The best rainy day activities for kids

Despite the rotten weather, these rainy day activities for kids will keep them completely entertained

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock/Alinute Silzeviciute

Rain or shine, there's always something fun to do in NYC. Take full advantage of the cloudy skies and precipitation with these rainy day activities for kids. Heck, you and your crew have so much fun, you won't even realize the weather is awful. With trips to museums, sessions at indoor playgrounds and loops around your local library, you and your crew will welcome rainy days with open arms. 

Don't let the weather hold you back. Check out some of the best indoor activities for kids, head to theaters with the family to check this year's new kids' movies or grab a bite at one of these fun restaurants

 

The best rainy day activities for kids

Explore Children's Museum of the Arts

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. Kids of all ages will dig sculpting tigers, sea lions and aliens at the Clay Bar, and all you need to do is simply sign up upon your arrival 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! We promised these rainy day activities would be full of fun and excitement!

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West Village

Stop in for story time at the New York Public Library

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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 and craft workshops for little ones. 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.

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Midtown West
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Enjoy AMNH's Discovery Room

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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 5–12, 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.

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Upper West Side

Binge on some Netflix

Eager to know what's coming out next month on Netflix? We're in the know (and happy to share)! Check out our month-by-month guide to what's new on Netflix for kids, including Netflix original films and shows.

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By: Allie Early
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Travel the globe at Eataly

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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 café.

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Flatiron

Climb aboard trains at the New York Transit Museum

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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. It's one of the best rainy day activities for kids! 

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Boerum Hill
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Get in on movie magic at the Museum of the Moving Image

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 (and is a must for rainy day activities with kids). Rubbing elbows with Kaufman Astoria Studios, the revamped space features a state-of-the-art 264-seat cinema and expanded galleries. Kids can make a flipbook with their own photographs, create stop-motion animations and more.

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Astoria

Check out an indoor playground

Indoor playgrounds are a great rainy day activities for kids when a trip outdoors isn't possible. Expect awesome features like activity tables, mini slides and plenty of cool toys to share with new friends. 

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By: Allie Early
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Check out what's in theaters

A new year is upon us, and that means there are plenty of opportunities to head to the movies. From classic stories, to action-packed superheroes and everything in between, the lineup of 2018 kids’ films provides a little something for everyone. Find your favorite snack at the concession stand and scope out a good seat! A rainy day at the movies is a day well spent. 

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By: Danielle Valente

Go see a puppet show

The NYC theater scene is alive and well...but that doesn't necessarily mean everyone on stage has to be an actor. In fact, for the city's younger fan base, puppets are preferred, and thanks to these puppet theaters, we can't blame the kiddos. These NYC venues make perfect outings for families in search of a show with style. From classics to the avant garde, NYC puppet shows have a little bit of everything.

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By: Danielle Valente
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