Official New York Blog

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While the weather this week in New York City looks like we'll be spending lots of time outside, next week doesn't look so promising. When you're planning on visiting the Big Apple, you can't really guarantee the perfect weather every time. But the good news is that you don't have to let a rainy day ruin a trip, because while there are so many sights to see outdoors, there are plenty of things to do in New York City when it's raining.

There are so many things to do when it's raining outside, like staying in your hotel room under the covers watching an old movie, eating cookies and drinking spiked cocoa (no, we don't do this every time it rains, but it would be nice if we could.) But let's face it, you came to New York to see some awesome sights, not to lay in bed all day. You could have done that at home! These are our 8 favorite things to do in New York City when it's raining outside!

  1. Shop 'Til You Drop: There's shopping all over New York City, and luckily most of it takes place inside buildings. Bring your umbrella and dash in and out of the famous shops on 5th Avenue, or just spend the whole day pretending you have what it takes to fit in at Saks.
  2. Go to the Aquarium: You could be surrounded by water outside, but you could also be surrounded by water at the NYC aquarium. Which one sounds better to you? (Hint: The second choice involves thick glass blocking you from getting soaked. We know which one we'll choose!)
  3. Take a Tour: Tours of the United Nations, Gracie Mansion, Radio City Music Hall and the Underground Tour at the Federal Reserve Bank are all perfect for a rainy day activity in New York City. You can learn a lot and can still explore the city that you came to see, from the inside.
  4. Best Museums in NYC: Save the outdoor activities for a sunny day if you already know there's rain to be had on your New York vacations. Some of the most famous museums in New York City are as follows: -Museum of Natural History: The 25 connected buildings that make up this natural history museum house over 32 million specimens, and if you stop to read about any of them, you may just learn a thing or two about your ancestors, your -MET: How can you miss two million square feet of art in the Manhattan SoHo district? It's one of the largest and most famous museums in the whole world, so it might account for more than one rainy day if necessary.
  5. Head to Chelsea: Whether you're dining and shopping at the Chelsea Market or playing indoor golf, bowling or any of the other sports they have at the Chelsea Piers, this is a good hang out spot in New York City on a rainy day. Plus, they have pizza and beer at the Chelsea Brewery which isn't a bad move in any weather. If the rain stops while you're in the area make sure to head High Line Park for a waterfront view (like more water is what you'll want then! Yeah, it is actually.)
  6. Stay in Chelsea: Like we said, Chelsea Market is a great place to be, but they offer a 3-hour tasting tour here that will surely occupy a rainy day in New York City, and why not give your taste buds a little pleasure!? You'll get delicious tastings at eight of the restaurants here.
  7. Craft Beer Bars: Since you won't be planning on leaving the bar anyways after you get there, why not enjoy a few beers you've never tried before. Craft beer is all the rage these days, and this is a good list of the best craft beer bars in NYC. Sit down, have a few, and then have a few more or move on to the next bar!
  8. Movie Day: You could go see a blockbuster movie that you've been seeing previews for all year long, or you could see a movie at one of the New York theatres. Landmark Sunshine Cinema shows lots of great Indie movies that you can't see many other places. If that's not your thing, browse through the Donnell Media Center Collection and the New York Public Library and maybe stay to browse the other extensive collections they house here. They also have free movie screenings running all the time, so check with them while you're there.

While many of these activities are great things to do in New York City under every weather condition, when it's nice outside you just might be occupied with other attractions. Don't let all of these go unnoticed, but if you can't help it on your first trip to New York then you'll just have to come back for a second time to work it all in! 

Let us know what your favorite things to do on a rainy day are by joining the discussion on our Facebook page or following us on Twitter. We can only do these things so many times, so we're always looking for new and exciting things to add to the list!