20 Best Summer Rainy Day Activities in NYC

rainy day activities in NYC
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20 Best Summer Rainy Day Activities in NYC

It is been a rainy summer. While a rainy day may put a damper on your plans to be outside this summer, there is plenty of indoor fun to be had in NYC. You can find rainy day activities whether you are looking for an indoor adventure park, an interactive and educational museum, or an at-home craft experience in this list of the 20 Best Summer Rainy Day Activities in and near NYC. 

Looking for more fun things to do this summer? Check out 12 River Tubing Spots Near NYC 

Spyscape Museum 

928 8th Ave New York, NY 10019

Test and sharpen your spy skills in this one-of-a-kind interactive museum that is fun-packed for the entire family. Learn what type of spy you are by taking intelligence tests, maneuvering through laser tunnels, and carrying out surveillance missions at the Spyscape Museum! The museum allows you to take a look at rare spy gadgets and discover infamous spies and hackers through their unique stories. 

Open 11 am – 8 pm from Wednesday to Thursday; 11 am – 9 pm from Friday to Saturday; 11 am – 7 pm on Sundays. Admission is $39 for adults and $32 for children (ages 6 to 12). Children 5 and under are free. There is a weekday special that runs from Wednesday to Friday where you can purchase 4 tickets for $99!

Area 53- Adventure Park 

616 Scholes Street. Brooklyn, NY 11237

If you’re looking for an action-packed day when avoiding the rain, check out the adventure park at Area 53 in Williamsburg. The park is an exciting place for everyone with activities such as rock climbing, roller skating, a ninja course, a ropes course, slides, air hockey, and a pool. 

Open 5 pm – 11 pm from Wednesday to Thursday and 2 pm – 11 pm from Friday to Sunday. 

Reserve 3 hour time slots. $42 weekdays; $49 weekends. 

Children’s Museum 

212 W. 83rd St., New York, NY 10024

The best way to have a fun and educational time with the whole family is to visit the Children’s Museum in Manhattan. Current exhibits include The Right to Vote, which teaches kids about how people create change by working together and why voting matters, Adventures with Dora and Diego, where kids can learn about different animals and wildlife habitats as they go on animal rescue missions with Diego. 

Two-hour timed tickets must be reserved in advance. Open Wednesday to Sunday and sessions run 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm, and 3:00 – 5:00 pm.  $15 for adults and children; $12 for seniors and visitors with disabilities. 

Liberty Science Center

Liberty State Park, 222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07305 

The Science center is a New Yorker favorite with its many interactive, educational, and kid-friendly exhibits. See Dinosaur skeletons, learn about wild animals, and explore the Infinity Climber, a suspended climbing play area. Visit the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere! It is an impressive 89ft full doom view of the night sky. You can view their many shows at this planetarium including “One World”, “One Sky: Big Birds Adventure” and “Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity”. 

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm. Buy tickets in advance and save money! Advance General Admission is $27.99 for adults and $22.99 for children (ages 2-12). Same Day General Admission is $29.99 for adults and $24.99 for children (ages 2-12).

Harry Potter Store 

935 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

Shopping is one of the best ways to spend a rainy day. For Harry Potter fans, this new 21,000 sq. ft Harry Potter store is a must-visit location for shopping. Attractions for this store include a wand shop, a butterbeer bar, exclusive merchandise, and more. It holds the biggest collection of Harry Potter products under one roof. You can also buy tickets to two unique VR experiences: “Chaos at Hogwarts” and “Wizards Take Flight!” 

The store is open to customers 10 am – 9 pm from Monday to Saturday and 11 am – 7 pm on Sundays. Please note that there is a virtual queue system to manage the store’s capacity which is located as a QR code that you scan at the front of the store. 

New York Aquarium 

602 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224

Visit the New York Aquarium to observe over 350 marine species and stare in awe at the magnificent creatures of the ocean. Walk down a tunnel that puts you in the middle of a beautiful underwater scene surrounded by reef sharks, butterflyfish, zebra sharks, and a colorful coral reef.  See exhibits such as Spineless and Ocean Wonders: Sharks! 

The Aquarium is open 10 am – 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays; 10 am – 5 pm on Sundays. Tickets are 26.95 per adult, 22.95 per child (ages 3 – 12), and $24.95 per senior (65 and Older). 

Build-A-Bear Workshop

22 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001

At Build-A-Bear Workshop you can create your own stuffed animal from scratch in an interactive hands-on experience. Kids can choose from different fun outfits and accessories, add lots of stuffing, and name their new friend. This activity is great for younger kids as they will have a blast customizing their own bear. They also offer collections from franchises such as Animal Crossing, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Pokemon. 

Open 10 am – 9 pm from Monday to Saturday and 10 am – 7 pm on Sundays. 

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit NYC 

299 South St Pier 36, New York, NY 10002

This unique digital art exhibit displays artworks by Vincent Van Gogh in a modern light with state-of-the-art technology. Step inside his mind as you explore immersive rooms with floor-to-ceiling animated projections. Write and receive a personalized letter from an AI tool that has read Van Goghs over a thousand letters. You will be able to listen to the sound of color in The Color Booth!

You can learn more at The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is Coming to New York

Check out this temporary exhibit before it ends! It starts on June 14th and ends on September 6th. Open 10 am to 10 pm, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 9 am to 11 pm You must reserve your tickets online beforehand starting at $40. 

New York Hall of Science

47-01 111th St, Queens, NY 11368

Escape the rain and visit this hands-on science center that offers over 450 interactive science exhibits for kids and families to explore as they discover the joy of learning. Spend hours inside the museum experiencing current exhibits as well as the Design Lab, where visitors are encouraged to create with structures and circuits, and Connected Worlds, where kids can affect an animated digital world and learn how environments are interconnected. 

Open 10 am – 5 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday; 10 am – 6 pm on Saturday. General Admission tickets cost $16 for adults and $13 for children (ages 2- 17). The combination ticket which includes general admission plus access to the 3D theatre, Rocket Park Mini Golf, and The Happiness Habits Lab is $25 for adults and $20 for children (ages 2- 17). 

Shipwrecked NYC

621 Court Street 2nd fl Brooklyn, NY 11231

Try an escape room, play some mini-golf, or challenge your friends against classic arcade games like Skee-ball. There’s a lot to do at Shipwrecked NYC. They even offer food and drinks at the location such as pizza rolls and mac and cheese bites so you won’t have to leave the fun behind. 

Open 3 – 10 pm from Wednesday to Thursday; 3 -11 pm on Friday; 11 am – 11 pm on Saturday; 11 am – 10 pm on Sunday. Miniature Golf general ticket pricing is $15 for age 13 and up. $11 for Children (3-12). Free for Ages 2 and younger. The private escape room experience starts at $100 for two players and goes up to $175 for five players. 

IFly– Indoor Skydiving

849 Ridge Hill Boulevard Yonkers, NY 10710

Next rainy day, try something you’ve never done before: Skydiving! At IFly, you will float on a cushion of controlled air as you learn how to maneuver around and control your flight with an instructor to help you along the way. When you start to get the hang of it, you can play flying games that test your newly learned skills with your friends and family. It’s safe and fun for anyone! Recommended ages are 3 to 103. 

This unique experience starts at $99 for 2 flights per person. Open 11 am – 7 pm from Tuesday to Thursday, 12 pm – 8 pm on Friday, and 11 am – 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

The American Dream Mall

1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073

Head over to this massive shopping and entertainment center. It has something to do for everyone a makes for a perfect summer rainy day activity. Located in the building is Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, the biggest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere. Here, kids can meet their favorite characters like Spongebob and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they go on thrilling rides with attractions for all ages. If you want to skip the rain but still get in the water, check out the Dreamworks Water Park, the largest indoor waterpark in North America. You can also visit Big Snow, a year-round indoor ski and snow resort. The fun doesn’t stop there as kids and families can check out Legoland, Angry Birds Mini Golfing, Ice Skating, and more. 

Retail and dining hours are from 11 am – 8 pm, Sunday to Thursday; 11 am – 9 pm on Fridays; 11 am – 10 pm on Saturdays. Please check the American dream website for the opening hours and pricing of each attraction. 

Museum of the Moving Image 

36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

Visit the Museum of the Moving Image and look at the Jim Henson Exhibition to see the man behind The Muppets, Sesame Street, and his groundbreaking work for film and television. The museum explores how the moving image has changed through the centuries and displays artifacts from nineteenth-century optical toys to the latest in digital art. 

Open 2 – 8 pm on Fridays and noon – 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission tickets are $15 for adults, $11 for senior citizens and students with valid ID (age 18+), $9 for youth (ages 3-17). 

Brooklyn Boulders– Rock Climbing

575 Degraw St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Book a climbing class at the Brooklyn Boulders to get some exercise on a rainy day. The two programs “Learn The Ropes and “Intro to Climbing” both include gear for the day and a complimentary return Day Pass so you can use your new skills on the climbing wall. This activity is great for older kids who love to move around and get out of the house. Ages 14 and up. 

Open 12 – 9 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 7 am- 10 pm on Tuesday and Thursday; 9 am – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday.  The Day Pass is $36 and does not include the price to rent the harness and equipment. The beginner to badass package is a full month of access to any BKB location and starts at $149. 

Museum of Illusions

 77 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014

To take a break from a dreary rainy day, enter the museum of illusions to trick the eye and entertain the mind. It is a sensory and visual interactive experience that will leave you wondering how it works. The museum is great for kids as they will have a fun time looking at the crazy optical illusions and holograms. 

Visitors will have 45 mins to experience the museum. Open 9 am – 11 pm Monday to Thursday and 8 am-midnight, Friday to Sunday. Admission for adults is $22 and $18 for children ages 2 to 13 years.

Go see a Movie!

A classic choice for a rainy day activity is to go see a new movie in the theatre. Some great upcoming and newly released movies to go see are Luca, Raya, and The Last Dragon, Space Jam: a New Legacy, Black Widow (for the older kids!), and Paw Patrol: The Movie. Grab some popcorn and head to your local movie theatre to have some fun watching movies on the big screen. 

Brooklyn Public Library 

Go to the library to spend the day browsing their vast selection of books ranging from genres of fantasy to autobiographies that you can borrow for free. Children can attend their local library’s many virtual storytimes and other programs such as at Adams Street Library that help children with early literacy and language development skills.

At-Home Rainy Day Activities

Home-Made Board Games 

If you want to stay inside but try something new, try having your child make a board game of their own design! Their imaginations can run wild as they create a game that will keep the whole family entertained on a rainy day. Try this list of 12 DIY Board Games So You’re Never Bored from The Spruce Crafts. First, let them map out a design on a piece of paper and make some player pieces with clay or whatever you have around the house. Create some rules and start having fun! 

Make Slime!

Every kid loves to play with slime and all you need to make it yourself are 3 ingredients: Glue, Borax, and water. First mix 1 teaspoon of Borax into 1/2 cup of water, then slowly add this into the glue. Now you have slime! Add fun colors and textures to this simple slime to have a day filled with slime making. 

Create Musical Instruments

Let your kid express their creativity through art and music! An easy way to have a great time with your kid is to do some crafts, have your kid make their own strumming instrument. All you need to make a homemade guitar is a cardboard box, a few rubber bands, and brad pins. Cut a hole in your box, add an extra piece of cardboard for a raised bridge, and then attach your strings vertically over the opening and raised bridge. For a more complex guitar, follow the instructions on PBS.org for a cardboard guitar. Then start playing music on your new guitar!