40 things to do indoors

What to do when it's raining, snowing or stifling hot in NYC: score cheap drinks, play games, get cultured and more.

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nitehawk Cinema

    Nitehawk Cinema

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nitehawk Cinema

    Fish tacos and Nitehawk Queso at Nitehawk Cinema

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nitehawk Cinema

    Nitehawk Queso at Nitehawk Cinema

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nitehawk Cinema

    Nitehawk Cinema

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nitehawk Cinema

    Nitehawk Cinema

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nitehawk Cinema

    Nitehawk Cinema

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nitehawk Cinema

    Nitehawk Cinema

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nitehawk Cinema

    Nitehawk Cinema

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Nitehawk Cinema

Nitehawk Cinema

Relax

Nitehawk Cinema

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Dinner and a movie sounds good, right? But what happens if you get soaked on your way from the restaurant to the picture house and proceed to catch pneumonia in the arctic AC? Thankfully, now you can get fine food while you watch a flick. Try this Williamsburg spot for a menu by Michelin-starred chef Saul Bolton (Saul, the Vanderbilt) and programming that skews to new indie releases and retro gems.

  1. 136 Metropolitan Ave between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
More info

Film Forum

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This cinematic staple regularly offers up its repertory programming as double features—for the same price as a single screening.

  1. 209 W Houston St between Sixth Ave and Varick St
More info

Spa Castle

  • Price band: 2/4

A sort of relaxation amusement park, the entry fee (weekdays $35, weekends and holidays $45) grants you access to seven saunas, including the gold room (outfitted in real gold, which apparently harkens back to an ancient technique for soothing sore limbs), one outfitted with LED lights and a room with stacked blocks of Himalayan salt.

  1. 131-10 11th Ave at 131st St, College Point, Queens
More info

Shambhala Meditation Center

  • Price band: 1/4

If you've ever wanted to know anything about Shambhala, a path of meditation linked to Buddhism, this is the place to be. Classes, workshops and weekend retreats are all on the table here to help you learn about what meditation could do for you.

  1. 118 W 22nd St, sixth floor, (between Sixth and Seventh Aves)
More info

Great Jones Spa

  • Price band: 2/4

Based on the theory that water brings health, this Noho mainstay is outfitted with a popular water lounge that boasts subterranean pools, saunas, steam rooms and a three-and-a-half-story waterfall. Enjoy the serenity of the 15,000-square-foot paradise while getting a haircut ($90 and up), or treat yourself to a Coconut Paradise Manicure ($40). Access to the water lounge is complimentary with services over $100, or a three-hour pass is available for $50.

  1. 29 Great Jones St at Lafayette St
More info

Cha An Japanese Tea House

  • Price band: 1/4

You have to climb a flight of stairs and peek behind a curtain to find this tranquil teahouse, which offers a succession of deftly crafted plates accompanied by a thoughtful list of teas and sake. Each night features two special “sets” that take you from an amuse-bouche like creamy soy-milk quiche through a selection of tiny bites (pickled eggplant, marinated lotus root), to entrées such as tea-smoked salmon with sliced radish, Dijon mustard and tarragon. It's a great escape from the East Village crowds.

  1. 230 E 9th St, (between Second and Third Aves)
More info

Tibet House

The rotating schedule of teachers at this nonsectarian Tibetan cultural center introduces novices to a wide range of practices, and appeals to solitary and social practitioners alike. Arrive at 6pm for silent, individual meditation, or join in on the group session at 7pm. Tangka paintings from Nepal adorn the walls of the space, which also doubles as an art gallery.

  1. 22 W 15th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves
More info

Body by Brooklyn

  • Price band: 2/4

On weekends, expect to hang with worse-for-wear Brooklynites following the suggested Hangover Relief regimen in the wet lounge's Russian sauna, but the sensible can pick and choose from the jacuzzi, cold-plunge pool, Turkish steam room and Swedish dry sauna. Once you resemble a prune, retire to the fireplace in the dry lounge for food prepared by the chef of the adjacent organic supermarket, Fresh Fanatic, and a tipple from the full-service bar.

  1. 275 Park Ave at Washington Ave, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
More info

Himalaya Teahouse

A surplus of Tibetan rugs and a lush back garden set the tone at this tea lovers’ haven, where loose-leaf organic and fair-trade varieties are served ceremoniously in hefty iron pots. Try the low-key Ceylon Curls green tea, or a mug of fragrant masala chai.

  1. 33-17 31st Ave, (at 33rd St)
More info

The Paley Center for Media

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Channel-surfing getting you nowhere? Then head to this pop-culture nirvana, which contains an archive of more than 150,000 radio and TV programs. Just head to the fourth-floor library and search the database for your favorite episode of I Love Lucy, Seinfeld or Desperate Housewives, then turn on, tune in and veg out at your assigned console.

  1. 25 W 52nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves
More info

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