55 Best Things to Do in NYC on a Rainy Day

Home » New York » 55 Best Things to Do in NYC on a Rainy Day

Your New York vacation is coming up, you check the forecast, and to your surprise, all you see is rain or snow! As a local New Yorker, I can tell you it is not uncommon to get rainy days in NYC during spring and summer. In fact, New York doesn’t really have a “dry season” so rain can be almost impossible to escape no matter the month. Thankfully, I know tons of fun things to do in NYC on a rainy day!

This list I put together also works perfectly if you plan to visit New York during the Winter and want to escape the cold – as a local, I’ve had a lot of practice! So, without further ado, if you see some rain in the forecast, here are some of the best things to do!

Things to do in NYC on a rainy day - skyline and Empire State Building with gray clouds

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Disclosure.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Grand Central Station

The subway train stations have always been an easy way to escape rainy and cold days in NYC, but Grand Central Station is so much more than just a train station!

This NYC Landmark offers a whole shopping plaza, farmers market, tons of restaurants, incredible architecture, the famous ceiling paintings, the Whispering Walls, and so much history.

Did I mention visiting Grand Central is also a fun free thing to do in NYC?!

In fact, you can even get a tour of Grand Central Terminal and learn more about its history – which is quite fascinating, in my opinion. It wasn’t that long ago that riding the train was an experience for the rich with red carpet roll-outs, etc.

Plus, Grand Central is a great hub that offers subway lines all around the city, so you can avoid getting too wet!  

Learn about Navigating the NYC Subway here!

Grand Central Terminal NYC - perfect for a rainy day
Grand Central Terminal Station

2. Visit Summit One Vanderbilt

Another top experience to enjoy on a rainy day in NYC is a visit to the Summit One Vanderbilt. This Observatory is one of the newest attractions in New York and offers one-of-a-kind views of the Empire State Building and the NYC skyline.

The experience offers floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a glass floor where you can see the street below your feet, and other immersive experiences all under one roof! 

In my humble opinion, this is probably the best observation deck in New York City currently. Even the views from the bathroom are amazing. If you spend money on one observation deck, it should be here. Just note that it does get crowded.

Better yet, you can visit right from Grand Central since they are right next to each other! Overall, The Summit One Vanderbilt is one of the best things to do in NYC, Period.

First time in NYC? Make sure to check out these NYC Travel Tips!

Empire State Building From One Summit Vanderbilt Observatory NYC
Views from Summit One
Chrysler Building NYC Skyline views
Views from Summit One

3. Shopping at the Hudson Yards

Another new and trendy area in Manhattan is the Hudson Yards. You have likely heard of or seen pictures of the Vessel, NYC’s honeycomb-shaped installation.

Well, right next to the Vessel is a top-of-the-line shopping complex. It is also a great place to warm up on a cold night – I am speaking from experience! 

Here, you will find luxury brands and food stalls that can be enjoyed while waiting for the rain to let up! If it stops raining, you can enjoy the Edge Observation deck and the High Line, which are all in the same area!

Inside hudson yards christmas decorations. Giant hot air balloon decoration - perfect for cold rainy days in nyc
Inside the Hudson Yards during the Holidays

4. Explore the Museums

If you love museums, then New York City is the place for you! With dozens of museums to choose from, I think visiting a museum is easily one of the best things to do on a rainy day in NYC.

You can enjoy viewing famous artworks while touring through the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET) and Modern Museum of Art (The MoMA). Other favorite New York museums to check out on a rainy or cold day include: 

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • 9/11 Museum
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • New Museum of Contemporary Art
  • The Jewish Museum
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • New York Transit Museum (can be fun for kids)

The list of NYC museums could go on forever, but the above are some of the most popular – especially for first-timers visiting New York City.

Additionally, if you are in or around Central Park when it’s raining, many of these museums are around the area.

Visiting the Met is one of the best indoor activities in NYC
The MET

5. Wander and Eat at Eataly

If you’re a foodie, you can’t miss Eataly while in New York. With 2 locations, one in Flatiron and one near One World Trade Center, Eataly is a great place to explore, grab a drink, indulge in gelato, or even have lunch!

Generally, I recommend against chain restaurants in New York, but this is a fun and delicious one and a complete exception to the rule. Eataly also regularly does fun seasonal decorations! 

Out of the two locations, I like the Eataly Flatiron better.

6. Enjoy the Views at One World Observatory

While not my favorite observation deck, the One World Observatory is all indoors, making it a great option for a rainy day. Enjoy Manhattan Skyline views from the downtown perspective. The One World Observation view is from 100 stories up and has additional immersive experiences to enjoy during your visit.

I enjoyed the different perspectives you get of Manhattan from this observation deck, and you can visit the 9/11 museum and Oculus right after, making it the perfect rainy day trifecta. Oh, and the beer garden is right here, too!

NYC Travel Tip: While you are in the area, you can experience the 9/11 memorial pools and World Trade Center museum, which are both right here!  

Views from One World Trade Observatory
See the One World Trade Center with 4 days in NYC

7. Explore the Largest Macy’s

Did you get caught in the rain around midtown Manhattan? Escape the rain or cold by shopping around Macy’s Herald Square!

Take a ride up the wooden elevators, visit the men’s shoe department…jk (I worked in this department during my college years), or get a free makeover in the makeup department. You can even use Macy’s to cross Avenues or blocks while staying dry. Yep, I’ve done it, lol.

NY Local tip: Letting you in on a hidden gem. For some good pizza and lovely views, head up to the 6th floor to Stella 34 Trattoria.

Macys window displays are one of the best places to see in NYC during December

8. Sip on some Espresso at the Nespresso Soho Bar

If you find yourself in the SoHo, NY area on a rainy day, head to Spring and Price Street to Nespresso! Technically, you can go upstairs to the shop to get a complimentary tasting and knowledge about the machines, but instead, I recommend getting a quick bite to eat and coffee at the downstairs bar!

My favorite blends are Roma and Appreggio! Full disclosure – I’ve also worked at this location during my college days. It worked out great since I needed a LOT of coffee during these times!

Address: 92 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

9. Explore The Color Factory

Also located in Soho, the Color Factory is a really fun experience and a great way to escape rainy days in NYC! Usually, you need a ticket in advance, but this is a great place for people of all ages.

They offer different rooms to explore that are colorful, fun, interactive, and very photo-worthy. You can find tickets and hours on the Color Factory website here.

Color factory in Soho
Outside the Color Factory

10. Take Selfies at the Museum of Ice Cream

Known as another top Instagram spot in New York City, the Museum of Ice Cream is another great way to escape a rainy day. Located in SoHo (near Nespresso & the Color Factory), you can enjoy eating ice cream, learning about ice cream, taking fun and colorful photos, and enjoying the playground area. 

The tickets range from $36 – $44 USD; Under 2 years old is free, and they are open every day except Tuesday. You will definitely leave full, so don’t plan a meal right after. To get tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream click here.

11. Enjoy an Indoor Sporting Event

If you want an activity with more of a local feel, consider experiencing a sporting event. The two main indoor sporting events are Basketball and Hockey. However, you can still stay dry at outdoor sporting events if you don’t mind spending the money on a private box! 

Check for Basketball games at Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks or the Barclays Center for the Brooklyn Nets.

If you like hockey, you can take a leisurely ride to Long Island, NY, on the Long Island Rail Road (a little over 35 minutes) from Penn Station to watch the Islanders at Belmont or the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. 

Basketball Game at Madison Square Garden
Basketball Game at Madison Square Garden

12. Catacombs by Candlelight Tour

For a more eerie rainy day activity, consider checking out the Catacombs by candlelight under the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. Located in lower Manhattan (Soho), learn about New York’s history and explore the off-limits area of the cathedral. The tour lasts a little over an hour.

Note, this is NOT the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave!

After you’re finished exploring, you can grab a slice of pizza at the famous Prince Street Pizza or check out the nearby museums and attractions that are indoors, including the Color Factory, the New Museum, and the Museum of Ice Cream. Find tickets here.

13. Watch a Broadway Play – One of the Best Rainy Day NYC Activities

Seeing a Broadway Show is a must on any New York Itinerary and basically an essential on a rainy or cold snowy day! Shows I’ve personally enjoyed are Wicked, The Book of Mormon, and Hamilton.

Other shows still on my list to see include The Lion King, Aladdin, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

For better prices on tickets, check out the TKTS booth in Times Square. If it is a very popular show and you know you want to see it, I would suggest just booking it in advance directly on Broadways website.

If you don’t have a specific show in mind, you can also just show up at the box office.

Seeing a Broadway Show is a great rainy day activity in NYC
Lion King on Broadway

14. Have a Laugh at a Comedy Club

Another really fun way to spend your time on a rainy day in NYC is at a comedy club! New York is known for upcoming comics while still housing many legends. Famous Comedians often perform shows in NY throughout the year.

Some of the most popular comedy clubs to escape rainy weather in NYC include:

  • Gotham Comedy Club
  • Comedy Cellar
  • Broadway Comedy Club
  • Carolines on Broadway
  • The Stand NYC
  • The Famous Apollo Theatre

NYC travel tip: Most (if not all) Comedy Clubs in NYC serve bar food, however, I’d recommend getting food beforehand unless they have a food requirement. Additionally, some clubs have a minimum drink requirement, and most shows start from 6 PM or later at night. 

Visiting a Comedy Club in New York City - Gothem Comedy Club
Gotham Comedy Club in NYC

15. Sample Food Around the Chelsea Market

Where are my foodies at? If you want to feel more like a local New Yorker on a rainy day, I suggest enjoying food and exploring the Chelsea Market.

Located in one of my favorite Neighborhoods, Chelsea, you will be near the Whitney Museum and The High Line if the weather lets up. Additionally, the Chelsea Market is considered one of the best indoor marketplaces in the world, with over 20 food vendors.

Currently, the Chelsea Market also has one of the newest exhibits – Life of a Neuron – which is a really interesting and immersive art experience.

Chelsea Market in NYC - indoor activities in NYC
photo gioiak2/depositphotos

16. Get Lost in a Book at the New York Public Library

Another excellent activity for all ages to enjoy during bad weather is a trip to New York’s Public Library. Head over to the Rose Main Reading Room, which is open for research and quiet study, or even consider a guided tour through the library. 

Once the rain lets up, you can enjoy a stroll through Bryant Park, which is right across the street!

The Library is closed on Monday and Sunday. 

If you happen to be around Greenwich Village, I will let you in on a huge local secret library to visit. I have been really hesitant to share this gem because I have never seen it on any lists covering New York, so it still feels very much like a secret. I feel like I might be crushed when I see other lists starting to include it because I let the secret out, lol. Anyways…

Jefferson Market Library is also a part of the NYPL, and it is such a hidden gem. The building was originally a courthouse, built back in between 1875 and 1877. Do me a favor (in my New York accent, lol) and keep it a secret, too!

NYC Public Library is free to visit and a must-see
New York Public Library
Jefferson Market Library
Jefferson Market Library

17. Sing Your Heart Out at Karaoke

While you won’t catch me here because my voice breaks windows…joking…kinda, hitting a Karaoke bar is one of the best things to do on a rainy day in New York City. This is also a less-touristy activity, so you are likely to be bumping shoulders with some locals while enjoying a couple of drinks! Some places you can sing your heart out in Manhattan include: 

  • The Spot Karaoke & Lounge NYC
  • Karaoke Duet 35
  • Sing Sing

18. Have a Spa Day

If you’re interested in something a little more luxurious to do during a rainy or cold day, then hitting the Spa will be right up your alley. New York has a TON of spas, however, some of the more popular spas to enjoy include:

  • Aire Ancient Baths New York
  • SoJo Spa Club
  • QC NY SPA
  • Spa Castle
  • Bathhouse – Williamsburg
  • World Spa (New Brooklyn Spa that looks incredible)

19. See a Concert

New York City always has something going on, whether it be a huge concert at Madison Square Garden or concerts at smaller venues like Webster Hall (also a fun and unique club).

Either way, this can be another great way to stay dry and have fun during your trip. Here is the Madison Square Gardens Calendar to check upcoming events. Don’t want to see a concert but still want to see Madison Square Garden? Consider an all-access tour!

New York Tip: The front of Madison Square Garden is under construction.

20. Watch a Performance at Lincoln Center

Another one of the best indoor activities in NYC is seeing a performance at Lincoln Center, and what better time than when it’s raining?!

From Jazz, the Ballet, and the Opera, there are a handful of performances you can choose from. Furthermore, Lincoln Center itself is easily a top Landmark to see in Manhattan. 

Find performances at Lincoln Center here.

Currently, you can also get backstage access and tour the BTS of Lincoln Center. Tours are limited, so if you know you’re visiting during a rainy week, try to book in advance. You can find tickets and info here.

21. Test Yourself at an Escape Room

An escape room can be another fun option while waiting for the weather to clear up! Thankfully New York has a handful of really popular escape rooms to choose from! This is also a fun activity for everyone. 3 Escape Rooms to check out include: 

  • Escape the Room NYC
  • The Escape Game New York City
  • Beat The Bomb – Dumbo Brooklyn

22. Take a Ride on a Tour Bus

If you still really want to see the city without getting rained on, taking a tour bus can be a great way to do it!

They will drive you all around the city, point out some of New York’s most prominent landmarks, and you won’t have to worry about getting wet! Check out tours with the Hop on Hop off Bus Tours. They also have the new pink afternoon tea bus if you want a little UK twist!

When you travel to New York City, another tip to know is that sidewalks have their own traffic rules

23. Tour the Oculus

Another great rainy day activity in New York is touring around the Oculus. Besides being an architectural gem, this train station is also often turned into a farmers market on the weekend, as well as, having tons of shopping inside! Personally, I have always loved the Oculus, and if you go up to the One World Observatory, you will exit inside the Oculus.

Some of the stores you will find in the Oculus include the Apple Store, H & M, Montblanc, Sephora, and more! It is also a great photo spot! 

The Oculus in the World Trade Center Park
The Oculus NYC

24. Get Crazy at The House of Cannabis

If you haven’t heard, Cannabis is now legal in NYC, which, of course, means places to indulge have been popping up everywhere. One of the most popular is definitely the House of Cannabis. This immersive experience will definitely make you feel trippy! You can also just purchase the “goods” at the Travel Agency (two locations).

25. Cozy up at a Coffee Shop

New York often feels like one of those places you need a vacation from your vacation after all the walking. So, if the weather is not in your favor, rest those feet and cozy up at one of the many amazing coffee shops! Some great and photo-worthy coffee shops to consider include: 

enjoy coffee on a rainy day in NYC at hutch and Waldo
Hutch and Waldo Coffee Shop

26. Visit a Speakeasy

If enjoying a couple of drinks is more your speed, then maybe getting lost at one of the many speakeasies during a rainy night in NYC is more your speed. From very secret and hidden speakeasies to some of the most well-known and popular establishments, you will surely find one that is right up your alley!

Some speakeasies to consider checking out on a rainy or cold day in New York include: 

  • Employees Only
  • Patent Pending
  • Peachy’s
  • UES Ice-Cream Shoppe
  • Sei Less

27. Indulge in High Tea

Maybe you fancy yourself some High Tea on a rainy evening. Well, New York has you covered here, too! Enjoy indulging in small bites and afternoon tea at: 

  • The Plaza Hotel for Afternoon Tea
  • Alice’s Tea Cup
  • Ladurée – SoHo
  • Prince Tea House East Village
  • Tea & Sympathy

28. Test Your Strength Rock Climbing

Something a little less touristy to do in NYC is testing your strength at some indoor rock climbing! There are a handful of places to check out around the city. Some rock climbing places to check out include: 

29. Shop Around Columbus Circle

If you love shopping, here is another indoor shopping plaza I think you should add to your list. The Shops at Columbus Circle have tons of great stores to choose from and lovely views looking out the large glass windows.

It is also a beautiful shopping plaza to visit during the holidays since they have lovely Christmas decorations!

30. Hang at Chelsea Piers

Have you been to the city a handful of times and looking for something a little less touristy? A fun thing to do during a rainy day in NYC is doing some activities at the Chelsea Piers! From golf to indoor ice skating, there is a handful of fun indoor activities to enjoy.

Additionally, you will find several places to eat at the piers as well! Explore more of what Chelsea Piers has to offer here.

31. Catch a Live Taping

If you are looking for a fun and classic New York indoor experience, catching a live taping is a great way to spend a cold or rainy day! Best of all, most live tapings are actually free! 

Some of the big shows you can attend include Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live, and The Daily Show. To attend, most of the shows require you to go to 1iota to get tickets.

If you are an SNL fan, getting tickets for this is a little tough, and might be hard to plan on a rainy day. Their tickets are based on a lottery that will reopen for 2024/2025 in August. Additionally, you can get more details on getting tickets to see live tapings, on NBC here.

32. Enjoy a Great Meal

From fancy steak dinners to the classic diner experience, enjoying a meal on a rainy day in New York is a great way to spend your time.

One of my favorite places to eat breakfast is at a traditional diner (can be ordered at any time of the day), including giant waffles with ice cream, a Monte Crisco, or an egg omelet, any way you like it! Two popular diners include Tick Tock Diner (I can personally vouch) and Ellen’s Star Dust Diner (I’ve never been, but it is very popular among tourists).

Other popular restaurants include: 

  • Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
  • Catch (Italian)
  • Carbone (Italian)
  • Carmines (Italian)
  • Peter Lugers (famous Steakhouse in Williamsburg)
  • The Old Homestead –  (Steakhouse)
  • Keens Steakhouse

NY Insider Tip: Here are the Must-try foods in NYC & Best NYC Pizza

A New York City Travel tips is to eat at an authentic restaurant like Peter Luger Steak house
Peter Luger Steak house Porterhouse Steak

33. Check Out The Friends Experience

Are you a fan of the hit series Friends? Escape the weather and enjoy the full Friends Experience! During a visit, you can enjoy taking photos with original props, explore 2 interactive floors, and more.

Friend's Experience NYC
photo credit Feverup

34. Immerse Yourself at Artechouse NYC 

If you enjoy Immersive art, visiting Artechouse is a great way to escape New York’s rainy weather! Artechouse is dedicated to the intersection of art, science, and technology. Located in Chelsea, NYC, it is one of NYC’s newest hot spots! It is also a really fun place to get cool photos!

Get tickets and more information here!

35. Take Photos at Candytopia

A new and exciting indoor popup is at Candytopia! With tons of Instagrammable photo ops within a candy paradise, you won’t even realize it’s raining cats and dogs outside! After getting your tickets, make sure to arrive 15 minutes early. Find tickets to Candytopia here.

36. Tour Radio City Music Hall

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a tour through the iconic Radio City Music Hall? From 9:30 AM to 5 PM, you can learn about the history of the Great Stage, experience art deco masterpieces, and visit Radio City’s secret apartment, The Roxy Suite, with a private Stage Door Tour. The tours last about 1 hour and are perfect for a rainy day. 

The Box Office is open Monday – Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM, and pricing information is available by calling 212-465-6080.

Address: Tour Entrance & Ticket Sales located on 51st Street Between 5th and 6th Avenues1260 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) New York, NY 10020

Visit Radio City Music Hall in December

37. Visit an Indoor Rooftop Bar

When you think rooftop bar, I know you are thinking outside. However, being a state that enjoys all four seasons, New York knows how to get creative with its rooftop bar situation.

Many rooftop bars will have awnings, floor-to-ceiling glass (to give the outside vibes), and igloos/cabins in the winter to keep you warm! 

In fact, if you are visiting New York in December, hanging at one of the bars with igloos or cabins is so much fun!

Some fun rooftop bars to check out that have indoor areas include:

  • Ophelia Lounge NYC
  • Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge
  • Mr. Purple
  • The Ready Rooftop Bar
  • Panorama Room (Roosevelt Island)
  • 230 5th (winter igloos)
  • The Greens on The Rooftop at Pier 17 (winter cabins)

38. Explore The Morgan Library

One of my favorite places to visit in New York is the Morgan Library. Maybe because I feel like it is such a nice local gem, or the fact that I just really love the decor of this library. Either way, it is another great place to escape from bad weather. 

This museum and independent research library has a pretty interesting history and even offers free entrance on Fridays from 5 PM – 7 PM – must be reserved. 

Morgan Library and Museum in New York interior

39. Enjoy some Jazz

New York is home to Jazz, so what better way to spend your time on a rainy day than enjoying the music scene? Since Jazz plays a big part in New York’s history, there are a handful of great places to enjoy it.

From Lincoln Center performances to some of the most popular clubs, including Birdland Jazz Club, Blue Note Jazz Club, and Smalls Jazz Club, you will be in for a treat! Additionally, you can check out some Jazz tours here.

40. Experience Area 53

This is not your average indoor adventure. Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, take your pick at indoor ziplining, the Lazer Maze, Slides, Roller Skating, Rock Climbing, Rope Courses, and more! If you are looking for adventure, you can find it at Area 53.

The experience comes in 3-hour time slots that are recommended to be booked in advance, although they try to accommodate walk-ins. Prices range from $42 – $54, and it makes for a non-touristy and fun activity! Get Tickets at Area 53 here.

41. Go to A Game Bar

A fun way to escape the cold or rain in NYC is by heading to a game bar! There are plenty of game bars to choose from, but here is a short list of some you can check out. 

  • Dave & Busters NYC
  • Slate – nightclub and arcade
  • The Whiskey Brooklyn (has an arcade downstairs)
  • SPIN New York 23 – Bar and Ping Pong
  • Barcade

42. Experience RISE New York

Located right in Times Square, Rise is one of New York City’s newest experiences. This interactive ride takes you 30 feet in the air and gives the illusion that you are soaring over Manhattan. Think Orlando meets NYC.

Learn more about the history of New York in a fun and interactive way while escaping the rain or snow! Get tickets for Rise New York here.

43. Swingers Mini Golf

Hot off the press- here is another fun and brand-new experience to enjoy during a rainy day in New York. Swingers is reinventing golf in this adult-only experience. They offer crafted cocktails, gourmet street food, and a fun spin on indoor golf.

Swingers have 3 courses, the Waterwheel, Clocktower, and Windmill Course. Prices are between $22-26 a person and can be booked online on the Swingers website.

44. See a Movie

Want to hang out with a bunch of New Yorkers? You can do one of the classic things we locals would do on a cold or rainy day. Head to one of the movie theaters and see a new film that’s playing.

AMC theaters are very popular in New York, so a close one to you will do the trick. 

You can also check out the Alamo Draft House to enjoy a unique movie experience with better food and drinks.

To find tickets and showtimes, you can use Fandango! 

45. Go Bowling

Another one of the classic things you will find New Yorkers doing on a rainy day is hitting up the bowling alley. There are tons of bowling alleys around the city, and many of them have bars.

From the bowling alley at Chelsea Piers to Bowlero Times Square, you have tons of options. If you find yourself in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at night, you can also hit up Brooklyn Bowl, which is a fun bar that has live music, craft beer, and bowling. 

46. Hang Out at a Cat Cafe

One of the more unique things to do on a rainy day in New York City is petting cats and sipping coffee at a cat cafe!

To be honest, does it even really need to be raining in NYC to add this to your bucket list?! Three popular places to pet kitties with a cafe experience are The Brooklyn Cat Cafe, Koneko (LES), and Meow Parlour.

What better way to spend a rainy day in NYC, am I right?!

At all 3 cat cafes, you can even adopt a cat! And you thought you were bringing home the Statue of Liberty and I Love NY souvenirs! 

47. Enjoy a Sip and Paint

Want a more crafty activity? Then, test your artistic skills with a sip and paint. I mean, booze and painting are fun just about anywhere, am I right?! Here are some places you can do just that on a rainy day in NYC!

48. See an Off-Broadway Show

If you have already seen a lot of the big headliners on Broadway, consider seeing an off-Broadway show! Just because they are not “ON” Boadway doesn’t mean they are not as good. We have seen a handful of wonderful shows. You can easily see what is showing by filtering “off-broadway” on the official Broadway website. 

Some popular shows include Kinky Boots, Stomp, and The Blue Man Group.  

Playbill from a NYC Broadway play

49. Go Dessert Crazy

What better way to treat yourself on a cold rainy day in New York City than indulging in some famous sweets around the city? One of the most famous places is Serendipity 3 for its hot chocolate and ice cream! Other fun places to enjoy sweets in NYC are: 

  • The Sugar Factory
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • Magnolia Bakery
  • Ladurée
  • Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery
  • Levain bakery
levain bakery
Levain Bakery

50. Take a Free Ride on the Staten Island Ferry

If the rain is not too bad or foggy, a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry can be a cool way to spend your time waiting for the weather to clear up. From the ferry, you will get to see nice views of the Manhattan skyline from the boat, along with a pretty close view of the Statue of Liberty.

It can even feel a little romantic! The ride is around 30 minutes each way.

Statue of Liberty in NYC on a rainy day

51. Relax at The Most Instagrammabe Cafes

If you planned on taking a ton of cute Instagrammable photos during your NY trip, but it’s pouring rain, don’t fret because there are still dozens of Instagrammable cafes to cozy up in!

Some of the cutest cafes you will want to add to your list include Hutch and Waldo, Maman, Felix Roasting Co., and Remi Flower & Coffee.

You can find a whole list of the cutest cafes in NYC here!

Hutch and Waldo cafes in NYC
Hutch and Waldo Cafe

52. Visit The Strand Bookstore

Strand Bookstore is possibly one of the most famous bookstores in Manhattan. In fact, it’s considered a landmark! Maybe even more so after the Netflix series Dash and Lily.

So, if you find yourself around Union Square, this is a great place to pop into.

Address: 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 – main location!

Stand Bookstore in NYC -indoor activities in NYC
photo pio3/depositphotos

53. Harry Potter Exhibition

Did you know you can experience the Wizarding World right here in New York City? What better way to experience it than on a cold or rainy day? A visit inside will allow you to immerse yourself in behind-the-scenes moments, story-telling, and more.

It is located right in Midtown near Penn Station, so if it is really raining heavily, you won’t be out in the weather too long! Learn more and get tickets here.

Admission: Tickets are between $29.40 – $43.55

Address: 50 W. 34th Street.

Go inside the Harry Potter exhibit on a rainy day in NYC

54. See the Empire State Building

I am a little hesitant to add the Empire State Building because, technically, it is an indoor and outdoor observation deck. However, before getting to the outside observation deck, there is a whole indoor experience.

You will learn about the history of the Empire State Building, see immersive videos and displays, and there are tons of windows that give you great views of the city. It is really a nostalgic experience to be inside such an iconic building.

Plus, if you upgrade your ticket to the 102 floors, you will get a ride on a glass elevator and then experience floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides, which offer 360-degree views of Manhattan. It is a little pricey to do this, though.

If it’s just drizzling, I would go with the normal ticket, as there are still fantastic views.

Admission: Starts at $44, but is included on most City Passes

Hours: Everyday 9 AM – 8 PM

Address: 117 West St, New York, NY 10006

visiting inside the Empire State Building

55. Essex Market

Many come to visit NYC to indulge in all the amazing culinary experiences the city has to offer. If this sounds like you, head to the more local Essex Market in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. They have been serving New Yorkers for over 100 years with local and specialty dining.


Where to Get Rain Gear in NYC 

Aside from packing some rain and or snow essentials for your NYC trip, if you find you forgot to pack something, you can likely buy it in New York. It is one of the top shopping capitals in the world, after all.

You can likely find umbrellas and Duane Reade, CVS, and Walgreens. You can also often find them inside some shops at Penn Station. 

On cold and snowy days in NYC, you can also find hats and gloves at the above vendors, as well as people selling them on the street with little pop-up booths. If you already know it will be rainy or cold during your visit to NYC, here are some of the things I would recommend packing. 

NYC Snow/Cold Packing Items (Remember to layer!):

NYC Rainy Day Packing Items:


Things to do in NYC on a Rainy Day Wrap-up

This covers some of the best ways to spend your rainy or cold day in NYC! I hope this helped you get tons of indoor activities in case the weather doesn’t cooperate!

Do you have any questions about these activities to do on rainy days in NYC, or do you think I missed something? Let me know in the comments below!

Did you find this “Things to Do on a Rainy Day in NYC” Guide helpful? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Things to do on a rainy day in NYC
Photo of author

Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.