Planning to spend the day in the city only to find out the forecast calls for rain? There’s no reason to reschedule. If you think a little rain is going to put a damper on your time in NYC, you couldn’t be more wrong. New York is filled with exciting indoor activities that you might not have bothered to check out if it weren’t for the “bad” weather. Read on to learn some of our favorites.
If you were hoping to do something active and sporty outside, don’t put away your workout clothes just yet. There are plenty of amazing indoor activities here that will have you breaking a sweat.
A rainy day is a great time to visit one of the city’s multiple indoor rock climbing centers. Brooklyn Boulder in Gowanus offers climbing lessons for beginners and intermediates along with wildly themed climbing competitions, such as Competitive Augmented Reality Climbing (“part Video Game, part climbing”). They also hold other types of fitness classes, such as yoga and capoeira.
Athletic-types will also love the Chelsea Piers Sports Center in Manhattan. In addition to rock climbing and fitness classes, the Chelsea Piers Sports Center is also home to 3 basketball courts, an indoor pool, and the city’s only indoor sand volleyball court. For more fun, check out the rest of Chelsea Piers; other areas offer indoor Golf simulators, ice-skating and more. At Chelsea Piers, you get all of this, plus amazing views of the Hudson.
TAKE A COOKING CLASS
If it rains while you’re in NYC, you have an awesome opportunity to learn to prepare something delicious. AKA, why not take advantage of the city’s many cooking classes?
La Scuola, located at the famous Eataly market in the Flatiron District, conducts classes in traditional Italian cuisine, including dishes like gnocchi and cacao e pepe. (They also have classes in beer and wine tasting, if that’s more your style!) Those who enjoy fresh, farm-to-table cooking will adore Haven’s Kitchen in Chelsea. They offer a wide variety of cooking classes, such as vegetarian tapas, Indian home cooking, and steak frites – take your pick!
For those with a sweet tooth, check out Momofuku Milk Bar, where you can learn how to bake a variety of cakes, pies, and truffles, or Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, where you’ll churn your own ice cream. Yum!
When you think about New York City, you probably don’t think of the word “relaxing.” But this bustling city is home to various luxury spas that are great for chilling out - especially on a stormy day.
Spa Castle, located in College Point, Queens, is basically heaven. Spending a day at Spa Castle means hitting refresh on your body, mind, and soul by soaking in heated mineral pools, relaxing in your choice of eight unique saunas, or even taking a breather in the sleeping room. At Spa Castle, you can also choose from a variety of massage, body scrubs, and reflexology services. You’ll probably feel like a brand new person by the end of the day!
Midtown’s Faina is another excellent choice for a day of revitalization. This European day spa offers spa packages for men, women, and couples that include a body scrub, a massage, and even champagne and chocolate. Faina also provides manicures, facials, waxing, microblading, and more for those who want to leave looking as fantastic as they feel.
ACT LIKE A KID AGAIN
The city is home to some of the coolest bars around – ones that combine drinking with gaming.
Check out Barcade, which has locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, a grungy bar with wall-to-wall classic video games. We’re not just talking about PacMan here – this place has all of the classics like Super Mario Bros, Centipede, and Mortal Kombat, along with dozens of lesser-known titles you thought you’d never hear again. They also have cool bar food and lots of craft beer, so you’re definitely set for a few hours.
If you were really set on spending your day outdoors, you don’t have to let rain ruin anything – lots of NYC’s best outdoor activities remain open in inclement weather, and are worth braving the rain for!
Foodies definitely shouldn’t let rainfall get in the way of making it to Smorgasburg. Located in Brooklyn (At East River State Park on Saturdays, Prospect Park on Sundays), Smorgasburg is a giant, weekly food festival featuring over a hundred of the city’s best chefs, bakers, and drink-makers. From donuts and poke to Asian-inspired tacos, and the infamous ramen burger, Smorg has a vendor for whatever you’re craving. Come hungry, like, really hungry.
(Smorgasburg can usually get pretty packed, but the crowds tend to thin out with even the lightest drizzle. It might actually be better to go when it rains if you want to skip the long lines!)
Circle Line Cruises
If you were thinking that a rainy day was a bad time to go sightseeing, you’d be wrong! A Circle Line Cruise is an amazing way to see the best of New York’s landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center. The cruises run rain or shine, and the amazing views are definitely worth getting a little wet for! (No need to worry, there’s an indoor area too.)
NY botanical garden
People tend to stay away from the New York Botanical Garden when it isn’t “nice” out. Don’t make that mistake! As long as it’s not pouring, a little precipitation won’t ruin your experience at this Queens staple. It will be a lot less crowded, and it will smell amazing. And what’s a better way to brighten up a dreary day than surrounding yourself with beautiful, colorful flowers?
The high line
Don’t let the rain stop you from taking a walk down the infamous High Line. This elevated park runs from 12th Street all the way to 34th and offers beautifully unique views of Manhattan. The park has a variety of access points throughout the way, so you can hop right off if the weather is particularly bad – but trust us, the longer you can stay up there, the better because there’s no other NYC park quite like this one.