Every time it’s raining in New York, I think about those visiting and I feel absolutely terrible for them. It actually doesn’t rain a lot in New York (compared to Ireland) but when it rains, it pours! So I wanted to put together a list of things to do in New York City when it’s raining just in case anyone feels like they’re stuck in their hotel room for the day! Also, I’m aware it’s not just the rain people try to escape in NYC, the heat can be unbearable! So if you’re looking for things to do indoors while in NYC… you’ve come to the right place 🙂
Shopping in NYC
I love a spot of shopping when I’m looking to escape indoors. Because it’s raining (or too hot!), I never feel like I’m missing out on anything else! I’m a huge fan of the beauty stores like Sephora, Ulta and the beauty aisles in Target 🙂 Besides beauty shopping, you can visit iconic department stores like Macy’s, Barneys, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s and shopping centres like Brookfield Place.
I’m not personally a fan but many people’s favourite shopping experience is Jersey Gardens Outlets. It’s a huge indoor shopping centre and there are so many bargains if you don’t mind walking and rummaging!
Also in Jersey is the American Dream Mall which is definitely the biggest shopping centre I have ever seen in my life! To give you an idea of its scale… it has a waterpark, theme park (Nickelodeon Universe), indoor skiing slopes, every fashion and beauty store you can think of and a food court. We loved it there and it’s definitely an experience that all of the family can enjoy. You can get the bus directly to there from Port Authority.
Find shelter in a fabulous restaurant or fun bar. My favourite restaurant in the city is currently Buddakan and the best pizza in New York (in our opinion) is the Meatball Pizza from John’s on Bleecker. For a decent pint of Guinness, visit one of the world most famous bars “The Dead Rabbit” or “the Dead Poet”. I have lots more recommendations, with different price points, in this blog post here.
Crazy Golf at Swingers
Swingers in Manhattan is the ultimate crazy golf venue! The course itself is absolutely gorge (New Yorkers do not do things by halves…) and there is such good energy about the place. That’s probably because you can order food (including burgers from Emmy Squared :o) and even drinks to be delivered to you while you’re playing. It’s great craic and we’ll definitely go back!
Bookstores and Libraries
There can’t be anything more cosy than browsing NYC bookstores in the rain with a coffee in hand! The Strand, Barnes & Noble and McNally Jackson are probably the most famous ones but there are plenty of smaller, independent ones around too.
Besides bookstores, you could visit the most famous library in New York… the New York Public Library. The building is so beautiful, inside and out, and you can even do some digging on your ancestry in there! It’s very cool.
While I haven’t been yet, I really want to visit the Morgan Library and Museum. It looks like something straight out of a movie.
Broadway shows are a quintessential New York experience and they are not weather dependent! Broadway offers matinee and evening shows and there is something for everyone. My favourite shows include Wicked, Hamilton and Michael Jackson the Musical. For many more of my Broadway recommendations, and how to score some cheaper tickets, read my blog post here.
New York City is home to some of the most famous museums in the world and what a way to spend the day indoors. Here are some I recommend and some I haven’t been to (yet) but they’re extremely popular !
Top Tip: Check out Groupon before you buy any of your museum/ attraction tickets. They regularly offer deals (even on the most popular ones like the observation decks such as the Empire State Building).
- 9/11 WTC Museum (so sad but so beautifully done)
- Natural History Museum (home to some real dinosaur bones and fossils!)
- The Tenement Museum (experience the lives of an Irish family, “The Moores” who migrated to NYC in 1863)
- Museum of the City of New York
- Museum of Jewish Heritage – a living Memorial to the Holocaust
- Museum of Ice Cream (I’ve never been but it’s very popular especially with children)
- The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (some of this is outdoors but the majority of it is indoors)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art AKA “the MET” (also known for one of fashion’s most prestigious nights “the MET Gala” and Gossip Girl of course :p)
- The Guggenheim Museum
- The Morgan Library and Museum
- The New York Transit Museum
As you can see, there are so many things to do, see and eat indoors in New York City so don’t let the weather dampen your spirits! If I have missed anything at all, do let me know below!
Thanks for reading,