYC On A Rainy Day (Citywide)

Wondering what to do in New York when it rains? I’ve got you covered!

Some of the best things to do on a rainy day in NYC involve visiting a specific monument, building, or store, but others are location independent or available in any borough. We’ll kick off our New York City travel guide by discussing those:

1. Go rock climbing

Rock climbing and bouldering have become very popular in recent years around the U.S. You can rent all of the equipment you need, and there are rock walls for all skill levels — even if you are brand new to the sport.

Rock climbing gyms are located all throughout New York City, with one of the top recommendations being The Cliffs, which has locations in Manhattan (Harlem), Queens (LIC), and Brooklyn (Gowanus).

At each facility, visitors can learn how to rock climb or improve their skills in a safe, controlled environment and away from the rain.

It’s one of the best things to do in NYC when it’s raining!

2. Test your skills at a New York escape room

When it comes to fun things to do in NYC in the rain, an escape room game is a great option that allows you to try something different while challenging yourself — in a dry indoor space.

In these escape rooms, you and your friends and family will be challenged to solve puzzles and decipher clues together.

Paniq Room and Beat The Bomb are two popular NYC-based escape rooms that offer unique experiences.

At Beat the Bomb, you will race to disarm the world’s largest paint bomb.

Clue Chase, on the other hand, has themed escape rooms like Houdini’s Workshop, Moonshine Madness, and Guardians of Gotham.

These are just a few of the many escape rooms located around the five boroughs. If you’re looking for fun indoor places in NYC to escape the rain, this is a great option.

group of friends holding glasses to cheers in Clue Chase's Moonshine Madness Escape Room on a rainy day in NYC
Celebrating success after beating the clock in the Moonshine Madness Escape Room on a New York rainy day. Photo via Jessie Festa.

3. Visit a cat cafe

If you haven’t been to a cat cafe yet, you should take a day in NYC to visit Meow Parlour.

Located on the Lower East Side of Manhatten, visitors can get up close and personal with some adorable kitties while enjoying coffee, tea, and cat-ified pastries.

Also, Meow Parlour is a pet-adoption non-profit, so if you fall in love with a particular cat, you can take them home with you!

A few other cat cafes in NYC include the Brooklyn Cat Cafe and Koneko — both of which are in Brooklyn.

4. Visit one of the many Instagrammable cafes

NYC is full of cafes that have elegant decor, vintage furniture, or colorful themes that will level up any Instagram feed. If you’re looking for things to do on a rainy day in NYC, visiting one is a great way to pass the time.

Not only are these cafes aesthetically appealing, but the competitive cafe culture means that there’s a good chance you’ll also get some excellent-tasting coffee and pastries.

Some of the most Instagrammable cafes to visit include Milk & Roses in Brooklyn, Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters in Queens, and Slate Cafe in Manhattan.

Blank Slate Tea, NoMad, New York City
Sip a warm beverage on a rainy day in a cute cafe. Photo courtesy of Blank Slate.

5. Go shopping in NYC

Fifth Avenue may be the most well-known shopping street in New York, but there are many other shopping areas to check out too.

Head to Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood to find 25 blocks of local boutiques, designer brands, and department stores. AllBirds, TAI Jewelry, and Aritzia are some of the best shops in the area to find deals on quality products.

And while Manhatten is full of great places to shop, you also shouldn’t skip the outer boroughs, where you can find an array of flea markets, jewelry shops, and local vintage stores. Some great neighborhoods for this are Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Long Island City (LIC), Queens.

6. Get cultured at an NYC museum

NYC is home to some of the world’s greatest museums. You can find tons of history museums, fine art galleries, interactive science exhibits, and even more quirky collections around the five boroughs.

Some must-visit museums that make for interesting indoor things to do in New York City include:

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). An impressive collection of art spanning 5,000 years of history, from ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces. This museum is also located along Manhattan’s famous Museum Mile!
  • The American Museum of Natural History. Chronicles the evolution of Earth and its inhabitants in a way that evokes wonder, awe, and curiosity.
  • The Frick Collection. Houses a remarkable collection of Old Master paintings and European decorative arts.
  • The Tenement Museum. Visit a preserved 1863 tenement building and learn the stories of the immigrant families who lived there.
visiting the American Museum of Natural History is one of the top things to do in NYC when it rains
American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Photo via Evolutionnumber9/Wikimedia Commons.

7. Laugh at a comedy club (or take a class!)

Rain or shine, the comedy clubs in NYC are always packed. If you are someone who loves stand-up, you won’t have trouble finding a venue.

Comedy Cellar, The Comic Strip, and Gotham Comedy Club are all well-known venues that feature big-name acts and up-and-coming comedians.

If you are looking for something a little more budget-friendly, there are free and super cheap comedy shows in NYC. A few places to check for these include:

  • The Tiny Cupboard in Bushwick, Brooklyn
  • QED in Astoria, Queens
  • The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) in Midtown West, Manhattan
  • Magnet Theater in Midtown West, Manhattan

At the Magnet Theater and The PIT, you can also take classes to hone your comedy skills. Moreover, many of these spaces host open mic nights!

Going to a comedy club is definitely one of the best indoor things to do in NYC!

8. Treat yourself to a spa day

For a little self-indulgence, consider using a rainy day in New York City to treat yourself to a spa treatment.

If you are looking for some rainy day date ideas in NYC, couples packages are available, but this is also one of the best things to do in New York by yourself.

The city is full of luxurious spas to choose from, including Aire Ancient Baths (more on this later), The Haven, and Bamford Wellness Spa.

After you get into your robe and slippers, you can relax in the sauna, try some infrared light therapy, or book a massage to rejuvenate and restore your body.

woman getting a massage on a rainy New York City day
Getting a spa treatment is the perfect way to escape the rain in New York. Photo via cottonbro studio for Pexels.

9. See a concert

Concerts in NYC are an especially fun way to spend a rainy day in New York if you are traveling with friends or a significant other.

The city is home to a number of legendary venues, such as Madison Square Garden, the Apollo Theatre, and Radio City Music Hall.

Additionally, there are loads of indie theaters putting on incredible shows, from Brooklyn Steele to Rockwood Music Hall and beyond.

You can also check out Sofar Sounds to discover concerts in unique spaces.

No matter what kind of music you like — from classic rock to EDM — you can find a show on any given night. Plus, there are plenty of awesome local acts performing in different venues around the city.

10. Indulge in a creative meal

Whether you’re looking for some romance in NYC with an intimate dinner, a memorable night out with friends, or to treat yourself on a solo trip to New York, you’ll have an array of interesting restaurants to choose from.

From atypical fusion restaurants to fresh sushi bars to historic steakhouses, there is something for everyone’s taste buds.

Many of these restaurants even offer ambient spaces or stunning views of the city skyline from the comfort (and warmth) of an indoor eatery.

You can check out our guide to unique NYC restaurants for a full list of creative local concepts.

trying local food is one of the top things to do when it rains in NYC
Artfully made dish at a French restaurant. Photo Via Delighten Dee for Unsplash

11. Checkout a (covered) rooftop bar

You may not think of visiting a rooftop bar in New York when it rains, but there are a number of indoor roof bars and lounges that still offer panoramic views of the city. A few of these include:

If you’re looking for NYC rainy day activities for adults, this is a good option.

If you are traveling with kids, consider visiting the One World Observatory or SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, or head to the family-friendly rooftop restaurant Beasts & Butterflies in Times Square.

Pro tip: rooftops and observation decks also make for great anniversary ideas in NYC. There is nothing more romantic than taking in an epic view!

12. Relive your childhood at Barcade

Another one of the best indoor activities in New York City for adults is visiting Barcade — which has locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

These arcade-bar hybrids offer classic games like pinball, Pac-Man, and Street Fighter II.

They also serve craft beers, cocktails, and snacks to enjoy while playing your favorite childhood arcade games.

The atmosphere is casual and friendly, making it the perfect spot to hang out with friends — or make new ones — and pass the time on a rainy day in New York.

13. Go bowling

Whether you’re visiting NYC with kids or with a group of adults, bowling is a great way to spend a few hours if you’re looking for things to do in New York on a rainy day.

Thankfully, there are plenty of bowling alleys in each borough where you can hang out with your friends and show off your skills.

One fun option is Frames Bowling Lounge — which also features billiards, ping pong, karaoke rooms, and a cocktail bar. If you’re celebrating your birthday in NYC, this is a top pick.

There are also retro-style bowling alleys like Brooklyn Bowl — which also hosts concerts — and The Gutter.

Overall, bowling is always a fun option and one of the best NYC indoor activities for all ages!

14. Sip on craft coffee

Craft coffee — often referred to as 3rd-wave coffee — is coffee that is brewed with single-origin beans, unique hand-brewing methods, and specialty espresso. There is no shortage of these 3rd-wave coffee shops to visit in New York City on a rainy day.

Some popular spots include Variety Coffee Roasters, Felix Roasting Co., and Saltwater Coffee.

While these places are great for coffee lovers, they also serve a variety of pastries, breakfast dishes, and sandwiches to enjoy while you try the best tasting coffee in the city!

latte with art from Upstate Stock in Brooklyn
Unique latte at Upstate Stock in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo via Jessie Festa.

15. Savor sweets at a dessert bar

If you can’t decide what to do on a rainy day in New York, consider indulging in some dessert and coffee to avoid the dreary weather.

New York is full of cafes that cater to people with a sweet tooth. Classic cupcake shops, vegan ice cream, and French bakeries are everywhere.

Some of the most popular dessert spots are Lady M Cakes, Milk Bar, and Ample Hills Creamery.

16. Take a cooking class

One of the top indoor things to do in New York is taking a cooking class, such as a private Indian and soul food cooking class in Harlem.

You can also cook in the local homes of women from around the world and learn their family recipes through League of Kitchens, or learn culinary skills from talented New Yorkers in their apartments through EatWith.

There are also loads of delicious Brooklyn food tours focused on everything from pizza to donuts and beyond.

These are just a few of the numerous options around the five boroughs. You can click here for a list of food tours and cooking classes in NYC.

cooking in a local home when it rains in NYC with League Of Kitchens
Doing a cooking class with League of Kitchens. Photo via Jessie Festa.

17. Have a meal in a local home

Speaking of EatWith, another top pick during rainy days in New York City is dining in a local home, which you can also book through the platform’s Dinners In New York section.

Just a few of the many options listed on their site include a 5-course modern Northern Thai cuisine menu, a seasonal Japanese-inspired seafood meal, a Greek feast with panoramic view, and more.

While there are many great restaurants in NYC, the neat thing about EatWith is you have the chance to truly immerse yourself in local culture and connect with locals.

18. Experience an authentic sake bar

If you want to try something different, then head to a sake bar. Sake bars are growing in popularity throughout NYC and you’ll find an array of options in Manhattan and other boroughs.

These establishments also serve food, so you can enjoy a tasty snack while sipping on some warm or chilled sake.

Plus, these places often host special events and tastings, so you can learn more about sake in a fun environment.

A few must-try sake bars to get on your radar include Sake Bar Decibel, which has a punk rock vibe, and the trendy Bozu. There is also Sakagura, which has almost a speakeasy feel as you wind your way through an office building into a basement sake lair.

bottles of sake lined up
Various kinds of Japanese Sake. Photo via Zaji Kanamajina for Unsplash

19. Peruse a local book shop

When wondering what to do in New York City in the rain, consider cozying up in a book store with a good novel.

New York is full of great bookshops across its five boroughs. For instance, McNally Jackson Books has multiple locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn, while Astoria Bookshop is a top spot for books and cards in Queens.

A few other beloved bookstores in New York include:

  • Greenlight Bookstore (Fort Greene & Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn), an independent bookstore known for its wide array of books across genres and storytelling events
  • Books Are Magic (Cobble Hill & Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn), a well-curated bookstore opened by novelist Emma Straub
  • Rizzoli Bookstore (NoMad, Manhattan), a beautiful bookstore that is particularly known for its illustrated works and literature
  • Housingworks Bookstore Cafe (SoHo, Manhattan), which donates 100% of its profits to help end homeless and HIV/AIDS
  • Strand Book Store (Union Square, Manhattan), the largest bookstore in New York City

A personal favorite when looking for things to do in NYC on a rainy is Argosy Book Store in Midtown East. This 6-story family-owned shop is the city’s oldest independent bookseller and is known for its old and rare books and antique maps and prints. You can certainly spend a few hours here on a New York City rainy day.

Pro tip:

Many bookstores also put on events, so make sure to check their calendar, particularly on days when you want to be indoors.

The Strand
The Strand is one of the city’s most visited independent bookstores.

20. Hone your creative skills at an indoor class

Along with cooking classes (mentioned above), the city is home to numerous places to take interesting classes when it rains in NYC.

A few to try include East Village Hats (hatwork), La Mano Pottery (pottery), Raaka (chocolate), Painting Lounge (sip and paint), and Brooklyn Brainery (everything).

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? For the days when it doesn’t rain you can book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Things To Do In Manhattan On A Rainy Day

Wondering what to do on a rainy day in Manhattan?

Manhattan is a bustling metropolis full of excitement and adventure. It’s the borough most people think of when they hear “New York City.” Luckily, many of the best things to do in Manhattan are also the best things to do in New York in the rain.

21. Find healing at AIRE Ancient Baths, New York

We mentioned taking a spa day already, but the AIRE Ancient Baths deserve a spot of their own. This is easily one of the most fun things to do in NYC on a rainy day.

The spa has an aesthetic blend of modern and ancient features tucked away inside a restored historic textile factory. You can journey through pools of various temperatures, try holistic rituals, book a couple’s message, or even try their signature wine bath!

22. Visit Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall is one of the most iconic venues in New York. Whether you catch a show or just explore the historic building, it’s one of the most fun things to do in NYC on rainy days.

The venue is still the largest indoor theater in the world and has seen performances of musical legends like Stevie Wonder and The Rolling Stones, as well as famous performers and comedians.

If you visit NYC in winter, particularly over the holidays, you’ll have a chance to see the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” — a holiday stage show that’s been running since 1933!

Radio City Music Hall in the rain in NYC
Radio City Music Hall is a must-visit attraction in NYC rain or shine! Photo via Alfred GF for Pexels.

23. Discover the beauty & secrets of Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is one of the busiest train stations in the world, but it’s also one of the most beautiful public spaces in NYC.

There are shops, restaurants, and even guided tours that allow you to explore all the secrets of this grand terminal, including the Whispering Gallery and the Kissing Room.

Once you finish exploring the terminal, you can easily hop on the subway — which is located inside Grand Central — to explore other fun things to do in New York when it rains.

Pro tip: if you enjoy guided tours, definitely book a Secrets of Grand Central Tour, which shares the fascinating lesser-known history of the train station.

24. Play indoor sports at Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers is a complex of piers along the Hudson River, offering plenty of sports and rainy day NYC activities. It’s a wonderful place to stay active when the weather is less than ideal.

On cold and rainy New York City days, you can join drop-in classes for basketball, adult gymnastics, bowling, golf, soccer, swimming, and more.

For those not interested in organized sports, they have rock climbing, batting cages, parkour gyms, ice skating, and even a toddler gym.

25. Sample delicious foods at Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market is a must-see for tourists and locals alike, especially on those rainy days in NYC. Located within the old Nabisco factory complex — where the OREO cookie was invented — you’ll be able to shop and taste your way from vendor to vendor.

You also shouldn’t miss Artists & Fleas, an artisan market located within the market. It’s a fun way to explore the creativity of locals!

The market is located within Manhattan’s hip Chelsea neighborhood, is connected to the High Line, and is right near the famous Whitney Museum of American Art, so you’ll have lots to explore nearby after you’re done eating and shopping.

man shopping in Chelsea Market in rainy New YorK City
One of the many food spots in Chelsea Market. Photo via Jessie Festa.

26. See a Broadway Show

Seeing a Broadway show is one of the most iconic things to do in NYC in the rain. From classic musicals like Chicago and Lion King to new productions like SIX and A Strange Loop, you’ll have the chance to watch some of the world’s most talented performers.

There are 41 Broadway theaters located around the Theater District in Times Square, so it’s easy to find a great show that fits your schedule and budget.

If you are flexible, you can even find discounted same-day tickets at the TKTS Booth located under the iconic ruby-red steps of Times Square.

27. Have a SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Experience

The SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Experience is one of the most unique attractions in New York City. Located on the top floor of the One Vanderbilt skyscraper, it’s Manhattan’s newest observation deck.

The experience consists of three floors with interactive designs by Kenzo Digital, topped off by transparent sky boxes sitting 1,100 feet over Madison Avenue, an external glass-bottomed elevator, and a cafe with an epic view for snacks and drinks.

And while you may think a rainy day in NYC will ruin the fun, the views are still spectacular.

woman posing at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt with the Empire State Building in the background
Taking in a view at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. Photo via Jessie Festa.

28. Explore the Evolution Store

The Evolution Store is a must-see for science and nature lovers alike. This museum-like store offers an incredible variety of fossils, bones, crystals, minerals, and other natural artifacts from around the world. You can spend hours here exploring the many fascinating items — from dinosaur eggs to meteorites!

29. Watch an independent film at the IFC Center

Located in Greenwich Village, the IFC Center is one of NYC’s most beloved movie theaters. With comfortable seating, tasty concessions, and loads of film memorabilia, it’s one of the best rainy day activities in NYC.

This theater shows independent films from around the globe, as well as classic films and documentaries. They often host special screenings with Q&As and discussions afterward.

30. See a Knicks Game or Rangers Game at Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden is a bucket list destination for any sports fan. Both the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers play their home games at this iconic venue, and being a part of the action is easily one of the best things to do in NYC when it rains.

seeing a Rangers game at Madison Square Garden on a rainy day in NYC
New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. Photo Via Seth Hoffman for Unsplash

31. Take pictures at The Oculus

When searching for things to do in Manhattan on a rainy day, consider visiting The Oculus — a must-see attraction located within the World Trade Center complex.

This stunning architectural marvel was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, and currently serves as a shopping mall and train station. In fact, it’s touted as the world’s most expensive train station, costing $4 billion to build!

Its unique design also makes it great for photos. The exterior is meant to resemble a dove leaving a child’s hands, while the inside features a skylight that allows you to view One World Trade Center from anywhere in the building.

Visiting The Oculus is one of the best free things to do in NYC!

32. Sip craft cocktails at a speakeasy

If you’re looking for something different than your typical pub crawl, visiting a speakeasy is a unique thing to do on a rainy day in NYC.

A speakeasy is a Prohibition-style bar or club with a hidden entrance — and sometimes even a secret password — that serves up expertly crafted cocktails.

Many of these lounges can be found scattered throughout New York City, though some of my personal favorites are located within Manhattan — particularly within the Lower East Side, East Village, and Upper East Side.

A few to check out include:

  • The Back Room, sip cocktails out of tea cups and find the hidden bar behind a bookcase
  • Please Don’t Tell, enter from behind a phone booth within an East Village hot dog joint
  • Keys and Heels, open the door to a locksmith and shoe repair shop to enter a chic speakeasy space
  • UES, this Upper East Side ice cream parlor has a secret door that leads to their “storage closet” (aka a gorgeous cocktail bar with delicious drinks)
having cocktails at Keys & Heels is one of the best things to do in NYC when it rains
Cocktails at Keys & Heels. Photo via Jessie Festa.

33. Spend time at the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a great escape from the weather. Whether you are looking to catch up on some reading or just need a place to relax and get out of the rain, this library has you covered.

There are more than 6 million books, periodicals, and other resources available to visitors — not to mention loads of free classes and events.

Plus, the beautiful architecture makes it particularly appealing for photographers traveling to NYC.

34. Visit the Morgan Stanley Library & Museum

Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Morgan Stanley Library & Museum started as the personal library of the financial giant J.P. Morgan — but has been expanded to a museum with art in every medium imaginable.

The beautiful architecture and history within the walls of the Morgan Library make it a wonderful place to spend an hour or two in New York when it rains. Some people even like it more than the New York Public Library!

35. See a live show taping

Seeing a live show taping in New York City is an exhilarating experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Lots of classic late-night shows are filmed in NYC, like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

While looking for things to do on a rainy day in New York City, it’s easy to request a ticket to these shows online.

If you are willing to wait in line for most of the day, grab an umbrella and take your chance at standby tickets the day of the show!

seeing the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is one of the best things to do in NYC when it rains
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Photo Via Mateus Maia for Unsplash

36. Go live music hopping in the Lower East Side

When looking for fun things to do in NYC when it rains, wandering around a neighborhood might not be the first thing that comes to mind; however, the beauty of the Lower East Side is that it’s home to numerous live music venues right near each other.

A few to add to your rainy day itinerary include:

Best of all, their shows tend to be budget-friendly, and sometimes even free!

37. Hone your secret agent skills at Spyscape

Spyscape is an edutainment attraction where you’ll learn about the history of covert operations, from enigma machines used to encrypt messages during WWII to Edward Snowden to micro-bugging devices and more.

Not only will you read fascinating stories, but you’ll do quizzes and challenges to hone your own skills as a spy.

At the end, you’ll get your very own secret agent profile based on your personality and how you perform!

38. Take an NYC sightseeing bus tour

One way to tour the city without getting too wet from the rain is booking a guided bus tour of the top local attractions.

A highly-rated option is a New York In One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour, which takes you to important locations like Times Square, Central Park, the 9/11 Memorial, Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, and more.

The tour guides are known for keeping a good pace and providing helpful information. Plus, along the way, your ferry and bus transportation passes by many additional iconic buildings, islands, and landmarks!

visiting the Statue of Liberty in the rain in NYC
The Statue of Liberty is a must-visit attraction in NYC, rain of shine! Photo via David Faves from Pexels.

39. Sip on high tea in the afternoon

When you need an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle — or to dry off and find things to do indoors in NYC — consider spending an afternoon at a high tea parlor.

Along with tea, each package comes with small plates of sandwiches, scones, cakes, and other sweet pastries. You can even top it off with Champagne or a glass of wine.

Tea & Sympathy in the West Village is one of the most beloved spots for afternoon tea, serving traditional English tea with all the trimmings. This cute spot is also one of the more affordable options and is perfect for those exploring NYC on a budget.

For a particularly elegant experience and high-quality tea, try Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon in Gramercy Park or The Russian Tea Room in Midtown.

40. Take in the city from atop the One World Observatory

The One World Observatory is one of the top attractions in New York City, and it’s open rain or shine.

This observatory offers panoramic views from the 102nd floor of One World Trade Center, allowing you to see up to 50 miles away on a clear day.

In this observatory, you can also explore three floors of exhibits and interactive displays that tell the story of NYC.

Note that while you’ll still enjoy epic views in the rain, keep an eye on the visibility. If there is zero visibility, you can request your ticket to be transferred to another day.

Prefer to have a view of One World Trade Center? Consider a limousine tour of NYC, many of which include photo ops of popular local landmarks!

One World Observatory on a rainy day in NYC
One World Observatory in the fall. Photo Via Evan Thomas for Unsplash

41. Spend a few hours at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) offers a unique experience for those looking to explore some of the world’s most famous artwork.

This iconic museum houses iconic works from artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol, among many others.

On a rainy day, it’s the perfect place to view masterpieces and learn more about their histories.

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? For the days when it doesn’t rain you can book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Things To Do In Brooklyn On A Rainy Day

A rainy day in Brooklyn is no reason to stay cooped up all day. The borough has some of the best things to do in NYC in the rain, including bustling markets, book shops, and other unique experiences. Here are some of the best things to do in Brooklyn on a rainy day.

42. Explore the markets

If you’re wondering what to do in NYC on a rainy day, here’s an idea: visit Brooklyn’s many interesting markets.

In Williamsburg, Smorgasburg serves up some of the city’s most creative food fare on the Williamsburg waterfront during the warmer months, while nearby you can visit the year-round Artists & Fleas — an indoor artisan market with an upbeat vibe.

In DUMBO, Brooklyn Flea is a market where vendors sell antiques, clothing, local art, and handmade items from spring through fall.

Year-round in DUMBO you can also visit Time Out Market, another great option for those looking for something to do on a rainy day in Brooklyn. This is a massive waterfront warehouse filled with a variety of restaurants and delicious food from some of the city’s best chefs.

Note that many of these markets have additional locations, so check their websites for their list of locations and events.

By the way, both Williamsburg and DUMBO offer some of the best skyline views in the city, and are both popular options on a private NYC photo tour or photoshoot.

NYC Influencer Shoot guest posing in DUMBO in front of the Manhattan skyline
NYC Influencer Shoot guest posing in DUMBO in front of the Manhattan skyline. Photo via NYC Photo Journeys.

43. Buy unique NYC souvenirs at the Superhero Supply Store

This one-of-a-kind shop in Park Slope and is the perfect place to find everything a superhero needs. They have superhero costumes, comic books, and other superhero-themed items. The store doubles as a non-profit literary center for young children and adults, which makes it that much better to support!

44. Play pinball at Sunshine Laundromat

Sunshine Laundromat in Greenpoint features over 20 pinball machines, classic arcade games, board games, and a full bar with craft beer and cocktails.

To get to the bar, you have to go through an actual laundromat, and in the back, there is a door to the bar.

The place can get busy on the weekends, but it’s not overwhelming, and it’ll give you a chance to meet some new people and challenge them to a game!

45. Take a graffiti workshop

The Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn is known for its blocks and blocks of giant murals, making this the perfect place to hone your own skills as a graffiti artist.

During a Brooklyn Graffiti Lesson, you’ll learn the basics of the art form as well as a variety of aerosol techniques from a local street artist, and will even create a masterpiece to keep!

The experience takes place in an indoor studio, so it’s perfect for escaping the rain in NYC.

woman doing a graffiti workshop on a rainy day in NYC
Doing a graffiti workshop on a rainy day in Brooklyn. Photo via Jessie Festa.

46. Explore Industry City

When it comes to what to do in NYC when it rains, it’s tough to beat Industry City — a vibrant hub of restaurants, shops, art, and games within multiple interconnected buildings and courtyards along the waterfront in Sunset Park.

A few must-have experiences while here:

  • Have a local craft beer at Big aLICe Brewing
  • Snap photos of the numerous public art pieces
  • Savor a taste of authentic Japan within the Japanese Village
  • Play a game of pétanque at the Carreau Club
  • Have a ginger-laced cocktail at Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur
  • Get your java fix at Brooklyn Roasting Company
  • Shop vintage clothing at Arcade by A Current Affair

And so much more! Also make sure to check their events calendar to see what’s on.

47. Try axe-throwing

For something a bit different, try some offbeat New York City indoor attractions — like axe-throwing! It’s a great activity for groups of friends and adds a little bit of healthy competition to your rainy day in NYC.

For axe-throwing, you should head to Kick Axe Throwing in Gowanus. It costs $35/per person and you can have up to eight people per lane.

This is also a fun idea if you’re celebrating your birthday in NYC and want to do something a bit different from the usual bar crawl.

48. Discover quirky history at the City Reliquary

One of the top things to do in Williamsburg is visit the City Reliquary, which offers an interesting space for exploring NYC history in unique ways.

First of all, their permanent collection is intriguing, showcasing items like L-train paint fragments, a “very old shovel,” horse bones, and a decaying birthday cake.

Moreover, they celebrate local culture through rotating exhibits on themes like milk history and farmer struggles, pizza and donut heritage, and candy manufactured in NYC.

Visiting the City Reliquary on a rainy day in New York City
The City Reliquary in Williamsburg. Photo via Jessie on a Journey.

Things To Do In Queens On A Rainy Day

Unfortunately, you probably won’t have a great time visiting the Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, or watching a baseball game at Citi Field on a rainy day in NYC; however, Queens is full of interesting museums, breweries, and attractions that will keep you busy until the sun comes out again.

49. See the Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image is an interactive museum dedicated to exploring the history and impact of film, television, and digital media. This museum houses a collection of over 130,000 objects and artifacts related to the history of moving images.

In addition to artifacts, you can spend time exploring interactive exhibits, watching film screenings, and learning more about the art and science of storytelling.

50. Brewery hop around Long Island City

There are many things to do in Long Island City, even on a rainy day. One top pick is exploring the local breweries, many of which are located within walking distance from one another.

The LIC Brewery Trail includes:

  • Alewife
  • Fifth Hammer
  • ICONYC Brewing
  • Rockaway Brewing Company
  • Big aLICe Brewing
  • LIC Beer Project

To help you plan your brewery crawl, I’ve also created a Google Map of the locations for you here.

If you’re looking for fun indoor activities in NYC when in rains, definitely add this crawl to your itinerary. Just make sure to bring an umbrella for walking to each brewery.

having a beer at Rockaway Brewing is one of the top indoor activities in NYC when in rains
Having a beer at Rockaway Brewing Co. Photo via Jessie Festa.

51. Go to the Noguchi Museum

The Noguchi Museum showcases the work of Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi.

Spanning two floors, the institution features both outdoor sculptures and indoor galleries. A visit to this museum is an opportunity to explore a range of mediums, from sculptures to paintings, photographs, and theatrical designs.

52. Visit Louis Armstrong’s former home

The Louis Armstrong House Museum is dedicated to the life of legendary jazz musician and composer Louis Armstrong.

This museum — which is located in the trumpeter’s former home — offers a unique opportunity to explore the history of jazz music through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and photographs. It’s also a great spot for live performances and educational workshops.

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? For the days when it doesn’t rain you can book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Things To Do In The Bronx On A Rainy Day

The Bronx has a lot to offer travelers and local New Yorkers on a rainy day. It’s the birthplace of hip-hop and home to incredible Italian food and local breweries

53. Have dinner in “the real Little Italy”

While Manhattan’s Little Italy has lost a lot of its authenticity, you can have a genuine Italian experience in the Belmont neighborhood of The Bronx — often dubbed “the real Little Italy.”

Here you can visit Arthur Avenue, a delicious street showcasing Italian restaurants, delis, bakeries, and specialty stores.

While you can certainly wander without a plan and let your nose and stomach be your guide, there are a few standout spots.

If you are around for lunch, Joe’s Italian Deli has incredible sandwiches and some of the best mozzarella you’ll ever taste.

If you love pasta, you absolutely must stop into Borgatti’s for some of their handemade ravioli and egg noodles — which they’ve been selling since 1935!

Visiting in the evening? One fan favorite for homestyle Italian dishes is Dominick’s. There is also Zero Otto Nove, a beautiful trattoria serving delicious baked pastas and Neapolitan pizza.

man holding up handmade pasta at Borgatti's in The Bronx
Buying handmade pasta at Borgatti’s on Arthur Avenue. Photo via Jessie Festa.

54. Go on a hip hop tour

The Bronx is the birthplace of hip hop, a piece of history you can explore on a tour.

If you book with HushTours, you can visit the Graffiti Wall of Fame, the apartment where the first-ever hip hop party was held, and other iconic landmarks throughout The Bronx and Harlem (in Manhattan). It’s a great way to learn more about the history of hip hop and experience the culture first-hand.

55. Sample locally-made beer & liquor

The Bronx is home to a burgeoning craft beer. Take a brewery tour around the borough and sample some of the delicious local beers produced here.

Some great breweries include Gun Hill Brewing Company and The Bronx Brewery. You can also visit local beer-focused establishments like the Bronx Beer Hall and the Bricks and Hops beer garden.

56. Tour the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage

Poe Cottage is a historic home located in the Fordham neighborhood of The Bronx where the American poet Edgar Allan Poe lived out the final years of his life. It’s where he wrote classics like Eureka and Annabel Lee.

The restored house is very small, but if you are a fan of poetry, short stories, and specifically the work of Edgar Allen Poe, you should consider taking a tour of the cottage.

Poe Cottage in New York City
Poe Cottage. Photo via Zoirusha from Wikimedia Commons.

Things To Do On Staten Island On A Rainy Day

Don’t let a rainy day on Staten Island stop you from exploring all that this borough has to offer. To help you plan your itinerary, here are a few of the best things to do on a rainy day in Staten Island:

57. Experience a meal made by grandma

Nonnas of the World is a culinary experience that celebrates grandmothers from around the globe who keep traditional cooking alive.

The chefs at this restaurant are grandmas who cook authentic dishes from their home countries. The restaurant is named Enoteca Maria, and there are two kitchens; one Italian kitchen and one featuring guest nonnas from other countries.

While traveling to Staten Island can be a hike if you’re staying in Manhattan, it’s worth the trip for the delicious meals that truly taste like they were made in grandma’s kitchen.

58. Ride the Staten Island Ferry

Ride a boat…in the rain? Yes, you read that right! This free-to-ride Staten Island Ferry is actually a fun rainy day activity in NYC.

First of all, there are plenty of seats that are covered that still offer a great view of the Statue of Liberty.

It’s also interesting to see the Manhattan skyline and Lady Liberty in a different light. Plus, you can bring beer and wine board — they actually sell it right before you get on — for a little DIY cruise.

The Staten Island Ferry is one of the best things to do in NYC on a rainy day
See iconic views of NYC for free on the Staten Island Ferry. Image via Christopher Postlewaite/NYC & Company.

59. Step back in time at Historic Richmond Town

Historic Richmond Town is an open-air living history museum that showcases life during the post-colonial era on Staten Island and over 300 years of American history.

There are guided tours every weekend, but you can also take a stroll through the historic village yourself and see the historical interpreters living life as they would have in the 17th-18th century.

This is still fun on a rainy day in NYC because, while there is some walking between the historic buildings, most of the exhibits are indoors. Visitors can see enjoy live exhibitions on different historical trades like blacksmiths, tinsmiths, printers, and carpentry.

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? For the days when it doesn’t rain you can book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Best Tours For A Rainy Day In NYC

While there are plenty of self-guided things to do in NYC when it’s raining, it’s recommended to book at least one tour to learn from a local guide.

A few top-rated guided tours that are perfect for people searching for rainy day ideas in NYC include:

New York Catacombs by Candlelight

Chinatown & Little Italy Food Fest

Secrets Of Grand Central Walking Tour

New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour

Best of Brooklyn Half-Day Food and Culture, Bus and Walking Tour

New York at Night Bus Tour

Click here for a full list of tours in New York City.

the NYC skyline on a rainy day in New York City
New York City buildings on a cloudy day. Photo Via Hannah Busing for Unsplash

Best Hotels In NYC

After enjoying some rainy day in NYC activities, cozy up in one of the many incredible local hotels, like NoMo SoHo, the Williamsburg Hotel, and The Ludlow.

Click here for a full list of New York City hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

Click here to check out unique local rentals! 

You can also use this map to search for local stays. It’s currently set to Times Square, but you can easily change it to your desired NYC neighborhood:

Like the idea of hotel living? There are also many live-in hotels in NYC that offer extended stays.

NYC Travel Insurance

When visiting New York City — or anywhere else in the world — it’s wise to get travel insurance.

One of the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Things To Do In NYC On A Rainy Day: Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, you can’t fight mother nature. Luckily, though, there are so many fun things to do in rainy NYC.

You can fill those dreary days with experiences like viewing the collections of some of the world’s most famous museums, shopping in Chelsea, catching a Broadway show, or treating yourself to a well-deserved spa day.

The variety of opportunities to explore art, history, culture, food, and fun is why millions of people visit the city every year. And you won’t regret visiting yourself, even if it rains!

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? For the days when it doesn’t rain you can book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

What are your favorite things to do in NYC on a rainy day?

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

I'm a conscious solo traveler on a mission to take you beyond the guidebook to inspire you to live your best life through travel. Come join me!

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