New York City is an incredible place to explore, even when the weather outside is dreary. With world-class museums, unique tours, indoor attractions, and delicious food, there are plenty of rainy-day activities in New York City to keep you entertained. This rainy-day NYC itinerary has something for everyone.
Visit Top NYC Museums for Indoor Fun
Some of the best museums in the world are located right in New York City, making them perfect for rainy-day entertainment. Spend a few hours wandering through exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, home to over 2 million works of art spanning 5,000 years. The expansive collection covers everything from Egyptian temples to contemporary photography.
Just steps away, you'll find the Guggenheim Museum, housed in a unique spiral building. See incredible modern art, including works by Picasso, Pollock, and Warhol. For art by masters like Van Gogh and Monet, head to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
If you're traveling with kids, check out the interactive exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History. Gaze up at towering dinosaur skeletons, stroll through wildlife dioramas, and see giant meteorites and gems. The space shows at the Hayden Planetarium are not to be missed.
Discover Indoor Attractions in NYC
In addition to world-famous museums, New York City offers many other indoor attractions to entertain visitors on rainy days.
At Madame Tussauds, pose for selfies with your favorite celebrities, world leaders, and cultural icons recreated in lifelike wax figures. Just down the street, Ripley's Believe It or Not! is home to the weird, wacky, and bizarre.
For chocolate lovers, the Manhattan outpost of the M&M Store is paradise. Watch M&Ms get colorfully packaged and enjoy sweet treats. Kids will also love Hershey's Chocolate World in Times Square, with rides, baking classes, and more chocolatey fun.
Many popular NYC attractions also offer indoor options when the weather is gloomy. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Radio City Music Hall or watch a show featuring the iconic Rockettes. At the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, 70 stories up at Rockefeller Center, the views don't get rained out.
Find Indoor Fun for a Rainy Day in NYC with Kids
New York City has no shortage of family-friendly rainy day activities to keep kids entertained. Start at Dylan's Candy Bar, packed with towering candy displays, special treats, and fun photo ops.
Kids can climb, slide, and swing to their heart's content at a huge indoor playground like Gymboree Play & Music. For hands-on learning, visit the Children's Museum of Manhattan or the New York Hall of Science.
See a Broadway show like The Lion King for an unforgettable theater experience. Or catch a movie in 4D at AMC Empire 25 with special effects like wind and lightning.
If you're looking to get active, try an indoor rock climbing session at Brooklyn Boulders or an interactive game of laser tag at Zone Laser Tag. Kids will have a blast no matter the weather.
Enjoy Indoor Eating and Drinking on a Rainy NYC Day
One of the best parts of any trip to New York is eating your way through the amazing food scene. Don't let rain stop you from savoring iconic NYC foods!
For a quintessential experience, grab a pastrami sandwich at Katz's Delicatessen, open since 1888. Split a loaded bagel at Ess-a-Bagel or schmear your own at Russ & Daughters.
New York-style pizza is a must. For thin, crispy perfection, try John's of Bleecker Street, Rubirosa, or Prince Street Pizza in SoHo. Cozy up with a slice at Sauce Pizzeria or Emmy Squared.
Of course, you can't forget about New York cheesecake. Pick up a graham cracker-crusted classic at Junior's or try creative flavors at Eileen's Special Cheesecake.
Finally, don't miss out on sampling local brews at breweries like Other Half Brewing and craft cocktail lounges like Attaboy. They're ideal spots for waiting out an afternoon shower.
Shop till You Drop: Indoor Shopping in Rainy Day NYC
If stormy weather has you in the mood for some retail therapy, New York City boasts plenty of indoor shopping options.
Head to massive department stores like Macy's Herald Square, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, or Bergdorf Goodman to browse through floors of upscale fashion and accessories. For discount designer goods, Century 21 is a local favorite.
In SoHo, scour boutiques and flagship stores along streets like Prince and Spring for the latest trends. For vintage finds, Lower East Side shops like Tokio 7 and Edith Machinist are ideal for rainy day treasure hunting.
Don't miss the quirky shops at Chelsea Market or the Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya with its own tea room. Or spend an afternoon people-watching amid luxury designers at Brookfield Place and Westfield World Trade Center.
Experience Indoor Tours and Entertainment
One of the most unique ways to explore New York City's iconic sights and hidden gems is by taking a guided tour. Fortunately, many top tours offer indoor alternatives when the weather is uncooperative.
See exhibits covering the city's history at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. The historical building was home to thousands of immigrants over decades. Or visit during the evening for a candlelit tour by a costumed interpreter portraying a former resident.
Go behind locked doors inside Grand Central Terminal on a tour revealing secrets and uncovering lost details of this Beaux-Arts landmark. Learn tales of the Chrysler Building and other architectural wonders on a guided Art Deco walking tour.
For pop culture fans, choose from TV and movie site tours or a Broadway theater tour to glimpse the inner workings of a New York stage. With so many options, you'll stay entertained without braving the NYC rain.
Enjoy a Rainy Day Date in Romantic NYC
Don't let bad weather spoil a romantic day out in New York. The city offers wonderful indoor options for a rainy day date.
Start your day cuddled up over pastries and coffee at a Parisian-style cafe like Lazy Susan Bakeshop or Hungarian Pastry Shop. Then stroll hand-in-hand through the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Guggenheim's spiral walkway.
Share a candlelit meal at cozy spots like The NoMad's elegant library restaurant or rock 'n roll-themed Piano Bar at Buca di Beppo. See world-class musicians at intimate jazz clubs like Smalls Jazz Club or Dizzy's Club.
End your night taking in breathtaking views over cocktails at sophisticated rooftop lounges like The Rainbow Room or hip Mr. Purple atop the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side. No matter the weather outside, New York offers perfect rainy-day date ideas.
Don't Let Rainy Days Dampen Your NYC Fun
A little rain doesn't have to ruin your time enjoying New York City's endless sights, flavors, and experiences. By planning indoor activities like museum-hopping, shopping, tours, and kid-friendly attractions, you can still make the most of a rainy day in New York.
With incredible museums, entertainment options, food, and more, New York offers plenty of indoor fun. So next time storm clouds threaten your Big Apple adventure, try out these rainy day ideas for making your NYC trip memorable. The city awaits, rain or shine!