Rainy days are never fun – the blank stares, the endless moping, or worse, the restless energy of the kids. If you are looking for fun, indoor rainy day activities for kids in NYC, there is plenty to do. Many businesses and museums have opened back up and have been following Covid-19 guidelines to ensure family outings are safe.
Psst! If you’re looking for more fun activities to do with the kids, check out: Outdoor Dining in New York City: Igloos, Cabins, Yurts and Tents.
The following is a list of both virtual and out-of-the-house activities that are sure to get rid of your kids’ rainy day blues. This list includes activities that are suitable for kids of all ages and range from arts and crafts, visiting museums, gaming, and shopping. Bring out the umbrellas and the rain boats, and enjoy these 20 fun, rainy day activities for kids in NYC.
Virtual Rainy Day Activities for Kids in NYC
CAMP is a store that has interactive displays for children. Unfortunately, with Covid-19, the store is temporarily closed. No worries, though! They have moved all the fun to their website and will be hosting fun, virtual events. Kids can discover exciting places without leaving the house, make fun crafts, play interactive games, and so much more! Check out their website for more information.
Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
Although the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is closed, they still offer virtual events for your children to enjoy. Check out their weekly, online storytelling performances. It’s an experience they will not want to miss!
If your kids are looking for something to do on rainy days, check out The Wonder. While their classrooms are temporarily closed, they have activities online to do that are suitable for children ages 4-8. Classes like the Explorers’ Club and Mad Scientists come with downloadable journals that they can take notes in as they learn about different countries, animals, nature, and more.
If you and your kids want to spend time at the Brooklyn Museum without leaving the comfort of your home, the Brooklyn Museum is offering Virtual Family Adventures. Children ages 4-8 will enjoy playing interactive games and activities while older kids will enjoy the mini art lessons.
Fun Rainy Day Activities for Kids in NYC
Museum of Ice Cream – SoHo
558 Broadway, New York, NY, 10012
Who doesn’t like ice cream? Taking a tour of the Museum of Ice Cream is certain to dazzle your kids. Journey through 13 exhibits of colorful, multi-sensory installations while enjoying sweet treats. They are sure to be dazzled by the experience. The Museum of Ice Cream is open on Thursdays from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm and Friday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:15 pm. Admission is $39 per person. Be sure to make your reservation online.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan – Upper West Side
The Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street, New York, NY 10024
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is still open and offers exciting exhibits for children of all ages to enjoy. Explore their Superpowered Metropolis exhibit where they can pretend to be superheroes defending New York City. Discover and create masterpieces in their Inside Art exhibit.
Or, for your younger kids, check out their PlayWorks™ exhibit that has a giant talking dragon named Alphie who “eats” letters, sand area, a painting wall, and more! Also, they can go to the Adventures with Dora and Diego exhibit where they can learn about rain forest animals, build the walls of Rainbow bridge, or pretend to cook Latin American foods.
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is open Wednesday through Sun from 10 am to 5 pm. A guided tour lasts 90 minutes and comes in two packages, which are designed to optimize playtime and safety. The first package “Superpowered Creators” comes with a tour of the Superpowered Metropolis exhibit and the Inside Art exhibit. The second package comes with a tour of PlayWorks and Adventures with Dora and Diego.
Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for children.
The Color Factory – SoHo
251 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013
Add some color to your rainy day blues by visiting The Color Factory. Your kids will enjoy the interactive art installations while learning about New York City’s unique color palette and the artists’ stories who live here. The Color Factory can be enjoyed by all ages.
The Color Factory is open on Thursdays from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and Friday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm. Tickets for adults are $35-38 wheres tickets for children ages 3-12 are $25-28.
Sloomoo Institute – SoHo
475 Broadway, New York, NY 10013
For the more crafty kids, take them to the Sloomoo Institute. This indoor activity is sure to brighten any kid’s rainy day. Not only do they get to design their own slime at the 150-long DIY Bar, but they also will enjoy playing with 30 different vats of slime, tracking their brain activity with the EEG machine, and listening to unique sounds in the ASMR tunnel.
This unique experience lasts about 60-90 minutes. Tickets are $39 and come with an 8 oz. custom slime. They are open on Thursdays and Fridays from 3 pm to 8 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 9:15 pm, and Sundays from 10 am to 7:15 pm.
The Museum of Modern Art – Midtown
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
Escape the rain with a visit to the Museum of Modern Art. Explore the open art galleries as you and your kids observe art from all over the world. Admission is free for kids under 16 and $25 for adults. MoMA is open daily, from 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
New York Aquarium – West Brighton
602 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11224
What better way to escape the rain than visiting the New York Aquarium? Children of all ages will have a blast viewing colorful marine life at the Glover’s Reef Display, watching the zany antics of the penguins and otters at the Sea Cliffs, and even getting to see sharks, sea turtles, and rays at the Ocean Wonders exhibit. Be sure to catch a show at the Aquatheater to see sea lions perform tricks.
Get your timed entry ticket online. Adult admission is $19.95 while kids ages 3 to 12 are $14.95. The aquarium is open daily from 10am to 3:30pm.
Bowlmor Lanes Times Square – Midtown
222 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
One of the best rainy day activities for kids in NYC is a trip to the bowling alley. While there are many different choices to pick from, one neat location is Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square. With 48 different lanes, your kids will enjoy bowling with the black lights and large video walls that show sports, music video, or even movies. Whenever they are done with bowling, your kids can play fun, classic games at the arcade. Don’t forget to pick a prize from all the points they’ve earned.
Brooklyn Museum – Prospect Heights
200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238
If you and your kids love art and want visit an art gallery, the Brooklyn Museum is open. Admission is $16 for adults and children under 19 get in for free. The Brooklyn Museum is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 am to 6 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 8 pm, and Sundays 11 am to 6 pm.
FAO SCHWARZ – Rockefeller Plaza
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111
Take a trip to FAO Schwarz. The iconic toy store is open with lots of toys to look at. Also, be sure to check out their giant toy piano before leaving. FAO Schwarz is open daily from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Krispy Kreme Flagship Store – Times Square
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Nothing beats a rainy day better than a trip to the Krispy Kreme in Times Square. Your children will be awestruck as they watch the donuts being made while enjoying warm, sweet donuts of their own. What’s unique about this Krispy Kreme store is that it can make more than 4,500 donuts per hour and has a glaze waterfall. Like other Krispy Kreme locations, this store is open daily, 24 hours a day. If you’re ever craving donuts, be sure to visit this unique store.
Artechouse NYC – Chelsea
439 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011
Blow your children’s minds by taking them to the Artechouse. Your kids will be amazed by how art, science, and technology come together create immersive art pieces. The Artechouse is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm. Tickets are $24 for adults and $17 for children ages 4-15.
Museum of Illusions – Greenwich Village
77 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Kids of all ages would enjoy a trip to the Museum of Illusions. Journey through this unique museum where your mind gets tricked and bewitched by optical illusions. The museum offers an array of exhibits and installations that will keep your little ones entertained, like keeping your balance in the tilted room, watching yourself shrink and grow in the Ames Room, stare at into the depths of the bottomless pit, and more.
The Museum of Illusions is open Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 10 pm and Friday through Sunday from 8 am to 11 pm. Admission for adults is $22 and $18 for children ages 2 to 13 years.
Spyscape Museum – Midtown
928 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019, USA
Let out your kids’ inner spies at the Spyscape Museum. The Spyscape Museum has exciting challenges that puts children’s spy skills to the test, such as cracking codes, detecting lies, and passing through laser tunnels. But the fun doesn’t stop there! There’s also a whole gallery of spy gadgets featured in the museum, such as the original Enigma machine, micro bugging devices, a U2 spy plane camera and flight suit, and so much more!
Spyscape Musume is open Friday through Sunday, from 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Admission is $39 for adults and $32 for children ages 6-14 years.
VR World – Midtown
8 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016
For those with older kids who love gaming, check out VR World, an immersive entertainment destination. Kids ages 9 and up can pick from 50 virtual reality experiences, ranging from gaming, art, and film. Some of these virtual reality experiences, include surviving a zombie apocalypse, flying with eagles, or creating art with Tilt Brush. You can buy a two hour ticket for $44 or an all-day ticket for $64 to enjoy the fun.
VR World is open on Thursday from 12 pm to 8 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 1 pm to 9 pm, and Sundays from 12 pm to 8 pm.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum – Crown Heights
145 Brooklyn Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is a great place to escape a rainy day. Their exhibits encourage children to explore the world around them through sensory play and exploration. Some of the exhibits include playing as a shopkeeper at the World Brooklyn exhibit, observing ecosystems and live animals in the Neighborhood Nature exhibit, and a Science Inquiry Center where they can learn about the natural habitats of animals, like toads and snakes.
For the more creative kids, book a session at the ColorLab. Children of all ages can explore and express themselves by creating art. A session in the ColorLab lasts about one hour and is recommended for children between 4 and 10 years old.
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is open on Saturday and Sunday for timed sessions, starting at 10 am, 12:30 pm, 3 pm and 5:30 pm. General admission to the museum and color lab is $13 per visitor over the age of 1.
American Museum of Natural History – Upper West Side
200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
Take a tour of the American Museum of Natural History. Visit the ferocious T. Rex exhibit and learn about how they got so big, what their behaviors and diets were, and meet other members of the tyrannosaurus family. Have the kids immerse themselves in a palette of colors in the Nature of Color exhibit. Here, they will learn about how colors are created, how they affect moods, and what different colors mean. The museum has other fascinating exhibits, such as observing the largest meterorite found in the United States, learning about the mysterious Eastern Island heads, or take a stroll down their Hall of Biodiversity where you can see all kinds of animals.
The American Museum of Natural History is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 am to 5:30 pm. General admission is $23 for adults and $13 for children ages 3-12 years.
Build-A-Bear Workshop – Midtown Manhattan
22 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001
What better way to spend a rainy day than by making a new friend. Build-A-Bear workshops offer a variety of stuffed animals that kids can choose, stuff, and dress-up. Choose from a bear, rabbit, cat, dog, or even characters from Frozen and Paw Patrol and dress them up in a fun outfits, ranging from superhero outfits, Disney princess dresses, Harry Potter robes, and so much more. Be sure to pick up a pet condo to help carry around their new friend.
Build-A-Bear Workshop is open Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm, and Sundays from 12 pm to 6 pm.
This story first appeared on our sister publication newyorkfamily.com.