Events and Activities

Top 15 Things to Do in New York City on a Rainy Day

New York City might be best known for its sunlit skyline views and bustling outdoor attractions, but when the rain sets in, the city doesn't skip a beat. Don't let the weather dampen your spirits; NYC's indoors have just as much to offer. Here are the top 15 things to do in the city on a rainy day.

1. The Morgan Library & Museum

A stunning Gilded Age institution with a vast collection of illuminated manuscripts, rare books, and old master drawings.

Address: 225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

Neighborhood: Murray Hill

Secret tip: Don't miss the hidden vault in the basement - it occasionally hosts special exhibits!

a library filled with lots of books under a stained glass ceiling

2. Rubin Museum of Art

This museum is dedicated to Himalayan and Indian art, offering a beautiful serene ambiance amidst the bustling city.

Address: 150 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

Neighborhood: Chelsea

Secret tip: Head to the shrine room, light a candle, and indulge in some tranquil reflection. It's a rain-free zen moment.

woman looking at painting

3. FotoLab Studio

NYC's prime self-portrait studio, perfect for both solo travelers and groups. Take home a memory with NYC's urban vibe, no matter the weather. You can book directly online here.

Address: 227 West 29th Street, Fl 9, New York, NY 10001

Neighborhood: Chelsea

Secret tip: Ask about their signature pink sunglasses, they're a must have during your shoot! Check out their instagram for inspo before you go!

4. City's Underground Speakeasies

NYC is home to some of the best hidden bars, many with a 1920s flair. We recommend trying Please Don't Tell

Address: 113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

Neighborhood: East Village

Secret tip: To get in, you'll enter through a vintage phone booth inside Crif Dogs hot dog shop!

clear wine glass with red wine

5. The Strand Bookstore

18 miles of books await you at this New York gem, making it one of the most iconic bookstores in the world.

Address: 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Secret tip: The rare book room on the third floor has some incredible first editions; you might stumble upon a gem!

assorted book lot

6. Chelsea Market

This indoor food hall offers a variety of cuisines and unique boutiques! Our favorites include Very Fresh Noodle and Los Tacos No. 1!

Address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Neighborhood: Chelsea

Secret tip: Visit the lesser-known 'Artists & Fleas' section for rare artisanal finds.

white and brown store front

7. St. John the Divine

One of the largest cathedrals in the world with stunning Gothic and Romanesque architecture that take up an entire city block

Address: 1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

Neighborhood: Morningside Heights

Secret tip: Search for the tiny carved animals playing baseball on one of the cathedral's pillars - it's a quirky piece of modern humor amidst the historic ambiance.

a statue of a bird

8. The Tenement Museum

Discover the stories of immigrants in NYC during the 19th and early 20th centuries, great for history buffs!

Address: 103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Neighborhood: Lower East Side

Secret tip: Book the "Hard Times" tour for a poignant look at families' resilience during economic downturns.

9. Greenwich Village Comedy Club

Perfect for a hearty laugh on a gloomy day. Comedy Cellar often has top-notch comedians (Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle) who often make surprise appearances.

Address: 99 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Secret tip: Grab a seat near the back for the best chance to avoid being the subject of a joke! Or sit in the front if you desire!

a group of people standing next to each other

10. The New York Earth Room

An art installation consisting of a room filled with 280,000 pounds of earth. It's both contemplative and oddly satisfying.

Address: 141 Wooster St, New York, NY 10012

Neighborhood: SoHo

Secret tip: Swing by during the first hour it's open; it's often less crowded, offering a more personal experience.

File:New York Earth Room in 2024.jpg
Walter De Maria's Own Work under CC 4.0 International license

11. Village Vanguard

An iconic jazz venue hosting live music since 1935, the Village Vanguard is where many jazz legends have recorded live albums.

Address: 178 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Secret Tip: Get there a bit early and snag a seat closer to the stage. Monday nights often feature the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, a tradition since the 1960s.

music room with lights turned on

12. Film Forum

An independent movie theater known for screening classic, independent, and foreign films, offering a rich cinematic experience.

Address: 209 W Houston St, New York, NY 10014

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Secret Tip: Look out for post-screening Q&A sessions or director's talks. They provide a deeper dive into the films shown.

13. Museum of Illusions

Dive into a world that will blow your mind with optical, photographic, and interactive illusions.

Address: 77 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014

Neighborhood: Chelsea

Secret Tip: Try the "Rotate Room" for an Instagram-worthy photo that defies gravity.

man in black shirt sitting on white ceramic sink

14. Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Experience Florida vibes in NYC. This venue boasts 10 shuffleboard courts and tropical-themed drinks.

Address: 514 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Neighborhood: Gowanus, Brooklyn

Secret Tip: Come on Tuesdays for free lessons - you'll shuffle like a pro in no time!

15. Le Labo Perfume Lab

A niche perfumery offering personalized, hand-blended scents. Experience the ritual of scent creation with friends or a date!

Address: 233 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

Neighborhood: Nolita

Secret Tip: Inquire about their "City Exclusives" line. Each scent is dedicated to a particular city and is typically only available in that city.

a shelf filled with lots of bottles of liquid

Rain or shine, New York City is always ready to entertain, educate, and inspire. These indoor gems ensure that your day remains eventful, regardless of the weather. So grab that umbrella, lace up those comfortable shoes, and dive deep into the city's rainy day offerings. Remember, in NYC, there's no such thing as bad weather, just different ways to experience the city.

FotoLab is New York's First Self-Portrait Studio. Capture memories with your loved ones. Book us for your birthday or company event!