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A stroll in Central Park is out of the question, and the weather at the top of the Empire State Building is frightful. Don’t let a rainy day ruin your time in New York City! Whether you’re a resident or visitor, the city has plenty of indoor and covered activities to enjoy, even with cloudy skies. Keep your trip to NYC scheduled, or keep your plans to enjoy the place you live in. Grab your umbrella and dry off with these rainy day activities to do in NYC:
1. Throw Axes at Live Axe Throwing
Even with dreary weather outside, you’ll get an adrenaline-pumping experience at Live Axe Throwing. Test your accuracy and challenge your friends and family as you learn the ancient art of axe throwing. Located on Lafayette Street in Tribeca, Live Axe’s 10,000 square foot, industrial-chic space fits right into the hip neighborhood.
Connect with friends, family and fellow throwers at NYC’s premier axe throwing destination that lets you eat, drink and throw. The main floor houses seven throwing cages for you to test your skills. Take a break at the bar, central communal table and oversized couches, where you’ll celebrate your victories and discuss the art of axe throwing with other enthusiasts.
Get casual vibes on the lower level with its lounge-like corner bar and three throwing cages. One cage is larger, perfect for bigger parties coming to celebrate or get out of the rain. If your adventurous group is a bit smaller, our lower level also features a smaller cage for a more private throwing and dining experience.
Begin your adventure, take a break as you throw or cap off your night with Live Axe’s innovative menu of small plates and shareable fare. No matter when you snack, you’ll only leave Live Axe hungry for another throwing session.
Book your visit at least one to two weeks in advance for weekends and two to three days in advance for weekdays. Live Axe Throwing makes a thrilling addition to your NYC visit, no matter the weather. Even if you don’t have a reservation to throw, feel free to stop in and enjoy a few drinks in our upscale and unique Viking-themed lounge.
2. Visit the Paley Center for Media
If you’re a fan of media, head to the Paley Center for Media. Learn about television, radio, the internet and digital technologies all in one place. Do you have an interest in media history? Check out the collection of TV and radio commercials — there are over 160,000 in the center’s public library. The Paley Center for Media also airs special films on topics from the representation of groups in popular media to presidential campaign ads.
Want to do more watching than learning? The Paley Center for Media hosts daily screenings of classic TV favorites, where you can catch an episode of shows from decades ago. If you prefer modern media, check out the center’s variety of events. You’ll find screening and conversation series about shows on-air today and events with show creators and stars. Book your tickets and find the Paley Center for Media at 25 West 52nd Street.
3. Catch a Game or Show at Barclays Center
If you’re planning a visit to NYC during the rainy season, check out something at Barclays Center. Get tickets to see a major-league sports game or a concert, or plan a visit to catch family shows and even circuses. Most locals and visitors to the city come to see the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders.
Barclays Center also hosts world-renowned performers. Paul McCartney, Beyoncé, Madonna and many other artists have graced the stage at the center. Any music fan will appreciate the chance to see their favorite musician live in this award-winning facility. The state-of-the-art arena also includes food vendors, shops and the smaller Tidal theater.
4. Tour the United Nations
Get tickets for a weekday to tour the United Nations (UN) building. You can purchase weekday tickets on short notice compared to other ticketed attractions in the city. That makes a stop to the UN perfect for surprise rainy weather. Want an even more spur-of-the-moment visit? The center is often open to walk-ups on the weekends, but you’ll have to take a self-guided tour instead of learning from a guide.
Whether you visit during the week or on a weekend, you’ll witness the stunning architecture and learn about the history of the UN, founded amid the aftermath of World War II. The United Nations is a New York landmark, located on First Avenue between 42nd and 48th Streets. Visit with your kids or history buffs in your group for an educational time out of the rain.
The United Nations is a unique visit for art and world culture lovers, as well. The headquarters houses a collection of pieces that member states have gifted throughout the decades. Tapestries, sculptures and pieces of artwork fill the collection, taking you on a tour around the world right in NYC. Don’t forget to stop by the UN Gift Centre to get worldly souvenirs to commemorate your visit.
5. Visit the Museum of Modern Art
A rainy-day visit to NYC is incomplete without a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The MoMA is an iconic part of any New York trip, and it’s an eye-opening experience that enhances your knowledge of art. Support the museum’s mission to promote contemporary art, understand it and change the definition of art as we know it. The MoMA will show you art you’ve never seen before and make you think about art in ways you never have.
Visit the MoMA across multiple visits to see their rotating exhibits and find new ways to appreciate permanent collections. Explore these collections on a booked guided tour or on your own at your own pace. The MoMA also hosts events, films and performance art programs.
Touring the city on a budget? The MoMA participates in UNIQLO Free Fridays, every Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., opening its doors free to visitors. It may become crowded during those times, so if you’re willing to buy a ticket, visit an hour after opening. The museum says the best time to visit for fewer crowds is at 11 a.m., not long after opening but when lines may be shorter.
6. Explore Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal is more than a station. It’s a location that many NYC visitors go to just to take in, not to travel through. As a New York landmark, Grand Central Terminal is home to shops, dining, a marketplace and an overall fascinating experience. Hear classical music drift through the dining concourse and admire the architecture throughout the station.
Still not convinced that Grand Central Terminal is a tourist hot-spot? The location offers audio tours and guide-led tours to visitors. The audio tour is available every day of the week between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Your visit will last between half an hour and an hour, depending on how much extra material you listen to. Grand Central Terminal also offers guide-led tours between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On your tour, you’ll witness history that spans back to 1871, when the terminal first opened. It’s come a long way since then, with reconstruction in 1903 and a grand re-opening in 1913. The terminal obtained landmark status in 1976, and a renovation in the ’90s restored it to its former glory. Stop in during the rain to see beautiful architecture or plan time for a tour.
7. See a Broadway Show
It’s not a roundup of rainy day activities to do in NYC without mentioning Broadway. Escape the rain as you check that musical off your bucket list. Entertainment lines the streets of Midtown Manhattan’s Theatre District throughout historic venues large and small. Get your tickets to long-running musicals or see a new and popular show. If musicals aren’t for you, Broadway’s dedication to live performance extends into dramas, as well.
While you’ll have to book your tickets in advance — and well in advance for popular shows — Broadway offers plenty of rainy day entertainment in New York City. If you’re unsure how the weather will be during your NYC visit, a Broadway show is a safe bet and a perfect visit for any weather. With shows on every day and night of the week, you’ll find something that suits your schedule and your friends’ or family’s interests.
8. See a Comedy Show
If dramas or musicals aren’t your style, consider attending a comedy show. NYC is home to handfuls of comedy clubs that host everyone from the greats to rising talents. Escape the rainy day with stand-up and improv at NYC clubs like:
- Carolines on Broadway hosts shows every day of the year.
- The Creek hosts free music and free comedy shows.
- Dangerfield’s is often called the number-one comedy club in the country.
- Gotham Comedy Club has the vibe of an old-world club in the modern stand-up scene.
- Ha! Comedy Club is in Times Square and often a busier venue.
- National Comedy Theatre hosts comedy competitions between two teams of comedians.
- Underground Lounge is a popular and comfortable Upper West Side location.
Many clubs have bars that serve up drinks as you have a laugh. Others also host musical acts and serve snacks and meals from in-house kitchens. Book your tickets in advance or check out smaller clubs and bars that won’t be as crowded.
9. Check out the Views From One World Observatory
Want panoramic views of New York City but don’t want to deal with the wind and rain? One World Observatory lets you see the iconic city skyline from the heights of the tallest building in New York — and all the Western Hemisphere. Tour Ambassadors and staff in the observatory provide information about the surroundings below, so you can take in the views and learn something new.
Before you check out the skyline, see what’s on display in the Global Welcome Center and hear the story of One World Trade Center. Travel 102 stories to the observatory in 47 seconds in the center’s Sky Pod elevators. The One World Observatory features three levels and includes a cafe and bar, letting you grab a snack to refuel after checking out the area you’re visiting or live in.
10. Go Shopping
Head inside the shops around the city to get shelter from the rain. NYC is home to a wide array of shopping possibilities that will help you find whatever you’re looking for. Walk around the beautiful stores of the city or treat yourself to shopping with options like:
- Vintage and thrift shopping throughout NYC lets you discover unique items from the past and high-end fashions with thrifted deals. Check out vintage and thrift shops throughout the area and embark on the hunt for good deals and fabulous pre-loved styles.
- Souvenir shopping lets you commemorate your NYC trip with classic tourist items. Get gifts for friends and family back home if you’re visiting, or send gifts to friends outside of the city if you’re a resident.
- Luxury shopping in the city is full of high-end clothing and goods. Check out the luxurious items of boutique shops throughout NYC and splurge on what you wouldn’t buy anywhere else.
- Department store shopping is iconic in New York City. Bloomingdale’s has been a retail institution in the city for over a century, Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury department stop and Macy’s on West 34th Street is a classic.
- Times Square shopping bustles with visitors heading into well-known clothing and makeup stores. You’ll also find shops that kids will love to visit, like M&M’s World or the Disney Store.
Eat, Drink and Throw at Live Axe Throwing
An exhilarating time waits for you at Live Axe Throwing. Whether it rains on your time in NYC or you’re in need of some thrilling fun, we’ve got the experience for you. Test your strength and accuracy with axe throwing — the ultimate bonding activity. Master a new sport or come out with friends and family for a great time. Our trained Cage Captains will teach you how to throw like a Viking and oversee your axe throwing experience.
Book your reservations for Live Axe today and release your inner Viking!