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Boston Rainy Day Activities

What to Do in Boston in the RainThings to Do in Boston on a Rainy Day

When it rains, or snows, or sleets in Boston, it's helpful to know about fun things to do indoors, so you can still enjoy the day.  Rainy day activities can actually be great options on any day - but sometimes the weather just calls for indoor activities. 

rainy day boston umbrellas

While a rainy day here and there is a great excuse for snuggling up on the couch, watching movies, baking cookies, or doing arts and crafts - a few rainy days in a row can become a real downer.  Do not fret, there are many ways to get out of the house to have an indoor adventure in Boston from indoor playgrounds to more educational experiences than we can possibly name in one list.

1. Visit a Museum!

Get lost in the halls of a Museum!  Boston museums burst with beauty, intrigue, and fun inside and out.   Museums and institutions house collections devoted to science, animals, literature, history, and even medical oddities, the works of the human body and disease exploration.

What to do in Boston on a Rainy Day

Set out on educational adventures with kids and visit the Boston Museum of Science  . Check out the Discovery Center where little ones can explore through play as they climb through tunnels, pretend with puppets, and view animals in terrariums.  Enjoy a celestial adventure under the planetarium and much more. 

Boston Rainy Day Museum of Science

There is nothing better than a day at Boston Children's Museum  with young children.  Chock full of exciting adventures, young children can learn through play and hands-on activities.  Assume the role of scientist at the Explor-a-saurus zone, dig in deep in the kid-sized Construction Zone, Climb like a monkey within the safety of the New Balance Climb.

Boston Rainy Day Children's Museum

Puddlejump your way over to the USS Constitution Museum.  Explore the thousands of artifacts and enjoy hands-on activities which will fascinated young visitors. Discover how 'Old Ironsides' has remained undefeated since being launched in 1797 and discover how school children donated their pennies to help save 'Old Ironsides.'  

Find the brighter side of a dreary day with older children and marvel at the impressive holdings of the Museum of Fine Arts.    Explore over 450,000 works of art in the massive and exquisite halls of the museum.  

Get your teens off of the sofa and out of the gaming chair and explore some of Boston's most intriguing museums.  Visit the Mapporium  the world-famous, three story, stained glass globe at the Mary Baker Eddy Library.  Explore A World of Ideas, which features an exquisite and unique depiction of how ideas have traversed time and geography and changed the world.

Or indulge your senses with a trip to the Gardner museum and admire works of art in a more intimate setting in an atmosphere of a Venetian-style palace with three stories of galleries surrounding flower-filled courtyard!  Perhaps, your teens will walk about feeling inspired to create their own works of art.

Boston Rainy Day Gardner Museum

Save on all of these great Museum experiences by using a library pass available for checkout at your local library.

One of our off the beaten path favorites is the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum in Chestnut Hill.  Located across the street from the historic Chestnut Hill Reservoir,  the site unveils a most unique story of one of the country’s earliest metropolitan water systems. It's a pretty cool find - who knew the story of Boston waterworks could be so interesting?!   

2. Go Bowling!

Head to the  bowling lanes, strap on some funky bowling shoes and get competitive with a round or two of bowling. Consider inviting local families and even form up teams for a buoyantly good time.   There are lots of great bowling alleys to choose from and each has their own flare.  Remember that kids bowl free all summer long when you sign up for the Kids Bowl Free Program.

3. See a Movie!

When the forecast is grim, an outing to the movie theater is always a great bet.  The Boston area has a plethora of movie venues that are perfect for a cozy seat, some yummy snacks and a great entertainment experience. Find out what's playing at the movies near you!

boston rainy day union oyster house

4. Go Shopping!

Transform a rainy day into a day of shopping.  Explore Prudential Center Shops at Copley Place.  Window shop at all the high end boutiques, grab some lunch and explore the Italian faire at Eataly, or bring a game/play cards in one of the attached hotel lobbies. 

Rainy Day Boston Shops at Pru

Spend a leisurely afternoon shopping at Bostons' Downtown Crossing, or hop on over the city border to Cambridge and spend some time at the  Cambridgeside Galleria Mall.  

Located just steps from downtown Boston and Kendall Square in East Cambridge.  Cambridge Side has plenty of parking and is easily accessible via car or public transportation. 

cambridgeside galleria mall boston shopping

Browse the unique shops in the bustling urban atmosphere at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.  

Spend the entire day experiencing all that Patriot Place has to offer from shopping, dining, and entertainment and eateries houses in the expansive mall.  A visit to to The Patriots Hall of Fame is always a fun, interactive  experience. 

Rainy Day Boston Patriots Place

photo credit: BostonCentral

Elevate your shopping experience with a trip to the Wrentham Premium Outlets which highlights designer  discount shopping!

5. Cruise Boston Harbor

Double your sightseeing pleasure by touring Boston Harbor on a dinner cruise.  Get your sea legs on the Spirit of Boston or set sail on the Odyssey.  Enjoy delicious buffet style meals, dancing, and onboard activities in the comfort of the climate controlled interior.  

6. Explore Jordan's Furniture

Visit one of Jordan's Furniture stores.  Each store has a lively theme - Reading features "Beantown" that includes a large foyer with all sorts of creations made out of jelly belly jellybeans. 

In addition to what seems like miles and miles of furniture displays, you can enjoy activities like water fireworks, a large ropes course, IMAX movies, ice cream and other treats.

Boston Rainy Day Jordan's Furniture Ropes Course

7. Discover a new Indoor Playspace

Camp out at an indoor playspace for an easy fix for days that you are stuck indoors. Climbing, creativity,  and tons of interactive family fun abounds at each and every destination on our list. You may even make a friend or two on your visit.

Instead of bouncing off the walls, your kids can literally climb on them at one of the Indoor rock climbing facilities on our list.  Gain confidence and overcome obstacles as you and the kids climb to great heights. After a day of rock climbing, everyone in the family is sure to go home proud and tired.

Buckle up and take the spin of a lifetime at K1 Indoor Go Karting.  Race against the clock, compete with friends and family, or battle complete strangers, as adventure awaits you at every turn.

Rainy Day Boston K1 Indoor Go Karting

Burn off some energy as you get your bounce the day away on at a Trampoline Park.  Launch,  Altitude and Skyzone offer thousands of feet of connected trampolines for active fun for the whole family.  For the younger set Jam Time has 4 fabulous locations and caters to the 0-5 set. 

Beat the rainy day blues and expend pent up energy with a fun filled outing at one of the varieties of Adventure Zones in the Boston area.  From bounce zones, laser tag, and even nerf adventures, our list has something for everyone.  

Supercharged Entertainment on Route One in Wrentham also features multi-level go karting, along with a ninja warrior course, bumper cars, digital darts, a casual curling lounge, Laser Tag VR and lot more. 

8. Pay a visit to Legoland Discovery Center

Get creative, build, and play at the Legoland Discovery Center Boston.  Admire the creations in MINILAND and check out Somerville & Boston's most  iconic buildings  and attractions made from LEGO bricks.  Complete with 2 LEGO® rides, 4D cinema, large soft play area and lots to see and do, you won't even remember that precipitation is in the forecast.

Rainy Day Activities Boston Legoland

9. Learn about Sea Creatures at the Aquarium

Get up close and personal with sea life at the  New England Aquarium. Touch a sting ray, gaze with wonder at the unique central tank  inhabited by small sharks, a wide variety of fish and a huge sea turtle.  Dive deep into the Science of Sharks with the newest exhibit and learn  through Hands-on activities about the remarkable adaptations that give them an edge in the water.

10. Go Swimming at an Indoor Pool

Escaping a rainy day doesn't mean that getting wet can't be part of the game plan.  Swim your hearts out at one of Boston's Indoor Pools during public swim time, or check into a hotel and make a 2-day adventure out of it.  

11. Play a round of Indoor Mini-Golf

Have a monster of a day playing an indoor round of mini-golf at Monster Mini Golf or PuttShack. There are also arcade games, a glow-in-the-dark air hockey table, and ticket redemption games including glow Skee Balls so you can literally spend hours there.  Visit our guide to Boston mini-golf to find more options for both indoor and outdoor courses.

Monster Mini Golf Rainy Day Near Boston

12. Play Some Golf at an Indoor Golf Simulator

Keep your game strong all year round, or try your hand at a new hobby. From cutting-edge golf simulators and launch monitors to chill-putting spaces, there’s a venue in Boston for every golfer.  Here's a handy list of golf simulators in the Boston area. Plus, it's a great indoor activity when the weather doesn't cooperate.  

13. Go Rock Climbing

With its diverse terrain and vibrant outdoor community, Boston offers a plethora of opportunities for Boston rock climbing enthusiasts. Whether you're a seasoned climber or just starting out, rock climbing gyms provide a safe and exciting environment to hone your skills and challenge yourself.  A great indoor activity anytime of year. 
Boston Rainy Day Rock Climbing

14. Take a Tour

Take a day trip and learn how awesome stuff gets made by taking a factory tour—from Ben and Jerry's, Taza Chocolate, Cape Cod Potato Chips,  to Historical tours of Boch Center and Emerson Colonial Theatre - the greater Boston area has so much to explore.

15. Get Creative at an Art Studio

Boston Public Library Rainy Day Venue

Turn a rainy day into an arts and crafts day at The Painting Place (Wellesley), Clay Dreams (Arlington), or Kidcasso Studios (Andover,  Wakefield & West Newton)  where you can paint your own clay projects or just get the creative juices flowing.  

Visit our arts and crafts directory for a robust list of great spots to get crafty.

16. Visit a Library Near You

Cuddle up with a good book and catch up on your summer reading list by visiting a Free Library location near you, and if you are lucky you might catch a really great story time for the younger kids as well!

17. Stop by Boston Public Market

Peruse the year round indoor Boston Public Market.  Sample fine cheeses, regional wines or if it is a rainy Thursday or Friday, enjoy the extra bonus of in house kitchen demonstrations and lectures during the Sip and Shop.

boston rainy day ducks

18. Pop over to Dave & Busters

Get your game on at Dave & Busters.   This popular chain has several locations in the Boston area, including Natick, Braintree and Woburn.  Get in out of the rain and play some cool arcade games, go bowling, play pool, try out a VR experience, or just watch your favorite sporting event.  

19. Splash Around at Water Park of New England (formerly Coco Key Water Resort)

Make a splash at Water Park of New England!  The Danvers location  features over 65,000 sq. ft. of indoor water park fun.  Enjoy cozy cabanas, thatched roofed huts, brightly colored water slides, a lazy river and a fun island vibe. 


photo credit: BostonCentral

20. Visit Great Wolf Lodge, New England

In addition, Great Wolf Lodge (formerly a Coco Key location)  also offers lots of indoor waterpark fun.  Located in Fitchburg, (about an hour west of Boston), and right across from Wachusett Mountain, rainy days have nothing on indoor tropical fun.  Day passes and overnight stays are also available.

photo credit: BostonCentral

For more ideas on things to do in Boston and things to do in Boston with Kids, visit our handy guide to help you navigate the best family-friendly places to visit.  Our guide to guides section has ideas for just about every interest around town. 


You may also be interested in finding out about things to do near some of the top local universities, like Boston University, MIT, Tufts, Northeastern and Boston College. And if you are a college student, check out our fun things to do in Boston for young adults guideStacey Sao

Stacey Sao has been the Managing Director of the family-friendly events and activities website, BostonCentral for over 20 years.  She continues to enjoy discovering and exploring new places to visit for parents and families in the Greater Boston area.