Go to a museum.
This one may seem obvious, as New York City is somewhat of a museum haven. What’s great about this option is not only that there’s endless places to choose from, but that you can find a museum that suits your tastes exactly, and even visit a few in one day. Various museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American National History Museum, The Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Museum of Sex, and The Museum of Modern Art are just a small portion of the places to visit!
See a show.
While of course everyone wants to see a Broadway play during their time in NYC. However, on a last minute notice your options for snagging seats on the Great White Way are limited, so we suggest broadening your horizons to Off-Broadway, and even shows like musical acts, comedy shows, and so much more. Take a look at the shows happening in jazz clubs, dinner theaters, and even universities like NYU, Pace University, and Columbia might have some interesting shows going on.
Go to Grand Central Terminal.
This one might seem a bit odd, but not only does Grand Central come with a fascinating history, but it’s also a center for shopping and food. One could easily spend hours browsing shops and taking in the beautiful architecture. When you go, make sure you and a friend try out the Whispering Arches, where you speak into one corner, and someone can hear your voice on the opposite side. There’s a lot to be said for this train station!
Embrace your inner child (or take your child) to Modern Pinball, a fun, retro and exciting pinball arcade. It has been loved long time, and even The New York Times and CNN have commented on it saying that it’s one of the best and most entertaining spots in the city. Not only children will find a wildly good time here, but people of all ages because come on…who doesn’t love a good old fashioned game of pinball?
Take a trip to Chelsea Piers.
Right on the Hudson River sits quite possibly New York’s best place to play, Chelsea Piers. You can take a day trip here and break a sweat—in the most entertaining way possible. Offering over twenty-five different sports and a fully equipped gymnastic gym, you can play almost anything you can dream up, all from the comfort of inside a gym overlooking the water. Take that, Rainy Day!
Speaking of Chelsea, why not head to Chelsea Market?
If you’re looking for a trendy place to shop indoors in the city, Chelsea Market is the place to do it. Food, clothing, books and much more are all here, set up in cute shops and a great, rustic and cool atmosphere. Grab a sweet treat at Fat Witch Bakery, pick up a copy of your next favorite book at Posman Books, or try something on for size at Anthropologie. Don’t let the rain stop your from practicing your retail therapy in the best way!
Go to a movie.
Now hear us out—we’re sure you’re not interested in going to see the newest blockbuster that you can see anywhere, but New York City is home to plenty of indie movie theaters where you can see films you can’t anywhere else. Landmark Sunshine cinema, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Nitehawk Cinema are just a few of the indie theaters where you can see documentaries and films that wouldn’t normally hit your neighborhood multiplex. New York’s film scene is a great way to beat the rainy day.
See the United Nations Headquarters.
How cool would it be to visit the center of operations for so much of the world today? Luckily, you can do just that, and spend a day feeding your brain with knowledge as you explore the UN. Most native New Yorkers haven’t even visited themselves, which would give you an advantage in your next foreign affairs debate, on top of being an amazing day trip.
Take a class or workshop.
Because New York City is known for its variety, why not spend your rainy day learning a new skill? There are plenty of places that take one-timers. From pottery to painting to spin cycling and beyond, take advantage of having the world at your fingertips in the city, and learn something new. Some things you might want to try would be a specific tour at the MET, a cooking class, or you can even take a class on glassblowing!
Sit back with a cup of tea or coffee at the coolest café.
What’s better than a warm mug of coffee or a cup of tea when it’s raining outside? And in NYC it’s even better, because there’s an offering of just about every type of café from every country around the world. You could even make an entire day out of trying cups of coffee from places all around the city—which has your favorite atmosphere, drink, and pastry on the side? Some of our personal favorite spots to hit are Tea & Sympathy in Greenwich Village, and Birch Coffee, which has a few locations all over the city.