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Embrace the Rain: 8 Things to Do on a Rainy New York Day

You’ve eagerly anticipated your NYC getaway all month and waking up to a gentle drizzle can go two ways. It can add a touch of romance to the city’s vibrant pulse or be a total inconvenience. Here’s what we say. Embrace it and carry that umbrella. Even when the city that never sleeps is dressed in raindrops it still beckons with a plethora of opportunities for adventure. From snug indoor hideaways to cultural gems waiting to be discovered, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite ways to make the most of a rainy day in NYC. Don’t let a few drops of rain dampen your spirits. Instead, put on your favorite rain boots and jacket and let’s explore the magical rain-kissed side of NYC together. 

Cozy Coffee and Tea Retreats

Embrace your main character moment at a cafe where peering outside of the window while the rain trickles down will have you feeling as if you’re the main character in your own New York movie.  If you’re feeling on the social side, head to Book Club, the East Village’s independent bookstore and bar. Peruse the latest bestsellers while enjoying a cup of their java which uses beans from the East Village institution, MUD Coffee Roasters. If you’re yearning for a Parisian touch, make your way to Maman on the Upper East Side where you can indulge in French-inspired pastries and aromatic coffee within a rustic, chic ambiance. Known for their sweet and balanced coffee, Irving Farm New York, located within steps to Gramercy Park, has plenty of comfortable seating options and an impressive list of coffee options.  For the pinnacle of indulgence, treat yourself to a luxurious afternoon tea at The Palm Court inside The Plaza Hotel. Their tea service is the epitome of New York luxury.

photo by NYC

Museum Adventures

If you’ve seen all the documentaries in your Netflix queue and are still craving for an educational experience during this rainy time, museums are always going to be one of our top picks. New York has many of the top museums in the world, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), or the renowned American Museum of Natural History.  For those with a passion for fashion, The Museum at FIT is a hidden gem with style exhibits and more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to today. If contemporary art beckons, don’t miss the thought-provoking collections at the Pace Gallery or the iconic works at The Whitney Museum of American Art. For a little more indie vibe, venture to the Phillip Williams Posters museum, where you can find original vintage posters for sale and the largest collection of vintage posters in the world. And, for a journey back in time with a touch of medieval charm, explore the enchanting gardens and art at the Met Cloisters.

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Luxe Self-Care

On a rainy day, there’s no better excuse to indulge in self-care that oozes luxury and pampering. Whether you prefer the comforts of home or an opulent spa outing, New York City is your haven. Experience ultimate relaxation at Aire Ancient Baths, a serene oasis in the heart of the city where every detail exudes opulence. Indulge in a sumptuous spa day at the prestigious Sisley-Paris Spa in Soho or take a little day trip to find serenity at the tranquil QCNY Spa in Governors Island.  

photo by Aire Ancient Baths

Elevate Your Workout

Just because it’s raining out doesn’t mean your hot girl workouts need to be put on pause. Keep your energy levels high on a rainy day by embracing indoor fitness options. Dive into a New York Pilates class for a challenging workout that not only invigorates your body but also elevates spirit. Alternatively, discover the harmonious balance of mind and body with a session at CorePower Yoga, they have locations all over the city.  

photo by New York Pilates

Retail Therapy in Style

New York’s vibrant markets provide the perfect opportunity for a shopping spree. Explore the eclectic offerings at Chelsea Market, where you can discover unique and delectable treats while indulging in retail therapy. Check out a world of culinary delights and specialty products at Essex Market, where style and gastronomy converge. For a modern shopping experience, we also love the spacious feel and many store and restaurant options at the Hudson Yards. 

photo by Wall Street Journal

Catch a Live Performance or an Artsy Flick 

Rainy days offer the perfect excuse to indulge in catching the latest Broadway matinee. Another idea is to catch some classic cinema at an old movie theater. We love the Nighthawk Cinema in Brooklyn or The Metrograph on the Lower East Side. To finish off the rainy day, have a night cap while checking out some jazz at The Blue Note or Village Vanguard, or discover the perfect moody soundtrack with some indie rock at The Bowery Ballroom. 

photo by Experience

Soak Up the Comfort Food 

Rainy days are an invitation to savor the finest comfort food New York has to offer. We love the dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown, where even in the rain, there may be a long line. Or, relish in classic Jewish deli sandwiches and a bowl of matzo ball soup at one of NYC’s favorite foodie institutions, Katz Deli. 

Take a Walk. Yes, In the Rain 

Being a true New Yorker is about embracing the weather and moving forward with your day, rain or shine. That’s why if weather permits, we think it’s fun to grab a bagel, an umbrella, and an adventurous friend and walk along the iconic High Line. Or, put on your waterproof earbuds and spend the day walking around Central Park listening to your favorite podcast. For the perfect sweet ending to your rainy-day adventure, treat yourself to a legendary chocolate chip cookie at Levain Bakery. You may have water on your feet and extra laundry at the end of the day, but we promise, it will be worth it. 

Finding yourself on a solo mission when it’s raining in NYC and looking for even more fun? Check out our solo travel guide here.