These rainy day activities for kids are sure to come in handy when the weather's simply too gross to spend time outside—even for puddle-splashing! Take your kids of all ages on an adventure to try some of these fun rainy day activities, including many indoor activities for kids like visiting the best children's museums or exploring local amusements.
The best rainy day activities for kids
Your kids will never tire of Children's Museum of the Arts (we're not kidding...you may have to pry them away at the end of the day). We promise it's for good reason though: There's a Wee Arts Studio for kiddos 5 and under that's chock-full of cool stuff like Play-Doh, flubber and arts and crafts activities, and kids of all ages will dig the Clay Bar (Can you sculpt a tiger, sea monster or alien? Simply sign up upon your arrival at the Museum for a chance to participate). There's plenty of other great programming to sign up for as well: Just ask about it when you arrive!
What better way to wait out the drizzle than with a good book? The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building—the most magnificent of all NYPL branches—hosts family-friendly read-alouds most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, plus craft workshops for little ones to while away the day. Make sure to check out the dedicated section of children's books and check the website for detailed information on upcoming storytimes, craft and cultural projects, and poetry writing workshops.
Sure, you'll certainly want to stop in to see things like the Hall of Ocean Life and say hello to the T-Rex and Titanosaur, but one of the best (and most overlooked) parts of the museum is right under your nose. Stop by the Discovery Room, a space open to families of children ages 5 through 12, to get a behind-the-scenes look at the science and research behind the museum. Some of the highlights of your visit will include searching for animals in an African Baobab tree, assembling a life-sized cast skeleton of a Prestosuchus and checking out minerals, skulls and other specimens up close.
Young or old, everyone can find something that strikes their fancy at this sprawling Italian food complex. The hard part is deciding what—and where—to eat! Six full-service restaurants serve pizza, gelato and everything in between, but little ones will love chatting up the friendly pizzaiolos turning out nearly 200 pies per hour (boasting such quality topping as fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella, basil, garlic and more) from the resident woodburning oven. Looking to take things to the next level? Sign the kids up for Passport to Eataly, an exciting kids' class open to those ages 8–12. They'll get a "real" passport to stamp as they explore and learn new words, and they'll get to taste things like pizza, mozzarella and gelato. During that time, parents can lounge for an hour and enjoy a complimentary espresso at the Lavazza cafe.
At this museum, located in an authentic 1930s subway station, visitors can learn about the complex feats of engineering and construction that helped establish the city’s century-old subway system. The museum also allows visitors to climb aboard an exceptional collection of vintage subway and El ("Elevated") cars and explore a working signal tower. Exhibitions cover the history of the city’s rapid transit system, as well as au courant topics!
Instead of spending the day watching movies, discover how they're made. Only 15 minutes from midtown, the Museum of the Moving Image is one of the city’s most dynamic institutions. Rubbing elbows with Kaufman Astoria Studios, the revamped space features a state-of-the-art 264-seat cinema and expanded galleries. The museum’s “Behind the Screen” exhibit examines every step of the filmmaking process, with artifacts from more than 1,000 different productions, and 14 classic (playable!) video games, including Asteroids, Ms. Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Kids can make a flipbook with their own photographs, create stop-motion animations and more.
Whether you love it decked out in buffalo chicken, cheesy as humanly possible or simply in the form of classic margherita pizza, one thing's certain: Nothing beats a slice of New York pizza. When you're at the end of a long day after exploring NYC museums or you're burning off energy at some of the city's coolest play spaces, find a slice at one of these epic pizzerias. Fortunately, these picks understand that you're usually traveling with the whole clan—they'll accommodate you and all the little ones, too.
Even the most energetic kids will meet their match at these trampoline park hotspots for families! They’ll bounce to their heart’s desire on trampolines big and small, even getting in on age-specific playtimes and glow-in-the-dark games. Many have cool features like adjacent basketball hoops and massive foam pits to jump into. Don't forget to bring socks! Most spots require them.