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What to Do in NYC When it Rains: 35 Things You Probably Haven’t Done Yet

Rainclouds over Hudson River

New York City, renowned for its vibrant energy and iconic skyline, doesn’t lose its allure when raindrops fall and clouds gather overhead. In fact, the city that never sleeps transforms into a haven of exciting possibilities even on wet, grey, rainy days. The diverse array of indoor activities ensures that the spirit of NYC remains lively and engaging, providing residents and visitors with a wealth of options to explore.

New York City’s resilience shines through as rainy days become opportunities to discover hidden gems, cozy cafes, and the warmth of indoor spaces that contribute to the city’s enduring charm, proving that the Big Apple’s allure is weatherproof, inviting everyone to savor its delights regardless of the forecast.

Rainy window in NYC looking at the Oculus in downtown FiDi

35 Things To Do in NYC When it Rains

  1. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s free for NYC residents.
  2. Explore the contemporary galleries at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
  3. See the great whale in the American Museum of Natural History.
  4. Experience the unique architecture of The Guggenheim Museum.
  5. Explore the modern and contemporary art at The Whitney Museum of American Art.
  6. Catch a Broadway show such as The Lion King (which usually still has last-minute tix available).
  7. See an off-Broadway show. Use the TodayTix app for day-of availability.
  8. Wander around Grand Central Terminal, admire its architecture, and maybe grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or cafes inside.
  9. Head to the iconic Macy’s department store in Herald Square.
  10. Spend time at Chelsea Market, an indoor food and shopping haven with a diverse range of vendors and eateries.
  11. Visit the New York Public Library for a quiet and literary escape.
  12. See what exhibitions are on at the Morgan Library & Museum.
  13. Experience the breathtaking views of the city from the indoor observation deck at One World Observatory.
  14. Enjoy German food and a German-size pint of beer at Rolf’s NYC—a restaurant and bar decked out in Christmas decorations year-round.
  15. Try indoor rock climbing at the Chelsea Piers rock climbing gym.
  16. Challenge yourself with an escape room experience.
  17. Enjoy a movie at the city’s historic theater Angelika Film Center.
  18. Go for food & drink while watching a movie at the Nitehawk Cinema.
  19. Treat yourself to a spa day at Williamsburg’s Bath House spa which has a dine-in restaurant and multiple steam rooms & dipping pools.
  20. Take a cooking class to experience the diverse culinary scene of New York City.
  21. Play arcade games at Barcade—an arcade themed bar that’s great for making new friends.
  22. Go bowling at The Gutter. Their LES location has great food and fun, clean vibes, and The Gutter in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood is a bit more divey and includes an event space for concerts
foggy day in nyc with autumn leaves in foreground and One World Trade Center in background
  1. Visit the New York Aquarium in Coney Island for an underwater adventure.
  2. Take cool architecture photos at The Oculus and go shopping at the underground, indoor shopping center there.
  3. Visit the food court at Brookfield Place (attached to The Oculus underground mall).
  4. Enjoy an Italian tasting menu at Eataly and buy cool Italian food gifts there.
  5. Transport yourself to medieval Europe at The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art located in Fort Tryon Park.
  6. Appreciate the art collection at The Frick Collection, housed in the former residence of industrialist Henry Clay Frick.
  7. Delve into the history of public transportation in NYC at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn.
  8. Discover the history of immigration in the United States with a visit to the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side.
  9. Reflect on the events of September 11, 2001, at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum located at the World Trade Center site.
  10. Visit Nintendo New York, the official Nintendo store in Rockefeller Center, for a gaming experience and to explore the latest Nintendo products.
  11. Explore the diverse collections of art and artifacts at the Brooklyn Museum, located near Prospect Park.
  12. Take that day trip to Jersey City that you were always planning but never got around to.
  13. Go book shopping at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square.