8 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in the Northeast

Don't let a little bit of precipitation dampen your spirits. Seize the day with this list of fun activities.
things to do on a rainy day

There’s no better way to beat the gloom and doom of gray skies than a few shared smiles and laughs. If you’re looking for a cure to end your rainy day blues, it’s time to hit the road for some on-the-town adventures. Here are a few of our favorite things to do on a rainy day in the Northeast.

Remember to pack an umbrella. Things are bound to be a little wet!

Visit a Museum

Learn about new cultures, delve into history or gaze at mesmerizing paintings from the past at a local museum. There are so many great Northeast museums to choose from (including some with AAA discounts), but we love these for a rainy day trip.

Museum of the Moving Image
Astoria, N.Y.

This museum is dedicated to the art, history, technique and technology of the moving image. Featuring a collection that includes 19th century optical toys, old film tech and video games, the exhibits are highly interactive and fun for the whole family. You can even catch film screenings and live events.

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Boston

Travel back in time and experience the Boston Tea Party through an amazing multi-sensory adventure. At the museum, you can experience this famous event through amazing holographic displays and re-enactments. You can even throw tea over authentically restored tea ships!

Discovery Museum
Acton, Mass.

Create colored shadows in the Light & Color Gallery, perform a shadow puppet show by lanternlight in the Backyard at Night exhibit, explore acres of forest and much more. This museum invites little kids, big kids and adults of all abilities to come and have fun, all while learning about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts. Plus, get $2 off admission for up to four people in a party with a valid AAA card.

The RISD Museum
Providence, R.I.

The RISD Museum has an impressive art collection that expands from ancient times to the present. You can find everything from paintings and sculpture to textiles and costumes, plus an enormous wooden Japanese Buddha from the 12th century, a mummy and artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome and Pompeii.

Silverball Museum Arcade
Asbury Park, N.J.

The Silverball Museum Arcade is a loving tribute to our video-gaming past. At this pinball hall of fame you and your family can experience what life was like before handheld video games and Xbox 360s. It’s the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon and a whole lot of fun.

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Take a Workshop or Class

Taking a workshop is another fun and educational option when you are looking for things to do on a rainy day trip. Drop in on a class and try something completely new or learn more about a hobby you already love.

Diablo Glass School
Boston

This school offers one-day workshops on glassblowing, flame working and more. Work with experts to take home your very own beautiful glass paperweight and other souvenirs.

Heirloom Kitchen
Old Bridge, N.J.

At this recreational cooking school, you can master pasta, elevate seafood, cook your steak with old-school flair and more. Experience cooking a variety of dishes using fresh food that goes straight from the farm to the table and brush up on your basic skills. The food is bound to be excellent. Find more cooking classes throughout the Northeast.

Studio 550 Art Center
Manchester, N.H.

Studio 550 offers a range of art classes, including pottery, painting, bookbinding and stained glass. And while there’s plenty of ways to experiment with your artistic side, there are also kid’s classes, dance and movement classes, and other one-day workshop and date night opportunities. You can even sit down with friends for a nice warm cup of tea before or after class in the studio’s tea room.

Go to the Movies

The movies are the perfect way to get lost in another world. When it’s storming outside, that’s exactly what you need. Head to the local cinema with family for a kid-friendly outing or find an action-packed flick for a rainy day date.

Save on movie tickets with exclusive AAA member discounts.

Hunker Down in the Library

This one may come as a surprise, but if you’re looking for a one-stop shop for things to do on a rainy day, then you might want to visit your local library. Not only can you read books and magazines, check out the latest movies and get free internet, but most libraries host free events throughout the month. So if it’s raining, call the library to find out what’s scheduled. Depending on the day, you may find fun games and readings for your kids, or there may be free adult classes like Zumba, yoga and tai chi.

Many public libraries take part in museum pass programs where patrons can reserve free or low-cost tickets to local museums and attractions. Call or visit your local library to see if participates in such a program.

Some libraries like the New York Public Library and the Boston Public Library are almost like museums. You can visit special exhibits and art collections and take tours of the historical buildings that they are housed in year-round.

Head to an Indoor Sports Complex

Whether you’re a kid or an adult, not being able to go outside is arguably the worst part of any rainy day. So, if you’re looking for a way to stay active on days when the sun just won’t shine, try heading to an indoor recreational center. For a thrilling rainy day activity, choose from rocking climbing, water sliding, indoor surfing and skydiving at Sky Venture in Nashua, N.H.

Go Bowling

Bowling is another crowd-pleasing rainy day trip. Whether you can bowl a perfect game or barely break 100, you’ll definitely be distracted from the wet weather outside. Invite a few friends to come along for games, drinks and fries. Or, have a family outing where the kids can enjoy the mini-arcade and a little friendly competition.

Bowlero Chelsea Piers
New York, N.Y.

With glowing bowling lanes and massive lane-side video walls, the atmosphere at this bowling alley couldn’t get much livelier. When you’re done bowling, you can hit the arcade or challenge the family to a game of laser tag.

Our Town Alley
East Norriton, Pa.

This family-friendly bowling alley is the perfect place for your next rainy day trip. Enjoy sporting events and music videos on huge TV screens, play laser tag, grab a bite at Steppy’s sports bar and grill, and of course knock down some pins at over 50 lanes.

Grab Some Grub

It’s true. Something about the rain makes us all feel a little bit lazy. While we don’t suggest lying in bed all day, there are other ways to take it easy, like dining out. Instead of cooking, why not head to lunch with some friends or take the family to a nice dinner? Simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the food with great company.

Save at local restaurants with AAA Discounts.

Have a Spa Day

If you’re willing to splurge a little, you can use the rain as an excuse to finally treat yourself to a luxurious spa trip. For something less expensive but just as relaxing, you can also visit the hair salon, go for a manicure or try a DIY a spa day at home.

Mandarin Oriental, New York 
New York, N.Y.

With facials, full-body massages and other luxury spa treatments, this elegant spa has everything you need to de-stress, relax and unwind. Its vast range of spa offerings can be experienced in a soothing atmosphere well above the bustle of NYC. Walk in tired and worn-out, leave balanced and rejuvenated. Not a New York native? Check out the spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Boston.

Bliss Spa
New York City and Boston

Let your worries melt away at Bliss’ tension-fighting facilities, including spa treatment rooms, luxury nail lounge, retail beauty boutique and separate men’s and women’s lounges. You can experience a variety a facials, massages, body treatments and nail care, all while being soothed by the soft sounds of rhythm and blues.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? Tell us in the comments below.

This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated.

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2 Thoughts on “8 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in the Northeast

  1. Although the ideas you present sound wonderful, they mostly seem to involve driving long distances or having a great deal of money. I would love a spa day, rainy or not. I guess the at home one would be possible. I often settle for binge watching tv series to get away from the gloom. I don’t even have to get wet going out anywhere.

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