Things to do in New York When it Rains

By Dom Bewley

Rain; the burden of humanity. For millennia we've built roofs to keep it out, and created devices to keep it from touching our delicate skin. While you may be tempted to stay in when the heavens open, why let an entire weekend go to waste? Get out there and see what things there are to do in New York when it rains. Don't worry about the research; we did all that for you. Simply scroll down and learn all about the best things to do in New York when it rains!

Including:

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Madame Tussauds New York & MARVEL Universe 4D
  • New York's amazing art museums
  • Escape Virtuality
  • Area 53
  • and more!

Image courtesy of Mykolastock/Shutterstock

Get historical, naturally

What better way to dodge mother nature's shower than dipping into a museum? New York's full of the beauties, but we'd recommend the American Museum of Natural History. Why? Well, because it has freaking dinosaurs. What else do you need?

The site of the famous Night at the Museum movies, inside you'll find one of the biggest collections of dinosaur bones on the planet. But of course, there's much more than just that. How does a 94-foot whale model sound? Equal parts awe-inspiring and terrifying? Absolutely. How about a giant, 2000-year-old sequoia tree? Brilliant. Why not top things off with a 563-carat sapphire named the 'Star of India'? Yes.

All that and much more awaits you in one of the world's premier museums. So why wait? Easily one of the best things to do in New York when it rains.

Image courtesy of Alina Zamogilnykh/Shutterstock

Rub waxy shoulders with the stars

Hollywood has become somewhat synonymous with plastic surgery. The ever-evolving need to reach perfection has resulted in generations of body augmentation. But if you think Hollywood is plastic, wait till you get a glimpse of the static stars at Madame Tussauds!

Everyone's favorite fame celebration is here, letting you snap photos with all the stars. And best of all, there won't be a streak of blur in sight! Throw gang signs with Donald Trump, hop on E.T.'s bike without his permission, and mingle with other people who do acting!

And, for you superhero fans out there, you can also attend Marvel Universe 4D, an immersive cinema experience that brings your favorite spandex-wearing heroes to life.

And best of all, it's all inside! If it wasn't, would the famous people melt? Who knows?

Get some much needed culture in you

Speaking of ducking the rain, why not fill your mind while doing it? We're talking art, ladies and gentlemen, and New York's got more art museums than you can shake a brush at.

Let's start with the Museum of Modern Art — or 'MoMA', because you've got to love an acronym in this day and age. It's one of the most influential modern art museums in the world, with a fantastic collection of contemporary pieces housed within its delightful walls. See the likes of van Gogh's 'Starry Night', and Warhol's 'Soup Cans' up close. And take photos aplenty, of course.

Or, go check out the famous Guggenheim, another brilliant collection of works from artists around the world. With big hitters like Picasso, Manet, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Renoir on show, you're bound to find something inspirational within its beautifully-designed walls.

Or, for more modern art from more alive artists, go hide in the Whitney Museum of American Art. Focusing on active artists from the US, it helps ensure the American art scene survives and thrives throughout the years. And who knows, maybe you'll discover the next big thing there, or find your new favorite artist?

Whichever you decide to go to, having your mind blown at one of New York's art museums is definitely one of the best things to do when it rains in the city.

Reality, but virtually better

What better way to avoid the reality of a rainy day in New York than to escape our reality completely? Discover new, exciting realities via a funky headset at Escape Virtuality - NYC's biggest and best virtual reality fun house!

Challenge a friend, or a stranger, to a myriad of sports, activities, and other immersive experiences. Glide down a mountain on skis, or run from monsters in a haunted house. Climb a sheer cliff, jump out of a plane, or hop behind the wheel of a souped-up racecar.

Let your imagination come to life, thanks to the movement replication of Escape Virtuality's ergonomic setup. Feel every hill, every fall, and every turn. It really has to be seen to be believed, so go and get your mind blown on the next rainy day!

Area 51-adjacent

Sometimes, the thrill of outdoor adventure is too good to pass up. We all have to get extreme sometimes, right? But if you're averse to a little downpour, you needn't throw cold water over the idea. Instead, head to Area 53 - New York's funner, safer alternative to Nevada's secret UFO base.

Whether you're with friends, family, or planning a date, Area 53 has a wealth of fun activities on offer. Take your chances on the ninja course, try and escape the laser maze, bomb it down slides, or go head-to-head in the Battle Beam arena (think laser tag meets foam party). All that and much more awaits you at Area 53.

Oh, and if you're looking for some kid-free fun, they also host over 21s nights with no rascals and sight, and a packed bar to boot.

Secret drinks

Let's round off our list of the best things to do in New York when it rains with a more refreshing downpour. We're talking bars, but not just any bars. Nope, today let's talk about secret speakeasies. Like many big cities these days, New York has seen the recent craze of faux-speakeasy slash cocktail bars hit its shores. So why not duck out of the rain and dive into a drink or three?

La Noxe is one such place, and you'll find it tucked inside the 28th street subway station. Along with its rather diverse and affordable cocktail menu, you'll find a delightfully low-key ambiance, tapas bites, and smooth tunes in the background.

Or, head to The Little Shop in Lower Manhattan. On first glance, it looks like your average convenience store, with snacks, household items, and other necessities on offer. However, head to the back, and you'll make your way into a secret speakeasy with a brilliant drinks menu. Your discovery will be the talk of the water cooler come Monday.

And finally, pop into Attaboy, snuggled secretly into an often-overlooked part of Eldridge Street. This little speakeasy even has merch if you want to represent, and a patio - when the weather clears up.

And that's our list of the best things to do in New York when it rains!

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10 Things to Do This Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an American holiday created to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. The holiday marks a time of reflection, solidarity and unity and a true celebration of life. So whether you call New York home or you're simply visiting for the holidays, here are 10 tips and suggestions for this Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day Parade There's nothing like a parade in New York City: there's a reason why these parades are broadcast all over the world. While this parade might not receive the same kind of attention as the New Years or Thanksgiving Day parades, this is still a great (and free) event to take in with the family. It takes place on Monday. The largest of the parades, in Queens, starts at Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard at 2 p.m. The 151-year-old parade in Brooklyn, that begins at 78th Street and 3rd Avenue at 10 a.m, is the most historic parade in the U.S. Empire State Building There's nothing like a visit to the Empire State Building. Whether you've done it before or this is your first time, a view from the observation deck on the Empire State Building is well worth it. Memorial Day weekend marks the kick-off of the summer travel season, so visits will greatly increase. Take in the view now, while it's comparatively quieter. Glow Party NYC Memorial Day Weekend If you're a night owl and looking for a destination to dance Sunday night into Monday morning, the Glow Party NYC Memorial Day Weekend is where it's at. The party takes pace at the Sound of Brazil on 204 Varick Street. You can RSVP for free until 11.30 p.m. the night before (visit Ticketweb.com for that). There are also complimentary glow sticks offered at the venue. After all, it wouldn't be much of a glow party without your own personal glow stick. There's no cover charge to enter until after 12 a.m. Memorial Day Fair Here's a great activity for you and the entire family. It takes place the Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend and runs from 12-5 p.m. Located at the Sunnyside Gardens Park, you'll find a collection of live Americana music, a magician, live performers and all kinds of other acts. There are arts and craft vendors, small rides for young children, and plenty of food for you to enjoy. When you want to get outside of the city and have a bit of fun in the sun, make sure to check out the Memorial Day Fair. 9/11 Memorial and Museum Memorial Day in New York is a day of remembrance, so try and make some time to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It is a somber location, yet an important one. The beautiful location where the former Twin Towers once stood is a reminder of what the country has been through and solidarity in the face of crisis. Both the memorial and the museum are free to enter. Memorial Day Weekend Rooftop Day Party Cocktail drinkers and free-spirited dancers unite. The Memorial Day Weekend Rooftop Day Party is exactly what you're looking for, particularly if you're not looking to stay out too late. This event takes place on Sunday and runs from 3-10 p.m. You'll find the day party at Hudson Terrace, 621 W 46th Street. There is a $10 cover charge to enter (you can purchase tickets ahead of time at Ticketweb.com). Live DJ.s will be performing and there is complimentary Hennessey for the first hour of the show (so get there early). This is an event for 21+ Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises New York City truly looks good from every angle. While you may have seen it countless times from within, have you ever seen it from the water? The Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise shows off the iconic NYC skyline and gives you a full two-and-a-half our tour of the Island of Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. The tour will be guided so you can listen to the history of the city as the cruise traverses the water around New York City. Memorial Day at the Museum at Children's Museum of Manhattan There are a number of events taking pace at the Children's Museum of Manhattan (212 W. 83rd Street) over the course of the weekend. You can take part in crafting a sculpture that will be dedicated to departed loved ones. You can also take part in the Star-Spangled Wind Chime event, where you will make your very own Memorial Day wind chime. These events are for children five years of age or younger. It is a drop-in event, so you don't need to RSVP your spot (although it is a good idea to show up early to make sure you get a good seat). The statue sculpting begins at 10 a.m. (and you can stop in at any time up to 5 p.m. throughout the weekend). The wind chime event is on Monday and runs from 1-1:45 p.m. Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours Looking to be a bit more active this Memorial Day Weekend? Why not head out to Central Park and book a two-hour bike tour. It's a fun way to explore the park and, with a guide, you'll learn about the park's extensive history. Top of the Rock Observatory Think of this as the opposite of the Empire State Building view. The Top of the Rock is located in the Comcast Building and gives you a perfect view over Central Park and of the Empire State Building. Take in the panorama of the city an hour before sunset to see the buildings in daylight clarity. Then watch the sky's palette change and the city sparkle in darkness as the sun dips away. These are just 10 of the best options for what to do in New York this Memorial Day weekend. Chances are, you'll find something that fits your needs, whether you're visiting with the family or you live in New York and just want something out of the ordinary to do. Looking for more things to do? Check out our blog on The Statue of Liberty Museum?
Suz Pathmanathan
Blog

Raising the Torch: The Statue of Liberty Museum

Since she was unveiled in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has been a source of inspiration worldwide. American poets such as Henry van Dyke observed her symbolic importance to the values of the nation. And as of today, she's sure to be a muse to many more. The Statue of Liberty Museum opened its doors to the public today, allowing visitors to see and learn about this iconic attraction first-hand through an immersive, multi-sensory experience. What is The Statue of Liberty Museum? Five years in the making, the new museum offers sightseers the convenience of being able to bypass crowds at the pedestal. Around 4.3 million people visited the attraction in 2018 - that can equal a lot of congestion! What's more, visiting the crown requires advance planning, tickets sell fast and being 305 feet in the air doesn't appeal to every visitor. So what's inside? A relatively short exhibition - a length chosen due to high footfall - allows sightseers to view the Statue of Liberty in an entirely different way. Guests can stop by a model of French artist Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's Parisian studio - the creator of the Statue. Visitors can also reach out and touch a copper replica of the Statue's face. They can even see the original torch, which has been in storage since the 1980s. Image courtesy of Liberty Ellis Foundation The brand-new museum allows its visitors to literally walk through the Statue's history in a three-part video. This is before emerging into the proclamation that formally ended slavery. This poignant multimedia experience depicts the events that inspired Bartholdi to create what now stands as a globally-recognised symbol of freedom in America. Who's the museum for? To make this museum as accessible as possible to its visitors, it features kiosks. As well as being a place where visitors can share their ideas about liberty, the kiosks have been placed at a level that makes it easier for wheelchair users. This has been combined with a wide turning radius throughout the space. Custom headsets feature videos with audio narration for blind visitors. Deaf and hard-of-hearing guests can use hand-held devices to watch an ASL tour throughout the museum. With accessibility at the forefront of their design, the museum has also ensured that you don't even need to be there to experience the Statue! The launch of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation's iOS app, named the Statue of Liberty app, uses augmented reality to open the experience up globally. See what she sees through a time-lapse view of the city. Watch media about her signature green tinge - the result of being buffeted by wind, pelted by rain and warmed by the sun for decades. Then look at her in all her stunning, three-dimensional glory, courtesy of high-resolution, helicopter photography. And if you haven't had your fill of all things Miss Liberty, tune in to Raising the Torch. This podcast features historians discussing the Statue's history and her continued impact on the collective imagination. Why not complete your day out with a free ferry ticket and entry to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum? Location: 1 Liberty Island - Ellis Island, New York, NY 10004, USAOpening hours: 8.30am – 6pm daily
Suz Pathmanathan
weekend nyc
Blog

Weekends in New York

The Big Apple is one of the most visited cities on the planet. On average, over 30 million people visit New York every year. That's...a lot of people. How many people do you know, like twelve? Times that by a gazillion, and you're only scratching the surface - probably. Math is hard. So the big question is, why do so many people flock to New York's shores every year? It probably helps that it's one of cinema's most photographed cities, with nearly half of the biggest blockbusters ever taking place - at least in part - in the Big Apple. The other reason is that there is so much to do and see there; a skyline full of literal iconography that you can visit, the 24-hour nightlife, the shopping, the restaurant scene. New York has it all. It's no wonder then, that so many people spend their weekends in New York. But with so much on offer, planning is vital. That's why we've curated this itinerary just for you. So fetch your best traveling hat, dust off those walking boots, and go grab a coffee. Here's our guide to weekends in New York! Saturday Morning You'll need some energy to power your day, so kick things off at Andrews Coffee Shop - your classic, all-American diner. But this isn't just any old breakfast experience, as many consider Andrews the best in the city! Pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs, the list goes on. Then, when you're fueled up, let's get the big guns out of the way. First, we'll hit up the world-famous Empire State Building, which boasts the best views in the city from the top. But beyond viewing New York from 102 floors up, you can also explore 12 galleries that explain the history of the building, as well as the building's very own art gallery! Noon From there, it's time to get some lunch. You're spoiled for choice here, but we'd recommend Upland, a charming brasserie that offers a delightful fusion of Italian dishes with a Californian twist. They have sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and many more on offer, and why not pair your meal with a nice glass of wine? You're on vacation, after all. Next, head to Central Park for a wander around one of the world's most famous green spaces. Then, when you've explored enough (and burnt off some calories to boot), head to the nearby American Museum of Natural History. You can spend hours looking at ancient fossils, life-sized models, and learn all about the history of Earth. A little culture never hurt anyone, right? Night Next, as afternoon turns to evening and the city's neon lights take hold, fill your bucket list quota in one fell swoop with a trip on The RIDE. This bus slash viewing platform has you sitting in stadium-like seats as two hilarious guides give you insight into NYC's biggest sights and sounds. You'll pass Times Square, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central, and Carnegie Hall, to name but a few, learn about their history, and get a front-row seat to New York's quirky nightlife to boot! Then, grab a spot of dinner at COTE Korean Steakhouse, which offers some of the best slabs of meat in the city. Then, if you fancy it, check out the local watering holes. Attaboy down in SoHo offers a cozy atmosphere and delicious cocktails in a tucked-away location. Or, if you're looking for some amber relief, try The Dead Rabbit near Battery Park. This delightful taproom has a whole host of craft beers on offer, as well as other liquid delights should they take your fancy. Now, get some rest and prep your body for another day of fun! Sunday Morning Big day ahead of us, so start smart with a late breakfast at Trinity Place on Broadway. This converted bank vault makes for quite the unique dining experience, and you can pick up a breakfast flatbread to fill you up for the trip ahead. And what trip is that? Well, you might be wondering why we're starting the day so close to the coast? That's because there's one very important NYC landmark we haven't checked off yet. We're talking about the Statue of Liberty, or "Lady Liberty" to her friends. To get there, you'll need to board a ferry across the water. Then, once you're there, you can tour Ellis Island, get up close and personal with the old gal, and learn all about her history and how she came to be. Then, when you're all statued out, hop back on the ferry back to the mainland. Noon Lunchtime! Head over the Brooklyn Bridge to NYC's swanky suburb, and grab a panini at Pisillo Italian Panini. They have tons of variants to try no matter your taste, each named after an area of Italy. Try the Milano, trust us. Then, if the weather is good, go check out Coney Island and hop on some of the rides at Luna Park. Just a stone's throw from central Brooklyn, it's a great way to get a bit of beach time on your city vacation. Or, if the weather isn't good, go check out Brooklyn Museum and the nearby Botanical Gardens. The museum boasts a massive collection of artifacts from al over the world, including ancient Egypt, Africa, and Europe. The gardens provide you with 50+ acres of exotic plants and indoor greenhouses to wander. Night Time for a final meal and a tour of Brooklyn's brilliant nightlife! We recommend dining at Vinegar Hill House. The name might not sound appetizing, but once you flick through its brilliant New American menu, you'll be set. The pork chop with cheddar jalapeno grits might just be the best thing you've sampled all year. And now, to end this merry adventure, it's time to explore Brooklyn's bar scene. Want to put a spring in your step and end your vacation on a yee-haw high? Check out Skinny Dennis - a honky-tonk saloon with a burgeoning beer menu backed by live country music. Or, if cocktails are your things, you're spoiled for choice! We'd recommend Sweet Polly or Clover Club to sate your mixology needs. And, sadly, that's the end of our guide to weekends in New York! There's so much more to see and do; you'll just have to catch it all next time.
Dom Bewley

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