Get us in your inbox

The Brooklyn Bridge on a rainy day.
Photograph: By Belikova Oksana / Shutterstock | The Brooklyn Bridge on a rainy day.

The best things to do on a rainy day in NYC

Enjoy a deluxe rainy day indoors in NYC with these museums, classes and shows all over town

Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Jennifer Picht
Annalise Mantz

When the weather is less than ideal, don’t fret—there are plenty of things to do on a rainy day in NYC. Start by checking out some of these excellent indoor activities below, or use the inclement weather as an excuse to finally sign up for some of the best classes NYC has to offer. During a quick storm, you can always find refuge inside one of Gotham’s many cozy coffee shops

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in spring in NYC

Top rainy day activities in NYC

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens

Step inside the stunning Victorian-style greenhouse at the entrance to the New York Botanical Gardens to discover a whole world of flora. It’s easy to forget you’re still in the city as you walk through displays of everything from aquatic plants to desert cacti to palm trees. The pitter-patter of rain on the glass roof creates a soothing soundtrack to your visit.

Learn to tell gouda from gorgonzola at Murray’s Cheese
  • Shopping
  • Cheesemongers
  • West Village

Fromage lovers have long known about the legendary selection at Murray’s Cheese. The store even has its own cheese caves, for goodness sake. Most people don’t realize that you can also take classes at the Greenwich Village location—topics range from making homemade mozzarella to pairing local cheeses with craft beer. And yes, most classes include tastings of the good stuff.

Paid content
  • Things to do
  • Weird & Wonderful

The House of Cannabis (a.k.a. THC NYC) is a new weed museum that opened in Soho this spring. While the museum boasts plenty of mind-bending multi-sensory bells and whistles, it also showcases art, highlights science and confronts the social justice issues baked into cannabis prosecution.

Don't miss: The Euphorium, a massive spinning record you can sit or lay on while listening to music, from The Doors to Santana. With the room's impressive light show and hazy vibes, it's like a merry-go-round for adults.  

  • Sports and fitness
  • Sports & Fitness

After two years of outdoor play, Carreau Club, the nation’s first pétanque bar has expanded with an indoor location with more space to get your game on while sipping a drink.

The new indoor venue at Brooklyn's Industry City makes for great night out with a full bar, craft beer, wine and cocktails, and a small deli counter. For the uninitiated, pétanque (pronounced puh-TONK) is a bocce-ball style French boules sport gaining popularity in the U.S., starting here in NYC. 

  • Bars
  • Café bars
  • Lower East Side

This chil spot is appropriately named Chillhouse, and its laid-back, cool-girl vibe makes this the perfect spot to kill time on a rainy day. This downtown haven is the brainchild of Taste of Style founder Cyndi Ramirez and the team behind The Garret, so you know the drinks, such as a Gold latte made with turmeric, and the nail art, designed by Eda Midori of Lady Fancy Nails, are the definition of cool. Get a massage, a manicure and more all in one Lower East Side location.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

This "crazy mini-golf course" and entertainment complex straight from London offers three nine-hole golf courses across 23,000 square feet under 20-foot-high ceilings. For those new to the game, "crazy golf" is a British spin on mini-golf, but it's for a 21-and-over audience since craft cocktails are served by caddies on the course.

At Swingers NoMad, expect six cocktail bars with signature classic cocktails from London and D.C., as well as 12 cocktails created specifically for NYC, private rooms you can rent, an opulent clubhouse and four gourmet street food vendors—Sauce Pizzeria, Miznon, Fonda and Mah Ze Dahr Bakery.

  • Museums

A rainy night spent gazing at priceless works of art? Ah, the romance. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's "Date Nights" give visitors an opportunity to become acquainted with artwork with informal drop-in gallery chats, the chance to listen in on gorgeous live music and sip on yummy cocktails. Date nights are held every Friday and Saturday. Extra bonus: For New Yorkers, date nights are pay-what-you-wish!

  • Shopping
  • Grocery stores
  • Flatiron

You could easily spend a few hours wandering through Mario Batali’s Italian food hall and market on your own, but to make the most of the gourmet ingredients, you’ll want to book a class with Eataly’s La Scuola. Avid home cooks might be interested in a step-by-step class on making traditional ragu or cacio e pepe, while foodies who would rather eat than cook can sign up for one of the four-course feasts prepared by a professional chef.

  • Comedy
  • Astoria

Think of Q.E.D. as after-school activities for grown-ups. On any given night, the venue might have a comedy show, drink-and-draw event or beginner’s swing dancing class. Best of all, the classes and events come dirt cheap—and since you probably won’t pay more than $50, you’ll definitely have a few bucks left over for a beer.

Looking for more things to do in spring?

    You may also like
    You may also like