10 fun things to do on a rainy day in New York

Hate the rain? Make the most of a gray day in the city with our expert tips on movie watching, hot-toddy drinking and snuggling.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Adam Lerner

Yes, you did see right when you checked the Weather Channel on your phone—another gray day. Sure, it might be sunny right now, but don’t let that fool you—the rain is going to be coming back, because this is New York, and reliable weather is for amateurs (don't even get us started on rain-related annoyances). Good times! But don’t despair at the lack of sunshine—there are still tons of great things to do in spring that are not only fun, but that you won’t be able to do once the sun does finally show its face for good. Things like…

1. Go to the Nitehawk Cinema

This Billyburg boutique movie theater and bar has a reliably great selection of left-field films, and one of the greatest things about the Nitehawk Cinema is that the waitress will bring you snacks and booze! You won't even care that it's not nice out when you leave.

2. Listen to Smiths records

You may have sung along to Morrissey’s line about “Spending warm summer days indoors,” but seriously, that song was written in Manchester, England’s rainiest city. We don’t live in Manchester, we live somewhere where summer means beaches and tacos and lying in the grass in the park. So if you’ve a predilection for British melancholy, for goodness sake, get it in now, while the weather sucks.

3. Get stuff done

You know, that annoying stuff that keeps showing up on your to-do list because you keep ignoring it. It won’t be any less annoying once the sun has come out, and you’ll be oh-so-satisfied you did it.

4. Snuggle

Yep, you heard us right. Think you’ll be able to get cozy on the sofa in the summer when the sun is out, the birds are tweeting, and the public swimming pools are open? Hell, no. Dig out that Back to the Future triple DVD box set and make yourself comfortable.

5. Have tea and cake

Any person from a rainy climate will tell you this: There is simply nothing like the rain and gloom to make a cup of tea taste divine. Don’t ask us how the science of this works, just take our word for it and head to any one of NYC’s top teahouses. We’re going to call out Brit-run Greenwich Village café Tea & Sympathy as a fave.

6. Do your spring (or summer, or fall, or winter) cleaning

No more excuses: It’s time. Find your favorite podcast, pull on those sexy rubber gloves, and spring-clean your apartment! Check out our winter storage ideas for tips including how to get your dry cleaner to look after your winter coat for an entire season. Yes, you read right.

7. Drink a hot toddy

Hot booze is a splendid thing, and winter cocktails are a New York speciality. Make the most of this excellent opportunity to savor a hot toddy—and just enjoy asking for one and sounding like an aristocrat.

8. Make some art

You bought those paints/that teach-yourself-banjo book/those crochet needles two months ago. Your greatest work isn’t going to make itself, you know.

9. Daydream about the awesome things you’ll when the sun comes out

It’s like Dr. Seuss says: Oh, the places you’ll go! A bit of waiting and being excited never hurt anyone, and now is the perfect time to make a mental note of the un-wet things you’ll be doing when you're not being rained on.

10. Pretend it's summer

Take a gander at our list of indoor things to do to keep that summer feeling year-round, including sand volleyball and the beautiful Ford Foundation Garden Atrium. There’s an umbrella over there with your name on it, and a soul-enriching experience just a subway ride away. Viva rain!

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