10 Best Boston Activities for Rainy Days

What to do in Boston in the rain

Boston in the rain / Boston Activities / www.boston-discovery-guide.com
Photo courtesy of Paul Keleher

Don't let rain dampen your Boston travel plans! 

Our list of best Boston activities for rainy days will get you happily through the wettest weather, and you'll still get to see some wonderful parts of the city that you might otherwise miss.

This list of the 10 best Boston activities for rainy days will give you plenty of suggestions so that drizzles or downpours won't turn your weekend in the city into a wash-out.

Best of all, these rainy day activities in Boston are also fun things to do on sunny days . . . and even those other "s-word" weather days that we don't like to use . . . snow, sleet, and worst of all, slush.


Boston activities for rain (and snow, sleet, and slush)

1. Spend a day at a museum

Boston museums provide an interesting place to find entertainment as well as shelter on rainy days, steamy days, snowy days . . . and with over 30 museums to choose from, finding one that's interesting for your whole family shouldn't be a problem.

But if you're dealing with a bone-chilling drizzle or soaking downpour, consider 2 additional criteria:  size (seek out bigger museums where you can happily spend and hour or more) and proximity to a subway (or "T" as we call it) stop to avoid getting drenched in transit.

Several Boston museums fitting both of these criteria include the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Children's Museum, New England Aquarium, and Museum of Science.  And the Boston Public Library, although technically not a museum, overflows with museum-quality art and artifacts and offers the additional advantage of being free.

Don't forget to check savings with Boston discount cards - for example, all of them provide cardholders with free admission to the Aquarium. 

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2.  Get some indoor exercise

One of Boston's best kept secrets are our bowling allies.  Easiest to get to by T in the rain is Kings (50 Dalton St), close to Prudential Center in Back Bay.  Great for family fun before 6pm, and then strictly 21+.  The big screens, drinks, and food will add to your enjoyment.  More about Kings

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3.  Go to a movie

Even if you're normally addicted to Netflix when you're at home, going to a movie on a rainy day can be a lot of fun, especially if you're traveling.  For movie theaters showing first run commercial films, check the Boston Common 19 (very close to the Park St T station). 

For indie films, foreign films, and repertory film series that defy description, see what's playing at the Brattle Theatre near the Harvard Square T station in Cambridge.  Stop by Casablanca (40 Brattle St., Cambridge) down the block for a drink and some of their terrific Mediterranean food. 

Boston Movie Tours provide a great way to see the city - choose the bus tour on a rainy day!

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4.  Watch a game or concert at the Garden . . .

TD Garden, home to the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins, and frequent site of star-studded concerts, ice shows, and occasionally even the circus, is right next to North Station (Orange and Green T lines). 

Check Ace Tickets to find out what's scheduled and get tickets.  Also, be sure to check for half-price tickets, sometimes available for events at the Garden through Goldstar (in fact, you can see all the deeply-discounted events for Boston - more about that in a minute!). 


5.  . . . or go to the theater or a comedy show

Boston theaters present everything from Broadway musicals to cutting edge drama.  Going to a show is a favorite Boston activity - you'll find a huge number of choices!  The most convenient locations for staying dry in the rain are the downtown Theatre District and the Huntington Theatre in Fenway. 

Boston also offers a wonderful selection of comedy clubs.  Stand up, improv, ensembles...whatever your preference, you're sure to find several interesting options.

Remember Goldstar from the previous suggestion?  Check Goldstar to find out what's showing and get half-price tickets for shows and comedy clubs.  You'll be pleasantly surprised by how much they offer.

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6.  Follow in the footsteps of Revolutionary War heroes

Hang out at one of the historic Boston bars where the Sons of Liberty plotted their tea party and dreamed of revolution. 

Or enjoy a leisurely meal in one of Boston's historic restaurants such as Durgin Park and the Union Oyster House, where generations of Bostonians have eaten basically the same traditional New England dishes that you'll be served. 

All of these places are very close to Faneuil Hall / Quincy Marketplace and several T stops - ask at your hotel which will be the most convenient from where you're staying.


7.  Enjoy sweeping views of Boston

Well, maybe not in the rain!  If the weather were clear, you might want to enjoy panoramic views of the city from the Prudential Skywalk.  But don't pay out good money for tickets on a dismal day!  Instead, head over to Pru Center but go up to the 52nd floor - 2 floors above the Skywalk - to the Top of the Hub. 

Sit in the bar or lounge and use the money that you might have spent for observatory tickets on one of their specialty cocktails - true, you might have to thrown in a couple more dollars, depending on what you order.  Unless rain is pouring down in buckets, you'll still be able to see some of the city.  And you'll certainly enjoy your drink!


8.  Tour Boston Harbor

Touring the harbor is usually one of the top Boston activities for visitors . . . and although most people think of doing this only when the weather is good, you can also see quite a bit in the rain.  Two of the biggest enclosed dinner cruise boats, the Spirit of Boston and the Odyssey, continue their tours year round, rain or shine.  Goldstar often offers deeply discounted dinner tickets, so check your target date.  Cruises are also available with the Go Boston discount card.

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9.  Treat yourself to a spa experience

Indulge in some beauty treatment and relaxation at one of Boston's top spas.  Some of the best are located in hotels - the Mandarin Oriental in Back Bay, the Langham in the Financial District, and Boston Harbor Hotel on the downtown waterfront. 


10.  Shop

Even if you didn't plan to spend time shopping, it can be fun on bad weather days.  Three Boston shopping malls are easily reachable by T - Prudential Center, Copley Place, and Quincy Market (although the shops are located in several separate buildings).  For the ultimate experience in designer discount shopping, rent a car for a few hours and drive to Wrentham Outlets just south of Boston.  Your savings can easily pay for the car . . . maybe your entire Boston vacation!

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Boston Insider Tip:

One last thought:  If you're coming to Boston and know ahead of time that rain is predicted during your stay, a fun option is to make reservations in a hotel offering in-room fireplaces.  Bask in front of the warm fire in your room, and you won't mind the nor'easter raging outside one bit!



More about great rainy day activities in Boston

Rainy day Boston activities - New England Aquarium Wang Theatre in Boston MA Boston Irish Pubs


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Best Boston Events All Year!

Boston Events in January - Wine Festivals, Polar Bear Swim, New Year Brunch February Events in Boston - Valentines Day, Running of the Brides, Chinese New Year March Events in Boston - St Patricks Day Parade, Film Festivals, Restaurant Week April Events in Boston - Marathon, Patriots Day, Boston Garden Show Boston May Events - Memorial Day, Duckling Day Parade, Open Studios Boston June Events - Harborfest, Scooper Bowl, Dragon Boat Races
Boston Events in July - Fireworks, Harborfest, Shakespeare on the Common August Events in Boston - Shakespeare on the Common, Running of the Brides, Restaurant Week September Events in Boston - Labor Day, Fashion Week, BeanTown Jazz Festival October Events in Boston - Columbus Day Parade, Halloween, Head of the Charles Boston Thanksgiving Events - Thanksgiving, The Nutcracker, Black Friday Boston December Events - First Night, Holiday Pops, Black Nativity


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