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9 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in the Northeast

Carpe diem, or seize the day, by checking out this list of things to do on a rainy day. Inspire your next rainy day trip!

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. So, if you’re looking for a cure to end your rainy day blues, then it’s time to get up, get moving and hit the road for some on-the-town adventures. Remember to pack an umbrella. Things are bound to be a little wet!

Here are our favorite things to do on a rainy day in the Northeast.

Things to do on a rainy day

Go to the movies

The movies are the perfect way to get lost in another world. And during a rainy day, that’s exactly what you need! Head to the local cinema with family for a kid-friendly outing or find an action packed, R-rated flick for some adults-only fun.

Trying to save a little money? Go to the movies for a matinee showing. Tickets are always cheaper and the theater will be less crowded.

Visit a museum

Visiting a museum is another excellent way to get lost in different worlds and it’s educational, too! You can learn about new cultures, delve into various histories, or gaze at mesmerizing paintings from the past. There are so many to choose from, but here is a selection of some of our favorite museums in the Northeast for a rainy day trip.

Museum of the Moving Image
Astoria, N.Y.
718-777-6888

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

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Boston
866-955-0667

Travel back in time and experience the Boston Tea Party through an amazing multisensory 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!

Rhode Island School of Design Museum
Providence, R.I.
401-454-6500

RISD 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. We definitely suggest checking out this interactive digital art exhibition, on display through May 14.

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
New Haven, Conn.
203-432-5050

Dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, birds and fossils of human origin — this museum does a great job at recording the history of the Earth, its life and its cultures. Visit different exhibits and explore the world from its beginnings.

Silverball Museum Arcade
Asbury Park, N.J.
732-774-4994

The Silverball Museum Arcade is a living, breathing, blinking 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.

Take a workshop or class

Taking a workshop is another fun and educational option for things to do on a rainy day trip. You can drop in on a class and try something completely new or learn more about a hobby you already love. Here are a few workshops and classes offered around the Northeast to help you get inspired.

 Westchester Ballroom 
Briarcliff, N.Y. 
914-773-7773

You’ll forget all about the weather as you tango, hustle or ballroom dance the night away at the Westchester Ballroom. They host a variety of workshops and dance parties each month, including Tango Tuesday every Tuesday night, where experienced dance instructors will guide you through the moves as you enjoy refreshments and wine; pay per class, workshop or Molinga (aka dance party) or pay one price for the entire evening. For a fun night out (rain or shine), dinner and dancing events with table seating are also offered several times a month but require advance RSVP. See event listings for all classes and skill levels. Your Dancing with the Stars moment is just a reservation away!

Diablo Glass School
Boston
617- 442-7444

At the Diablo Glass School, you can take 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.
732-727-9444

At this recreational cooking school, you can master pasta, elevate seafood, cook your steak with old-school flair and much 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 great. Find more cooking classes throughout the Northeast.

Studio 550 Art Center
Manchester, N.H.
603-232-5597

At this studio you can experience 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’s 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.

Need more ideas? Dabble with other fun workshop and classes!

things to do on a rainy day

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 it has such a program.

Some libraries like The New York Public Library and The Boston 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. Facilities throughout the Northeast provide everything from indoor tennis to rock climbing and trampoline bouncing. But if you’re looking for a thrilling rainy day trip, then check out the two centers below.

Indoor Extreme Sports
Long Island City, N.Y.
718-361-9152

With various laser tag and paintball themes like black ops and the zombie experience, Indoor Extreme Sports takes the game to a whole new level. Battle zombies as you try desperately to escape the asylum alive or join a game of arena laser tag for a team against team death-match. No matter what you choose, it’s going to be extreme!

Sky Venture
Nashua, N.H.
603-897-0002

At this recreational center, you can shred some man-made waves, free fall with indoor skydiving or ride The Fishpipe (the world’s first rotating barrel ride). There’s a lot to choose from and some crazy thrills are guaranteed.

Go bowling

Bowling is another great indoor activity on our list of things to do on a rainy day trip. Whether you can bowl a perfect game or barely break 100, this activity is fun for everyone. 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. Either way, you’re guaranteed to be distracted from the gloom and doom outside. Check out our top picks for bowling that goes above and beyond.

Bowlmor Chelsea Piers
New York, N.Y.
212-835-2695

With the party-inspired glow of 40 blacklight bowling lanes, massive lane-side video walls, and the flashing lights and sounds of your favorite arcade games, the atmosphere at Bowlmor couldn’t get much livelier. After you’re done bowling, explore NYC’s only indoor ropes course or battle with friends in Bowlmor’s Urban Mission Laser Tag arena. This bowling alley has a lot more to offer then just a few lanes.

Facenda Whitaker Lanes
East Norriton, Pa.
610-272-6547

This family-friendly bowling alley is the perfect place for your next rainy day trip. You can enjoy sporting events and music videos on huge TV screens, watch laser shows, and of course knock down some pins at over 50 lanes. And when you’re done bowling, head over to the Game Galaxy Arcade to play over 50 interactive games. Challenge family and friends in virtual car races or play games to save up tokens for fun prizes!

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. Dining out is the perfect addition to any list of rainy day trips, and food always tastes better when you didn’t have to cook it yourself! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the food with great company.

Have a spa day

Get your hair done, get your nails done, literally go to the spa — treat yourself to some luxury and relaxation! If you’re willing to splurge a little, a spa day could be just the rainy day trip you need. Here are some Northeast spa and wellness centers perfect for melting away those knots.

Mandarin Oriental
New York, N.Y.
212-805 8800

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? Look at more Mandarin Oriental locations.

Bliss Spa
Boston
617-261-8747

Tucked away in Bliss’ 5,000 square feet of tension-fighting facilities are seven spa treatment rooms, a luxury nail lounge, a 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. And since you’re relaxing, why not stop by the day spa’s legendary brownie buffet? The spa also has locations in New York and New Jersey.

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

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